Allison Floyd's Reviews > Psyche in a Dress

Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block
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Jun 28, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: the-bleach-can-stay-on-the-shelf, stunted-adolescence
Read in June, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Block plays to her strengths here: this is essentially written as a poem-poem interspersed with prose poems/vignettes. Gorgeously written, as always.

Psyche's pretty much a masochistic drip: she falls for a power-tripping, game-playing heel (Eros, Shmeros) and spends her young adulthood putting herself through a series of torturous relationships to punish herself because he dumped her. Many masochisms later, they reunite and he dumps her again. But it's okay because she has a baby and that solves everything. For reals? For reals. This seems to be a Block theme--Weetzie Bat much?

Of course, in Block's defense, she is retelling Greek myths, so I guess we can't hold the plot/characters against her (at least I don't know how much to blame her for, since I'm not edumacated), which doesn't make them any more winning. And low self-esteem (which we learn at the end is what broke up Psyche and Eros--she leaves him, and not vice versa, because she's convinced that she's not a goddess and therefore not enough)? Really?

But she's all better (surprise!) in the end.

I especially appreciate that Block incorporates a special guest appearance by Marilyn Manson into the narrative--fun! Also fun is her casting of Kurt Cobain as Orpheus. And her casting Courtney Love as a maenad is inspired. Maenads rule!

And the ending, in which Psyche comes full circle with her daughter--and has to learn to let her go--is actually quite beautiful and touching.

In summation: I'm trying to read Ovid (yes, I know he was a Roman) right now. This was easier.
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