Literaryswag Book Club pick for June: Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts

Big bless up to Caroline Nitz and the Graywolf family for sponsoring this month's book club meeting with Maggie Nelson's genre-bending, critically fearless, memoir The Argonauts. No matter who you are, circumstances are limiting. What's expansive is the way we learn to finesse them. A sleight of hand, making the person performing the feat appear as though they have more than two hands. Maggie Nelson's brilliance on the page can have the same effect. How she can write one paragraph that can shoot off into eight different directions and manage, by virtue of the ability to look at herself in the mirror and recognize who's there, to not get lost. The ability to find locate herself on the page means having to recognize that she always has to find herself constantly: "Whatever I am, or have since become, I know now that slipperiness isn't all of it. I know now that a studied evasiveness has its own limitations, its own ways of inhibiting certain forms of happiness and pleasure. The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion. The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one's work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again--not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life." Navigating the everyday is a discipline. So this month's meeting and conversation will be about the everyday. How we navigate the quotidian in our hearts, minds and bodies, and how there's always something new to learn about the things we think we already know. The meeting goes down Thursday, June 29th at 7pm The Brooklyn Circus.

Jennelle Gordon