Saturday, April 01, 2006


In lieu of writing anything myself, here's some literary fangirlishness.
I was in the last spasms of an affair with a Dutch girl called Inge. She was a committed romantic and an anarcha-feminist. This was hard for her because it meant she couldn't blow up beautiful buildings. She knew the Eiffel Tower was a hideous symbol of phallic oppression but when ordered by her commander to detonate the lift so that no-one should unthinkingly scale an erection, her mind filled with young romantics gazing over Paris and opening aerograms that said Je t'aime. Written on the Body
Jeannette Winterson is so my Literary Girlfriend. (Although it occurs to me that an anarcha-feminist wouldn't really have a "commander", would she? Being an anarchist and all...)
In the difficult years of an evangelical childhood, which is and is not Orangers are not the only fruit, I used save my soul. Save my soul from what? From ordinariness, from habit, from prejudice, from fear, from the constraints of a life not chosen by me but strapped onto my back. How to make the burden fall? Through Books. Language caught and made to serve a master. Ariel across tme and space. "The Psychometry of Books"
I should have known my Great European Romance would be with an author.
Never lie. Never say that something has moved you if you are still in the same place. You can pick up a book but a book can throw yuo across the room. A book can move you from a comfortable armchair to a rocky place where the sea is. A book can separate you from your husband, your wife, your children, all that you are. It can heal you out of a lifetime of pain. Books are kinetic, and like all huge forces, need to be handled with care. "The Psychometry of Books"

In February I was in Paris, sitting in the window of a café near St. Germain-des-Prés, eating a croque madame, reading Winterson, a night of whirlwind drinking and dancing and selfish hedonism with almost-strangers ahead of me. I never imagined even a year ago such an experience would be mine. Who knew? Who knew I would manage to read myself out of the rural midwest?
When I was growing up, the noisiest noise I ever heard was a tambourine and a male voice choir. This may explain why I love women and dislike Verdi operas. "Art and Life "

Like I said, I've got nothing important to say here. I'm just sharing the love. But does anybody else think it's wierd that Jeanette Winterson has a website? When she goes on and on in "Art and Life" about her simple, "anachronistic" lifestyle, woodstoves, vegetable gardens, a rural cottage far from schizophrenic London. And here she has this swank site with Flash graphics, so she must have a computer or laptop. Huh. But, she's an Artist. They're allowed to be contradictory and inconsistent.
More, not less, is the capacity of the heart. More not less is the capacity of art. "The Semiotics of Sex"


At 10:21 PM, Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

i can't believe you had no comments on this post.

jeanette winterson is pretty fucking incredible. a lyrical, brilliant alchemist -- but, and here's where i maybe get heretical, she's better in the micro than in the macro in my opinion. her musings are cryptic and poetic and gorgeous and moving, sentence by sentence, word by word. but when it comes to crafting a novel? a story? i think she tries too hard and ends up w/ something painfully disappointing. oranges was good, but linear, like a lot of people's early work (toni morrison, for example). and written on the body is fucking brilliant and, i think, completely perfect. but everything else seems to fall more and more short of the mark. like gut symmetries? fucking brilliant concepts and beautiful imagery (we're all stardust) but the story is fucking ridiculous.

i'm gonna check out her website, though.

and don't you love how they managed to make her look uber-hot in the author-photo for written on the body, but when you see other pictures of her, she's just sort of mundane? having worked in publishing oh-so-peripherally, i learned quick how an author photo chosen by the company frequently bears no real resemblance to the author in question.



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