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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Sep-18 > Sculptor of nightmares

Sculptor of nightmares

David Lynch’s memoir offers a glimpse behind the curtain, says Wendy Ide
Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna (Canongate, £25)

Fans of the director David Lynch can be divided roughly into two categories: those who see the man and his work as a puzzle to be solved; and those who see him as a mystery to be embraced. Any book about Lynch—who seems to relish being a professional enigma—is likely to disappoint at least one set of his admirers. And while Room to Dream, a blend of memoir and biography co-written by the filmmaker, does shed some light on a man who, both professionally and personally, is drawn to darkness, it is unlikely to fully satisfy either camp.

The book explores Lynch’s creative process by tracing the threads of his childhood inspirations into the fabric of his adult work. However, it does little to unpick the knottier aspects of his oeuvre. Anyone who has seen Lynch interviewed in public will know that he is a master of the art of evasion. In conversation—and in his films for that matter— he is given to making gnomic statements which could mean anything, or nothing. His answers in person are welltrodden paths that lead back to his safe spaces: his fondness for transcendental meditation, for example. And while writing a memoir forces him to delve deeper than he would normally be comfortable with, the protective walls built up over a lifetime are not easily smashed down.

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In Prospect's September issue: Twenty-five years after the Oslo Accords, Israeli politician and former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg and journalist Donald Macintyre explore how the idea of a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict has diminished, with Burg arguing that a one-state solution is the only way forward. Jane Martinson visited the offices of the UK’s biggest-selling newspaper—Metro—to find out how it has risen to the top. Adam Tooze charts the ups and downs of the euro and argues that decisions made by the ECB have hampered the currency during its first 20 years in existence. Elsewhere in the issue: Michael Blastland suggests that early diagnosis isn’t all it’s made out to be and that many people have endured unnecessary suffering in an attempt to live longer. Wendy Ide examines the life and work of director David Lynch as she reviews his new memoir, which offers a glimpse behind the curtain.