The Passion of New Eve

January 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm (Reading) (, , )

I adore The Magic Toyshop, but, shamefully, I haven’t read much Angela Carter other than that. I decided to rectify that last week with The Passion of New Eve. Hmm. I wish I’d gone for Wise Children instead. Not only does New Eve not make much sense, there’s a woeful lack of characterisation. Also, it’s hard to read on the tube without burning cheeks in case someone is reading over my shoulder.

I hate to say it, but I actually think it was badly written. The issues – gender roles, misogyny, gender identity, society’s-all-gone-to-hell – were right up there to bash you over the head, but the prose was clunky and unconvincing and the narrative went from one outlandish catastrophe to the next without any chance to analyse and understand what was happening. I felt no compassion for Evelyn/Eve, Tristessa, Leilah, or any of the other characters, which I felt really hindered the novel’s message – how can a reader apply a novel’s themes or issues to their own life or understanding of the world if they can’t identify the humanity in the examples that they’re being given to work with?

I do think that Angela Carter has contributed some very important work to modern literature and to feminism, and maybe this novel is integral in a way that I’m not fully appreciating in isolation. I’m definitely going to read Wise Children soon, but I wouldn’t recommend The Passion of New Eve for a casual read.

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Creative cogs a-turning

January 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm (Writing) (, , )

I’ve become so taken with Josephine that I think that she’s going to climb right out of her own short story and become a major character in my Tim the Gravedigger novel*!

* I’m not calling these pieces by those names, really, it’s just for ease of reference.

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And relax!

January 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm (Writing) (, , )

I am sleepy. I have written 3,577 words today. When I started, I didn’t think that this story would be so long, but I don’t think I’m even halfway through. Josephine the Klepto Granny obviously has a lot to say…

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2009!

January 9, 2009 at 11:10 pm (Reading) (, , , )

For various reasons, but mainly because I’m anal, at the beginning of 2008 I started recording every book that I read in a notebook. My final tally for the year – 60 books. Not bad, but not great. I’m not setting myself a target for 2009, but I reckon that I can manage more than 60. Maybe 75? Anywho, I’ve kicked off to a flying start (got to love a mixed metaphor, baby), with three books in a week. Two of them were decidedly slim volumes, but they were legitimate books, so they count.

* Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi

* The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery

* Curious Men – Frank Buckland

I’m smugly patting my head and rubbing my stomach on account of my eclectic tastes and the fact that my husband and friend got me such great books for Christmas.

Sitting on the table, ready to have it’s spine cracked tomorrow is Twilight. I wouldn’t say that I’ve cracked, because I’ve never claimed to be actively avoiding the series, but my curiosity was piqued enough to accept the loan from my good friend Genn, so that I can see what all the fuss is about. I’m also a sucker for a feisty girl in love with a vampire.

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