Wednesday, June 06, 2007

40x365: Isabelle

About 40x365

To the old story—empty-nester mom gone back to school, getting in touch with her creativity1—Isabelle added aspirations to poetry2 and a belated infatuation with second-wave feminist theory3: Art, to Isabelle, was a mirror4 held up to her vagina5.

1 As described in Dan Clowes’s screenplay for Art School Confidential.

2 Isabelle’s poetry was often dense with footnotes, explicating some bit of slang or mythological allusion that she deemed obscure.6

3 See also this international archive.

4 cf. Hamlet, Act III, scene 2: [A]ny thing so overdone [takes away from] from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature, popularly paraphrased as “Art is a mirror held up to nature.”

5 cf. the “vagina workshop,” as described in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues7, 8

6 cf. T.S. Eliot.

7 The practice, as described by Ensler, may be apocryphal. See also Fried Green Tomatoes.

8 Though the provenance of the practice pre-Vagina Monologues is suspect, it is definitely a real practice now; a quick Google search revealed at least a half-dozen vagina workshops, mostly sponsored through the women’s studies departments of various universities. 9

9 For a similar phenomenon of life imitating art, cf. the masculine counterpart, the fight club.

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