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06 November 2008

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"The Villager"
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gailg

I'm guessing she's ashamed that she essentially sold out. She's pretending she's something she's not. Even before the action of the story she tries to do that, and thus she carries around a nineteenth century novel she isn't reading. (The Amazon write-up says that Stendhal was one of 200 aliases used by the author of the book the main character is carrying. Thus we've got someone pretending to be someone he's not there, too.)

I am finding her writing style, perhaps, styless, if you follow that. If I were reading these as individual stories published in magazines over a period of years, I think I'd find them to have no voice, maybe to even be flat. It's only when reading them one after the other that they seem to be in a particular style with similarities as far as the author's interest is concerned--the city setting, the lone characters, the attention to the characters' personal space/apartments. Notice that this story focuses again on home furnishings, which we've seen before.

I wish I knew more about writers of her period, if what she does is unique to her or representative of what writers were doing then.

Heidi

Huh. It didn't occur to me Miss Clarence chose not to pursue the dancing career. I assumed she was one of the many who migrated to NYC for a chance on stage and she didn't make it, so her day job became her career. Yet she still tries to carry the glamor with her, feel like she hasn't quite put down the dream.

Leila

Oh, that's interesting about the Stendhal -- I looked it up, too, but didn't see the bit about the aliases!

I totally think she chose not to pursue a career -- it sounded to me like she went to New York and immediately got the job, that she didn't even try to make it as a dancer. That made me see her as more of a poseur than a sell-out. (But that might be splitting a hair mighty fine -- I do have an annoying tendency to do that sometimes...)

Her voice seems distanced to me, and kind of cold. But it really works for me, somehow -- and as I said earlier, I get really emotionally involved despite that distance. It's weird. I don't know why it works like that for me.

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