Monday, June 18, 2012

Ladies of the Week: Laura Moriarty, Louise Brooks, and Fiona Apple

Is KU's Laura Moriarty posed for literary superstardom with her new novel The Chaperone?  If we believe the interwebs, yes (it's USA Today's "hot fiction pick" of the summer).

Head to the Lawrence Public Library tonight at 7:00 for a reading and signing with Moriarty.

The NY-Times Book Review says, "Moriarty’s sentences are pert and plucky...".

Chip:  "Sounds erotic.  Now what the hell is this book about?"

Well, Chip, it's about the silent film star Louise Brooks' early years with her chaperone Cora as they trek from Kansas to New York.

The review goes on to criticize the novel's ultimate lack of psychological depth:

"The course of Cora’s life and the history she bumps into in her rather Gumpish way are persuasively conveyed, but what she feels becomes less and less so...Brooks wrote of growing up in the Bible Belt, where people “prayed in the parlor and practiced incest in the barn.” Though Moriarty makes a similar point about Midwestern hypocrisy, she seems unwilling to unbuckle the Belt fully when it comes to her characters."

Chip: "That's a bit confusing, but what I gather is that this book is lacking in incest."

In the meantime, bone up on Brooks' silent film career by watching Pandora's Box (on Criterion!) prior to the reading.



Speaking of interesting ladies, Fiona Apple's first album in seven years lands tomorrow and Pitchfork loves it: 9.0!  The title is The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, which seems tailor-made for people like us to snark about it.

Chip:  "It IS really annoying."

Pitchfork praises the album's use of "found-sound" in songs such as "Werewolf":

"Werewolf" also features the album's most jarring and powerful found-sound moment: just as the self-conscious ballad climaxes, the roar of children screaming on a playground enters, adding an uncanny mix of dread and wistfulness. The fact that Apple was inspired to insert the yells by a classic-movie battle scene that was running when she first played the song only adds to the sample's ambiguity as well as its spontaneity."

Richard: "Dammit, Pitchfork, you could at least tell me which classic movie she's using.  I don't want to have to actually listen to this album."

But perhaps we can't resist a listen, after all, since the album contains lyrics such as this:

"I ran out of white doves' feathers to soak up the hot piss that comes from your mouth every time you address me."

and this

"I was still a dewy petal rather than a moribund slut."

Apple hits the KC's Midland on July 17.  



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