Obsessions are influences—what are yours?Visit Melissa Febos's website.
In many ways, Abandon Me is a conversation with all of my obsessions and influences: Winnicott and Jung, poets, hickies, the sound of my own name, mythology, the books of my childhood, the sea, my complicated family situation, sex, Labyrinth, the way we replicate our traumas in the people we choose, the parts of us we disown, the way narrative shapes us and is shaped by us, abandonment in all its forms, Billie Holiday, the music of certain words.
I’ve loved music as long and almost as hard as books, and it feels inextricable from my writing and living processes. I still listen to songs the way I did as a kid—like each new obsession is my oxygen, the prayer that will save me. Certainly, it has both accompanied and shaped my understanding of language and sound, and what I strive to do in my own art. I could write a book about my relationship to music. I sort of feel like I already did, in the cumulative mixtapes (yes, actual cassette tapes) that I made before you could just drag and drop songs into an infinitely long playlist. I loved mixtapes the way I love personal essays: you have a finite amount of source material and space, and it’s part alchemy, part puzzle to shape it into....[read on]