Thursday, August 07, 2008

Filed Under: Things I Wish I Could Say

On a recent trip to Kepler's, I picked up the "Fantastic Women" (September '07) issue of Tin House.

It's billed as an "extraordinary collection of tales from today's most sensational, genre-twisting writers," and I'm not one to quibble. I've liked everything I've read so far, but especially a small section from an essay Rick Moody wrote about taking a workshop from postmodern goddess Angela Carter. In it, Moody describes the first day of class and Carter's struggle to whittle the group down to a manageable number:

After the break, there were still too many students who wanted to enroll. Perhaps she was a little exasperated. A guy in the back—and in this reconstruction he is very bored, stoned, privileged, or exactly the sort one often encountered in the Ivy League—asked, "So what's your work like anyway."

Later, I would have understood how much Angela relished this moment, the moment in which she made ribbons of an interlocutor. She paused for a minute, and then in her mild way, she remarked: "My work cuts like a blade at the base of a man's penis."

It was as if the class emptied on the spot...

Could I love her more? No, I could not. And as a small token of my appreciation for Angela Carter's sense of deliciously morbid humor, I will read one of her perfect stories tonight.

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