Saturday, April 11, 2009

widowhood = slapsticky humiliation

Joyce Carol Oates.

Have you thought about writing a memoir? I wanted to write a memoir about being a widow. It was going to be the opposite of Joan Didion. Hers is beautiful and elegiac. Mine would be filled with all sorts of slapstick, demeaning and humiliating things. Like trash cans whose bottoms are falling out.

Do you think widowhood is properly understood? I think that Didion took it on a very high plane, and she does have assistants and maybe a maid. But it’s actually a very hardscrabble experience. It’s not placid and tragic so much as it’s physically arduous.

From an interview conducted by Deborah Solomon.