“The Denis Crosby Nude Naked” by Denis Johnson
“I love you, but I can’t say I love you” – that’s the title of an excellent and intimate comedy by Denis Johnson, a true master of what can be called the “non-romantic genre.” It is not, in the least, a romance, and does not contain romantic undertones. The story centers on a man who, upon returning from a vacation to Europe, realizes that his wife has been lying to him about her past relationships and his inability to find her attractive, so he sets out to test her limits.
Denis Johnson is quite clearly a man of great intelligence, and his writing is often filled with facts and figures. However, what really makes his work stand out, is the way he puts those figures into the most intimate settings. His characters often have the same problems as we do: they need their ex-girlfriend to love them again, and they feel that they’re trapped by their fear of being abandoned. What Denis Johnson does is bring these characters out of their shell and into the light of the night, where they can face the world again.
Denis Johnson doesn’t focus entirely on the relationship between two people–he also includes a few flashbacks. But his main focus is on the person, woman or man, who is making the choices, and who is truly in control of his/her life.
In this film, Denis Johnson does not rely entirely on his imagination. He uses many well researched figures and provides many examples of behavior that can be considered normal for people in similar situations. But when he uses the words “normal,” it is a carefully chosen word; it is only then that he becomes his own worst critic.
Denis Johnson has done a marvelous job of combining reality with the fantasy. When his characters make decisions based on the information that they gain, they are actually using a real blueprint for their actions. Yet their behavior still tends toward the fantastical, because when they make decisions based on the information that they can gather, they feel like they’ve done something truly wonderful.
Denis Johnson is a very intelligent writer, and his writing is sometimes difficult to read, especially when one is reading something that is highly technical. and complicated. That is why some of his books are published by small press companies, because smaller presses have less pressure on them to get his works out quickly. And that’s what is most important to Denis Johnson–getting his work to the public.