Laura Gonzalez


14 Jan 2015

The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy***

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Reading dates: 01–13 January 2015

After finishing Pride and Prejudice and deciding to concentrate on reading poetry together for the time being, we settled on Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate. This collection writes women into history: Quasimodo’s wife, Circe, Medusa, Frau Freud …

It starts with a high, sustained, note; with this beautiful re-writing of red riding hood:

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The body, sexual desire, destiny placed into the woman’s hands, a problematic relation to the partner, usually male, defining them and voice, words, language are common themes uniting each of the pieces. This, The Devil’s Wife, was my favourite:

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I must admit that when Neil read it and I listened, I did not know what it was about. The clue, Neil explained, is in the peroxide on the last section, Appeal. Read it again. The buried doll. The devil is Ian Brady; the wife, Myra Hindley. I read it forward, and back, and forward again. What a perfect narrative.

Other than these two, the other poems were good, but not better than that. Apart from one, which made me laugh out loud (what are the chances of that with poetry?):


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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.