A Little Bit on ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’ – Michel Faber

I’ve been reading The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber for a couple of days, and I made a reaaaaally slow progress because I got so easily distracted.

And, God, I miss blogging.

Anyways, I love Michel Faber. I mean, I never even heard his name before I read this (or perhaps I have heard? And it’s only my poor memory made me forgot that I’ve even heard his name or read his other masterpieces?), and the first time I opened the book (after I bought the book looooong-long time ago), read the first page, the first sentence struck me already:

Watch your step.

That’s it. That’s all. That’s exactly the very first sentence that I quote from the book. At first, I thought, “What kind of opening is this, seriously?” It seems like a bad joke to me. But after I continued reading, it struck me more and more.

I love the way he played with words. Really.

I’m not an expert in literature, nor that I’m a literature addict. I juz love reading and I love to read how words can be combined with other words beautifully. It’s just like decorating your own house or your room–or anything that you like most!

After I move on to Part 2, I began to like him even more. I haven’t able to figure out where this story would lead to, but some opinions he put inside the book through the character really made me laugh.

Ironic. Sarcasm. Yet so true to me and real. And wonderfully arranged in sentences which would never seem enough for me to quote them here.

What would God, or the Force of Nature, or whatever is supposed to be holding the Universe together, possibly have in mind, by making it so difficult to be clean inside? What, in the grand scheme of things, is so uniquely precious about piss, shit or the makings of another pompous little man, that it should be permitted to cling to her innards so tenaciously?

‘God damn God,’ she whispers, tensing and untensing her pelvic muscles, ‘and all His horrible filthy creation.’

–Sugar, p. 133-134

‘Well,’ she sigh, ‘If only it could be resolved once and for all where we come from: from Adam, or from Mr. Darwin’s apes.’ — Mrs. Fox, p. 192

‘…”I know all about it, miss,” they say. “We’re to choose who was our grandparents: two monkeys or two naked innocents in the garden.” And they laugh, for both strike them as equally ridiculous.’ — Mrs. Fox, p. 192

Maybe I’m exaggerating. As soon as I finished reading the book someday (and I dunno when will that’ someday’ come), perhaps I’d regret posting this, and feelin how ridiculous I have been.

But let’s put those thoughts aside for now.

Let’s assume that I’m so into Michel Faber’s words right now.

Let’s assume how I become so in love with the way Michel Faber arranged the words and the sentences.

Oops, I forgot another part that I love. One of my fave one:

Sugar leans her chins against the knuckles of the hand that holds the pen. Glistening on the page between her silk-shrouded elbows lies an unfinished sentence. The heroine of her novel has just slashed the throat of a man. The problem is how, precisely, the blood will flow. Flow is too gentle a word; spill implies carelessness; spurt is out of the question because she has used the word already, in another context, a few lines earlier. Pour out implies that the man has some control over the matter, which he most emphatically doesn’t; leak is too feeble for the savagery of the injury she has inflicted upon him. …

Spew, she writes, having finally been given, by tardy Providence, the needful word. …

Only a word! A single word; where one of the lead character, a prostitute named Sugar, who turns out to be intelligent, and was writing a novel, was trying to pick the right word! Michel Faber put it in a quite long 2-3 paragraphs.

Maybe I was exaggerating.

But seriously, I love it.

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Laksmi

An MA student at Waseda University, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyo, Japan. An avid reader. A language geek as well. And a book hoarder.

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