Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cussing

It strikes me that Lit probably contains more swear words then any other book we've read here. I hope that doesn't offend anyone (unfortunately, it's pretty much the way I talk to myself in my own head, though I do try to restrain myself in polite company).

7 comments:

BettyDuffy said...

doesn't offend me.

Her dildo metaphor in the essay I thought was just way out of control--because it was so obviously a hook for the secular reader and had nothing to do with the essay that followed--and I think she does this a lot: "I may be Catholic, but I'm still...fill in the blank (able to use the word "dildo" in a sentence, in this case).

BettyDuffy said...

...Which I tend to do a lot, myself(--though not with dildo metaphors.)

Pentimento said...

I agree with you about her use of the dildo metaphor and her tendency to go for shock in general. I haven't read The Liar's Club yet, or the next book in her memoir series -- Cherry? -- but I'm guessing her discourse is pretty much the same in those.

And, interesting to note, she wrote both those books as a Catholic, too, though not as a public one. I guess she "came out" in the essa in Poetry.

BettyDuffy said...

I think that it was probably wise to wait to "come out" as a Catholic. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but I think it's easier for Catholics to write in ways that are more truthful when they are not writing as Catholics.

I'm into The Liar's Club, and for some reason it feels more literary to me than Lit did. With Lit, I was always waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel, and she was sort of slow in getting there. The Liar's Club, because I'm not waiting for any great revelation, I'm sort of enjoying it more--again, I'm not sure why this makes the reading more enjoyable to me. And doubly enjoyable now that I know she was a Catholic as she wrote. To be a closet Catholic, and let the words stand for themselves, is sort of exciting--let's the reader decode the mysteries of faith rather than to be an open Catholic, and let the faith stand for before the words...I don't know, the latter takes something away.

Pentimento said...

Interesting, Betty. Do you think it's possible to interpret her work as Catholic in spite of the fact that she was still crypto when she wrote it? Does anything strike you as Catholic in the book?

Emily J. said...

I guess I should have read the comments here, before commenting on the last post. The Liars Club is at our library but is checked out. Do you think it is a better book because of the lack of labels/challenge to the reader to decode or because you have fewer expectations and so like it better?

Otepoti said...

It's a sad sign of my foul mouth that I hadn't actually noticed the swear words.

I admire Karr's sure ear for dialogue, and the way that there's nary a word that isn't working its passage - it's beautiful stuff.

I'm eager to read the other two, now, as well as more poems than the two (?) you've posted on your blog, Pentimento.