About That Ninotchka Rosca Story (“The Goddess”)

Crawling along in her reading of it, self is crawling along.

It is the anti-romance, anti-Maria Clara story of all time.

The heroine is an office worker whose uniform makes her look ugly during the day.  At night, in the hands of an expatriate Frenchman, she blooms into a siren.

He missed an appointment.  The gin was stale in her mouth when she went home.  In the morning there were purple circles under her eyes.  She felt as sticky as a salamander.  He apologized, complained of fatigue and the heat, but never restored the third day to their routine.  Martha began to find her typed papers soggy with tears.  She stared at the walls with suspicion.

He missed another appointment.  Martha had stomach cramps the whole day.  When he finally showed up in his red Porsche, Martha climbed in grimly.  “Smile,” he said.  “I’m here.”  She reached over and leaned on the car horn.  A wail ripped through the night’s stupor.  He had to knock her arm aside.

What, self hardly dares to ask, will happen to this creature of wiles and despair?

Much thanks to Isagani R. Cruz for editing the anthology The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century.  Her only copy is hardback, signed by three of the authors, one of them Charlson Ong.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Today, 4th Saturday of September (2012): Among Other Things, Giants!

The San Francisco Giants clinched the National League West Title!  WOO-HOO!

And self got to scarf down a whole plateful of chicharon bulaklak!

Morning Light, In the Rodin Gallery, San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor

Self had been wanting to see the Man Ray/Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism exhibit (ending October 14), and she finally did get to see it today.

Some Thoughts:

Lee Miller was absolutely beautiful.  And her trajectory —  from Vogue model, to photographer, to chronicler of the end of World War II (SS corpses in a shallow canal; the bodies of the Mayor of Leipzig, his wife and daughter; shaven-headed women being paraded through the streets of Rennes, in France) — was stupefying.

Some of the most interesting pieces in the exhibit were the ones Man Ray produced after Miller left him, in 1932.  Things such as the photograph of the eye fastened to a metronome, and titled “Object to be Destroyed.”  Some students actually snatched the original from an exhibit, and destroyed it in a gesture against, they claimed, “the commercialization of modern art.”  But Man Ray used the insurance payment to produce a hundred more, of which the piece in the Legion of Honor exhibit was one.

There was a smaller, equally fascinating exhibit:  Rene Bouché:  Letters From Post-War Paris.  Bouché was doing a piece on post-war Paris for British Vogue, and as he toured 1945 Paris, his sketches of American servicemen, French women, theater audiences, orchestras, cafés, parades were tinged with disillusionment.

The Man insisted on going right when the Legion of Honor opened (as there were “four college games in the afternoon!”), which was a good thing because there was hardly anybody in the galleries, as this picture will attest:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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