Saturday, April 28, 2012

Are You My Mother?

Alison Bechdel's sequel to her Fun House which we read almost five years ago is going to be published next week. Judith Thurman's profile in last week's The New Yorker might tempt readers who don't know her work to think of it as a pre-pub puff piece. Of course it's not. Highly recommended but not available online.

I enjoyed this little confusion/confession: "I started drawing at the age everyone does—when they pick up a crayon. But most people stop, and I didn't. When I was little, I either wanted to be a cartoonist or a psychiatrist—they were conflated in my mind by all the analyst cartoons in The New Yorker."

And speaking of which, the new title reminds me of the anecdote regarding W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman shortly after they'd met, when the two of them were sorting out who was who in the psychodynamics of their relationship.

Scene: a NYC subway car. Decibel level: must shout to be heard.

AUDEN: "I am not your father, I'm your mother!"
CHESTER: "You're not my mother! I'm your mother! … You're my father!"
AUDEN: "But you've got a father! I'm your bloody mother, darling, you've been looking for her since you were four [when she died]!"

1 comment:

Robert Muir said...

Alison Bechdel will be reading at the Free Library in Philadelphia on May 3. She will also stop by Giovanni's Room to sign some books.