Chibimagic's Weblog

Tiny things

Posted on: July 18, 2011

Something reminded me of Joyce Carol Oates today. I wanted to reread my first exposure to her, a dramatic monologue called “The Orange” from the collection of short plays “I Stand Before You Naked”.

The first time I heard it, I was in 10th grade accidentally walking in on a Speech and Debate practice of dramatic monologues. As soon as I heard it, I knew I needed more from that author. I thought perhaps my adolescence had colored the memory, but the monologue is every bit as poignant as I remember. More so, now that I can appreciate some of the other layers.

I reread another of her short stories: Lethal. Oates’ works are full of violence against women, much of it sexual. Joey Comeau’s are too, but more directed towards gay men. I’m fascinated with them for the same reason as “Memories of Matsuko”. They all share the theme of vulnerability and hope. There’s so much more to life than can be expressed in code or over IM, and living in the Valley it feels like I’m searching for beauty in the desert.

Perhaps my one mistake was choosing science over literature.

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