Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Friday, 10 August 2012

'Infanta' by Ken Slaarg

There are some books one just cannot put down. Not because one does not want to, mind. But because to do so might be regarded as mocking the afflicted.

Fortunately, Infanta, by the noted anti-fascist performance artist Ken Slaarg, is not such a book. It is very easy to put down, in all sorts of highly entertaining ways - for those who enjoy pleasantly sauntering through the narrow lanes of literary self-indulgence, as who does not?

To say that this is a book that appears once in a generation might sound like the hyperbole of a literary agent, but it's worth saying nevertheless, since there are are always a few punters who will be taken in by a blurb like this.

Infanta documents, in a highly emotional yet dispassionate way, the life-long personal struggle of one woman to come to terms with the fact that she is really a man, inside a woman, inside a man, while at the same time objectifying and reifying the inner struggle in the broader fight against all forms of societal oppression.

The book is full of pathos, of amusing vignettes and anecdotes of well-known and some less well-known people and places. A flavour of the book can be acquired by looking at its title, Infanta. Ken Slaarg, a dyslexic, originally meant to entitle the book 'Antifa', but wrote 'Infanta' instead, serendipitously.

For all those who take seriously the international struggle against fascism and what it represents, especially the latter, this book is the perfect antidote. It should make a wonderful stocking-filler.

Infanta by K Slaarg, published by Harridan Press, 220pp, £14.99

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