Hubert Selby Jr: The Room

Time has to pass. But sometimes its so goddamn long. Sometimes it just seems to drag and drag and weigh a ton. And hang on you like a monkey. Like its going to suck the blood out of you. Or squeeze your guts out. And sometimes it flies. And is gone somewhere, somehow, before you know it was even here.

Hubert Selby Jr, The Room

My 2016 drawing of…well, I’ll let you guess who it is, but it’s been cropped to make the most of the thousand yard stare that seemed the perfect image for Hubert’s most notorious novel. Even he couldn’t face going back to reading it for over 20 years after he’d written it, and it fully deserves its fearsome reputation. A man is locked in a cell, for a crime he claims he did not commit. The reader is trapped in the cell of the man’s mind, and it soon becomes clear that this is not an ordinary man… or is he? Are his appalling fantasies, fuelled by a blazing need for revenge against the whole of society, those of a genuine psychopath or are they more common than we’d dare to admit?

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