Ever since I began this M.A I have fallen into the habit of scanning texts – obsessively flicking pages, scribbling notes – so much so that I often forget the simple joys of slow reading. I have about ten books on the go at the moment. Count them. That’s not a completely uncommon practice for anyone who studies writing, anyone who writes and edits for a living, or is a compulsive bookworm, but this frenzied desire to consume and conquer is frankly what landed me in front of a therapist to begin with.
One of these is Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. I feel a little ashamed to be admitting that because it’s a memoir staple – but I’m late to just about every party I’m invited to, so here we are.
“There’s no such thing as autobiography,” Jeanette famously wrote once. “There’s only art and lies.” That line stays with me. I obsess over it as I spend my summer picking through stories – truths, untruths and everything in-between, which is of course what interests me the most. The liminality between what we can and cannot articulate, wrestling with Lejeune’s pact (which is kind of like the picture on the front of a macaroni box: a serving suggestion. In reality, you can cook it any way you want, as long as you don’t serve it up and call it prawn hargow).(more…)