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Black Swans: Stories

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Babitz delivers the anticipated accounts of faltering love affairs and a who's who rundown of Hollywood's social register, but her trademark style steeped in voyeurism is tempered by middle age.

Here, though, as the narrator of these nine story/essays approaches middle-age--after all the drugs, booze, groupie sex, and wild passionate flings--the sense of brakes applied turns Babitz's voice sage as well as outrageous. Coverage of Babitz tends to characterize the author as a footnote to the men in her life — the god-daughter of Igor Stravinsky, the nude girl playing chess with Marcel Duchamp in Julian Wasser’s famous photo. There is also a wandering in Babitz's world (she once told her mother that she wanted to grow up to become an adventuress) that embodies the spirit of today's popular wanderlust mantras inked on inside forearms. The object should create a strong reaction in the character, strong enough to change the course of their trajectory within the scene you have placed them in and act as a conduit to reveal something meaningful to both the protagonist and the reader.When her good friend Brian comes to pick her up “with his Aretha Franklin tapes instead of Verdi,” she is preoccupied with her unhappy on-again, off-again affair with an “extremely cute monster,” and Brian’s admission that he’s HIV positive takes a back seat. Yet in the titular “Black Swans,” Babitz tackles the messy attraction-repulsion tug-of-war women face with insecure men. I mean, she says so much in the book but her central theme was true tho — you shouldn’t be with someone intimidated by your greatness and the fact that you age and are a continuously maturing human being, also you shouldn’t fuck your friends exes or current partners. Not sure if that's Babitz's credit or society's failure, but in either case, her work is very captivating. The black swan was a metaphor for all that could not exist, until of course, due to an intrepid sailor, the impossible became possible.

According to her, “Hollywood is a fiction that happened, a tornado of fabrication, a comedy of publicity. is both the comedy and the tragedy of the Los Angeles girl on her home coast, and it elevates one of my less-favored genres, the personal essay .The first is Eve Babitz, whose memoirs Eve's Hollywood and Slow Days, Fast Company I could hardly admire more.

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