Search Results for: The Rumpus

A ‘Constellation of Meaning’: The Rumpus Interviews George Saunders

Last week, Maria Bustillos released a blockbuster Humanities Kit in which you can experience George Saunders teaching Anton Chekhov for yourself.

In Kate Harloe’s interview at The Rumpus, George Saunders reflects on the creative process for his new novel, Lincoln In The Bardo, bold compassion as the right course of resistance under a Trump presidency, and how his interviews, notes, and scenes coalesce into the “constellation of meaning” that inform his nonfiction work.

Rumpus: There are so many characters in this story. Did these characters flow out of you during the writing process or were they more of a conscious creation? Did you think, “I need a character that represents this or experiences this kind of suffering?”

Saunders: No, it was definitely the first thing. My general approach to writing fiction is that you try to have as few conceptual notions as possible and you just respond to the energy that the story is making rather than having a big over plan. I think if you have a big over plan, the danger is that you might just take your plan and then you bore everybody. I always joke that it’s like going on a date with index cards. You know, at 7:30 p.m. I should ask about her mother. You keep all the control to yourself but you are kind of insulting to the other person.

Rumpus: I don’t want to leave the topic of your book, but I love what you said about starting a piece with as few conceptual ideas as possible. Do you approach nonfiction the same way? For the New Yorker story you wrote about Trump, for example, did you begin with a similar kind of open-mindedness?

Saunders: It’s a different form of that. With nonfiction, I go in trying to be really honest about what my preconceptions are. In the Trump piece, I knew I didn’t like Trump and I confessed that to myself and also to my interviewees. I’d always say, “I’m a liberal and I’m left of Gandhi and I don’t like Trump and this article is me trying to understand why you do.”

My theory for nonfiction is that nobody can be free of some kind of conceptions about whatever story they’re writing. But if you can find a way to build those into the story, then the story becomes a process of deconstructing and heightening and sometimes changing those notions and that makes dramatic tension. The initial statement of your position, and then letting reality act on you to change it, is pretty good storytelling.

All I really know in nonfiction is that when I come home, I’ve got all these notes and I’m trying to figure out what actually happened to me. I usually kind of know what happened, but as you work through the notes, you find that certain scenes write well and some don’t even though they should. Those make a constellation of meaning that weirdly ends up telling you what you just went through. It’s a slightly different process, but still there’s mystery because when you’re bearing down on the scenes, sometimes you find out they mean something different than what you thought.

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The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders

Longreads Pick

In addition to plenty of great advice for aspiring writers, George Saunders reflects on the creative process for his new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, the mystery of the “constellation of meaning” — the interviews, notes, and scenes that once distilled become his nonfiction work, and on bold compassion as the right course of resistance under a Trump presidency.

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Feb 20, 2017
Length: 23 minutes (5,848 words)

The Rumpus Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert

Longreads Pick

The Eat, Pray, Love author talks to the Lucky Peach editor about how she became a writer, and the key to creativity:

“I was just so committed, and I did have six years of rejection letters. And it really didn’t break my heart. Some of them made me really excited because some of them had little handwritten notes at the bottom. Pretty good, but not our thing. And I was like, I got a really great handwritten note from Harper’s! And I would hang it on my wall, like, That’s such a great rejection letter! I don’t know why I felt like I had the right to do it. I don’t know. I’ve always been really surprised—and I really remain very surprised—at people who don’t think they have the right to do their work, or feel like they need a permission slip from the principal to do it, or who doubt their voice. I’m always like, What? What? Fucking do it! Just fucking do it! What’s the worst that could happen?! You fucking fail! Then you do it again and you wear them down and they get sick of rejecting you. And they get tired of seeing your letters and they just give up. They don’t have any choice. So part of it was real confidence, and part of it was fake confidence, and part of it was insecurity. It was a combination of all them.”

Source: The Rumpus
Published: Nov 1, 2012
Length: 40 minutes (10,118 words)

Conversations About The Internet #1: The Rumpus Interview with Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone

Longreads Pick
Source: The Rumpus
Published: Apr 17, 2009
Length: 12 minutes (3,245 words)

When the Dishes Are Done, I Wonder About Progress

Lady Godiva rides through the streets of Coventry. July 1, 1962. (John Franks/Keystone/Getty Images)

Sarah Haas | Longreads | October 2019 | 11 minutes (2,825 words)

In the days after reading Coventry, Rachel Cusk’s newest book and first collection of essays, I knew I’d been affected — deeply — but struggled to understand how. A binding together of pieces published between 2006 and 2019, it’s not clear whether Coventry was written with its final product in mind. Sure, the architecture seems intentional — as in it makes sense to read the collection from left to right — but without a central nor obvious thesis at its core, interpretation of the whole seemed to require an unfounded creativity. To make sense of Coventry I’d created a narrative that positioned the book against Cusk’s own storied life, imagining the collection as an allegory for the author’s experience of having been pummeled by so many critics. Reviewers of her other nonfiction works have called Cusk “condescending,” “terrible,” and cruel — an adjective that still sticks to her persona today. Wanting for narrative, I imbued Coventry with the arc, protagonists, and villains I’d imagined part of her life story. But then I heard Cusk’s voice like a whisper, proclaiming the death of exposition and character, as she did in a 2017 interview with The New Yorker. Cusk has been careful to ensure the absence of both in her work but, habituated to expect it, I’d struggled to yield. Just past the edge of my attention, my mind filled in the void by assigning Cusk the burden of the narrative’s enactment. It was the first time as a reader that I felt the success of a book depended not on the author’s ability, but on mine. Read more…

McDreamy, McSteamy, and McConnell

Illustration by Jason Raish

Samuel Ashworth| Longreads | September 2019 | 13 minutes (3,389 words)


Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are nestled in one another’s arms, sweat glistening on their muscled chests. They kiss softly and tenderly. It’s the middle of the night in a hotel somewhere on the campaign trail, and they are in love.

“So, if you were an animal, which would you be?” asks Ted.

“Let me think,” says Marco. “A manatee.”

Welcome, friends, to the glorious world of congressional fan fiction. If you’ve always associated fan fiction with the kind of people who hand-sew their own Star Trek jumpsuits, think again. Since going online in the late ’90s, fan fiction — a fan-created spinoff (sometimes way, way off) of an already-existing pop culture presence — has exploded. Its protagonists range from fictional, like Han Solo, to real, like Ariana Grande or members of the British Parliament. Published stories, which can range from a few hundred words to a few hundred thousand, number in the tens of millions, and boast an immense readership. The genre also remains one of the few resolutely not-for-profit corners of the internet: Since the work often involves trademarked intellectual property, fair use rules forbid fanfic authors from making money off their writing, unless they change all recognizable details, as E.L. James did with her BDSM Twilight fanfic story, Fifty Shades of Grey. Stories about congress fall under the penumbra of “Real-person fiction,” which isn’t bound by copyright laws in the same way.
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Hot for Teacher

Getty / McSweeney's Publishing

Courtney Zoffness | Longreads | Excerpted from Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings from the Me Too Movement | September 2019 | 10 minutes (2,795 words)

What did they want? More than anything? Violent things. Unattainable things.

More than anything, she wanted to taste blood, said one student.

More than anything, he wanted freedom, said another.

Your characters need to have desires, I’d explained in the previous class. Drama arises when people struggle to get what they want.

Their first writing assignment of the semester at this midsize East Coast college: compose a short fictional sketch that begins with wanting. Compelling, complex fiction, I’d said, grows out of desires great and small. Their opening sentences offered proof.

More than anything, she wanted a baby.

More than anything, he wanted things to return to the way they were.

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Better Late

CSA Images / Getty

Summer Block | Longreads | August 2019 | 11 minutes (3,179 words)

Here I am again, the only 40-year-old in the orthodontist’s waiting room. Dr. F works out of a strip mall in North Hollywood which, like every other business in North Hollywood, is across the street from an acting studio and a transmission repair center. In the waiting room a sullen teenage girl is frowning at her phone while her little brother drums the back of his heels against his seat. Four receptionists sit behind the front desk, each wearing perfect teeth and an embroidered lab coat, pointedly ignoring the drumming. Three large high-definition TVs are always on, and always playing Moana — but only the sad parts.

I have a significant overbite and a large gap between my two front teeth. As a child I wanted braces the way some girls want a pony. I was poisonously envious of all my friends’ braces, obsessed with the arcane magic of it: the little flat packets of wax, the seashell pink boxes of tiny rubber bands. Because my parents could not afford braces, I stopped smiling instead. In the last photo I’ve found of myself with teeth visible, I am 7 years old, posing beside my baby sister in a pale purple Laura Ashley dress, grinning a gummy, snaggled smile. In every photo since, my lips are tightly sealed, like a baby refusing a spoon. I’m not smiling in my senior pictures, nor at my college graduation, nor on my wedding day.

For years I planned on fixing my teeth when I could afford it, but by the time I finally could, I felt it was too late. I feared correcting an orthodontic mess as bad as mine would change the shape of my face. Would I still look like me when it was through? Did I want to? More than that, I couldn’t imagine living without constant low-level embarrassment about my teeth, like the roar of silence in a room after someone turns off the TV. I was used to my teeth. In some ways, I even liked them, in the way that all of us secretly treasure even the worst facts about ourselves just because they’re ours. Still I daydreamed about braces sometimes, about looking back at all my childhood photos and finding me in them now, smiling.

* * *

I didn’t learn to swim until I was a teenager. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 24. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was 37 and I got into graduate school 18 years after I finished my BA. I didn’t have my period until I was 17; I was still losing baby teeth in junior high. I didn’t drink until I was in college, and didn’t do drugs until after I’d left. I got my first tattoo at 30. I rode a water slide for the first time last summer; I played baseball for the first time last month. I didn’t find my first friend until I was in fifth grade, and I found my true love when I was almost 40.

* * *

At my first Invisalign consultation, I offered up an eager, toothy grin. The hygienist took my photo, printed it out, and stapled a copy to my chart, so whenever I return for checkups, I see it there. My hair is thin and friable, the color of damp straw, my neck ropy and straining. I look like an emu.

At my initial consultation, I explained to Dr. F that I was hoping to fix the large gap between my front teeth. Dr. F assured me brightly that the gap was just one of many, many things wrong with my teeth. A series of 3-D images and X-rays revealed that I had both a significant overbite and a crossbite, the latter responsible for the slight visible asymmetry of my chin. I had a major gap between my two front teeth, of course, but the spacing of my teeth was uneven throughout, crowded on the bottom and rangy on top. Several of my teeth were twisted, most uneven, and I had a chip in my front left. My front teeth were too big, or my gums too small — the effect was very horsey either way. 

I sat through this litany of my many imperfections, my face set in a tight, conciliatory grin.

“Your gums show too much when you smile,” he said.

My teeth were supposed to be done last July, but I’m still waiting. Forty-year-old teeth are stubborn.

I was made to sign a stack of waivers and disclaimers acknowledging what Invisalign could and could not do for my teeth. Invisalign is a purely cosmetic fix, not a structural one. Invisalign can shuffle your teeth within your jaw like Scrabble tiles in their tray, but it cannot change the alignment of your jaw itself. Traditional metal braces would go further to fix some of the issues with my teeth, if I chose them, but they are more effective on adolescents whose bones are still malleable. My bones had spent 39 years solidifying into their present shape. At this point I’d need major jaw surgery to correct my overbite, Dr. F explained, and even then it wouldn’t change the size and shape of my palate.

“I thought there were palate expanders and things, I remember when I was a kid —”

“Oh yes,” Dr. F interrupted cheerfully, “you can fix absolutely anything when you’re young.”

* * *

My father has held many different jobs in his life, from taxi driver to short-order cook, shipping clerk, retail salesman, janitor. When he met my mom he was working at a factory that made drapes. Eventually he fell into being a purchasing agent and he worked for various manufacturing companies until, at age 63, his employer outsourced all their manufacturing overseas and pushed him into early retirement. But he couldn’t really afford to retire, and so he went to work as a substitute teacher. It was simply expedient, at first, but he loved being a teacher and he was good at it. Kids loved him, fellow teachers loved him, parents loved him. He went back to school to get his teaching credential to become a full-time elementary school teacher. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him. At 63, after a lifetime of jobs that were simply jobs, he had found his calling.

I tell this story all the time — because I’m proud of my father, but also because it comforts the listener, and it comforts me. I usually sum it up with some pat sentiment like, “It just goes to show, you really can do anything at any age!” 

* * *

When my children were with their dad, Zac and I would stay downtown in the industrial conversion loft he shared with three roommates and a cat he loved like a baby because he’d never had a baby. The building was a hulking concrete and brick shell choked with vines, its interior walls thrown together by the many resident architecture students. We’d order pizza and go sit up on the roof, where his neighbors gathered on summer nights for concerts and parties, or just to look out over the rooftops of the city and feel good about Los Angeles. 

Then we’d climb down a ladder through the ceiling to his bedroom, a concrete cube only a few inches wider than his bed. His clothes hung from an exposed metal rack, and a small air conditioning unit was mounted unsteadily into the small window above our heads. The room was dark and cool — freezing in winter — and cars rolled over the 4th Street bridge all day and night.  

* * *

Invisalign is a system of clear plastic aligners, each a mold of your teeth, that you wear at all times except when eating. Every Sunday night I put in a new set of aligners, top and bottom, one slight correction closer to perfection. Every two months I return to Dr. F’s office to pick up my next set of eight aligners, each in its own resealable plastic bag. My treatment plan was supposed to take 18 months, or 78 little plastic bags.

This is my 48th week of Invisalign and the gap between my two front teeth is definitely closing. When I’m wearing the retainers, the space almost disappears, and I get a little preview of what I’ll look like when I’m done. I am still, for better or worse, recognizably me.

* * *

The truth about my dad is somewhat more complicated. He does love teaching, and he is great at it. But he’s 70 now, still taking night classes, still attending training workshops, still working with a mentor. He works the equivalent of three full-time jobs. He is subject to age discrimination in hiring, to exhaustion and chest pains and second-guessing. Not to mention the decades he spent doing things he didn’t love until he found, belatedly, the thing he did. 

* * *

It didn’t occur to me that Invisalign would hurt, perhaps because they were just flimsy plastic sleeves and not metal braces. The day I had them put in, Dr. F filed down some of my teeth and cemented anchoring brackets onto others, without any anesthesia. My jaw ached from holding my mouth open for so long. Then there was the actual movement of the teeth themselves, a part of me that hadn’t moved since infancy now subjected to a sudden geologic violence.

When I got back to our house after my first appointment, I was starving but it hurt too much to eat. Zac took a bite of a Snickers bar, chewed it up, and spat it into my mouth.

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Zac had three children but no babies. He was 29 and I was 37. He said that with or without babies, he’d still choose me. I said he might change his mind. We went on a 14-mile hike and we argued about it the entire way, 7 miles up and 7 miles down. 

The night of the company Christmas party, I made a joke about how we’d probably never have kids, and he went outside crying. I caught up to him in front of a tequila-themed sports bar whose patrons were sloshing off the patio and we fought while people all around us shouted at the TVs. We were blocking the valet line, him still crying and me begging him to come back inside, while the black-jacketed valets carried on indifferentl around us, edging SUVs right up to the backs of our knees. At last we made it into our Lyft and we spoke to our bedroom ceiling until the room lightened into dawn.

* * *

The last time I spoke to my dad on the phone, he was thinking of going back to manufacturing. There are a lot of temporary jobs in Reno now, he said, and he has the experience. He loves his students and the work he does, but the administrative wrangling is wearing him out. He got his certification through a program called ARL, or Alternative Route to Licensure, and now it turns out some routes are better than others.

* * *

Today, Moana was bidding her dying grandmother farewell, on mute, while Dr. F frowned over my incisors. There was a gap between the tooth and the aligner that would necessitate new X-rays, new scans, and everything starting all over again.

My teeth ache a little now all the time, under a steady and unrelenting pressure just this side of ignorable. The aligners force a pinched, disapproving expression that ages me 10 years. Then there’s the business of taking them out for every snack, every drink, every meal, and keeping them clean. Nothing makes you feel more like an old lady than slipping your teeth out of your mouth, except perhaps leaving them to soak in blue liquid in a bowl on the bathroom counter.

With all the extra brushing and flossing I do now, I have plenty of time to inspect my teeth. Before all of my ire was directed toward that one gap, but now that it’s improving, I’ve started really looking at all the other problems with my teeth, the problems Invisalign can’t fix. My front teeth are too long and my incisors too pointy. My teeth are too yellow. When I smile my eyes scrunch up too much and my sharp nose points like an arrow directing attention toward my asymmetric chin.

Still, I’ve been smiling more often, though tentatively, and not in a way I would exactly describe as natural. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to smile as effortlessly as people who’ve had four more decades of practice. At times I doubt whether Invisalign has done anything much at all. Are they like Dumbo’s feather, simply giving me the confidence to bare the teeth I might have bared all along? I suppose that might be considered an uplifting ending, but then Dumbo’s feather didn’t cost him $3,000.

* * *

We did everything at once. There wasn’t time or space to date casually, get serious, move in, calm down, get married and then have a baby. The first years we had so much living to do: moving once and then moving again, getting a pet, burying a pet, having sex until 2 in the morning and waking at 6 to pack the lunches, the ovulation test kits and love letters and the fractious night driving, the family vacation where all three children vomited in the car. Sometimes I think it’s easier to have young children in the early days of a relationship, when the fresh intensity of your attachment can mitigate all the stress and exhaustion. When the house is asleep I put my head on his chest and he sings to me, his low voice sounding far but not distant.

‘Oh yes,’ Dr. F interrupted cheerfully, ‘you can fix absolutely anything when you’re young.’

Strangers constantly stop us on the street to tell us we look so happy, excuse me, but they’ve just never seen such a happy couple before. 

The night we moved in together, into a three-bedroom rental house in Burbank, I cried because I wished I could have done all of it with him the first time. I sat on a hard-backed chair in the living room because we didn’t have a sofa yet. Zac moved in with only his books, his computer, and clothes. I had taken only a fraction of my things with me in the divorce, but still I had so much stuff: potted plants and a slow cooker, a sugar bowl from my old wedding registry, a box labeled “kids’ artwork,” plastic tubs of Christmas ornaments, and a 3-foot-tall wooden dollhouse.

That night Zac wandered into the empty living room in the middle of brushing his teeth. Through foam, he said, “I missed you.”

* * *

We got married at 3 in the afternoon on a warm day in June, 89 degrees and unusually humid for Los Angeles. I had ordered a dress for the occasion, pale blue tumbled with sprays of little red roses, but by the time it arrived I’d already grown too big to wear it, so about an hour before the ceremony I pulled on an old jersey dress with gray and white stripes that stretched over my pregnant belly like a dizzying optical illusion. My sister and her boyfriend flew down from Reno to be our witnesses.

Zac wanted a proper wedding, but I wasn’t sure. “I already had a wedding.”

“But I didn’t.”

We drove to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office in Van Nuys. The office looked like a DMV, with linoleum floors and snaking lines of people clutching forms in their sweaty hands. The walls were painted avocado and lemon meringue, the colors of appetizers in a 1950s cookbook. A sign read “Birth, Marriage, Death” with an arrow pointing down the hall.

The couple in line ahead of us brought along a group of relatives, all dressed up and holding armloads of flowers. They went into the chapel for about 15 minutes and emerged looking excited. 

When it was our turn, we went in to find the justice of the peace, a short, energetic woman with dark brown curls wearing thick glasses and a black robe. She stood in front of a heart-shaped metal arch swathed in pale green tulle and fake flowers; on the wall behind her, little puff balls of orange, white, and yellow tulle hung from what appeared to be a giant coat hanger. The only other furniture in the room was a small table, covered in a white tablecloth and decorated with a vase of plastic flowers, and an empty office trash can. 

The wedding chapel was in a side room with its own door, but the partition wall stopped about two feet from the ceiling, so we could still hear the grumbles of the people on the other side, requesting certified copies of their birth certificate.

The justice of the peace asked if we had prepared any vows. We answered no and she politely carried on, as though she’d accidentally raised a sensitive topic and was now trying to tactfully change the subject. She asked if we had any rings to exchange. We said no again, and she made a comment about how we didn’t need rings — our real gift was the baby-to-be.

She asked us to hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes, something we both found acutely embarrassing. She declared us man and wife. My sister took pictures and then we all went to Disneyland.

* * *

Our baby is named Margaret Héloïse. She was born on September 21 when I was 39 years old. September 21 is the start of a new season, but it’s a late season, too.

* * *

If you want to really surprise someone, try proposing to them a month after you’ve gotten married. We went out to dinner and Zac gave me his great-grandmother’s ring.

This summer we will have our second wedding. In the course of one year I will have gotten married, gotten engaged, had a baby, turned 40, and then gotten married again. Beatrice, 10 years old, has named herself a “junior bridesmaid,” a concept she read about in a bridal magazine. Five-year-old William will be the ring bearer, and we’ve dubbed Margaret the Baby of Honor. Arthur, 8, wants to pull her down the aisle in a wagon covered in flowers. 

My teeth were supposed to be done last July, but I’m still waiting. Forty-year-old teeth are stubborn. Each time I go in I tell Dr. F they’re good enough, but Dr. F is a perfectionist. The space between my two front teeth, the one that started all this, looks OK to me, but my crowded bottom teeth resist rearrangement. 

I’ve started printing out photos of me and Zac together, smiling. They’re mostly selfies, mostly not very good ones. Neither of us likes to have our picture taken, and it shows. But here’s one of us smiling in front of redwood trees, one at the beach. Some from his old apartment, one trick or treating with the kids. There’s one of us smiling at the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office, one at Disneyland, and a picture of me with Margaret, a few minutes old, wet against my chest — and I’m grinning wildly, artlessly, showing all my teeth.

* * *

Summer Block has written short fiction, poetry, and essays for The Awl, Catapult, The Toast, The Rumpus, and Electric Lit. She is writing a book about Halloween.

Editor: Cheri Lucas Rowlands

When Friendship Fades But the Images Linger

Photos by Cody Doherty & Barron Roth, Illustration by Homestead Studio

Eryn Loeb | Longreads | August 2019 | 14 minutes (3,579 words)

It started with pictures of Alice. She didn’t mind being put in awkward situations or uncomfortable positions for the sake of a photo. That made her a good friend. I put a tangled Rapunzel wig on her head, a plastic gun in her hands. I had her stand in the middle of the road, wearing a plaid bathrobe. Straddle a highway median in a tulle skirt and sneakers. Swan around the woods in a feather boa. She had a classically pretty face that could suggest everyone or no one. I blazed through rolls of black and white film, which I developed in my high school darkroom with clumsy chemistry and a pounding heart.

On the strength of those pictures, I was accepted to a summer photography workshop in Rockport, Maine. A small group of us — mostly but not entirely college students and recent grads — paid reduced tuition in exchange for doing odd jobs: hosing down vans, painting picnic tables, moving furniture. When we were lucky, we got to pay our dues in the darkroom, turning around contact sheets and prints for students who attended the pricey weeklong workshops, many of them taught by famous photographers like Mary Ellen Mark, Eugene Richards, and Joyce Tennyson. For those more typical students, relationships and revelations were fast-tracked. We watched their tentative arrival and swift blossoming, the compressed intensity between introductions and teary-eyed goodbyes. Our own seven week stretch wasn’t all that long, really, but measured in units of other people’s personal growth, it felt almost permanent.

It was summer and I was 19, living with a bunch of other young people who had stepped away from their fledgling lives to devote time to some version of art. Maine was dreamy, with quiet stretches of woods full of swimming holes and rope swings, lobster traps stacked in pleasing geometries. There was a glass-blowing studio in the ground floor of the house where we lived, and an old cemetery just down the road. I liked to walk around and take pictures of elaborately carved headstones memorializing wives and mothers, running my fingers over their names and honorifics. I was never without my camera. I spent hours in the darkroom but still found time to get sunburned.

When I wasn’t out shooting or cooped up printing, one of my favorite places was the library. It was a hot, lofted area in the small campus’ main building. A sign posted at the base of the stairs gave me solemn shivers. “Enter with respect for the knowledge that resides herein and with honor for those who are about to share with you their secrets and wisdom,” it read. “Maintain a serene presence.” I sat on the floor and pored over monographs: Francesca Woodman’s pictures of herself crouching in corners, hanging from window frames, a wild blur in an abandoned house. Nan Goldin’s pictures of herself and her friends all tangled up in each other, the color shots suffused with adulation and danger. Justine Kurland’s Girl Pictures, feral despite their polish. Judy Dater organized her images by gender; portfolios of men, of women.
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