So I am feverishly getting together my final musings on Hans Bellmer for the Women & Creativity Conference in Milwaukee. The trip draws near … I leave Wednesday and excitement has begun to build. Looks like there are some fascinating papers being presented this year … I am very much looking forward to the Mrs. Dalloway panel and also about the “Women and the Act of Writing Panel” with a paper about Joyce Carol Oates’ You Must Remember This. That book simply transfixed me and will always hold a special place in my heart since it was the first book I read the first night I was 5 hours away from home for the first time in a dormitory at Ohio University. The striking thing was that I read it only because it was Joyce Carol Oates (I didn’t know what it was about) and it ended up being a novel of about a family in the 1950s and I was missing mine.
I am also anxiously awaiting the discussion of sexual politics in The Wife of Bath. I will no doubt have a lot to write about after this conference … I hope to learn a lot from other scholars and meet some exciting people. And Anna … can’t wait to hang out with you again …
It was Hans Bellmer’s birthday last Tuesday, March 13th. I have often had a party for him … making a cake with doll parts strategically placed all through it. No party this year, though I did toast him and read his love letters (the ones he wrote) aloud. But this is the “big gift” … perhaps giving him an audience at the conference … more of one. I am very curious how this paper of mine will be received to a roomful of feminists and women’s studies scholars. This just wasn’t a worry when I presented my paper on New York School poet, Barbara Guest in 2003.
So here’s to nerdy fun in Milwaukee!
This image included here is from Therese Lichtenstein’s beautiful book about Bellmer. Citation information follows.
Lichtenstein, Therese. Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer. University of California Press, 2001.