By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

Book - 2015
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Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780586090398
Characteristics: xvi, 134 pages ;,20 cm.


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Banned in Canada from 1945-75 under the influence of Smart's family's political power due to its sexual documentation of Smart's affair with a married man.

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Oct 07, 2017

"I prefer corncobs to the genitals of men" (pg. 134). Some books can ruin themselves, and this one was ruined by that shocking obscenity (warmed up by reference to "darkie porters" on page 133). There are unannounced shifts in point of view and many shifts in mood (in the grammatical sense of the word), with abundant use of the imperative. It was an entrancing book up till then, never too clear, always keeping one on one's toes, and keeping one off-balance. The obscenity allowed me to think of the author: if a person who just happened to be born with male genitalia were to stalk and scheme (for three years!) to hook up with a woman he was obsessed with, merely from reading a book, we would consider him a super-creepy pervo-loser. If anyone doesn't believe that Miss Smart is a super-creepy pervo-loser, female version, it reveals their sexism.

Oct 14, 2014

I found reading this book problematic. The writing is beautiful, very poetic use of language. I recognise that Smart is in one sense a feminist icon, in terms of claiming her sexuality and defending her choice to follow her heart in the face of social disapproval. I found myself continually thinking "but what about Mrs. Barker's pain?", and being annoyed with Smart appearing to think that her great love allowed her to override that and disregard the other woman's feelings.

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