The always erudite Tim Jones-Yelvington recommends Green Girl over at The Lit Pub. I really enjoyed reading his essay, as Tim really pokes into what I was attempting with the novel. I love especially what he has to say about writing into, as opposed to counter to, abjection, as well as the psychic and physical alienation of the retail experience.
I have been meditating lately about the aesthetics of depression, which in some way I attempt in Green Girl - although the "breakdown" scene is much shorter in the published version that it was in previous drafts, originally I had Ruth kind of stay inside and sleep all day for at least 30 pages, it was argued to me time and time again that this was boring, but I wanted to somehow convey the banality and cruelty of being depressed. I have been rather, voluptuously, intensely depressed the past week, although it's more complex I suppose, this vicious cycle of this illness I've been suffering from the past year or two, my flare-ups, my Flannery O'Connor invalidism. When I can stay awake I have been cycling through the entire oeuvre of Kirsten Dunst, and making notes about depression in cinema, in thinking about Melancholia. This will form an essay, eventually, about the "manic-depressive pixie dream girl." I think I'm going to take on this trope of the "manic pixie dream girl" everyone has been throwing around lately as what should not be represented (in cinema, in literature). I will argue that underneath the surface in reality the dream girl is quite depressed, and to fold this into a discussion of the actress, the ontology of cinema, and representations of female depression, and how this all relates to the star system and the genealogy of actresses, and women, unraveling. The term originated with Nathan Rabin reviewing Kirsten Dunst's performance in Elizabethtown in the A/V club, but has come to stand in for the lack of inner life of a female character. But I find it really intriguing that Kirsten's breakdown and subsequent entering of rehab for depression came around this time.Anyway. Overall I think the essay will be a close reading of Melancholia. I am thinking this essay might be for Slapping Clark Gable, or I might try to publish it somewhere, where, I do not know, it doesn't matter, perhaps.
Anyway. I'm also reading Thomas Bernhard's Gargoyles - I love, anything Thomas Bernhard - and meditating on what would it look like if I wrote an entire book in which the main character was depressed - where would be the movement, would it be readable. Less about the machinery of depression - the medicalized patient - but more about a woman in a room. Where would the urge and viscera come from, as issued from a static body.