…Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber.”
I had read a couple of reviews of a recently published biography of Carter, and the strangeness of her life had intrigued me. The New Yorker’s called this her best book, and Moe’s had a used copy.
TBC is a collection of fairy tales, reimagined by a wild feminist consciousness and retold in a fever-dreamed style. (For those tales I did not recognize or for which I required a refresher to recognize the changes, Wikipedia helped.) The tales feature humor and homicide, twisted endings and sex that will make any kid who shivered and chuckled at EC Comics’ “Grim Fairy Tales” nod with special pleasure at this goof’s ascension into High Art. But the writing, the word linkage, the thought processes that coined the sentences and motivated the actions’ movement… Well, this is something unfathomably beyond Al Feldstein — or just about any of the rest of us.
Here, for example, is one sentence, the book’s final one, in fact:
“Little by little, there appeared… like the image on photographic paper that emerges first, a formless web of tracery, like prey caught in its own fishing net, then a firmer yet still shadowed outline, until at last as vivid as real life itself, as if brought into being by her soft, moist, gentle tongue, finally, the face of the Duke.”
What an ability! What a triumph!