Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Days of Love...and Lack Thereof, Day 7


Written on the Body

You want sexy, we’ll give you sexy. If there is one thing you know about me and Liz…we know sexy. [Actually, since I wrote about bestiality yesterday, I'm not claiming any expertise on this subject.] We also know lazy [now that is true], so for today’s romantic valentine we offer a previous snippet on a book we both love, Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson
If you are like me and the thought of reading a love story has always made you cringe a bit, give this a read. This one sneaks up on you. You don’t realize it until you’ve finished, but you’ve just read a very sexy, beautiful, simple, love story. It’s also heartbreaking, so gentlemen get your hankies out. [Is that what the boys are calling them these days?]

It is everything I love in a novel. It is intense, passionate, lyrical, fresh, and doesn’t have a sliver of cliché.
It is the book I go to when I just need a quick fix of something less ordinary. [Yep, we all know that last sentence is a euphemism, right?]

Written on the Body is the story of an affair between a married woman and an unnamed narrator. We don’t know if the narrator is male or female, but in the end it does not really matter. The book is a gorgeous and original meditation on love.


You know how some books and movies take classic Shakespeare and riff on the plots, like Shakespeare in Love and Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead?  Let's talk about John Fowles and The Collector. This novel takes characters based on those in The Tempest, specifically Caliban and Miranda.  A deranged man goes from collecting butterflies to, well, collecting the woman of his dreams, his Miranda.  He is a Caliban--brutal, incapable of empathy, and monstrous.  He reduces his victim to the equivalent of a pin-up through horrifying psychological abuse.  The Collector is one of the most disturbing books I've ever read.  Naturally I loved it.

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