I picked up two of Angela Carter’s books kind of by accident – I was drawn to them individually; both ‘Vintage’ publications, both with bold front covers, both with interesting blurbs on the back. I didn’t realise they were by the same author when purchasing them.
The first I read was The Bloody Chamber, a collection of short stories published in the late 1970’s, most based on some very well-known fairy tales – the best story being The Bloody Chamber. I fell in love with Angela’s style of writing throughout the book, wishing for some stories to be a lot longer. I then picked up Wise Children, looking forward to reading a tale about twin sisters Nora and Dora, their very complicated and charismatic family, their career in show business and their lives in London.
Reading Wise Children makes me want to inhale more of Angela’s work, and to write my own fiction – surely there is no greater proof of an excellent writer than one who inspires another?
Throughout the book there are funny bits, sad bits, sweet bits, and wise bits. Here are some of the wise bits:
“Hope for the best, expect the worst.”
Both a glass half full and a glass half empty kind of look upon life. I am guilty of both, though I tend to hope for the best when I imagine something wonderful happening, and expect the very worst when I am worrying. Perhaps a little of both simultaneously is better.
“Stars on our door, stars in our eyes, stars exploding in the bits of our brains where the common sense should have been.”
This sentence reminds me of teenage years, where pleasures and thrills won against any sort of reason.
“I give a little shiver because suddenly I know, I know it in my ancient water, that something will happen today. Something exciting. Something nice, something nasty, I don’t give a monkey’s. Just as long as something happens to remind us we’re still in the land of the living.”
You know that feeling you get when there’s just something in your mind that is telling you that you are going to remember this moment? That feeling is very powerful as it is always right (with me anyway). This quote reminds me of that. I also love how it embraces change, good or bad, because that is what makes life colourful.
“Our fingernails match our toenails, match our lipstick match our rouge…The habit of applying warpaint outlasts the battle.”
To me, this is a statement about self care and making yourself look your best for you! You could interpret as older women still applying their make-up but not finding any romance, which is what I think Angela was describing – but I prefer my interpretation. The warpaint outlasts the battle. Your beauty is for you, however you want it or define it.
“It is a characteristic of human beings that if they haven’t got a family of their own, they will invent one.”
I consider myself to have two families – one blood one (who are very wonderful) and one blog one (who are also very wonderful). Both support me in different ways and I love each of them very much.
Have you read the book? What do you think of these quotes? Got any reading recommendations for me?