Quotations for dating profiles
Afterward, Nelson may blush again or quickly smooth down her hair or say, even more quickly, “Right, right, right,” as a way of marking time, before continuing on with, or going deeper into, whatever she was talking about.Speaking freely but thoughtfully is important to Nelson, in part because as a kid she was teased for being a “Chatty Cathy,” and in part because she finds ideas irrepressible and exciting to explore.Not surprisingly, Nelson has a very precise relationship to language—and to the vicissitudes of personal history, including the self-mythologizing that goes into making a transformed self.She has published four volumes of accomplished verse, but it’s her prose works, which cover an array of intellectual and social issues, that have brought her a wider readership: the devastating “The Red Parts” (published in 2007 and reissued this month, by Graywolf), for instance, focusses on the aftermath of the 1969 murder of Nelson’s aunt and the trial, thirty-six years later, of a suspect in the case; in “The Art of Cruelty” (2011), Nelson explores the role of the body in an age of extremity; and in “The Argonauts” she questions what it means to be a lover, a parent, someone’s child—“heteronormative” roles—when you don’t feel heteronormative, let alone comfortable with such traditional labels as “gay,” “straight,” “female,” and “male.”In all of her books, Nelson picks at the underbelly of certainty and finds scabs—the white-male-patriarchy scab, the smug-female-thinker scab, the academic scab—and yet she gives these voices a place in her work, because, as her friend the novelist Rachel Kushner put it, “she knows exactly what kind of language, at this moment, what kind of views, are important, but she also understands that people are vulnerable and they get things wrong, not through malicious intent.What you find in her writing, rather, is a certain ruefulness—an understanding that life is a crapshoot that’s been rigged, but to whose advantage?Maggie met Harry in April, 2007, the year that “The Red Parts” came out. Back in the early nineties, in San Francisco, Harry had co-founded Red Dora’s Bearded Lady, a community-based performance space, and staged a number of solo pieces around the city, before joining Sister Spit, the now legendary spoken-word and performance-art collective—for a time, they were signed to Mr.Bruce was a lawyer—and a great talker, Maggie says—who travelled a lot during the early years of their marriage, leaving his wife home alone with two children.
A friend and I risk the widowmakers by having lunch outside, during which she suggests I tattoo the words HARD TO GET across my knuckles as a reminder of this pose’s possible fruits. (When the book was first published, the pair gave a joint interview in which Harry admitted that, several years into their relationship, he was “still getting used to being with someone who writes ‘personally.’ ” He went on, “I’ve been a very private person.
Central to “The Argonauts” is the story of Nelson’s great love for Harry Dodge, a West Coast sculptor, writer, and video artist who is fluidly gendered.
As Nelson embarks on her intellectual and emotional journey, Harry also goes on various excursions in order to become the person he is now, whom Nelson describes, quoting a character from Harry’s 2001 film, “By Hook or By Crook,” as neither male nor female but “a special—a two for one.”Sara Marcus, in an elegant and concise review of “The Argonauts,” for the Los Angeles , notes the way that Nelson circles “away and back again to central questions about deviance and normalcy, family-making and love.” What Nelson is asking, throughout the book, Marcus says, is “How does anyone decide what’s normal and what’s radical?
What kinds of experience do we close ourselves off to when we think we already know?
” Last month, the book won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, but long before that it was passed around and praised by any number of readers who knew nothing, or next to nothing, about Nelson’s interest in queerness, let alone lives like the ones her memoir grew out of and embodies.