“There is pleasure to be found,” writes the American stylist, Don de Lilo, “the writers, the readers, in a version of the past that escapes the coils of established history and biography and that finds a language, scented, dripping, detailed, for such routine realities as sex, weather and food, for the ravel of a red thread on a woman’s velvet sleeve.”
Now, I have to confess that I wish I had written that. But having got over my envy of a writer capable of such seductive prose, I want to point to the lesson it conveys.
De Lilo puts his finger on something that has long intrigued me: the delight that writers can find in the everyday. To quote Alison Bechdel again, apropos her graphic memoir:
“For a long time I resisted including my present-day interactions with mom in this book precisely because they’re so ‘ordinary.’ Then I started seeing…
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