book club?

hi! It makes me sad that this community gets so little use, even though I know I don't have anything to post in it either, so I was thinking, would anyone be interested in doing a book club sort of thing only with the short stories? we could all choose a particular story from one of her books and then come back in a week to discuss it... thoughts? how many of you would want to participate?
childlike empress

Nights at the Circus

I recently read Nights at the Circus for the first time, and I have to admit I didn't like it as much as The Magic Toyshop or The Bloody Chamber. I was first introduced to Angela Carter by watching the movie A Company of Wolves. I then read The Bloody Chamber, which I loved. I love fairy tale retellings, in general, but hers especially captivated me. Most older folk tales/fairy tales can be pretty gory or sexual in nature, so her stories felt a bit old and rural, which was fun.

I also liked The Magic Toyshop and really felt like I had entered another mode of existence. Some kind of dreamlike place mixed with the less pretty parts of real life. Nights at the Circus gave me a somewhat similar impression, but it really didn't draw me in quite the way The Magic Toyshop did. I still liked it, but I was ready for the book to conclude. Though the ending really baffles me, and I don't know what to make of it.
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source/authenticity of Angela Carter quote re Wordsworths

over 15 years ago an English professor told my criticism class his favourite Angela Carter quotation — a quip about Wm. and Dorothy Wordsworth.  "For every man who writes poetry, there's a woman who thinks the sun shines out of his asshole."  Any know if this is genuine, or the source?  I don't think that it's in that essay about the Wordsworths in Nothing Sacred.  Any help appreciated.
Apollo and Daphne

(no subject)

Hello, I'm fifteen years old, and I've just started reading Angela Carter. I first saw The Company of Wolves a couple of years ago, and I was interested in reading the short story. I found Nights at the Circus in my school library about a month ago and I loved it. I'm currently reading The Bloody Chamber, which I'm enjoying so far. I was wondering if anyone could possibly recommend me which of Carter's novels I should try next...I know there are several in my school library, but I can't decide which one to read next.
pinwheel, colours yay, brightness

Paper help

Does anyone know of any good online resources for criticism on Carter? I'm doing a paper on Woolf's Orlando and gender fluidity in other 20th Century women writers and my college library is seriously limited as far as non-syllabus authors are concerned.

I'll be using the Libretto for Orlando, The Passion of New Eve, and probably Infernal Desire Machines. Help of any sort will be hugely appreciated.

The Sadeian Woman

In The Sadeian Woman Angela Carter gives us a re-evaluation of the work of the Marquis de Sade from a feminist perspective. She sees de Sade as the prototype of the moral pornographer. He viewed the relations between the sexes (and between the classes) honestly and without hypocrisy. He shows sex as being about power, as being a social relation that is dependent on social and political structures. He also frees female sexuality from the function of reproduction and emphasises that it is not gender that matters but power. De Sade also demonstrates an understanding of the mechanics of the female orgasm that is a little surprising when you consider the complete ignorance on that topic that prevailed through much of the following century. Carter looks at de Sade’s best-known works, particularly Justine and Juliette. The eponymous heroine of Justine believes that virtue will be rewarded, and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary continues to believe this. She is also convinced that virtue, in a woman, is entirely a matter of sex – as long as you don’t have sex, or if you must have sex as long as you don’t enjoy it you are automatically virtuous. In fact Carter tells us that Justine’s behaviour is often astonishingly selfish and even callous because of this profound misunderstanding of the nature of virtue. Her sister Juliette does not share her delusions. She embraces vice with enthusiasm, and she gets everything she wants. The fact that she is a woman does not prevent her from gaining both wealth and power. Justine is powerless not because she is female but because she misunderstands the nature of society.

Carter also relates de Sade’s work to the way women have been depicted in Hollywood, with Marilyn Monroe being a version of Justine. The Sadeian Woman is Angela Carter at her most provocative.

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Nothing Sacred

I’ve been reading more of Angela Carter’s Nothing Sacred. The essay on William and Dorothy Wordsworth and their junkie friends was amusing. And Dorothy’s rather pathetic devotion to her brother, which to Carter at least appears to have a very large element of repressed sexuality to it. I must confess I know little of Wordsworth and I loathe his poetry.

I loved her piece on British television drama, and the essential folly of trying to turn Great Books into decent television. As she points out, great novels are by their very nature usually not suited for film or TV adaptation. It’s the things that make them great as novels that make them unsuitable for TV or movies. If you want proof you need look no further than the BBC’s disastrous adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels.

Her hatched job on Gone with the Wind was fun too. God I hate that movie.

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Angela Carter on Lulu and Lola Lola

Reading Angela Carter’s essay on Pandora’s Box and The Blue Angel in her collection of essays and journalism, Nothing Sacred, inspired me to watch The Blue Angel yet again tonight. While The Blue Angel is often seen as a film about a femme fatale who draws an innocent man to his destruction Carter sees it rather differently. She sees Lola Lola as a positive character, a strong woman in charge of her sexuality, who is in no way responsible for the unfortunate fate of Professor Rath (Emil Jannings). She sees the Professor as a monster who thoroughly deserves his fate. Watching the movie again I’m inclined to agree with her. He really is a very unpleasant man – a pompous ass, a bully, and a fool. The clown he later becomes is already there in embryo. Lola Lola really does nothing to bring about his downfall. He pursues her. Perhaps she should have discouraged him, but she was simply too soft-hearted to do so. Her crime was to be nice to him. She doesn't trap him into marriage – the marriage is entirely his idea. And it’s not as if she ever pretended to be anything other than she is. If he chose not to see the reality of the woman she was, if he chose to believe that she was going to become something different, then he’s simply made the mistake of falling in love with his own fantasy of her, rather than with the actual woman. His spiral downwards into degradation and depression, and self-pity, seems to be entirely his own work too. After all, did he really expect to keep his position as a professor at the grammar school after marrying her? And given the state that he gets himself into it’s remarkable that Lola Lola continues to have a certain affection for him, and continues to support him. Professor Rath’s fate may be tragic, but it’s a tragedy of his own making.

With any luck tomorrow I’ll get a chance to watch Pandora’s Box again.

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