Benevolent Avenger Angela Carter Still Watches Over Us

Jenny Turner’s review of the new Angela Carter biography provides a specific kind of succor during a dark, dark election season of the soul:

  • Someone else in the universe matches my passionate investments in Angela Carter
  • “You’re not what you like, you’re what you’re like” is some BS. Loving Angela Carter was who I was at 20 and must be who I still am now, even if I spent 10 years studying neurotic white guy writers instead of fulfilling my true feminist socialist surrealist satirical gothic destiny as a Carter scholar
  • “It simply happens, when writing about times and figures who are, as Hill says, still ‘on the cusp’ of living memory’, that one’s relationship with one’s material becomes ‘semi-detached’. And not like a house, more like a hangnail. It’s not just what you think you see in the material you’re dealing with, but actual bits of yourself.”

When a TfH holds an interesting but nonetheless noncreative job, and when she celebrates a decade-birthday, and when her experience of selfhood thus consists of flailing about for ever-receding glimpses of meaning/purpose, this reminder of her past bookish love seems an awful lot like stability. An awful lot like returning home.

Now I know how I’ll spend my holidays.

 

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