Friday, January 22, 2010

Notes On "Women And Men"

This might not be the year where I blog that much. Too many longer projects.

But a few things to say in the interim.

Women And Men
by Joseph McElroy, of which I am only 200 pages in and which is 1300 pages long, might be the strangest, sustained piece of writing I've ever encountered. . .notes pending...but one image jumps to mind: broken circuitry of consciousness as if it's not a stream per se but composites of broken machines. . .

Some major "scenes" so far:

--a rocket launch in Florida during which a rogue newsman finds inspiration from a Chilean economist.

--another Chilean, but this time an opera singer, has a doctor that loves her so much that he smuggles, via a medicine man, a certain tapeworm for her so may she lose weight.

--a very formative Grandmother who tells stories to her grandson but not her own daughter who ends up committing suicide.

--various incarnations of inventors and fringe weathermen and hermit scientists, and generally a sense that the margins of society hold untold knowledge.

--a woman, the heroine of the novel, Grace Kimball, who is a part Native American, is thinking about her day Molly Bloom style (full of various asides, tangents) while masturbating in her Body Room in which she holds women's workshops.

--oh and the first scene, or chapter of the book, is a wonderfully empathetic description of a woman giving birth. However, so far this character has not made another appearance.

--a recurring image of the uncrated parts of the Statue Of Liberty sitting in the grass while a little girl, the heroine's grandmother is being serenaded with a Longfellow poem.

More Later. . .

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