Thursday, February 11, 2010

Patti Smith and Kate Bernheimer

While Joyelle and I were devouring the Patti Smith memoir I quoted from yesterday we were both struck by how similar in style and story it was to Kate Bernheimer's novels, in particular, The Complete Tales of Merry Gold. And most of all the chapter called "The Chinese Robe," in which Merry goes to fashion college and befriends two guys with whom she invents various mysterious forms of fashion before she steals a robe from a dead girl and one of the boys is killed:

"With great ease I began to win prize after prize at school for my work:skirts made of rose branches, pants sewn of apple peel. And before leaving my apartment each night to go out, I would make us newget-ups. I dressed Semyon and TIbor in whirly-gig pants, with ants in cages as earrings (we placed bits of leaves in so they wouldn't go hungry). I would have used butterflies but I never saw these in the city, though once I saw a drafonfly as big as a pigeon fall from the sky."


Blogger Molly Gaudry said...

Thank you for this post; I love Kate's work and I'm always looking for other writers like her. So far I group Kate's novels with Anne Carson's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED, Lydia Millet's MY HAPPY LIFE, Selah Saterstrom's THE PINK INSTITUTION and THE MEAT AND SPIRIT PLAN, and Nina Shope's HAGIOGRAPHIES. I am always, always looking to add more to the list. Thank you again.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Johannes said...

Hi Molly,

Kate suggests:

The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches. It's by Gaetan Soucy


11:56 AM  

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