Extemporaneous excursions in literary criticism.

Sunday, 20 January, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Her Well written but dumb, Anna's story.
Me Hm. I guess we disagree.

Her Ya, well it's I guess mind porn, a fantasy of woman not a real person.
Me Eh. I happen to think it's pretty much the only way out. From fake "person" created socially to actual, real person.

Her Hun there is not a woman alive that would have left her purse.
Me There's few that make it through.

Her I guess.

( A pause )

Her So I have been pondering your story some and why it struck me as kinda ick - it comes across as the author hates women.
Me There's nothing wrong with the story. It's not mental masturbation, the author does not hate women, etc. It's just very very hard, that's all. It puts the onus of being squarely on the be-er.

Her Nah, it demands a particular mind set or you are no good - it's highly judgemental.
Me It is highly judgemental.

Her And generally judges women badly - unless they behave a way that suits the author.
Me Why do you think the author gives two shits either way ? He's not even in there.

Her Well it's standard practice to attribute attitudes buried in a story to the author. And he/she gives a shit since they bothered to write the story.
Me Not the same thing. Obviously the author gives two shits for his idea of a story being written into an actual story. This doesn't equal him giving two shits as to whether things turn out one way or another, in the story, or in the reader.

Her Well I did try to see the 'backlash' side of it, where people reading it might question their own judgemental nature, but I couldn't see it.
Me Why should people question their judgemental nature ? People aren't nearly judgemental enough. What's the point of all this "o, everyone is okay" stuff ? I should hope that people moreover question their laziness and complacency reading it.

Her Make the world a nicer place if they would be so kind :P - nah we have people being so damn judgemental these days the 'others' are ceasing to be human. What you are talking about is judge yourself, that's different.
Me Let me ask you this : how many 40somethings would recognise themselves in the intro, and how many of them will go for a nude stroll just to try it out ?

Her Well they might in first paragraph, soon as you get into worrying about breast sizes and class reunions I doubt many would - recognize themselves.
Me Yes, the girl in the story is peculiar. But then again, all people are.

Her And they certainly wouldn't see letting themselves be pushed around by some stupid teen in a shop.
Me Why not ? Why shouldn't they let themselves be pushed around by a teen in a shop ? It washes right off.

Her Woman raised 2 kids and does that?? Nah, not even X.
Me Why not ?

Her Natural resistance to pushy kids - comes with the mommy title.
Me Ya, well, sticking to their patch means they're stuck in the patch. Kinda the whole idea. If they ever get dissatisfied with the patch, the way out is by getting out.

Her And letting a kid push you around is the way to break out? Ppfftt!
Me Heh. Of course it is. The way out is doing what you wouldn't do and not doing what you'd do. By the very definition.

Her Unless of course you like what you do, and do it by choice.
Me In which case one's perfectly content with things as they are. Anna was not.

Her Point.
Me In the end it all boils down to the age old "Doctor, it hurts if i do this". "So don't do that."

Her Hmm isn't that kinda backwards?
Me You never heard the joke ?

Her Yea of course. But your story has the woman do something that hurts... I would think its more like - no pain, no gain.
Me Contrary to what people seem to think, being naked is painless. And so is rooting through the trash.

Her Hmm perhaps, have you tried it? And anyway thats not how you describe it.
Me What do you mean ?

Her Naked can be most uncomfortable, depending on factors like temperature and rain etc.
Me Uncomfortable, of course. Kinda the point. Comfort zone and all that.

Her Hahaha I wanna see you walk outside barefoot :P
Me Certainly will happen before I get depressed about not being barefoot enough.

Her Well so this woman was depressed about not being naked enough?
Me Who knows what she's depressed about. My thing and I have no idea. Neither does her.

Her But you know the cure?
Me Nope. There's no cure in that sense. She just got lucky, and broke through on her first attempt. Which is why it's such a memorable story.

Her Hmm not really, I mean it wasn't her attempt - ah ha now I know why it bothered me. She didn't do it, it was done to her. That's why it feels like the author hates women.
Me She did it plenty. She did it like a woman.

Her Only at the end -
Me Nah, all of it. This is how it goes, men and women make babies. The woman "just sits there" and has it "done to her". Heh. Naive POV I say.

Her I don't know any woman ever thought of making babies like that - matter of fact I think women recognize they do most of the work :P
Me Well, I'd say the woman that stands there naked and drinks her own humiliation, and then goes and roots through the bins to find what matters of her ex identity... I'd say that's most of the work. Any teen can spit orders around. Following them... that's a handful.

Her Well that's at the end. But before that stupid woman let herself be seperated from her purse by a cheeky kid? And put on random bathing suits? Without undies? *barf*
Me Why not ? She let herself be separated from her own life and from her own self already. What big deal is some scraps of a purse anymore ? Too broken, torn and threadbare to help anything. Will have to be found again before it can be used again.

Her Meh, the picture you painted of the woman up to that point was no where near that kind of breakage.
Me We seldom know what lies within the others. In general everyone seems fine all the time.

Her Haha well you sure seem to think you do.
Me It's becoming unclear if your objections are to the story or to my superiority. How come I keep getting mixed up in there anyway ?

Her Well you are the writer, can't help mixing your own attitude and understanding there.
Me Death of the author and all that.i

Her Anyway it's not so much an objection as an attempt to understand.

  1. Barthes, '67. []
Category: Trilterviuri
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