A History in Furniture

July 11, 2019

An entire empire hangs in the chintz curtain,
Ming jars and roses suspended in a yellow
hue, look as if they will never fall.
Three tropical bird prints above my bed,
like small decorative hand pistols in a drawer.
The lamp is a vase with flowers on the outside,
shade, a dowdy garden tea party hat,
light steams below in strands of fair hair.
The Chippendale chest with brass
handles: mouths, tell silence is golden,
where dark bodies of trees fell in forests
to build chairs wing tipped as thrones,
the seated about to ascend. The ceiling
fan blade, a cricketer’s bat, sends the sun’s ball away, away in
every possible direction.

Nancy Anne Miller

Once it became acceptable to think of Dracula in terms of Victorian society’s most repressed and forbidden sexual fantasies, the question became one of whether these fantasies were heterosexual, homosexual or even bisexual. Every possible variation has been explored. Some have shone the spotlight on male desire, viewing Dracula as “the sexual fever-dream of a middle-class Victorian man, a frightened dialogue between demonism and desire” or as a novel obsessed with the definition of masculinity: “bestial male energy, here highly sexualized, is displaced onto the vampire”. In contrast, Christopher Craft argues that the conflict in Dracula is essentially homoerotic and is rooted in Dracula’s “unfulfilled sexual ambition to fuse with a male [Jonathan]. Always postponed and never directly enacted, this desire finds evasive fulfilment in an important series of heterosexual displacements”. Others have viewed sexuality in the novel in terms of late Victorian anxieties about degeneration, atavism, evolutionary theory, and reverse colonization.

Elizabeth Miller
Coitus interruptus: Sex, Bram Stoker, and Dracula

Character creation

July 11, 2019

The process by which I created my characters was instinctive, the sum of my whole experience of others and of my own potential self; and so it had always been. Sometimes I don’t actually meet a character I have created in a novel until some time after the novel has been written and published.

Muriel Spark
Loitering with Intent

act of writing

July 11, 2019

Writing is a body-intensive activity, totally. Absolutely, totally. The whole body is engaged in the act of writing, whether it’s on the computer, or with using a pen in the hands. The breath is involved in all activities.

Maggie O’ Sullivan
Close Listening conversation recorded on October 11, 2007

I take popular culture really seriously because I see in it a mirror that reflects our cultural lusts and longings and desires. Pop music in particular is really good at distilling desire, and I’m interested in the ways that those deep things in us as individuals — our fears and our desires — feed the global machine of racist, heteropatriarchal capitalism, and how it in turn feeds us. It’s a kind of loop. And the terms really are death: global death, species death, even our own deaths — like being hooked on the sugar juice of capital, whether it’s food, or credit. So, I find pop culture to be really, really serious, and that’s why it is so present in After We All Died, because it is a very important mirror.

Allison Cobb
Interview with Sue Landers 1st March 2017