Thoughts on Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson


It’s a crime I’ve taken this long to finally read Jeff Jackson’s Mira Corpora. It’s in some ways a fable, in others, an allegory, and in yet others, one of the most fascinating takes on the bildungsroman. It defies linearity while embracing it, and weaves the chaotic transformation of youth to adulthood in bestial beauty. Fiction, biography, poetry, and flash melt into one another, sort of the way our own childhoods are a blurry set of photos and VHS tapes that get mired in the creative static of our memories. There’s already so many amazing reviews out there so I’m just going to list two quotes from one of my favorite sections and conclude with, you should read this book if you haven’t already:

“Ignore the dead body on the floor. It’s just earning a living. Gert-Jan instructs the partygoers to step over it as they ferry rounds of drinks from the kitchen to the den. Everyone is careful not to disturb the body’s composure. It lies face-down in a puddle created by the unplugged refrigeration. Its skinny arms are bound behind its back with black bandannas. The tag around its neck reads “My Name is Jeff.” The body is mine, technically speaking. But let’s not get hung up on unnecessary details.”

“In a tinny voice, the body says, “Thank you.” Its vocabulary has been distilled to two phrases. For its own good, really. Anything other than “Thank you” or “I’m sorry” inevitably leads to savage misunderstandings or agonizing guilt. Trust me: It’s much happier this way. You’d be amazed how these four words ably express the full range of its emotions. Or rather, whatever emotional residue still remains inside the body, clinging like washed-out pigment to the walls of some long-forgotten caves.”


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