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In mirrors

I'm still very much enjoying Boy, Snow, Bird, which is doing all kinds of complicated things, things I'm still trying to stretch my mind around, while at the same time telling a comprehensible story in an intriguing way.

This section is told from Bird's point of view (Bird is the dark-skinned daughter whose birth reveals that her father's family have all been passing). She doesn't always appear in mirrors, which makes her fascinated by how other people regard themselves in mirrors:

Grammy Olivia avoids her own gaze and looks at her hair. Gee-Ma Agnes peeps reluctantly and then looks glad, like her reflection's so much better than she could have hoped for. Aunt Mia shakes her head a little, Oh, so it's you again, is it? Louis tenses and then relaxes--Who's that? Oh, all right, I guess I can live with him. Dad looks quietly irritated by his reflection, like it just said something he strongly disagrees with. Mom locks eyes with hers. She's one of the few people I've observed who seems to be trying to catch her reflection out, willing it to make one false move. (p. 185-186)

And now the story enters an epistolary phase--complicated by the gift of a pen whose ink vanishes. . .

A propos of nothing--well, fairy tales, maybe?--some rosa multithornaflora


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2015 04:49 pm (UTC)
What a lovely passage.

That sounds like a book I must read.
Jun. 6th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
I really like it. It's unsettling in odd ways! And engrossing.
Jun. 6th, 2015 04:20 am (UTC)
loved that book!
Jun. 8th, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
Me too! (Well, so far at least!)
Jun. 6th, 2015 08:24 am (UTC)
The book sounds very involving - like following a thread through a labyrinth? The rose is beautiful.
Jun. 8th, 2015 12:16 am (UTC)
It is *definitely* involving.
Jun. 8th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
This is probably apropos of nothing, but this made me think about how much it shocked me upon my long-ago-arrival in France to see how frank and unabashed the French are about looking at their reflections. I found the lot of them oddly narcissistic, always staring at themselves in storefronts and the windows of metro cars... I don't think now that it was narcissism (or not all of it) but rather a lack of false modesty. They wanted to make sure they looked "all right" and so did it, without worrying about what anyone else thought.
Jun. 10th, 2015 03:14 am (UTC)
This is interesting: people think something is bad when if they themselves did it, they'd be doing it for some venal reason... like, the people who judge others for looking at themselves frankly in the mirror condemn it because if they themselves did that, it would be out of vanity. But the others aren't doing int out of vanity. I think the same line of thought could get people to chill out about folks taking lots of selfies.
Jun. 10th, 2015 06:49 am (UTC)
We humans are very good at assigning our own motives to the actions of others, aren't we?
Jun. 18th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
We sure are.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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