Kavan

Two days in a row I’d recently read Anna Kavan books, and two nights in a row I had wicked nightmares. First it was a feverish dream of brutally killing unreal-dummy people I felt a harsh alienation to, slicing open their neck, blood gushing all over, in a terribly disaffected mood. Then I was pregnant. That should be enough to freak me out, but upon realising there was a person growing inside of me I couldn’t stop envisioning super gore images of the baby ripping me open, blood streaming everywhere etc. etc.

The first story I read, in Julia and the Bazooka, related a woman just released from a hospital, going out, standing in the traffic seemingly intentional and describing the subsequent hit with a car and blood gushing down the streets and drowning people with it. Near the end of this gruesome vision she writes: “Since the universe only exists in my mind, I must have created the place, loathsome, foul as it is.” I knew right then it was love. What could I do but almost obsessively read more?

Sleep Has His House is up to now my favourite, an autobiographical book told in a ‘night-time language, a dialect we have all spoken during our childhood’ with fiercely strong imagery and crazy symbolism which is occasionally too obscure to grasp thoroughly but by which the reader can easily fill in the gaps in his own way, creating his own meaning and symbolism mixed with the writer’s. It tells the story of Kavan’s increasing withdrawal from the world due to a lack of warm human contact, until she’s left in the darkness that she created.

Kavan sometimes writes poetically but always precise, cold and detached which regardless make her stories relatable in a frightening way to those experienced in those certain moods. And I’m just kinda in love.

Or something like this may happen while you are out for a walk in the country: you feel yourself quite alone for an hour you haven’t seen one living creature, not even a dog or a horse in a field, you seem to be miles from anywhere. And then in this solitude, out of the bushes at the side of the road, a sly face looks out at you, the face of an old man with a beard and a big hat such as is seldom worn these days. Just for a second he looks out at you. It’s really surprising to meet anyone in such a lonely place; but instead of saying Good day, he draws back, disappears into the wood, and you don’t see him again. What is it makes you feel this this old man has been watching you, perhaps following you for some time, hidden among the trees: that he has perhaps been sent to that out-of-the-way spot on purpose to see and report afterwards which track you are following, whether you turn to the right or the left at the crossroads at the foot of the hill?
Nobody knows the exact significance of those feelings which all of us have experienced: but that they bear some relation to our close surveillance by the authorities appears certain. if only it were possible to find out something definite. One feels under constant observation. One has the conviction that every trifling act is noted and set down either against one or in one’s favour. And at the same time one hasn’t the faintest clue to the standards by which one is being judged. How is it possible to avoid anxiety and indecision when a move of any kind involves the whole of one’s future status.

From Sleep Has His House

You imagined, you invented.

Shoes: neosens
Socks: asos.com
Everything else: second hand

I’m currently reading Anaïs Nin’s journals and after being a bit sceptic at first, I am becoming increasingly intrigued by Nin. Her writing sometimes seemed overly embellished (though that’s not the right word, maybe ‘pretty’ is?) and occasionally false to me, but after fifty odd pages I started realising that’s exactly what typifies Anaïs Nin’s character, she wants to please so much. She does it by sensuous movements, luscious perfumes and beautiful dresses, gloves, hats, shoes… She seduces and so do her words. Her writing style echoes her person, or rather the persona she has created, which cracks sometimes and shows her unbelievable emotional sensitivity and eventually her own insecurities.

In the book, she meets June Miller who comes up with elaborate lies about everything, Anaïs gets intrigued first by her beauty then why June lies so much. She realises that June lies to veil her extreme sensitivity, she does it because she lives in her own dreams. They bond. They even seem in love, but it’s not a sexual love (though it is sensual) it’s a womanly admiring love (my favourite), an extremely sensitive love. Every touch, a little movement at the corner of their mouth, all little winces they seem to grasp immediately of another. They laugh with Henry Miller’s emotional insensitivity. Reading this, it makes me feel obtuse for not being so sensitive to people’s emotional expression, and ultimately sad for not being like them. It sounds so beautiful. I’m only 100 pages in.

But I guess what makes attracts me so much to Anaïs is that her dream-like state mirrors my own, and this sentiment:

I have always been tormented by the image of multiplicity of selves. Some days I call it richness, and other days I see it as a disease, a proliferation as dangerous as cancer. My first concept about people around me was that all of them were coordinated into a WHOLE, whereas I was made up of a multitude of selves, of fragments.

Regarding clothing I definitely feel the same, I’m unsure whether I feel the same for my personality as well but maybe my doubting of that same sentiment might mean that I maybe I do, but maybe I don’t. Maybe this maybying signifies exactly that I do. Maybe it doesn’t. But it definitely intrigues me.

Anyway, I unconsciously matched my outfit with the book cover (yellow, pink).

Candy land

This silhouette is probably the most recurrent one in my entire wardrobe and I must’ve posted something similar several times. Yet, this is the epitome for me. It reminds me of old kid’s clothes with the boots and the puffy skirt and the socks and the leather bookcase. And I love it so. Once again I make myself look like a little girl.

In the recent past I’ve put an strange and shameful amount of thought into my preference of these kind of clothes and continually kept wondering things like ‘do I in any way perform my femininity, or rather girlishness to somehow get what I want?’ Of course not, because I only dress like this. But then I remember there’s always the fact that there is a collective aesthetic history that immediately links this to children, which can obviously make me look somewhat creepy as a 22-year-old. So I know this, I know what some people’s implications are but then I think about it and I realise that I do not care, have never cared and possibly will never care. I mean, why should these kind of clothes mean childhood and others adulthood? Why do people say clothes and fashion is trivial yet see them as very restricted and static, often with dubious meanings. Obviously there is the fact that clothes have a history of being signifier of class, religion etc. etc. (a fact most people these days stupidly ignore and coincidentally trivialize). But in the case of my preferred silhouette, etc., and all of those similar that stereotype people in a confined box just by a glance of their outfit, are they still applicable? Moreover, should anyone ever care? OF COURSE NOT. So I’ve decided to wallow in my own girlish taste and wear my teddy bear backpack and pigtails proudly, whenever I feel like it.