Eating the Edible Woman 

Monday, June 12, 2006

Having read Margaret Atwood's first novel, The Edible Woman, I have a few thoughts left to dissolve:

  • "A cicada was singing in a tree nearby, its monotonous vibration like a hot needle of sunlight between the ear." (chapter 4) I always thought cicadas sounded like robot drones, but I'll accept this.
  • Ainsley has a poster of silent film sex symbol Theda Bara (chapter 5). The actress, whose name, others have pointed out ominously, is an anagram for Arab Death, ended her career when her husband disapproved of his wife continuing her job after marriage.
  • Of a foreign film that Marian considers seeing (chapter 14): "In her present state she did not feel like writhing through intensities and pauses and long artistic closeups of expressively twitched skin pores." As a foreign film buff, I say Ha!
  • From chapter 15: "He's beautifully toilet-trained now, he uses his plastic potty almost every time, but he's become a hoarder. He rolls the shit into little pellets and hides them places, like cupboards and bottom drawers. You have to watch him like a hawk. Once I found some in the refrigerator, and Joe tells me he just discovered a whole row of them hardening on the bathroom windowsill behind the curtain. He gets very upset when we throw them out. I can't imagine why he does it; maybe he'll grow up to be a banker."
  • In chapter 20, Marian's family breathes a sigh of relief: "...Their fears about the effects of her university education, never stated but always apparent, had been calmed at last. They had probably been worried she would turn into a high school teacher or a maiden aunt or a dope addict or a female executive, or that she would undergo some shocking physical transformation, like developing muscles and a deep voice or growing moss." Which reminds me, Taiwanese girls are freaked out about developing muscles. "No, I don't dare walk up that hill - what if I build muscles?" Oh, if only it were so easy to buff up. The growing moss part - I am intrigued, Margaret.
  • "There was a fizzling sound, and Trevor appeared dramatically in the doorway, holding a flaming blue sword in either hand." This snippet from chapter 22 deserves its addendum, uttered by Trevor himself: "I just love things flambĂ©."

Our first book club meeting concluded with cake-making, in keeping with chapter 30's defining moment:

Creating the Edible Woman

Unlike the fully dressed version that Marian made, we opted for a bikini'ed edible woman:

Full Length Edible Woman

As you can see, the hair is the same "masses of intricate baroque scrolls and swirls, piled high on the head and spilling down over the shoulders."

Edible Woman  Face

We also used the only three colours available to Marian, red, green and yellow, as well as "globular silver decorations" for her eyes. We added some globular silver decorations to her belly button.

VoilĂ !

Finished Edible Woman

MaikoPunk poses with the finished product before we all dug in and destroyed her.

It took us a while to decide on our next book, as MaikoPunk begged for a nonfiction work. We finally agreed on Evelyne Lever's translated Marie Antoinette biography when we realized we could host the next book club meeting on Bastille Day!

No decisions yet on how to commemmorate this book.

you kinda have to let them eat cake, don't you?

and really, who needs an excuse to eat more cake....
Hmm, cake or death?
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