Laura Gonzalez

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25 Oct 2013

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens***

Reading dates: 15 August — 24 October 2013

I cannot say I enjoyed reading this. It has the characteristic Dickens pace, the interesting details, but when he is describing Paris pre-1789, he is like fish out of water. Yet, the last third of the book, the period of La Terreur where all the threads tie together, is absolute genius. It is elegant, dramatic, incredibly orchestrated. For example, towards the end, there is an encounter between two women in an empty flat, assessing each other, mortal enemies. One speaks French, the other English and without knowing the other’s language, they understand the threat they represent, the moral, political and national opposition they are to each other. That part is phenomenal to read. The first two thirds of the book, of course, set this up. I know this is necessary, but these parts are too unconnected, too bitty, too difficult to understand in terms of narrative. The book is a perfect example of why you should bear with it sometimes, complete its reading and assess it in its entirety. This story needed the drama of the guillotine, the true protagonist of the novel. For the feeling it left me with, and for those last wonderful passages, it gets more than the 2/3 of 5* it deserves.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading


One Response to “A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens***”

  1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens *** said:

    […] because Dickens is an excellent writer from whom I learn very much. Like A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities, though, it made me want to come back to my own […]

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.