Favorite Quotes

"For my totem, the alley cat. We share the situation of small predators who easily become prey. I have my equivalent of claws and teeth, and indeed my arched back and loud hiss are my best defenses. When I need to hide my size and weakness, I can look fiercer than I am, but when I cannot talk or threaten or argue my way out of trouble, then I am in a lot of trouble. We are scavengers in the alleys and streets of a society we do not control and scarcely influence. We survive and perish both by taking lovers. Freedom is a daily necessity like water, and we love most loyally and longest those who allow us at least occasionally to vanish and wander the curious night. To them we always return from the eight deaths before the last."

from Braided Lives by Marge Piercy

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Haunted unease

Raven Girl

Title: Raven Girl
By: Audrey Niffenegger

Raven Girl is an illustrated fairy tale for adults. Somehow, a postman and a raven have a child together. When the egg hatches, their daughter has the body of a human but can only speak in Raven. Her main goal in life is one day to be able to fly, but she goes through childhood with no possibility of doing so. And then, one day, it becomes possible...

Raven Girl is a very quick read. The dark-hued artwork helps the reader absorb the atmosphere of surreal dream-logic mixed with undertones of alienation and humor (such as the human-formed Raven Girl distrusting cats because her mother, who is a bird, taught her to).

I'm still skeptical about technology's role in Raven Girl: it fulfills the same narrative functions as magic, but still feels like an external element that cannot be resolved within the framework of a fairy tale. Then again, perhaps a feeling of haunted unease is what Niffenegger considers an appropriate reaction to the modern world. Her eerie but beautiful illustrations certainly would suggest so.

View similarly tagged posts: graphic novel

Posted by Xenon on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8 a.m.


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