Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Big Blond"

This is the first time I've read Dorothy Parker's brilliant short story Big Blond. As I was reading it I kept think of the many versions of Big Blond I could write. Not just my own, but those of women I've known.

I think I've written a short version of the failed suicide attempt and the pain of finding yourself alive that comes after in Maggy. The chapter is called Crazy. It is for me, always the back story that I need. I want the map of how you got to be "Big Blond." How did I? It's a crazy childhood and a strange culture that gets a woman to that location. I have model friends in their early fifties by now who have gone MIA. Maybe into their Big Blond faze. I hope not, but fear it. Now I am again inspired to write more short stories. It was husband number three's metier, sacred territory for him. It took me twenty years after leaving him to dare to try. Still Life was my first attempt. I'm getting braver all the time. I'm itching to kick my drunken ex while he's in a drunken coma after pissing the bed. I'm wearing high heeled boots. My name is Judith Blue. His is Junior. We live in Springfield, Missouri, which I pronounce misery. It's in the works.

18 comments:

FranIAm said...

Ongoing wishes for the muse of bravery and creativity to be your constant companion.

I think you have been very courageous to say and explore the things you do. I can say some things, but I am just not there yet.

I never read Big Blond.

Stella said...

(applause)

Don't you think your writing resonates with Dot's? That's why I was entranced by your writing when I first stumbled across your blog. Utah, meet your literary sister...

Utah Savage said...

It's a classic. I highly recommend it. Odd that I got to be so old and never read her. Thanks Stella, thanks Nick. Probably a university English Lit education has something to do with it. Mostly male professors who would have considered her "minor." Bullshittery. She's a major talent. Kind of like our version of Colette--very different backgrounds but same kind of eye for the telling detail and very prolific.

Randal Graves said...

Write, write, write.

I've never read that either, but if she's Collette-ish, it's bound to be good.

Utah Savage said...

Read some of my fiction Randal, or better yet, poetry. I comment for you when you get on that stage. I don't expect applause, but criticism would be welcome. I know it sounds like begging, but you, of all people, should read other writer's poetry. Do you feel guilty yet?

DivaJood said...

Utah, one comment: for me, your writing comes alive and crackles with vitality when you are writing non-fiction. In the essay format, in the memoir format. When I read that, I am able to float along in the images you create. The poetry I have read on your poetry blog enters this arena for me as well - it just sings by itself.

Trust your voice. That's all I can say. And come by for a visit, you never stop by anymore.

Dusty said...

I love short stories. I think they are my favorite type of reading material.

Big Blonde was Parkers best imho.

You carrying the Parker torch dear heart. ;)

DCup said...

Keep going.

I love short stories.

Mauigirl said...

I'll have to read it - I've always been fascinated with Dorothy Parker but haven't actually read her work. I bought a collection of her stories recently and want to delve into them.

I look forward to your story!

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Love Parker, but that specific work I haven't read. I have read other blogs that have made me "Dorothy Parker Proud," you know, wow, cut to the shit, yet somehow there's bleeding that you don't need a band aid for.

I've never figured out that particular trick. I'm stuck in that damn Shakesperean world, where if you're cut, you'll bleed.

Jefferson and Adams were both very good at that sort of style, and they were entirely different folks, even nemeses. [Yes, that's the proper plural of nemesis. Learn Greek for gawds sake.]

For instance, Jefferson:

"Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801

Robert Rouse said...

I would have given anything to be part of the Algonquin Round Table. I know I would have been smitten with Dorothy Parker. And yes, I would still make passes even if she wore glasses!

Angry Ballerina said...

Holy shit...

I think I am in love with your blog....Or you...But thats just kinda creepy...

Randal Graves said...

I know, I am scum. I am the gunk on the bottom of my shoe after walking through a field of toxic sludge. I am heading there now. To your writings, not the field of toxic sludge. I'm not that close to DC.

Zing!

Dr. Zaius said...

Cool! I want to read the part where Judith Blue kicks Junior.

Utah Savage said...

Angryballerina, I used to visit you often. Loved your snarky site. I just tried to follow you home and oculdn't find you. What's up with that?

And what so creepy about loving me???

Stella said...

Dusty, have you read "An Arrangement in Black and White"? Talk about a scathing commentary on bigotry...

I've loved Parker for years and years. When she passed away in 1967, she donated all her estate to the NAACP and is buried at their headquarters in D.C.

She was an outspoken, unabashed liberal and has always been under appreciated as a great novelist, poet, and screenwriter.

Liberality said...

Wow, I just read that story by Dorothy last week. I love her work and her attitude and she gives voice to many women that we would otherwise never hear of in any other way.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Very good! Fab idea for a story, Utah.

I can't now remember if I've read Dorothy Parker. I know I've read something along the way...

I too love short stories. Chekhov, Katherine Ann Porter, de Maupassant,Edith Warton, Eudora Welty.

Peace,
pagan