Monday, March 23, 2009

Lapham’s Quarterly – Eros

Lapham's Quaterly - Eros
Certainly part of the pleasure of Lapham’s Quarterly is the artwork sprinkled in with the writing. The winter 2009 issue – titled Eros and featuring a lipstick imprint – doesn’t disappoint in this. However, for this issue I found I was perusing rather than going steadily from cover to cover. The writing (while very good of course) didn’t grab me as much as the issue on learning. Perhaps it is the subject matter of Eros or maybe, oh horror, I don’t have the depth to understand this stuff? Nevertheless, a number of pieces did stand out for me. I’ll mention three. The excerpt from George Bataille’s Story of the Eye (1928) was certainly the most provocative and disturbing piece. I’m glad it was only an excerpt – I don’t think I could read the rest. While I read through the piece by Plato (from Symposium) on the satire of Greek origin myths (three sexes) I kept thinking of the animation in the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch where Hedwig sings the Origin of Love song. Finally, the excerpt from Flannery O’Connor’s short story Good Country People featuring a Bible salesman who makes off with a woman’s artificial leg certainly will be an image that I won’t easily forget.

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