Thursday, February 10, 2011

A messenger, a smuggler, a weapon, a battle cry.

It's wonderful ain't it when two obsessions coincide?  Admittedly I've let the purse thread drop from this blog, but I've been writing about purses in my current novel and constantly thinking about them.  And well, the typing thing.  The sound of the typewriter is in my head a fair bit, shall we say.  I can tell you that I plotzed when I saw the above here.  Which led me to the Kate Spade site where I saw her book clutch.  Swoon!  Meanwhile, a friend pointed out Willow Rector's site to me.  She has a very lovely collection of handbags designed after women writers.

There have also been some purse references in some of the novels I've been reading lately and I thought I'd note them here.  Blog as notebook?  Why not.

From Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar:

Her college was so fashion-conscious, she said, that all the girls had pocket-book covers made out of the same material as their dresses, so each time they changed their clothes they had a matching pocket-book.  This kind of detail impressed me.  It suggested a whole life of marvellous, elaborate decadence that attracted me like a magnet.


From Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf:

This bag was no bag, this purse no purse, flowers no flowers, the fan no fan.  All were the plastic material of love, of magic and delight.  Each was a messenger, a smuggler, a weapon, a battle cry.


From Cynthia Ozick's Foreign Bodies:

A more conscientious guidebook, the one sequestered at the bottom of her capacious bag - passport, notepad, camera, tissues, aspirin, and so on - was not jaunty.



The purse as acute social marker - one that may suggest a whole life.  The bag as the material of love, the bag as smuggler.  And the bag as concealment device, capacious mode of sequestering.


More purse thoughts on the way.  Soon.