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coffee & ink

Currently reading

Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic after Thirty Years
Annette R. Federico, Sandra M. Gilbert
Annette LaPointe
A Bride's Story 2 - Kaoru Mori, 森 薫 The detail work is as lovely as ever (there are some lovely sequences about sewing clothes and quilts, and some silent sequences about the growing closeness between Amir and Karluk that are vivid and endearing), but this volume goes further into squicky/disappointing territory for me -- the difference between 13 and 20 is so big that I just have a hard time buying Amir's attraction to Karluk, and her seeking his comfort/protection just seems wrong. He's a child! She should be protecting him! Or at least trying to reassure him more. The idea that stereotypical gender relations (weak female, strong male) are the only way to romance is unpleasant.

And at the end there's an overt alignment of the reader with the Western anthropologist, the outside observer, in a way which is uncomfortable and romanticized for me, though maybe also more honest than I was willing to be -- it draws attention to how much of the pleasure of this story (this kind of story) is anthropological, setting things in order. But I guess that gets at my concerns about whether anthropological narratives can ever be ethical or if they are always going to be an exertion of power. I hope not the latter, because there is so much pleasure in the ordering and the categorizing and the observing and the understanding, but it's not as if pleasure ever guaranteed right.