?

Log in

No account? Create an account
~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Approaching the final stretch... 
23rd-Aug-2005 08:52 pm
Carousel
Four more days of puppysitting. I wonder how many more urine stains, little turds, and puddles of vomit I'll have to clean up.

On the bright side, though, I'm going to make it over two weeks on less than $55 worth of food. (And I do *not* eat junk food.) Go me. :P

In the novel arena, I decided to take a break from the Kushiel's Legacy Trilogy and read a bit of lesbian fiction instead:

Bird-Eyes by Madelyn Arnold
Sometimes I think that difficult books win awards because people figure a book that's impossible to understand has to be brilliant. I'm fence-sitting, I suppose, regarding this lesbian reimagining of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; the author nurtured some serious ambitions in her prose, but I'm not convinced that it entirely worked. Anyway, the protagonist is Latisha, a sixteen-year old girl committed to a mental institution in 1964 for being a prostitute and a lesbian. There, she meets Anna, a deaf woman whose own defiance eventually inspires Latisha's own. By the end, normalcy in the form of one of the staff, Miss Hart, gets taken out, and where does Latisha flee to? Why San Francisco, of course, where it never snows! *urk* Can we say cliched? Even so, the novel has a lot going for it, most notably a very distinctive and non-traditional prose style. Post-modern to the max. The mental hospital is beyond nightmarish; female patients get raped by male ones, attendants not doing enough to stop it. Attendants bribe patients for sex or practically force attentions upon them. Pills to the max, sadistic use of ECT and aversion therapy, etc. Is this an allegory for the hostility of society toward gays? Maybe. Is this based upon the author's actual experiences in a mental hospital? Quite possibly. In fact, I favor the latter interpretation, and if the novel lacks clarity, that is because the author herself doesn't completely know what to make of what has happened to her. Ironically, though the author finds traditional ideas of femininity difficult to model, she ultimately advocates flight and forgiveness, two very female principles. So, this is not a political novel so much as a personal one. Make no mistake about that.
Comments 
24th-Aug-2005 09:42 am (UTC)
Doesn't sound like a good read. *sweatdrops* It sounds like one of those B-movies I see sometimes on late night television.
24th-Aug-2005 11:09 am (UTC)
What kind of B movies are you watching? ^^; I've certainly never seen anything like it! The novel is actually very-well written; I'm just not oonvinced that the author was always 100% in control 100% of the time. Which makes it a powerful, if confusing, story.
24th-Aug-2005 11:26 am (UTC)
I used to watch a lot of B-movies in my early teens. Not all of them were bad. The better ones had a heavy emphasis on style and experimental cinema. The plot of this novel sounds like it was lifted straight out of a B movie^_^
24th-Aug-2005 11:30 am (UTC)
Are you sure you mean "B movie" as opposed to "arthouse cinema?" B movies are, like, "Swamp Thing" or "Mansquito" or other Godzilla-like monster movies, for example. ^^;

You'd have to read the book to fully understand this, but it's very difficult to even figure out *what* the heck is going on! I'm still trying to decide why Anna killed that particular attendant; best I can figure was that it was supposed to be an utter rejection of normalcy...unless it actually happened, in which case there might be no reason whatsoever.
24th-Aug-2005 11:37 am (UTC)
*laughs*
I definitely don't mean arthouse cinema^_^ They were done very sloppily, thin cliched plot, cheesy dialogue, and unknown actors. The movie was more of a means to an end, than trying to tell a story.

Besides, the "insane people in an asylym where everything is crazy or not as it seems" is probably a classic plot/setting for B movies. I'm not interested in reading it in novel form. And don't you think it's just too post-modern? just from reading your review I was tempted to yawn.
24th-Aug-2005 11:43 am (UTC)
The movie was more of a means to an end, than trying to tell a story.

And what end would that be? B movies are about cheap entertainment. ^^;

Besides, the "insane people in an asylym where everything is crazy or not as it seems" is probably a classic plot/setting for B movies.

*laughs* I think the creepy part of this book was that everything *was* as it seemed, and that truth wasn't always pretty. The attendants were abusive, and women were committed for being "incorrigible"--aka promiscuous or homosexual.

But, yes, the style was very post-modern, especially in that the author breaks common rules of narrative prose. It's not my favorite writing style in the world; I actually never finished At Swim, Two Boys because of that, but even I'll admit that James Joyce had a lot going for him. It's just very difficult to carry stuff like that off effectively.

I like the modernist style the best a la Hemmingway or Toni Morrison, actually, which I'm sure to you is little better. ^_~
24th-Aug-2005 11:49 am (UTC)
And what end would that be? B movies are about cheap entertainment.

Pretensions of artistic vision for example. The results are pretty amusing^^

I like the modernist style the best a la Hemmingway or Toni Morrison, actually, which I'm sure to you is little better.

I like Morrison, but dislike Hemmingway. When reading his novels I don't get the feeling that I'll get to the point of the plot any time soon^_^

As for Joyce, I still haven't figured out what Ulysses is about. I can't see any literary merit in it except for its stylistic ingenuity, which was more often confusing than alluring.
24th-Aug-2005 11:57 am (UTC)
Pretensions of artistic vision for example.

Are you *sure* you're not thinking of arthouse cinema? Low budget doesn't necessarily mean B movie. It's all about intent. ^^;

When reading his novels I don't get the feeling that I'll get to the point of the plot any time soon^_^

You know, I really like writing in his "tip of the iceberg" style. Of course, then my "brilliant" creative writing prof said I was relying too much on dialogue and not using enough description.

As for Joyce, I still haven't figured out what Ulysses is about.

I still need to read that one. I actually like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man though. I thought it had a lot going for it, even though it was difficult to read.

*reading the flist* By the way, some of the stuff on metafandom is a lot of pretension with very little substance. Remember that not everyone is equally smart, so you get borderline incoherency masquerading as intellectual discourse mixed in with the real intellectual discourse.

I noticed for example that searching a "literary criticism" interest got me a whole bunch of fanfiction review communities, and very few actually lit crit-focused ones! Obviously, people don't even fully understand the meaning of the term.
24th-Aug-2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
Are you *sure* you're not thinking of arthouse cinema?

Yes, I'm sure if only because the local tv station has trouble listing/showing even the more average movies and tv shows. To them, arthouse cinema is taboo. And the local newspapers just agree with that opinion. I could explain why, but that would entail a very long rant on my part^^

*reading the flist* By the way, some of the stuff on metafandom is a lot of pretension with very little substance. Remember that not everyone is equally smart, so you get borderline incoherency masquerading as intellectual discourse mixed in with the real intellectual discourse.

Exactly! And as a literature student, this false pretence of academia really grates on my nerves.

Oh, and may I make a small request?^_^ I'd really prefer it if you commented on the entry itself if only because it saves me from coming over to your lj. Sometimes your post is F-locked and I can't answer it from the e-mail notification.
24th-Aug-2005 12:20 pm (UTC)
Sorry, my thoughts all bleed together this early in the morning. :P
24th-Aug-2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
It's all right. I was talking to someone else too and I had trouble understanding her because it was so early in the morning in her part of the world.

What time is it there?^_^
24th-Aug-2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
8:36 am on my computer right now. I've been up since before 7 am; the puppies must be fed!

I'm terrible with LJ, sometimes. There's one particular instance where I actually mistook one of my interlocutors for another and spun out a long argument with one using what I had only *thought* she had said. Absolutely horrible of me, really...I apologized later, of course, though, fortunately, she said she didn't even remember me doing it.
24th-Aug-2005 12:43 pm (UTC)
The puppies are fed before 7 am? o_o

Ouch. Now that must have a memorable one^^
24th-Aug-2005 12:46 pm (UTC)
The puppies are fed before 7 am?

My aunt and uncle get up at 6 am. >_< I'm not *that* obliging.

Ouch. Now that must have a memorable one^^

But thankfully not for her. ^^;;;;;;;;;

I should really count my blessings. I don't know how you all put up with me. ^_~
24th-Aug-2005 12:40 pm (UTC) - BTW^_^
I've just gotten a P.O.box address in the US from Aramex. any suggestion for where I should shop for books?^_~
24th-Aug-2005 12:45 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Ah, I was WONDERING if you'd ever been able to follow through on that! Check out the sidebar on my journal for my favorite bookstores. ^_^ All of them ship to the US, naturally. I like using Buy.com (cheaper than Amazon) for new books and Bookcloseouts for remainders. Dreamland Comics has the prices for English-language manga, especially if you pre-order. Bookfinder is great for locating the cheapest out-of-print titles.

Give me your new PO Box address, and I'll send you stuff! ^_^
24th-Aug-2005 12:53 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Is there any reason why you think I might be interested in that book club you mentioned a while ago? I mean, are they cheaper than other stores?

I'll send you the address this evening^^

BTW, did you ever try dvdpacific for dvds? Manon uses it and she says the service and prices are good. I wondered how it compares to Buy.com
24th-Aug-2005 01:05 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Is there any reason why you think I might be interested in that book club you mentioned a while ago? I mean, are they cheaper than other stores?

The Sci-Fi Book Club and the other book clubs like it are something that's been around for a long, long time. They offer smaller hardcover printings of books and pass the savings (usually about 50%) down to the customer. They also have multivolume omnibuses that you can't get anywhere else. As to whether or not they are cheaper in all circumstances--you better shop around, as they say. ^_~

Try browsing the website and see what you think.

BTW, did you ever try dvdpacific for dvds?

I'm not a big DVD buyer, as you probably already know. Best Buy usually has excellent prices.

(Manon's in Canada, remember, so what's cheapest for her might not be cheapest in the US.)
24th-Aug-2005 03:04 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Omnibuses? Are those the big paperbacks that have all the volumes of a series in one book? It's really the cheaper hardcovers that interest me. Course, maybe I should just wait for your reviews instead^_~

Good point, though that site is in the US. Time to compare prices and shipping options methinks.
24th-Aug-2005 03:57 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Yeah, omnibuses are single books with the contents of more than one book in them. In the Sci Fi Book Club's case, though, all of their books are hardcover. ^_^ Obviously, that's a selling point for me, though book club editions tend not to become valuable to collectors in the way that publishers editions do.
24th-Aug-2005 08:27 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
Hmm... it says that you must be a resident of the US. Wonder how literally they mean it^^
24th-Aug-2005 09:29 pm (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
I don't see why it would matter, provided that you have a US mailing address. Otherwise, how're they going to know? ^^; By your credit card? Hmm...

Hmm...

Hmm...

Maybe I could get you a membership as a birthday present. ^__^
25th-Aug-2005 08:47 am (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
It wouldn't be useful if you got me a membership and I couldn't use it^^ Yeah, the credit card would be a giveaway.

I have to see if there's a way I could pay you for books. Maybe a money order? I heard about something called a Western Union money order or something?
25th-Aug-2005 11:23 am (UTC) - Re: BTW^_^
I need to take a closer look at their rules and if they allow shipping to a PO Box.

Money orders, including Western Union ones, provided that they're in US dollar amounts, would be absolutely fine.
This page was loaded May 21st 2018, 8:59 am GMT.