On the one hand, it made me think and feel, and it's about Winnicott, who I love, and it's about a painful motheI don't want to put stars on this one.
On the one hand, it made me think and feel, and it's about Winnicott, who I love, and it's about a painful mother-daughter relationship, which, yeah, and Alison Bechdel's thinking and drawings are so precise and beautiful-- but, on the other hand, it had an itchy, anxious, preparatory feel, and the book it felt like a preface to never arrived....more
My daughter saw me open up this book and said, "A Very Easy Death?-- Why do you read such sad stories?"
I had asked myself more or less the same questiMy daughter saw me open up this book and said, "A Very Easy Death?-- Why do you read such sad stories?"
I had asked myself more or less the same question when I saw this book at the thrift store. Do I really want to read this? I asked myself. Right now? American politics have me pretty down, worried, and enraged-- maybe something fun or funny would be in order!
In fact, I found this book very beautiful. Of course, it spoke to the novel I read just before, Iza's Ballad, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... where a woman in her prime and her elderly mother let their relationship fall into silence, avoidance, and hurt feelings. Here, Simone de Beauvoir sees her mother, makes a careful portrait of her, tries to understand the difficulties of their relationship-- making no excuses for either herself or her mother, but not being mean, either-- and remains connected with her as she dies. The best one could hope for, it seems to me.
The one thing that struck me as truly sad in this book is the convention to lie to the dying about what is happening to them. It's so strange, and so cruel. De Beauvoir's mother was not told that she had cancer, but that she had peritonitis. She was dying, but all her doctors, friends, and family told her she was getting better. De Beauvoir is disgusted with herself for going along with this lie, but she also wants to spare her mother the fear and dread she would feel if the truth were acknowledged....more
During the summer, I watched Wanda on YouTube, and have thought about it repeatedly since then. I thought I might write an essay about Wanda and desirDuring the summer, I watched Wanda on YouTube, and have thought about it repeatedly since then. I thought I might write an essay about Wanda and desire. The Buddhists say desire is the root of all suffering, but surely it is a motivating force, too. Only someone who believes she is nothing and deserves nothing wants nothing. We don't know what happened to Wanda, we only see the result, her passivity. I saw Richard Brody, in his review of this book, describe her "acceptance" of what happens to her-- yet, to me, that is too affirmative. I see Wanda as all negative, absent, and lacking; she dares not want anything or ask anything, and so, is set adrift....more
Why does a woman raised by two loving, devoted parents build an impenetrable wall around her heart? Is she just a bad sThinking a lot about this one.
Why does a woman raised by two loving, devoted parents build an impenetrable wall around her heart? Is she just a bad seed, or is it the result of growing up during the war?
And then, a woman is dedicated to her work, and ambitious, and makes a poor wife. Another woman likes her work but is not ambitious (and will give her work up, I think), and will make a wonderful wife. Can a woman then do emotional labor or wage labor well, but not both? Is the same true for men?...more