When you sort of disagree with the premise of something you are reading, it's really hard to love it. I didn't love this novel, which starts with a really strong premise: 'Why is the measure of love loss?' Naaaah. In my humble opinion, loss is simply not the measure of love. I actually wish it was - that would mean I have loved excessively in the last forty-odd years. If you don't like the idea of not knowing the narrator's gender, don't even go there. You'll never find out, and the whole thing might annoy you, like it did me. There's a woman, that is for sure, but there aren't that many certainties in the novel, apart from a few dogmas that irritated me. The most terrifying one? 'Never say you love me until that day when you have proved it.' For crying out loud. Who said one needs to prove it? Who said it is not ok to tell someone you love them when you actually do? All in all, this novel is not my cup of tea....Continua
You. However u r. Read this book! It's the smartest book about love I'd ever read.
In "Written On the Body" there is an unnamed and ungendered narrator. It could be a man, it could be a woman. Winterson just can't tell it.
The narrator is a womanizer, I mean a ladies' man/woman.
Surprisingly, the narrator falls in love with a married woman called Louise (naturally a redhead, all of Winterson's objects of desire are redheads).
Louise leaves her husband, but when she finds she has cancer, she leaves her new lover too.
This becomes Winterson's metaphor: the body and its systems, in particular how each system reflects an aspect of love or loss. Winterson, in her book, seems interested in excavating loss and how the memories of a loved one remain, for better or for worse.
She is such an excellent writer.
There are lines, where you actually have to put down the book and take a moment. Or at least I did. And if I know something, I know that the measure of love is loss. She is able to write about that particular type of sadness in a way I find captivating and completely real.
Last but not least, the title of her novel is perfect, because this is exactly what Winterson does here. When you love someone, you "write" yourself on him/her. And love, at that intense level, is not separate from desire, or lust, or whatever. It's all the same.
I absolutely love this passage:
"<<Explore me>>, you said and I collected my ropes, flasks and maps, expecting to be back home soon. I dropped into the mass of you and I cannot find the way out. Sometimes I think I'm free, coughed up like Jonah from the whale, but then I turn a corner and recognize myself again. Myself in your skin, myself lodged in your bones, myself floating in the cavities that decorate every surgeon's wall. That is how I know you. You are what I know."
This novel is passionate, funny, clever and good enough to move a reader to tears without any obvious sentimental stuff. Recommended reading....Continua