A huge thank you to everyone who’s been reading my fortnightly Book to the Future Bookmarks series! Here’s post four…which I’m going to call The Body Edition. All of today’s links are somehow associated with the body.
Be warned: it’s going to get a little bit…uncomfortable.
Dolls give me the creeping heebie jeebies. While you might think these artworks made from dismembered dolls (link courtesy of Rose Powell, once again via Twitter) are lovely, this is pretty much what my idea of what hell must look like. The horror!
But, at the same time, I can’t look away…
Already this year, I’ve had to spend more time than I’d necessarily like in the dentist’s chair, so I found this post on Angela Savage’s blog about how different cultures perceive the alignment and colouring of teeth really interesting.
Talking of cultural taboos, here’s the always-brilliant Mel Campbell, writing in Junkee late last year about dirty underwear.
Photographer Ji Yeo’s images of South Korean women recovering from plastic surgery – often surgery intended to make the patient appear more Western – are quietly disturbing.
Good news: the words cunting, cuntish, cunted and cunty have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary…or should it be the called the cuntionary now? I’m confused. Anyway, I can’t wait to play “cuntish” in my next game of Scrabble. If it’s in the dictionary, I can use it, right?
However, of everything I’ve read online this week, this is my favourite discovery. I look forward to reading Verity La every Saturday morning, and this week’s piece; Stomp, a work of short fiction by Melbourne writer, Libbie Chellew, caught me by surprise. Here are the first few sentences:
I wish I didn’t have a hole. It seems extreme, I know. But I can’t seem to get the idea out of my head. Life would be easier without a hole. There’d be less anxiety.
Stomp is confronting. It’s uncomfortable, it’s unforgettable…I read it on Saturday morning and I’ve been thinking about it since. Make sure you click here to take a look (but before you do, a content warning: if you’re not comfortable reading about sexual assault, you might want to skip reading this.)
You should definitely bookmark Verity La while you’re there. They’re consistently impressive.
On Book to the Future lately…
Just in case you missed it, I reviewed Wendy James’ The Lost Girls for Newtown Review of Books last week.
What I’m Reading…
With the Stella Prize shortlist due to be announced this Thursday, I’ve finally read one of the longlisted novels!
Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest begins with Ruth, a 75-year-old widow, listening to the sound of a tiger moving around her living room as she lies in bed, terrified and fascinated. The next day, Frida arrives, a helper sent by the government to help Ruth around the house.
I don’t want to tell you too much about The Night Guest – partially because I don’t want to spoil the plot, but also because I really enjoyed this novel and I think there’s a particular kind of magic about the way it works; a deliberate vagueness that’s best left undisturbed. If you’re curious, you should read Kylie Mason’s excellent review over at Newtown Review of Books.
Last week, I finished reading Art in Nature; a stunning collection of short stories by Tove Jansson. So many of these stories are simply perfect. They’re all so quiet and restrained, but, at the same time, manage to say everything they need to say.
Today, I read Jansson’s Fair Play in one sitting. It’s a series of vignettes about two artists who live at separate ends of an apartment building, and the constant push and pull of their relationship and their art.
(In case you’re wondering what I’m up to, I’ll be reading a new biography of Tove Jansson very soon, and I want to get to know more about her work before I read about her life. More on that later…)
I’ve also been reading Ulysses! Okay, not Ulysses in book format, but in tweets. @UlyssesReader is publishing the entire text of James Joyce’s Ulysses, one tweet at a time. It makes for some odd moments:
No-one is anything.
— Ulysses Reader (@UlyssesReader) March 7, 2014
I’m finding that following @UlyssesReader is making the prospect of finally reading Ulysses – a task I’m considering later this year – a little bit less intimidating. Just a little.