I read The See twice, and both times it took me several unsuccessful attempts to read it all the way through in one go. It might seem easy when you hold the book in your hand and browse quickly, as the written section are few and far between and artwork inhabits most of the pages; however the reality of carefully understanding it as a work of literature and art becomes a clearly harsh uncompromising task.
The passages are immaculately written in an almost childlike simplicity, which is the more difficult to swallow when you start to partially comprehend what the subject is about, and the subject cannot be put to simple terms. You cannot understand it all, and you and I could talk about it nonstop and still fail at reaching an agreement.
The beauty of this book, like the artwork in it, is that it is all up for interpretation and analysis, and what ultimately strikes you is as personal as your deepest, darkest memory. The book conjures up emotions, secrets, recollections that you might have locked away in those rooms of your mind and long since thrown away the keys.
That is precisely what we do. We protect ourselves. We lock away bad memories and horrifying happenings. Because otherwise we would not be able to function in a “normal” socially acceptable way. If you and I had the option of releasing our inhibitions and for one minute dredge up all our memories, the result would be screaming, crying, suicidal, messed up specimens that would be, on any other day, locked up in a mental institute.
No matter how hard we try, however, we cannot rid ourselves from these memories, because even though they might be repressed unconsciously, they will resurface and sooner or later we will have to deal with them consciously. Yet, all is not lost here, because along the way we develop certain skills and the mental knowhow to be able to come to terms with our past, even though it will upset and mentally scar us for the rest of our days.
All that has been said is of course conditional and comes into play uniquely for each individual. How I deal with my psychological problems is not and will not be the same as the way you or others deal with theirs.
What this book does in describing a very disturbing turn of events that ultimately causes destruction of an individual, is force you to face your own demons. You close your eyes; you scream mutely; you clench and grind your teeth; you shudder and curse; you “bitterly regret and pour forth bitter tears, but cannot wash those grievous lines away.”
The story is close to my own heart as I’ve had some personal experience with psychological issues and abuse, however I do believe that the events described and elegantly put to words here are universal and have a common connection with everyone in human terms.