Sunday, 25 October 2009

Writing Elizabeth Taylor with Chips

Three Things:

Elizabeth Taylor

This lovely much misunderstood(!) star of such classics as A Place in the Sun (An American Tragedy) (1951) (pictured) had some early wisdom in love, even if it did betray the naive romanticism that eventually did for her.

At the age of 14 she had about 20 pet chipmunks, all called Nibbles (they were interchangeable, like men). In order to be completely sure that Nibbles loved her, she took him to the edge of a forest and set him down upon the ground. Nibbles tentatively hopped towards the line of trees before turning around and gazing back with big, sad eyes. Suddenly, filled with adoration for his pretty little girl, he dashed back and leapt into her arms. This became the foundation of her later approach to relationships: set the man free and offer him escape back into the world, away from her, and see if he comes back. From then on, at the critical point, she always tested her lovers, turning them away and giving them only one chance to run back to her arms.

I said she had wisdom. What do you think? Love on terms of freedom only?

Chips (Fries)

(As in, little stubs of potato, fried)

I just made the most delicious chips imaginable. The secret is to cover the bastards in cheap vegetable oil and then hit them with maximum heat in the oven. Oh baby.


Nick mentioned writing tips a couple of posts down. Very useful stuff. Can't really agree with the celebration of Vonnegut though. I've read Ice Nine and Slaughterhouse 5 now and neither struck me as totally brilliant, though I appreciate them both in many ways. My problem is the smugness of the guy. He's so proud of his short, punchy little sentences.

Even my creative writing tutor (oh yes, every Monday night for 3 hours in North London - at least he's a successful author - Andrew Taylor) thinks Vonnegut is a model of writing style. I made the same objections to him and he more or less ignored me. Mind you, I think he appreciated the contribution since no one else in a class of 14 had read any of his stuff, or Chekhov's, or Dostoyevsky's... Who are these people?


Nick James said...

Make sure that you dry the chips in a tea-towel, too. Also, potato-type counts for a lot.
Hmm, Elizabeth Taylor? Seems to me that the chipmunk came back for the promise of a free meal. I think that the test is flawed, and could equally well be used to test a subject for desperation as love. I know, I know, I'm just an old romantic.

Post a Comment