current currents

current currents of thought are influenced by the following books i am reading right now: (in no particular order…)

sexual fluidity – understanding women’s love and sexual desire,
by lisa m. diamond (2008)
i’ve been reading IN this book, on and off, since it came out, but have so far not really read it from cover to cover. i’ve been reading it because i was curious. not just about the topic but also because i like to read stuff by people i have met. (and vice versa, which made it extra-cool that after studying derrida at the university of reading, i actually got to meet the man! but i digress.) and it just so happens i took dr. diamond’s class on “the psychology of love” a few years ago (she teaches at the u of utah), and worked in her lab on one of her grads’ studies for a bit. it was a fun and very interesting time!
anyway. the title basically says what the book is about. to make it very short (and i am most probably generalizing to a painful degree here! so if you are at all interested in this, better read the thing yourself!!!), diamond suggests that the commonly used labels of hetero-, bi- and homosexual don’t really work – she supports this with a long-term study of 100 women, describing how – over time – most of them moved from one label to another in behavior and / or self-labeling, or even gave up labeling themselves. as i said, i am still reading this, so this is a rough idea of what is in the book – as far as i have read it. 🙂
apparenly, even oprah invited her to talk about the book on her show, and if nothing else, something you could take away from reading this book (or hearing her speak about it) is that maybe we should not ask ourselves so much, “what am i?” or “what should i be?” and rather figure out “who do i want to be with?” in the sense of “who is the right person for me?”
sound advice, if you ask me.
krishna (stories for children), by tiny tot publications (delhi, 2007)

i picked up this book on my last visit to utah – there is a krishna temple there, and i like to go because of the llamas and the little shop they have. i have a weak spot for exotic little things like anklets with bells, long silk skirts, sari fabrics – you get the idea. in any case i bought this because i felt ignorant and figured it might give me a little insight into the mythology / the stories around krishna, in a way that’s a bit more entertaining than reading up on it all on wikipedia or in big fat books. the book also has a lovely look and feel to it – the print is large, the formatting very simple, and there are colourful illustrations on every page.

i guess it reminded me of the big book of stories i had when i was a child; that particular, oversized bulk of a book contained over three hundred stories, both folk tales and tales from greek and roman mythology, and illustrations that really impressed me (i still see the same drawn image of medusa’s petrified head before my mental eye when i think of gorgons). i read in it or was read from it every night for years. i am not sure what became of that book, but it is quite possible i loved / read it to bits.

cogswell & spano: spock messiah (corgi edition, 1977)
some escapist pulp… this is one of the first star trek novels (i.e. a story that is not adapted from an episode or movie script) and it is certainly not the best ever written… (if you are looking to read a good star trek novel, try the “homecoming” or “spirit walk” novels by christie golden) so, back to the reading. the plot is as follows:
kirk’s crew are testing some new equipment that is supposed to make first contact / first assessments of new civilizations much easier. the trick is that it establishes a telepathic link between the wearer and a native, thus giving the wearer access to the language as well as mannerisms of the local people. it turns out, however, that the little gadgets are not without flaw, so that some crewmen begin to behave like the persons they are linked to (which is not really desirable if you are linked to a pickpocket for example). it also doesn’t help that somehow, mr. spock, who has also been sent planetside with one of these gadgets, suddenly believes he is the messiah who will unite the hill people and the city people and take over this world. and just to make things interesting, a mysterious radiation front is approaching rapidly, and it is strong enough to destroy the ship.
if you pay attention you will find little inaccuracies that show how early on in the life-cycle of star trek this was written – like, scotty being described as red-haired for example. and not to forget the footnotes that link the story to the original episodes, to try and create a continuum in which the story is situated.
i will gladly admit i bought this book for the cover art and for the grainy paper and the smell – the smell of an old paperback. seeing i paid one british pound for it, i think that was a reasonable buy. i mean, just look at the cover! there are three (four if you look really close) completely different fonts used in the design, and i just adore that image of spock as a lightning rod.
so… no poetry recommendation, no deep literary explorations today, just food for the brain and lots of random diversion. i am however watching my mailbox very closely these days, because any day now i should get a fat envelope with a bunch of chapbooks from dancinggirlpress! i will tell you all about them once they get here! 😀
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About annette.c.boehm

words escape me.

2 comments

  1. I just passed your comments on Sexual Fluidity on to my daughter. She informed me awhile ago that "sexual orientation is an outmoded social construct." I guess she isn't alone in thinking so.Thanks for following at Secret Poems.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I hope the poem's resonance was just a matter of minds on the same wavelength, as i just finished it, so you couldn't have seen it elsewhere. I was at the Yale Centre for British Art a few weeks ago and saw the portrait in a show there – part of a private collection. I was thinking about the picture,and about Kitty Garman, afterward and the TLS quote was just fortuitous. Just at the same time my husband , who is a historian, was talking about the power of the human gaze in relation to something he was writing. Synchronicity.My daughter thought Sexual Fluidity sounded very interesting but her only remark on that great word – flexisexual – was "I wasn't making it up." Not that I though she was. My husband mentioned, in a discussion of the idea, that historically the issue would not have arisen, as what women did with women was irrelevant in any patrilineal society. With no danger of pregnancy, and therefore of complicating inheritance, it wasn't really part of sexual politics. All very interesting. Thanks for pointing out the book.

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