By Angela Carter
From reflections on jazz and Japan via lively refashionings of vintage fairy stories to attractive snapshots of recent lifestyles in all its tawdry glory, Burning Your Boats charts the evolution of Angela Carter's tremendous magic imaginative and prescient in a quantity that assembles her massive legacy of brief fiction, together with early and formerly unpublished tales.
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Extra resources for Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories
But the Professor and his assistants immediately dismantled the scenery and put away the dolls who were, after all, only mundane wood and, next day, the play was played again. This is the story of Lady Purple as performed by the Professor's puppets to the delirious obbligato of the dumb girl's samisen and the audible click of the limbs of the actors. The Notorious Amours of Lady Purple the Shameless Oriental Venus When she was only a few days old, her mother wrapped her in a tattered blanket and abandoned her on the door-step of a prosperous merchant and his barren wife.
They paint amazing pictures on their skins with awl and gouge, sponging away the blood as they go; a tatooed man is a walking masterpiece of remembered pain. They boast the most passionate puppets in the world who mimic love suicides in a stylised fashion, for here there is no such comfortable formula as "happy ever after". And, when I remembered the finale of the puppet tragedies, how the wooden lovers cut their throats together, I felt the beginnings of unease, as if the hieratic imagery of the country might overwhelm me, for his boredom had reached such a degree that he was insulated against everything except the irritation of anguish.
Along the path were stalls where shirtless cooks with sweatbands round their heads roasted corncobs and cuttlefish over charcoal. We bought cuttlefish on skewers and ate them as we walked along. They had been basted with soy sauce and were very good. There were also stalls selling goldfish in plastic bags and others for big balloons with rabbit ears. It was like a fairground -- but such a well-ordered fair! Even the patrolling policemen carried coloured paper lanterns instead of torches. Everything was altogether quietly festive.