Saturday, July 16, 2011

From the long overdue (re)readings (IX)

I have heard them all. I do not have a favorite.  I do not know what they mean. Though "Cake" sounds to my ears like the English name "Kate." A "Kate" who is good enough for GertrudeStein to eat is a "Cake," I say to myself and smile. Bão would be proud. "Slip your own meanings into their words," he said, a bit of advice that has saved me. Language is a house with a host of doors, and I am too often uninvited and without the keys. But when I infiltrate their words, take a stab at their meanings, I create the trapdoors that will allow me in when the night outside is too cold and dark. When I move unnoticed through the rooms of 27 rue de Fleurus, when I float in a current swift and unending, and I hear Miss Toklas offering to GertrudeStein, "Another piece of Cake?" I can catch my breath and smile.

— Monique Truong, The Book of Salt, pp. 155-56

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