All posts tagged: Mad Men

Delve truthfully into the darkest depth

The point is what we tell ourselves about motherhood and child-rearing. If we keep talking about it in an idyllic way, like in many handbooks on motherhood, we will continue to feel alone and guilty when we brush up against the frustrating aspects of being a mother. The task of a woman writer today is not to stop at the pleasures of the pregnant body, of birth, of bringing up children, but to delve truthfully into the darkest depth.Elena Ferrante interviewed in the Financial Times, 11 December 2015 I read the new interview with Elena Ferrante the day after I finished her first novel, Troubling Love. And within it I found the answer to something that had puzzled me about her Neapolitan tetralogy, namely, how I can love her writing so passionately at the level of feeling and yet find little to admire at the sentence-level. This, I think, is the answer, A page is well written when the labour and pleasure of truthful narration supplant any other concern, including a concern with formal elegance. I belong to …

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham | edge of evening

Etc.

It’s getting to that point of the year when it feels like time to start looking back. Naturally, I record everything I read. I have for as long as I can remember, so when I see eight-year-old T dutifully carrying her evening’s reading down to the table each morning and listing it in her school book-record, toast cooling beside her, it seems completely normal. She adds the books to the teetering stacks on the piano stool behind her & I periodically take them back upstairs or back to the library and change them for something else I think she might enjoy. My own book record is a hardback notebook which starts in 2002. Before that, I would write the list in the back of each year’s diary. But for the last two years, I’ve simply listed the books I’ve read here and here. I keep meaning to copy them into my notebook too, but it’s a habit that I’ve fallen out of. But when I looked back over the list, I had a nagging suspicion that I was forgetting something. Then I …

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker | edge of evening

Cassandra at the Wedding

I told them I could be free by the twenty-first, and that I’d come home the twenty-second. (June.) […] It’s only a five-hour drive from the University to the ranch, if you move along — if you don’t stop for orange juice every fifty miles the way we used to, Judith and I, our first two years in college, or at bars, the way we did later, after we’d studied how to pass for over twenty-one at under twenty. As I say, if you move, if you push a little, you can get from Berkeley to our ranch in five hours, and the reason why we never cared to in the old days was that we had to work up to home life by degrees, steel ourselves somewhat for the three-part welcome we were in for from our grandmother and our mother and our father, who loved us fiercely in three different ways. We loved them too, six different ways, but we mostly took our time about getting home.Opening of ‘Cassandra at the Wedding’ by Dorothy Baker It …

Light Lifting & other thoughts

It’s taking a moment to steady myself for the start of another week. The house is quiet. Popsy is napping; the older two are at school. It’s been a weekend of strange on/off fevers, long days, boredom. Hours of looking at campsites on the internet for the summer. Of wondering why everything has to take so long to decide/organise/plan. Last week Popsy had the fever & woke two evenings in a row; or rather didn’t wake, but just screamed inconsolably in my arms until I woke him. The first evening, when I’d calmed him down enough for him to speak, he told me that he had a tummy ache & we lay together on my bed as I rubbed his stomach. In the morning, when I asked him how he was he said, as he always says, ‘Fine. I have my milk now?’ I asked if he remembered the tummy ache & he said, ‘Yes, tummy ache in my ear.’ Ah, yes, a tummy ache in the ear. Which made far more sense. Today, at …