The Argonauts

143 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2015 by Graywolf Press.

ISBN:
978-1-55597-707-8
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OCLC Number:
889165103

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4 stars (32 reviews)

Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of “autotheory” offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author’s relationship with artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.

Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals like Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Nelson binds her personal experience to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and childrearing. Nelson’s insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry for this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.

12 editions

Review of 'The Argonauts' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Noen vil kalle dette en memoar, andre et langessay, de mest kritiske vil se på det som en personlig dagbok i bokformat.
En bok om legning, om å bære fram barn, og om frihet. Egentlig det siste: Frihet som den grunnleggende drivkraften i mennesket, friheten til å være seg selv, og om hva som skjer med friheten med en gang man velger - fritt - å binde seg til noen andre, som f.eks. et barn.
En bok som utfordrer meg, og som får meg til å tenke på om hva jeg virkelig mener om den enkeltes rett til å velge sitt eget liv - og plikten til å leve det ut i en kontekst. Jeg har veldig sansen for det dynamiske frihetsbegrepet Maggie Nelson beskriver, og blir mer skeptisk til den statiske tradisjonen jeg tilhører.
Og konteksten? Maggie er - så vidt jeg forstår henne - lesbisk, med et sterkt …

Review of 'The Argonauts' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Was mir an dem Buch gefiel, ist das Fehlen von Ironie. Ich konnte mich auf den Text einlassen, der zum Teil sehr sensible Themen über Geschlecht, Sexualität und Sex bespricht, ohne dass bei mir die Angst entstand, am Ende wird diese Intimität belacht oder anders verraten. Der Eindruck wurde zusätzlich verstärkt, weil ich das von der Autorin selber eingesprochene Hörbuch hörte und sie sehr sorgfältig und ruhig liest. Allein die Form des Geschriebenen hat mir nicht so gefallen, und von vielen Zitaten in einem Buch halte ich meist und auch in diesem Fall nicht soviel.

I love this book

5 stars

Somewhat autobiographical account dealing mostly with pregnancy and queerness, heavily relying on other texts in a way that is now my ideal for how I wish or hope to one day be able to read texts myself. Like, it's like you can be inside the brain of the author and for a little bit experience how incredibly rich the world can be until your ejected again when the sentence ends.

The only book about pregnancy - well a lot more than that really - that is good

No rating

I read it fast when pregnant with my first so my focus on the body transformation stuff - the author is pregnant while her love is transitioning - must have to do with my state at the time. I loved it. And probably, there's a lot to revisit. I'd recommend to anyone who wants to read something beautiful and human that talks in raw honest terms about our bodies, gender, and family.

Review of 'The Argonauts' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

Why didn’t I read this right when it came out? A deep pleasure to read. I love this sort of neither-memoir-nor-essay writing.

It made me feel a lot of feels, but genuinely and without stilted pathos or melodrama. It’s pretentious as all fuck, make no mistake, but also direct in parts in a way that is rare and nice.

The obsession with fucking bores me, but then again, I am myself.

Review of 'The Argonauts' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The personal perspective makes this feel at first like a novel that affectionately mocks academic queer feminism but it actually is the stereotypical nonfiction work of academic queer feminism I thought it was mocking, only framed within a set of intimate personal anecdotes. And it is excellent. The Audiobook is read by the author with affecting understatement.

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Subjects

  • Motherhood
  • Sexual minorities' families
  • Family
  • Pregnancy
  • Transgender parents
  • Gay parents

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