I Think, Therefore Who Am I?

I Think Therefore Who Am I The philosopher Rene Descartes declared I think therefore I am But who is this I that thought posits In anecdotal style the narrator of this nonfiction novel relates an odyssey of discovery and con

  • Title: I Think, Therefore Who Am I?
  • Author: Peter Weissman
  • ISBN: 9781425702939
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Paperback
  • The philosopher Rene Descartes declared, I think, therefore I am But who is this I that thought posits In anecdotal style, the narrator of this nonfiction novel relates an odyssey of discovery and confusion, catalyzed by psychedelic drugs, over a year s time the hippie era of 1967 With humor and passion he tells a story of wrestling with meaning and his own identity.The philosopher Rene Descartes declared, I think, therefore I am But who is this I that thought posits In anecdotal style, the narrator of this nonfiction novel relates an odyssey of discovery and confusion, catalyzed by psychedelic drugs, over a year s time the hippie era of 1967 With humor and passion he tells a story of wrestling with meaning and his own identity Each chapter is a self contained story, discrete links in a plotline propelled by epiphanies and vanities, from Before Almost Everything Changed and his Czechoslovak Awakening, with its two fateful capsules, to his Dark Night of the Soul and beyond He explores life as myth, witnesses the solution to the paradoxical mystery of waves and particles, ruminates on the difference between truth and fact, and experiences a sense of liberation that gradually becomes something else He delves into chivalrous love, a child s anticipation of the adult world, the tao of momentary observation sees a miracle, loses himself in the crowded crash pads of Haight Ashbury, seeks answers in astrology and infatuation, wrestles with the capriciousness of his myriad selves, and forty years later, looking back, figures a few things out.

    One thought on “I Think, Therefore Who Am I?”

    1. William S. Burroughs once said that hallucinogens are “absolutely contraindicated for creative work” and while this may be true, they also make for absolutely great creative anamnesis. I say this having just finished reading Peter Weissman’s memoir, “I Think Therefore Who Am I?” which documents a year of his life spent as one of many “stoned disciples of weed” in New York city. Weissman’s literary endeavours began that same year, in 1968, with a “yellow writing pad…a pack of [...]

    2. This book was provided to me by the author.I, being a child of the 80s, have always thought how cool it would have been to have lived through the "flower child" years. Yeah, I would have been one of those putting the daisies in the rifles (did that ever really happen?), or so I like to think. Woodstock, peace and love, and all that. I'm totally there!Weissman sort of dulls that dream with this "nonfiction novel" of one year in the life of a real, young person of that time.His New York is dirty, [...]

    3. Psychedelic experience is purely experiential. It dwarfs – obliterates – language and even the best visual evocations are only a faint reminder. True flashback triggers are random: a smell, a taste, a brief flicker of the beyond beyond. But a firsthand account that is neither dismissive of the epiphanic intensity of psychedelic rapture nor bitter that Eden later eluded us again is so very rare and precious. That such an account would languish in obscurity while books like Robert Stone's “P [...]

    4. I didn’t quite roll my eyes when I saw the cover and title of Peter Weissman’s memoir, I Think, Therefore Who Am I? That didn’t happen until I reached the eighth paragraph on page one and read this sentence, “A certain gradation of light filtering through a window would stir me, propel me back downstairs a few hours later and through the gray streets.” I could hear the author murmuring, “gradation of light, a certain gradation of light.” If I kept reading, it would be to see just h [...]

    5. So much ink has been spilled over 'the Sixties' and their meaning that the era has been boiled down to a collection of stereotypes and summaries of everything that went Right or Wrong in the new America. This book takes a much deeper and more personal look at the divisive time by relaying the experiences of one year in the life of an everyman personally struggling with the turmoil of the period. This approach breathes fresh life and depth into a subject matter in danger of becoming an inert and [...]

    6. This is a gripping account of hippie culture in the 1960s which goes beyond the stereotypes and soundbites of popular culture, as told in ebullient prose by a man who lived through it. Funny, thoughtful and self-aware, Weissman is a capable narrator to take us through the crash pads of the Lower East Side and the hopeful energy of Haight-Ashbury. What Hemingway did for Paris in the 1920s and Kerouac did for the roaming beatnik scene, Weissman does for East Eighth Street, Tompkins Square and Gold [...]

    7. Initially, I had problems starting this book because of the "hip jargon"; however, as I progressed in the reading, I became quite impressed with the autobiographical, self-reflection of the author and his excellent use of metaphors. Apparently, he could have gone into great chronological detail in describing his hitch-hiking trips across the country (from New York to San Francisco and back to New York again), however, his confining the subsequent passage (blocks) of time to individual chapters, [...]

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