The Debutante and Other Stories – Leonora Carrington – Quotes

From introduction by Sheila Heti:

How many writers today would dare to write as Carrington does? Everyone tries to make so much sense – not only to themselves, but to others, especially. I don’t know if she was trying to make sense also to her Surrealist friends, but I know that sense was low on her list of values. Today it is too high. 

It is hard to imagine her as a mother, or living with a man. Her imagination feels too independent to have been embodied in the conventions and compromises a family brings. On the other hand, just because a person is free in art, doesn’t mean their life is equally free. Sometimes a person is free in their art because nothing else is theirs. 

From The Happy Corpse Story:

He could never stay in one place for more than a minute at a time because if he did not appear to be constantly busy he was afraid somebody might think he was not urgently needed elsewhere. So he never got to know anybody. It is quite impossible to be truly busy and actually ever be with anybody because business means that wherever you are you are leaving immediately for some other place. Relatively young, the poor man turned himself into a human wreckage.

From The Skeleton’s Holiday:

The skeleton was as happy as a madman whose straightjacket had been taken off. He felt liberated at being able to walk without flesh.

From How to Start a Pharmaceutical Business:

Once the monarchy had been well established in Mexico, King Chapultepec von Smith the Second (son of Atzcapotzalco Guggenheim) promulgated the law definitely prohibiting all instruments of speech transmission of a nonanimal nature (whether radios, telephones, televisions, walkie-talkies, microphones, etc, etc). Our civilisation thereupon rapidly advanced towards a Golden Age in which pleasurable silence has made every street a garden and every home a centre for peaceful, if not always intellectual, thought.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

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