Friday, 9 April 2010

The Road Less Travelled

Some people at my house are admirers of Jan Morris, but they don't include me. I thought I'd get that off my chest before bidding farewell to the whole area of 'top jobs' and the like (off my chest - oh, the wit).
My main objection to Morris is her prose, which I find lacking in sparkle. As a female myself, I'm also not keen on her absurd caricature of womanhood - all stoutness and women's institute hair. If she is going to insist on joining us, I think she should give us the respect most drag queens accord us and outdo us massively at our own game. Instead of piling on the glamour though, Morris looks to me like she's taking the mickey.
Given her apparent lack of interest in Louboutin shoes and false eyelashes, I can't help wondering about Morris' decision to embark on a change of sex. After all, she had married, fathered five children and was well into a career as a travel writer when she revealed that she wanted to be a lady. Is it possible that, as a long-term traveller, Mr Morris saw the crossing over process as the ultimate journey. Did womanhood represent the great unexplored destination? If so, did she realise too late that the ticket was strictly for a one-way trip?

10 comments:

  1. Despite having been born and brought up in England and having only one Welsh parent she now, apparantly, also considers herself Welsh: another ultimate jouney that's also a strictly one-way trip, I fear.

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  2. I wonder if her prose sparkles more when she writes in Welsh.

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  3. Morris is certainly unsettling to look at, but I have to confess that one of my favourite books is 'Sydney', which I've read and re-read numerous times.

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  4. Her book on Wales is pretty indigestible. Cloyingly over-written and excessively romantic.

    Where do you stand on Britain's most famous tranny, Grayson Perry? Personally I think he adds to the gaiety of the nation and is very often worth reading or listening to.

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  5. Worm: Yes Sydney is a favourite in this house - but not with me. I don't know what it is about the way she writes, I just can't warm to it.
    Gaw: I tend to agree with you, except that the whole get up is stupidly distracting in some contexts - when he was on Question Time on television, I thought the frock and pigtails got hugely in the way of the fact he was saying quite good stuff and I ended up thinking he just wanted attention at any cost.

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  6. ZMKC & Gaw

    Contrary to what zmkc says, I find that most trannies dress like Morris and Grayson rather than a memner of the cabaret at Madame JoJo's. It's all fifties floral frocks and mumsy hair.

    She actually wrote quite well when she was a he; rather in the style of Alan Moorehead.

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  7. Alarming and possibly libelous tranny-confusion here. Grayson is merely a transvestite. Actually I'm not sure he's even that as he sometimes dresses as a strange Little Lord Fauntleroy type boy. He's a Baffling Artistic Statement, perhaps.

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  8. merely a transvestite

    Oh, sure, let's minimalize the pain of the transvestite. No need to carry them, eh, St. Bono? They can just suck up whatever the birth certificate says.

    GLBT snob!

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  9. You know I'm your hero, Peter.

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