New Review for PROXIES in The Rumpus

New Review for PROXIES in The Rumpus

A thoughtful new review of PROXIES: Essays Near Knowing {A Reckoning} by Brian Blanchfield:

"In the penultimate essay, Blanchfield admits to a secretive childhood love of making maps, saying, 'Each map I made invented a place, a place suggested by the schematic of the place, as beheld from an implicit aerial vantage.' Place is often significant in these essays, though I think it’s not inaccurate to say each place is necessarily informed or even invented by the people within it: his childhood in the south, the peripatetic academic path that leads him from New York to Los Angeles to Missoula to Boston and finally out of academia and to Tucson. He narrates life in New York during the height of the AIDS epidemic, most poignantly perhaps by way of a repeated ride on the C Train to Bed Stuy. On the second ride, to receive the results of his test, two men board the train and face each other from opposite ends, a powerful parallel to the essay’s exploration of external-only sex, two lovers facing each other with the threat of something haunting the space between them, as well as the essay itself: the final line turns outward, faces the reader, asks a question." - Michael Sheehan for The Rumpus