Laura Gonzalez


4 Mar 2017

Ripley Under Water by Patricia Highsmith****

Reading dates: 04 February – 02 March 2017

Although still not the best in the series, Ripley Under Water is better conceived than the previous book. Ripley was bound to get a stalker at some point so the main thread of the story makes sense. I am still not sure about the quality of the plot but the simplicity of the resolution is coherent in terms of Highsmith’s universe. Ripley is lucky, though, too lucky, but this is a novel and I will forgive that. Like most of the story lines, it all keeps coming back to book 2 and sometimes I wonder if Ripley ever has a thought for Jonathan (from book 3) or the boy who followed him (from book 4). It seems odd these characters are never mentioned again. Is Ripley so cold hearted, so self-centred, so focused on his own protection? In this novel, we travel to Tangiers and we still get plenty of the Paris suburbs. Place and anxiety are the two best attributes of the series, I think.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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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.