By Gail Jones
During this arresting and richly innovative choice of twelve tales. Gail Jones explores the function of obsession the inescapable loves and torments she calls fetishes - within the lives of either the recognized and the normal. established round a sequence of lyrical echoes and repeated photographs, her tales weave truth and hypothesis to recreate little-known occasions within the lives of such figures as Marcel Proust, Walt Whitman, and Elvis Presley that can have prompted their artwork and obsessed them as contributors.
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Extra resources for Fetish Lives
I am Emma Bovary, Eleanor thinks to herself, I simulate her yearning; I long for the sweet and discriminate engulfments of the amorous. I would, like Emma Bovary, run distressed through a field of oxen driven only by the force of tears and rejection. But then, she reconsiders, I am also Charles Bovary. I am besotted. I am foolish. I am unreciprocated. I am work-enclosed and over-diligent and possess meritorious stolidity. And what I feel for Edward Aveling is like words written on the wind. When Edward arrives home very late Eleanor is still wide-awake, reading.
He swings into the room as though blown, his face blotched and pallid with moonlight. The air around him is masculine and smells of brandy. His eyes, which look tired, are slitted and unbeautiful. – Ah, Gustave Flaubert! Edward Aveling exclaims; and he leans clumsily onto the bed, plucks the novel from Eleanor’s hands, and takes up, somewhat theatrically, the pose of a dandy: legs crossed, a finger to the chin, the book held ridiculously high. He opens 51 at random and reads in execrable French: – She wore an open dressing-gown, that showed under the shawl-shaped collar a pleated blouse with three gold buttons.
During the day she peered for hours at images of her patients, strung up and illuminate, with nothingto-hide, and then afterwards, alone, it seemed to her that this reducing and crepuscular ontology had extended to every single thing that she knew. She 58 felt voided, sullen. Her too too solid flesh had melted away so that she was an emanation, a grey spook with no substance. It was difficult to eat and all pleasures dissolved. She prescribed herself a series of antidepressants — monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclics, heterocyclics — but the melancholy did not lift nor did her body revitalise.