Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Judy Garland to the Rescue

I just read a piece in the March issue of Vogue (the one with our new first lady on the cover--a first lady with arm muscles!  I love her!) that has stuck in my mind.  It is an excerpt from a memoir by Susie Boyt called My Judy Garland Life, coming out in April.  She is the author of four novels, and a daughter of Lucian Freud.  She grew up with what seemed to the rest of her family to be an excess of old-fashioned emotion.  She felt tentative and out of step among her confident siblings.  She thought it the height of virtue to smile through one's tears.  Then--she discovered Judy Garland.  It was a revelation that strong, serious feeling did not have to be squelched out of shame.  Instead, intense and even difficult feelings could be seen and presented "as the best things life contains."  Later in life, she found listening to Judy sing to be her only solace in a time of deep grief.  

With the combination of telling detail (e.g., as a child, she wanted to try a pineapple pina colada without rum to experience having a cocktail) and a precise analysis of the mysteries of her own emotions, it somehow made sense that she is the great-granddaughter of Sigmund.   She's a funny Freud: "Obsessions are often born out of avoidance.  I've known for a long time that these crucial flashes of fellow feeling take you over when there's something else looming that you are trying hard not to see."  

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New York, NY, United States
Overeducated mom, addled by constant interruptions due to demands of family and dog, trying to read books and write coherent sentences about them. Luckily, yoga keeps me centered. Sharing my love of yoga through teaching helps make sense of it all. I have a yoga blog at susiemarplesyoga.com. Since 2015, it has been my pleasure to serve as a reader for Epiphany, a literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art; on Twitter as @epiphanymag. http://profile.to/susiemarples http://pinterest.com/susiem66

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