Mireille Rosello's Reviews > The Powerbook

The Powerbook by Jeanette Winterson
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Jun 21, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: queer-novels
Read in June, 2009

"Are you usually so friendly with strangers?"
"Always"
"Any particular reason?"
"A stranger is a safe place. You can tell a stranger anything."
"Suppose I put it in my book?"
"You write fiction."
"So?"
"So you won't lash me to the facts."


"You're the writer."
"It's your story."
'What happened to the omniscient author?"
"Gone interactive." (31)

"In the Grail legends Lancelot, the best knight in the world, never does see the Grail because he cannot give up his love for Guinevere. As a moral essay this suggests that human passion is no substitute for divine love and that it prevents us from experiencing love fully. This has been the basis of Christian thought since St Paul.
There is another reading. Lancelot fails, not because he can't give up Guinevere, but because he can't distinguish between love's symbol and what it represents. All human love is a dramatic enactment of the wild, reckless, unquenchable, undrainable love that powers the universe. If death is everywhere and inescapable, then so is love, if we but knew it.We can begin to know it through each other. The tamer my love, the farther away it is from love. In fierceness, in heat, in longing, in risk, I find something of love's nature. In my desire for you, I burn at the right temperature to walk through love's fire.
So when you ask me why I cannot love you more calmly, I answer that to love you calmly is not to love at all" (223)
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