empathy

Read Empathy by Sarah Schulman.  I think the family play/drama sections are really wonderful.  I thought the chapter on travelling and the idea of knowing or being known was really wonderful.  An unabated response.  “She remembered the promise of an antiseptic future:  domed cities and artificial weather.  Somehow this was supposed to be good.”  “There, they saw a store window, fully decorated, with no observers.  In it was a pyramid of ice.  In the ice, forming a pattern by their various locations, live lobsters had been planted tail first.  Their claws were stuffed with bright ribbons and wildflowers.”  “I would give anything to fuck her, is an apocalyptic thought.”  It doesn’t mean anything to put page numbers from an electronic version.

I also really appreciated her account, in an appendix, of the year 1992 in marketing:  the creation of the niche market that segregated lesbian books (not to mention the other varieties of minorities).  The dehumanizing fragmenting effect of identity politics applied as marketing philosophy.  That is exactly when I was interning in NYC publishing and decided I wanted nothing to do with it.  I didn’t know why, and I was not reading anything that might have told me anything about why, but I knew I felt totally alien to everything going on there except when I was in one on one conversation with the editor I worked for and was probably at least a little in love with.  She once showed me a beautiful scarf she had shoplifted, and I would fantasize and fantasize about shoplifting.

 

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