Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

29 May 2009

Inklust #3: Bell-Shaped Instruments of Torture

I finished this book at the nail shop today. My nail technician's daughter Kimmie jokingly observed it was published under Penguin Books' "Great Loves" series, then raised her eyebrow at me like I was a shifty-eyed Harlequin reader.

I couldn't stand for that so I gave her this long awkward explanation about how it's not really what she thinks, and how, after reading a Russian love story, the only thing you'll be lusting for is a natural death, peaceful and alone, with many warm cats.*

But oh, the soliloquies! Nobody does them quite like a glassy-eyed Russe, hardened like the grist of life.
"Women are like empresses, keeping nine tenths of the human race in servitude, doing hard labour. And all because they feel they've been humiliated, because they've been denied the same rights men have. And so they take their revenge by acting on our sensuality and ensaring us in their nets."


"No sooner does a man go near a woman than he falls under her spell and loses his head. Even in my previous life I used to get an uneasy sensation whenever I set eyes on a woman dressed in a ball-gown, but now that sight inspires me with genuine terror: I really do see in her something that's dangerous to men, something that's against all law, and I feel like calling for the police and appealing to them for protection against this danger, demanding that this hazardous object be confiscated and taken away."
-- The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy

*Another awesome book from this series is Ivan Turgenev's True Love, which is, at least in part, about a guy who falls in love with a princess, who's secretly sleeping with his dad, who beats her.


Ben Kunz said...

Re-read Ralph Ellison, his sentences still blow my mind:

"Many times, here at night, I've closed my eyes and walked along the forbidden road that winds past the girls' dormitories, past the hall with the clock in the tower, its windows warmly aglow, on down past the small white Home Economics practice cottage, whiter still in the moonlight, and on down the road with its sloping and turning, paralleling the black powerhouse with its engines droning earth-shaking rhythms in the dark, its windows red from the glow of the furnace, on to where the road became a bridge over a dry riverbed, tangled with brush and clinging vines; the bridge of rustic logs, made for trysting, but virginal and untested by lovers; on up the road, past the buildings, with the southern verandas half-a-city-block long, to the sudden forking, barren of buildings, birds, or grass, where the road turned off to the insane asylum."


Angela Natividad said...

LOL. That sentence KILLS me!

Anonymous said...

oooh. you must read Turgenev's Torrents of Spring if you haven't already. and also the notebooks of don rigoberto by vargas llosa!