Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Girls, Visions and Everything

I just finished Girls, Visions and Everything by Sarah Schulman. What an exciting, crackling book!

It's about a group of cool young theater dykes in the East Village in 1984, and, while exploring intimate relationships and sexuality it captures the distinct -- at times disturbing -- energy of New York City at that point in time.

The writing is terrific, propelling you forward with wit and humor, and the relationship at the core of the novel is sexy, tough, and touching.

It made me feel nostalgic for New York in the 80s, when there was still grit and tension in the city, still places to be poor and young. Although not safe. The dangerousness and bravery of being openly gay permeates. Anyway, it really captures a specific period of time, the early gentrification of downtown while there was simultaneously a thriving arts scene. It gave me a similar feeling as the Keith Haring show I saw recently, documenting a sliver of a moment.

A quote from Girls, Visions and Everything:

"There were so many feelings going around at the same time. There was the global plane, where, frankly, things looked bad and nobody wanted to face it. Like the neighborhood changing. Everybody knew it was going to happen and then that it was happening. Now it had finally happened. Just like the grotesque certainty of Ronald Reagan's re-election, no one could really accept how much more cruelty they'd have to see. But summer also brought new dimensions of feeling on the street, with different kinds of love and sex for each person. You saw someone and you wanted to touch them because you loved them, or because you didn't know them and they're pretty. Because they had a way of wearing an earring, or turning and smiling, or long special fingers. Your heart would just melt for that second and you'd want to kiss her breasts or suck his cock, the way Sal did. The air was murky and think enough to hide anybody's shyness. Because, even when the shit is hitting the fan, people still have good times."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds like the nostalgia people always feel for times past--'greenwich village is not the way it used to be--wow--you should have seen it in the 40,s, 50's, 60's, etc'--still I would love to read this particular book--thanx!