I don't understand when there's so little inches devoted to reviewing or covering literary fiction in The New York Times why instead they choose to review or cover the same book like 5 times. I understand that there is this idea of "hype," but it seems to me that the media actually generates and fuels this "hype" - aided by two bookstore chains that are fast proving their irrelevance. I have already in the Grey Lady read two reviews of Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife, as well as an article today in The Arts section: "Author Earns Her Stripes On First Try," about how young and successful and hyped she is. This is all in the past week. I believe recent statistics generated by VIDA show that many less woman writers are reviewed in the big publications - that does not mean one can compensate for this by writing about the same woman writer over and over again. And what is the purpose of one publication reviewing the same book twice or three times? This happens all the time. I think Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was reviewed like 8 times or something. I didn't count. But it was repetitive, and felt like a constant repetitive trauma, like a machine to the head. Why not have Michiko Kakutani review Tea Obreht's work, say, ONCE, a NOVEL idea, and then have your other reviewers actually try to look around for what else has been published. If you cannot find something that catches your eyes why not go off-Broadway to the indies.
I've decided this all has to do with advertising.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
An excerpt from The Book of Mutter (I will take down in a day)...I am thinking of it because the anniversary of my mother's death is Wednesday. Also it reveals where I got the name of this blog. The film I'm talking about with Barbara Loden is Splendor in the Grass. To all of us who are devotional.
excerpt (from "Weather Reports" in The Book of Mutter)
I am too hidden in the cellar. Our histories are exiled into silence. I am the woman in Hiroshima mon Amour. I am deranged by my lost love.
I am the rebellious daughter.
My illegitimate text of illegitimate daughters.
At one point his identification with Annie became so intense that he took on her name.
Anna Kavan took on the name of her heroine
Anna Kavan taking heroin
I am Anna O. I am Anna Kavan I am Annie Aronburg I am Aunt Anna
Barbara Loden blonde and boozy struggling with her brother Warren Beatty on the porch at the New Year’s party, before collapsing into a sea of eager bachelors.
Frances Farmer kicking into air, as the policeman attempts to arrest her.
Frances Farmer: Icon of the Resistance
I am a destructive whirlwind. I knock down walls.
Cixous’ Sorties: exits, outlets, escapes, holidays also outbursts, attacks, tirades
The hysterics are my mothers and grandmothers and great aunts.
Barbara Loden is my sister.
Marilyn Monroe is my sister.
Frances Farmer is my sister.
They are my martyred Vivian Girls whose images I collect.
The heroine is she who has broken something.
You are the id of your family a therapist once told me.
Darwinian concepts of insanity theorized that madness was passed down from mother to daughter.
This was supposed to explain the majority of asylum inmates who were female.
I am Bertha Mason. I am the true daughter of an infamous woman.
I have inherited my mother’s temper. Temperature. Temperament.
The violence of my moods rendering my body chaotic, my mind confused.
I tear myself into rags and rages.
The kindling effect. That’s what they call it. One little twig of a mood or a nerve and all of a sudden everything is ablaze.
To set fire to one’s house—to free oneself from one’s cage
Bertha jumping out of Thornfield Hall.
Foucault on Sade: When constraints were at their most oppressive, an explosion was necessary.
I have been your slave! She yelled at him, in front of the mirrored closets in the hallway, as she crumpled unto herself.
Clytaemnestra had the Furies on her side.
What at the end made her scream in such rage? Was this her emancipation proclamation?
To attack the family is to flirt with the world of unreason.
The statue of liberation: Frances Farmer resisting arrest. Frances Farmer kicking.
St. Francis. My martyr-mother.
We are considered mad if we try to resist.
Still sometimes I cannot be understood. I am still screaming to be understood.
This is why I’m a writer I realize. I cannot mute my violence.
Cassandra muttering incoherent screams, protesting her servitude. She runs into the house on fire. A suicide mission.