Mostly we do our best to stifle life--to be tame or to be wanton. And a baby is a baby. What a laugh to complain about that though! I began to memorise texts. Αυτά τα δύο βιβλία πάνε μαζί. We're still on the phone in our phone boxes.
The other one was too painful. She jumps back and forth between different periods in her life, and that's probably why the book feels so authentic, you have a sense that you are sitting down with a good friend while she is telling you her story. I particularly enjoyed reading her thoughts on love, romantic as well as familial, and adoption. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. Oh - you love those albums? She would have done her face powder keep yourself nice , but not lipstick fast and loose. A love affair has failed, and she feels she will always be seeking home. She belonged to a different sky.
She talks of Freud, Jung, God and fairy tales. It's a squirmy, maddening, elusive, full-frontal, raging, psychonewagebabbly, moving, heartfelt, essential memoir. She graduated from St Catherine's College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assi Novelist Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959. They are like kindred spirits and they have made me feel less alone in the world, that I belong. They can get older, but they can't grow up.
When Jeanette went mad, she met the character Martha Hesse meets in her experiments with madness in That jolted me. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She opens up her brain and her body and lets us look right in, into her hysterical fears, her calcified anger, the wailing hopefulness she has spent her whole life tamping down into frustration. I hope she knows and feels how loved she is. She should have been up there in the theatre along with Osborne and Pinter. It can be more emotionally true.
I have had such an easy life, it is sometimes difficult to fathom. It's like arriving after curtain up. Rather, that the documents are intended as companions, to lay this one over the last like tracing paper, so that even if the author poetically denies the possibility of an absolute truth, there emerges nevertheless the shape of the things that actually happened. Why Be Happy is also a good portrayal of working class life in the North of England, and the extreme poverty suffered by it in one of the world's richest countries - and the first industrialized one to boot. In many ways Mrs Winterson is the powerful center of the book. At the end of the book, Winterson meets her biological mother and half-brother, and a heap of other relations, and thinks sadly how intelligent they all are, how they're trying to read and study and learn on their own just as she did; and she beautifully describes being nurtured by a number of different women, from the female librarian who gave her a spare room to her present partner, warning: that interview will make you want to kick Aida Edemariam in the shins.
These were upsetting and intriguing. As the corset was by definition underneath her petticoat dress, apron and coat, there was little she could do to cool down except take off her coat and stand in the yard. What would it have meant if things had been bright, clear, good between us? Homeless, she slept in shelters on the bowling green and in a car until offered a room by, Mrs Ratlow, her head English teacher. We were like refugees in our own life. Her complete lack of modesty about her own greatness allows her to build her real life beyond the imaginings of either of her parents.
She's a fighter and I salute her. In the end, the emotional force of the second Review - she says perfectly exactly how I felt about this memoir. I can't answer these questions. She confronts me with the fact that I have used my own name in the novel - if it is a story, why is the main character called Jeanette? She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England. On bad days I just held onto the thinning rope. When she had nothing, she always had her books: they gave her courage and strength.
She does not just tell the story of her life, though. Resolute and unsentimental, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal reckons with the legacy of childhood neglect. L'uso eccessivo della prima persona plurale e qualche frase che sembra uscita direttamente dai manuali di autoaiuto non sono, però, bastati a rovinare un'autobiografia sviluppata in maniera non lineare, intermittente, con ironia e audacia. It is the fossil record, the imprint of another life, and although you can never have that life, your fingers trace the space where it might have been, and your fingers learn a kind of Braille. We do a feelings-swap, where we avoid feeling sad or lonely or afraid or inadequate, and feel angry instead. This memoir is as good as those early great novels, filled with courage and beauty as they are. It was a bomb site between us.
Only what is inside you is safe. This, on the other hand, centralises the relationship between Jeanette and her mother within the narrative. The hardest part was not knowing. She was a monster, but she was my monster. She knew full well that writers were sex-crazed bohemians who broke the rules and didn't go out to work. She tells a great story.
I was in the place before I had any language. She was made of dark matter and her force was invisible unseen except in its effects. It was my survival from the very beginning. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. We can open the book.