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Showing posts from March, 2013

how to describe a woman

Do not call her beautiful, pretty, attractive. She is not the angle of bone nor the measured scope of her face. Neither call her beautiful on the inside, since she'll know exactly what you mean - a lack, dressed up in a compliment.

Instead, tell her how you love the way the world tilts slightly, as if the moon has come closer to see, when she smiles.
Do not say she is tall or short, fat or thin, as if we possess space and every inch of it must be paid for somehow. Instead, note the way she shines at the edges, where the bright, immortal sphere of her soul comes in contact with the human hour.

Let her know you are grateful for her body, since it brought her to you.

Describe not what she does for a living, because if we think money is living, we've got life badly wrong. Talk instead about the quality and tone of her silence as she sits in the bedroom watching rainshadows fall and tiny motes of dust fall and your whole courage fall because how can you approach this woman, this u…

the language of women; or, star-gathering

I have been reading Dancing At The Edge of the World, by Ursula le Guin. I love what she has to say about the shape of the novel:

... the Hero has decreed through his mouthpieces the Lawgivers, first, that the proper shape of the narrative is that of the arrow or spear, starting here and going straight there and THOK! hitting its mark (which drops dead); second, that the central concern of narrative, including the novel, is conflict; and third, that the story isn't any good if he isn't in it.  I differ with all of this. I would go so far as to say that the natural, proper, fitting shape of the novel might be that of a sack, a bag. A book holds words. Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us. (p169)
Angela Carter once wrote a story, The Executioner's Beautiful Daughter, in which almost nothing happened. People were bewildered. People were disturbed. It happens to be one of…