martes, octubre 18, 2005

Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse


I think Louise Erdrich is one of those writers destined to confound me.

She writes novels that are not the novels I think I’m going to read. (see, it *is* me)

So, this one. Obviously I wanted it to be queer. I’m having that feeling I get when I read Estela Portillo Trambley’s play SOR JUANA, or Julia Alvarez’s IN THE NAME OF SALOME, where I *know* the character is a dyke it’s SO clear and yet here is this straight woman trying to tell me she’s not.

(No offense to Alvarez, whom I admire greatly. But Camila could have been so much more!)

I mean, poor Agnes is sooooooooooooooo heterosexual in this book. It’s just hard for me to really relate to her living as Father Damien but pining for floppy hats and fine lawn dresses. okay, I’m prob’ly overstating the case. But it would be so easy for Erdrich to make Agnes queer. BUT NO! put her in the same room with Father Gregory , and it’s like heterosexuality is this great [un]natural compulsion. (I guess that’s the point, huh?).

I mean, it has to be based on heterosexuality as destiny, otherwise we’d have to admit that anytime you have have two priests in the same living quarters they’re gonna have sex, and the same for the nuns in the convent.

It’s not that I’m opposed to heterosexual romance in drag; i just prefer for it to play with the queer predicaments that result, instead of immediately rushing to , whew, it’s okay, he’s really a woman.

I’ve only recently read David Henry Hwang’s M.Butterfly for the first time, and thought how much more romantic it would have been if Father Gregory had loved Father Damien without ever knowing he was a woman. Call me old-fashioned.

I’m listening to it on my commute. thirteen hours long and I’m somewhere in the middle of hour eight.

of course I’m cheating by re-reading PARABLE OF THE SOWER again. It’s for work! L* and I are going to teach it in our different classes simultaneously next semester. On our Trans Bay Reader Ship.

Okay, so heterosexuality as Destiny. I used to read that in Octavia Butler as well, but either she got over it, or I did. Because the last few books all have the “yeah, I could definitely go there” to them.

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