A Small Collection of Objects

Dear CF:

I had to respond your delicious Doris Lessing quote about fruit and wineglasses with three tangentially related exhibits I encountered recently:

Exhibit A

9 1/2 Weeks. I had mentally classified it with Ghost as one of those eighties films about funky/supernatural relationships that end badly. Not quite the thing for a Saturday morning. Ice. Fruit. Strawberries in particular. Honey. Fusilli. Chili peppers. Milk. Whips. Spread your legs for daddy. Crawl on the floor and pick up the money. Will you do that for me? Where is Whoopi Goldberg? I yelled at my computer (and at my stomach, which was angling for a sandwich). How did I not know that this movie made kink mainstream? And why is Kim Basinger’s face always so shiny?

Exhibit B: From Prufrock:

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”–
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

Exhibit C: The German trenches, as the British discovered during the attack on the Somme, were deep, clean, elaborate, and sometimes even comfortable. As Coppard found on the Somme, “Some of the [German] dugouts were thirty feet deep, with as many as sixteen bunk-beds, as well as door bells, water tanks with taps, and cupboards and mirrors.” They also had boarded walls, floors, and ceilings; finished wooden staircases; electric light; real kitchens; and wallpaper and overstuffed furniture, the whole protected by steel outer doors.” (44)

(In contrast, the British trenches were “wet, cold, smelly, and thoroughly squalid.”)

The Great War and Modern Memory, by Paul Fussell



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