A manifesto for “toxic girls” that reclaims the wives and mistresses of modernism for literature and feminism.I am beginning to realize that taking the self. DECEMBER 16, “IS THIS THE TEXT OF AN AUTHOR or a mad woman?” Kate Zambreno asks in Heroines, a critical memoir about reading texts by and. Kate Zambreno (born ) is an American writer and novelist. She is the author of the novel O Fair wrote “I can’t recall the last time I read a book whose heroine infuriated and seduced me as completely as Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl .”.

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And when I think about so much of the writing happening online, I think about the notebook form, and especially what Hardwick performs in Sleepless Nightsthe drifting anecodotes mixing real-life characters with literary references, this tapestry. Elizabeth Hardwick was inspired especially by Speedboat for her Sleepless Nights — both scrapbooks that are kaleidoscopic, anecdotal, self-aware, witty, and intensely nostalgic.

In Sleepless NightsHardwick critiques what has been historically considered worthwhile material for a novel: I saw the old, white-bearded frigate motion on the dock and signed up for the journey. It is all ephemeral, not wanting to be formalised. I am beginning to think of this note-taking as the project itself. Bhanu Kapil dismantling the novel in her Notes on Bannotes for a character and a work that stands in for the work itself, some of these she writes online, in the margins, others published, formalised.

Suzanne Scanlon who accretes such amazing bodily stories, who writes of her kqte of being a fucked-up girl in a way that reminds me of Mary McCarthy, or Colette, while collaging throughout a variety of literary sources.

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What she does have is a brilliant and, yes, literary blog.

I remember telling her once when we were having drinks in Chicago that she needed to publish some of what she was writing on her blog — and she got this look on her face, like what would it be? Still this question of genre strangles us. Of fiction, of distance and form. But perhaps these blogs are a new form, a new genre. I think this whole question of publishing what we are writing online really begs these questions that remain from modernism — what is the work?

Who is an author? Yet perhaps our writing needs to be fragmented to fit our fragmented times. Sometimes, yes the online notebooks feed our other writing, as experimental incubators, like Rhys with her Ropemaker Notebook. But sometimes the posts are just what they are —unfinished, fragmented, explorations into something.

We want them to remain as they are — RAW, our own material. The Professor Xs would hate our blogs: Perhaps all the reason to write them.

Kate Zambreno

Yet what happens to the blogs and Tumblrs, these infinite, immaterial notebooks? One can erase them but even then they may persist, traces of them still saved somewhere on the Internet.

Who is archiving these scraps of our existence? Those who decide what is important or not to archive.

Heroine Worship: Talking with Kate Zambreno

Who to preserve, what to throw away. If you are considered important enough, John tells me, any note or scribble relating to your work is valuable. This is a memory campaign. Who is canonised, who is remembered. It begins with reviews and filters down to who is taught in schools and then whose papers are collected by which library. His detailed life ledger. He preserved everything, his letters, notebooks of observations, character ideas, some published posthumously in The Crack-Up.


Zabmreno died before he could finish it. Heart attack in Hollywood, tended to by his mistress. Ted Hughes wrote that this was a sign of a spiritual death, she was dead before she killed herself, as her notebooks dissolved into notes.

Women Are Mad, Men Are Geniuses: ‘Heroines’

The idea being, I suppose, that those who catalogue their lives exhaustively stop existing when they stop documenting the self amidst the clutter of other voices and events. To preserve the self. I save myself, my days. This archive of the self. These women who haunt me, I want to save them too, to carry them forward with me.

It is the wives and mistresses perhaps who would have blogged and tumbled their fragments, all of their delicious brilliant witty urges they instead scrawled into journals and notebooks like Zelda, Jane and Viv, into letters, into conversation later snatched up by the male author. They were marked with yellowed In the summer ofa headstrong but lovesick English graduate took a trip to the hometown of his Latest Reviews Features Fiction Poetry.

Print Prizes Events Shop. The Garden of Credit Analyst Filton. Ivan Filton had retired early.

The first I noticed was your thumbnails, large, round and flat, like two plates. Writing What You Know.

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