Friday, December 08, 2006
Jeanette Winterson, The Passion
Jeanette Winterson, The Passion. A beautiful compact small fairy tale. It has historical figures, but it's not historical fiction. A cook for Napolean and a Venetian pickpocket/courtesan/gondolier tell their stories. Elements of magic realism? Maybe surrealism? Not even really a romantic novel, despite the name and the cover; it's alternately creepy and precociously lovely. The narrators contemplate passion, disguise, truth, present, past, death, the nature of time... I'm not describing this well at all; I think it's the tension between gambling everything and choosing not to play that's the central conflict. Unclassifiable.