brothercyst: passage

Saturday, December 15, 2007


"The reality was, you only knew you were loved if you were left and returned to, if you were ignored and then craved. Occasionally you would be seen for slightly less than the sum of your parts, and that was love, too. Love announced itself with a sting, not a pat. If love was love, it was urgent and ripe and carried with it the faint odor of humiliation, so that there was always something to be made up for later, some apology in the works."

Alicia Erian, "The Brutal Language of Love"


paula said...

I too loved The Brutal Language of Love. I thought it was CONSISTENTLY brave and great- a hard thing for a collection.

Here's a link to an interview with Alicia - you need to scroll down a bit to get to the interviw part but I enjoyed it-

paula said...

Oops _ mean here it is"

Nick said...

That's a pretty good interview. For the record, what I particularly admire about her stories is how convincingly needy the characters are, but I did like this passage from the interview:

"Most sex scenes are best handled in a concrete and straightforward way. I like to think my sexual prose is the equivalent of a porno film, where there's not too much lovey-dovey stuff, in favor of lots of action. I like people to show their desire through their greediness. I like them to show their excitement through less-than-stellar choices made for the sole purpose of instant gratification. If I succeed in getting someone aroused with my work, it's because I've succeeded in removing all judgment from the scenario."

Also, I don't recall ever reading another interview with an author who repeatedly enthuses about her sex life with almost adolescent joy.

Nick said...

Interestingly, there's almost no actual sex at all in The Brutal Language of Love, although there's certainly a ton of it in Towelhead.

paula said...

I haven't read Towelhead, but I enjoyed her unguarded nature in that interview. I didn't find anything "erotic" about The Brutal Language of Love- I forget how much or how little sex there was in her stories. But I remember loving the whole book- reading the entire collection and finishing it with the feeling of being deeply impressed.

Nick said...

Yeah, I think she's a (relatively) unsung genius--really a magician of writing about (to reduce it to a sentence) how people need love and what they'll do to feel like maybe possibly they might have a chance at getting it.