“A Divine Cannibal of a Read”

April 29, 2002.

Transcribed from my Journal:

Why was the name Carole Maso so familiar? I read an article about a book she wrote called, The Art Lover:  perfect for my Spring reading.  Our library only had one of her books titled, Defiance.  Fine, I took it out.  I loved the cover.  Inside the back of the jacket they say Maso is currently director of the creative writing program and Professor of English at Brown University.  Then I saw a list of books that included, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat.  I have that securely tucked into my bookshelves.  They say Defiance is like nothing you have ever read before.  Well, I have never read The American Woman in the Chinese Hat yet because each time I go through the first five pages, I am overcome with feelings that I cannot recognize and I don’t know where to put them. Defiance, they say, is a probe deep into a woman’s psyche.  I think this could pertain to the other book too.  I’m afraid I’ll see some of me, somewhere in a place I’ve never been, a feeling that could over-take me!, leave me scarred, and trembling for another visit to this house of impassioned horror.  I’ve tried three times now to read the American Woman in the Chinese Hat.

“It’s a memory, so you can change it …” Maso begins in Defiance.

December 20, 2009.

I never had time to read Defiance, but I looked it up on Amazon.com tonight and am intrigued by the Amazon.com Review, one which ends with the fact that the character in the book is a killer, yet never ceases to be a victim.  This is where my imagination tells me this will be:  a divine cannibal of a read.

Before I read Defiance, I want to read The Art Lover and bathe in Maso’s prose poetic narrative.  Reviews mention: “…patterns of astonishing complexity and beauty… and attempting to make order out of chaos”.  Ava will be a must, as will Beauty is Convulsive: the Passion of Frieda Kahlo.

This year I did read Part I of the American Woman in the Chinese Hat.  I flew out of reality and eventually drifted safely back.  I began to read Part II, but I know I will have to make repeated attempts to do so, as the emotional imagery and visual visitations blinds me to the page.

It seems over a period of seven years I have awakened to this author.  Why shouldn’t I: we’re both experimental writers.

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

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