OK. I've decided this should be the space of a support group of experimental women writers who sometimes cannot for the fucking life of them bring themselves to READ ANYTHING LITERARY, even if it's their own writing. I do not mean to exclude the wonderful born-male readers and writers who read this blog. But I do think there's something particularly feminine about this, and I cannot really figure it out but I'm interested in it. It's an anorexia, a refusal to take in nourishing food, which is literature. I've had this conversation before on this blog, with Kate Durbin saying that perhaps there is part of us that needs to just consume trash sometimes - whether it be romance novels, tabloid mags, or True Blood. A sort of cycle in our writing. There is something about this. Is it the heat? I do not know.
The PLEASURE I receive from reading romance novels or watching True Blood is extraordinary, it is like I'm always on the brink of some sort of orgasm, and everything tense in my life becomes unfolded and I can melt into these characters. And plus all of the Gone with the Wind references on True Blood, esp. lately, I think it's feeding (ha!) into my obsession with everything GWW (I wish that essay I wrote for Make would be online, as it's all about masochism and the film and Clark Gable). Bill is Ashley, who Sookie thinks she's madly in love with, the perfect Southern (vampire) gentleman, and Eric is Rhett Butler, the most explosive possible fuck. This is not actually my analysis, I read it on one of the Television Without Pity forums. I actually become quite obsessive about my TV shows. I will read all of the forums, and all of the blog write-ups, and online mag write-ups of each episode which lovingly deconstruct every gesture, scene, character trait, watch closely for continuity. And with GWW of course one of the main characters, is named Tara, and hates her name because she's a black woman named after a fictional slave plantation, and the scene where Tara in her white nightgown is fleeing from the white mansion of the King of Mississippi has all sorts of overtones of scenes from Hollywood films where American slaves flee plantations. I'm not quite sure what Alan Ball is saying about race in the TV show, how considered it is, but anyway.
Today I ordered up books of existentialism on the library. I also printed out the manuscript. I cannot bring myself for the life of me to READ the manuscript. As it's terrible to me, it's just awful. I think I suck as a writer because I cannot bring myself to edit myself, because everytime I read myself it's like some actors who can't watch themselves on screen. Roz Ito has two wonderful write-ups of Bruce Boone's Century of Clouds and Amina Cain's I Go To Some Hollow up on Supernumerary, and after reading her write-up I read what I wrote about both books in my collection and then I emailed Roz the paragraph of the Boone and asked what she thought! I'm becoming that annoying person. I'm feeling low about myself as a critic. I think I started this blog to kill the journalist and reviewer in me, skills I guess I should have pulled from more when writing the book, if that makes sense. Because for now I just kind of ooze all over the book, I ooze about books, it's all heightened emotions and very little analysis.
John just wrote me this long email defending me and the book, it's one of the things I love most about him, how he can rally me, I read it and see it but cannot be rallied. I am in an unrallyable state.
Also, heightened, tinged with pink, like Emma B., waiting so I can steal away and be with one of my romance novels. It's insane. I never should have started this research with the Emma character in Under the Shadow, I never should have discovered this again, my addiction to my grandmother and mother's romance novels that I discovered when I was about 6. It's the same taboo pleasure, the jouissance, I received when I was 16 and still played with Barbie dolls, and only me and my mother knew, they would be in the closet in my ratty turquoise bag, all ratty and beheaded, and I would steal away to be with them and press them up together and murmur soap operas through them. And now again the romance novels. If I got 10 I would read 10. I got two yesterday at the library and I will allow myself one bon-bon today and then I'm going to read something serious, Thomas Bernhard or something, or I don't know, not my manuscript, which isn't serious at all.
also (update): the emails i've been getting, the confessions of the junk/pop culture you consume, has been AWESOME and actually more than the rallying makes me feel much, much better.