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Mint Juleps
Sunday, October 22, 2006  
Listening to "Fear of Flying" on tape -- it is read magnificently by Hope Davis -- I delighted in the first few hours, and was rather bored by the rest.

The book does make you think; it has lots of "ah ha" moments, when you realize something Erica Jong is getting at is so true. Somethings it just brings back my own memories. Like here: Her character Isadora is being romanced at a cafe by the sexy, flitatious Englishman Adrian soon after meeting at the registration desk of a congress of psychiatrists in Vienna. She thinks about his name Adrian Goodlove. She says, "what did you say your name was?" And mentions that is the climatic line from Strindberg's Miss Julie. Huh? I look up Miss Julie on the web. A play by the 19th century Swedish playwright where the servant has been played with romantically by the daughter of the Count, bring the impossiblity of romance between different stations and the recognition that the people are really not that much different except for the viewpoints caused by their relative leisure (or lack of it). OK, I haven't read the play yet, just a review.

Well, the point that Jong is making is somehow lost on me, but still some memories come. Like when I walked (or was it biked?) past an imposing oceanfront house in Quogue and saw a beautiful girl on the lawn who smiled at me and who I instantly fell in love with, but saw no possibility of her having an interest in me, a poor boy summering in Hampton Bays. It seems incredible to me now, but it took me forever to get past some notions of class and wealth learned from where? From movies? Parents? Fairy tales? I don't no. They seem laughable to me now, but probably still influence my psyche. Not that I had anything to be ashamed of at the time. It was just that she lived in the big expensive house that I wished my parents lived in and somehow that could divide us. Yes, fairy tales were always suggesting something great was inaccessible, except by some miraculous effort.

Adrian was a Laingian. That makes me wonder if perhaps in real life he was in fact R.D. Laing. And perhaps the conference was the 1967 Congress of the Dialectics of Liberation, held in London. I looked through the web and found no one else suggesting this :-) Isadora was supposed to write about the Vienna conference -- I would have thought she'd be rushing to the Dialectics conference, as I myself would have, if I had been the right age.

Sunday, October 22, 2006



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