Maybe they just don’t like talking about it… in semi-public places… sitting around in a circle… facing each other… and openly sharing… dare I say… feelings!
According to tabulations on my calculator, the female-to-male ratio at the gathering of The Artist’s Bookshelf last night sat squarely at 25:1. I’m not complaining, just facing the reality of the powerful presence of female energy in the room. Given the vast gender imbalance of our group, I suppose it only natural that a good deal of our conversation tilted towards issues of gender, as reflected in the drastically differing voices utilized by author Nicole Krauss in her compelling novel, The History of Love.
We all expressed awe at her ability to articulate so poignantly visions of the world as seen through the eyes of a 14 year-old girl and an 80 year-old man, with equal degrees of conviction, worldliness, and compassion.
Some of us struggled with the intricacies of plot and the complexities of multiple narrative voices. Some of us read it twice out of necessity, some of us read it twice for the sheer pleasure of losing ourselves in the lyrical prose, some of us skimmed it lightly, and as always, a few of us, despite the very best intentions, hadn’t yet made it beyond the dust jacket. But hey, that’s okay. We came to share.
We approached the book in conjunction with the current Heart of Darkness exhibition, and as always, managed to mine at least a few interesting links. Perhaps installation artist Kai Althoff’s statement summed it up best:
“ I think my work is much more about love,’ if I dare say that: things that I don’t get from love, things that I love or want to love, or that I want to love me.”
Wait a minute… he’s a man… isn’t he?