21 November, 2007

Touching Earth Lightly disembowelled

Cor blimey. Here is a long essay about my 1996 YA novel Touching Earth Lightly. It makes me marvel at how little you know about what you're saying while you write a novel; it's kind of like being publicly psychoanalysed—and the diagnosis is not exactly one I'm proud of...I don't think. I'll have to read it again, and closer, to be sure. Here's a taste:
In order to explore these ideas in more detail, I wish to focus on Margo Lanagan's Touching Earth Lightly (1996), a text which not only represents death as a significant event influencing the development of the adolescent female subject, but which also frames mortality through themes of sexuality. The text makes an interesting study—firstly, because it has the potential to interrogate a number of familiar masculinist representations of women within Western discourses; secondly, because it engages so closely with woman/death, that twin 'enigma' which Western culture posits as what is 'radically other to the norm, the living or surviving masculine subject' (Bronfen & Goodwin 1993, p.13); and, thirdly, because, although it offers open resistance to orthodox ideas about what constitutes acceptable sexual behaviour and practices, at the same time it is evident that conflict surfaces between what the text represents in the narrative and the processes of representing it.
I mean, you just don't think about the novel you're writing in these terms, while you're blurting it out—well, I don't, anyway.

Nice review of Click here.

Blah review of Red Spikes here.

Enough of this—I should be working.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey again Margo! I'm popping in again. As you may remember i loved TEL. It really touched me and I remember sobbing while reading some passages. I didn't read the full essay, but from what you posted here I think the writer, despite usin' all those incredibly big words, missed some major points in your fascinating portrayal of Janey. To me, Janey's sexual behaviur, drug use and the negative state of her mental health (depression?) stemmed very much from sexual and physical abuse and her need to be loved. I think you portrayed her as a wonderful, lovable but troubled young woman trying to get better but not knowing how to and being pushed constantly off course by drugs and low self-esteem. I re-read TEL recently and it still resonates for me. Congratulations on this brilliant book. Jan M in Bankstown.
PS: if my comment is posted twice it's coz I don't know what I'm doing.

23 November, 2007 10:37  
Blogger Mike said...

It's hard to disagree that "death is a significant event influencing the development of the adolescent female subject". I just didn't know that university degrees were handed out for noticing.

26 November, 2007 17:42  

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