Sexing The Cherry

Post new topic   Reply to topic

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by Rebecca H. on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:35 pm

Litlove -- I find your explanation of magical realism very useful, particularly in the way it changes once it's out of its original context. Even if I don't necessarily love magical realism on the simple level of enjoyment, I definitely appreciate the political point it's making. On a conceptual level at least, I like the idea that an experimental text can help us think about the world in a different way.

Stefanie -- I don't like roller coasters, so now I know why I'm not fond of this book -- it's because I don't like that butterfly feeling! Smile

I think I'd prefer to believe that the 17C versions of the characters are "real" rather than creations of their 20C versions, if only because I think it's a cruel trick to create characters and then show they aren't real (or "real"). I think Susan mentioned the possibility that there is transmigration of souls going on here, and I like that idea. Maybe I'm being inconsistent, but that bit of fantasy appeals to me (of course if you believe in reincarnation, then it's not really a fantasy ...)

Danielle -- all I know about Winterson is that Woolf is definitely an inspiration, but I don't think you need to read Woolf to get Winterson. (Hmmm ... I've read one Carter novel and didn't love it, which seems about right -- it fits the pattern here, except that I love Woolf). Knowing Woolf might add another layer of meaning, but Winterson stands on her own.

Thanks for the link!

Rebecca H.

Number of posts: 53
Registration date: 2008-12-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by dark orpheus on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:47 pm

Hi Everyone,

It's been a while since I last read Sexing the Cherry. But reading all the thoughts on the book made me want to join in. Jean Pierre and I were chatting about the book a while back, and I wrote this:

One of the reasons I had so much trouble with “Sexing” was all the little narratives imbedded within the larger storyline of the Dog Woman and Jordan. I keep trying to make sense of them, how the stories within the Story relate to each other. I think I drove myself crazy.

But the dual realities - it’s almost like they are incarnations of their earlier selves with their unresolved issues.

When I first read that “Sexing” was a riff on Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, I tried to read the poem as a primer to understanding “Sexing.” These lines, I felt, describes the feel of “Sexing” most eloquently:

“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstractin
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened”
~ ‘Burnt Norton’, Four Quartets

Maybe it’s about possibilities, and how time and love re-enact itself in different ways. Time overlaps, swims into each other. Jordan - the name of a river, but all river is in flux, and it all comes together in a greater cosmic cycle.

Sometimes I imagine “Sexing the Cherry” as a string of pearls, all the multiple stories/naaratives the beads - all tied together loosely through a Super-Narrative of the Dog Woman and Jordan. And like all loops, we come back to the beginning, from another angle. “Sexing the Cherry” is a patchwork of all the different narratives. Maybe it’s just meant to be enjoyed in its episodic form.

Hence, my take: Step back, enjoy the language.


I still don't understand the book. I don't love it, but there are some moments where the writing just runs away with you.

PS: The reference to "Four Quartets"and "Sexing the Cherry" came from Winterson's "Art Objects" (if I remember correctly). In one of her essays, she wrote that a young man approached her at a signing. He asked if "Sexing the Cherry" was a re-writing of the "Four Quartets". Winterson replied, "Yes."

And the young man kissed her.

True or not, it just feels like a great story to share. Smile

dark orpheus

Number of posts: 1
Registration date: 2009-02-02

View user profile http://www.darkorpheus.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by Stefanie on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:00 am

Danielle, thanks for the link. I found it interesting that Winterson insists the book is not magical realism when it so clearly fits into that description.

Dark Orpheus, thanks for sharing your discussion and the information about Four Quartets. I can see from what you quoted how the two relate. It is very interesting. And true or not, what a funny story about the man kissing her!

Stefanie
Admin

Number of posts: 64
Registration date: 2008-12-22

View user profile http://somanybooksblog.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by Litlove on Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:38 pm

How interesting to read Jeanette Winterson on the novel - thank you for the link, Danielle. In some ways I wasn't surprised she refused the magic realism label (doesn't mean her narrative isn't related to the genre) but I was intrigued to read that the dancing princesses are integral to understanding the book. Now that, I just couldn't figure out. Can anyone else see the links to which she is referring?

And I didn't know it had anything to do with Eliot either - the part of the poem that Dark Orpheus posts is very helpful, though.

Litlove

Number of posts: 40
Registration date: 2009-01-31

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by Rebecca H. on Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:56 pm

I think it's probably best not to listen to authors when they say things about how to interpret their work! I mean, it seems to me that her work is related to magical realism, just as you say Litlove, whether she agrees or not Smile

I'm stumped by the comment about the dancing princesses too. She talks about their being "as many narratives as there are guesses" when it comes to understanding the past -- maybe she is playing with the possibilities of narrative with the princesses? Seeing how many variants of a similar story she can come up with? She's rewriting an old fairy tale -- maybe she is showing how we can see the past differently, both by rewriting the princess fairy tale and by giving her own version of 17C England.

Rebecca H.

Number of posts: 53
Registration date: 2008-12-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by biblio brat on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:11 am

In terms of what Dorothy W. asked I am wondering if since the concept of time and of reality seems to be a theme of this book, that the stories of the dancing princesses are the author exploring the different 'realities' than can happen as each action taken has many paths that can be taken. If there exists alternate realities then she may be exploring the different ways a single scenario could have played out.

What made me think of this is in the beginning of the book it talks about the Hopi language which does not have separate tenses to denote time and the note on how matter is mostly empty space.

If we do not have time to consider and empty space to fill, what are the possibilities available to us?

Again, I tend to delve deeply, perhaps too deeply when reading works such as this. So take me and my thoughts with a grain of salt. Very Happy

biblio brat

Number of posts: 3
Registration date: 2008-12-22

View user profile http://thebibliobrat.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by Stefanie on Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:04 am

I was trying to figure out her dancing princesses comment too. Dorothy and Biblio Brat, I think you both have shed some good light on it. I think perhaps the stories show possiblities like you both suggest, they also take part in the idea of memory and how we see the past and whether or not it is true. We have the tale as we know it and then we have the alternative tales that defy space and time. Which ones are true? Did tings happen the way we think they did or as the princesses tell them or something else?

Stefanie
Admin

Number of posts: 64
Registration date: 2008-12-22

View user profile http://somanybooksblog.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Sexing The Cherry

Post by iliana on Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:28 am

That was an interesting article. The Twelve Dancing Princesses was my favorite part of the story actually. Not that I know what Winterson was trying to achieve there but for me it is about appropriating the fairy tales to meet our modern standards.

In fairy tales often the young woman only lives happily ever after once she’s rescued by a prince but here these princesses didn’t depend on a prince for their happiness. Plus, they got a chance to tell us their version so we get the female perspective. I like that.

iliana

Number of posts: 16
Registration date: 2008-12-28

View user profile http://www.bookgirl.net

Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


Post new topic   Reply to topic
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum