Tuesday, March 16, 2021

We must do eccentric things

A new edition of The Hearing Trumpet, by Leonora Carrington, is out from NYRB Classics, featuring an afterword by Olga Tokarczuk. I'm delighted to discover what I assume to be that afterword printed as "Eccentricity as Feminism" in The Paris Review.

That is why the philosophy of eccentricity expressed in The Hearing Trumpet is connected with age. It can be treated as a special message from the old to the young, going against the current of time. We must do eccentric things. Where everyone is doing This, we must do That. While the whole center is noisily establishing its order, we shall remain on the periphery — we won’t let ourselves be drawn into the center, we shall ignore it and surpass it.

I previously got caught up on the winking nun, and Tokarczuk also devotes a great deal (but a different kind) of energy to understanding her. But I never got around to writing about the book once I'd finished reading it.

(I remember feeling bamboozled while searching for a cover image, as Goodreads showed me an edition clearly not my own and all the covers featured cats. Ah, my Make America Kittens Again browser extension was still enabled.)  

I'm still dipping into Carrington's short stories, and I have plans to write about the power of older women. Maybe I can justify buying this new version of a book I already have to reread it (already!) from a new perspective.

See also "Reclaiming women’s bodies from shame": a photographic illumination of ageing and "A different way of living": why writers are celebrating middle-age, because it's all connected (although while I concur that sexuality changes, I refuse to believe that a "quietly sex-free middle age" is the reward some of them make it out to be).

Oh my gawd, Viv Albertine, remember the Slits? I loved that song.

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