Saturday, September 19, 2009

In a New York Times Magazine article about the writer Margaret Drabble that ran on September 13, 2009, there was a small picture of Drabble and her friend, the writer Edna O'Brien, standing around at a party in the 1970's. Looking at this picture gave me a whole other take of O'Brien's superb writing.

Edna O'Brien was gorgeous. Beautiful, a stunner. I almost gasped at her beauty looking at this thumb-high reproduction of a snapshot. (Margaret Drabble looked like reasonably attractive writer standing around at a party.)

If you could take dourness and skillfully cut it into a gleaming gem, that would be the view of human nature presented in Edna O'Brien's writing. We don't look good.

The writing is very well done and convincing. I have to rest after reading Edna O'Brien.

Physical beauty doesn't bring out the best in human observers. It often evokes in people who see it something much like desperate, self-centered greed. A person walking around on planet Earth being beautiful has many chances to see the everyday yuck of how people are. Any writing by Edna O'Brien is a useful bucket of cold water on mushy mindedness.