Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The "Well, that was depressing!" book awards: Biography edition

Ever find yourself dallying around a bookshop, spotting a title and thinking, "Well, this will be a romp! Lee Miller--Surrealist, Vogue photographer and war correspondent! Maybe this book will even inspire my own career as a photographer!" Only to find yourself terribly, terribly wrong?

That's where this award comes in. Hats off to you, books that have made me too miserable to go out, books that have made me hate people I didn't know and books that have made me want to scream, "For the love of God, Edie, don't mix the yellow pills with the blue pills with the vodka!" So now, without any further ado, let me present to you the recipients of this fall's "Well, that was depressing!" Book Awards--Biography Edition!!!

Bronze Medal
Barry Paris' Louise Brooks: A Biography

Why I bought this book: Louise Brooks has great hair, in fact, her hair is so amazing that it has been ripped off by endless generations of hipster girls. Her name is synonymous with 1920s and 30s glamour, plucky young flappers, and dazzling German silent films like Pandora's Box and The Diary of a Lost Girl. Also, this book has a LOT of pictures.
Why it's a winner: Being a recently rediscovered cult figure sounds like kind of a downer! There's all those years of obscurity, the inability to hold down a non-famous people job, and the increasing paranoia! This book made me never want to drink again!

Silver Medal
Carolyn Burke's Lee Miller: A Life

Why I bought this book: I like photography. I don't like to toot my own horn, but truth is, I'm way better at taking pictures than a solid 80% of the population. So, in essence I bought this book for three reasons: 1) Lee Miller traveled everywhere, taking amazing pictures of everything! Wow--so exciting! 2) I honestly thought this book would make me want to take pictures of stuff. 3) Lee Miller's face is on the cover of the book, and she is very pretty. That "don't choose a book by its cover" maxim is bullshit. Seriously, would you rather read Scoundrel's Captive (don't judge by the unicorn in the background)

or Bruges la Morte?

Don't answer that.

Why it's a winner: Sure, Lee Miller may have spent her life in New York, Paris, London, and Cairo, taking some amazing snapshots, becoming a fairly good writer, and being a muse to Man Ray and Jean Cocteau, but ohhhh man, her head just wasn't on right. Lee's marriages sound like a laugh riot!!! See, according to the biographer, the Surrealists believed in free love as a necessary stimulus to their work. Ok. Sure, that's fine. Yeah but like, don't you kinda think--and maybe this is just me--that when you're consistently able to find at least five people you want to sleep with apart from your significant other that maybe JUST MAYBE you should consider raising your standards a wee tiny bit? JUST A SUGGESTION YO I DON'T WANNA RAG ON YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS. I'm only sayin'. You're gonna look back on your free-spirited years and discover that at least one of the people you were banging was totally not all that attractive.

And now, let's have a big round of applause for the winner of tonight's festivities!!!

Gold Medal
Jean Stein's Edie

Why I bought this book: I don't really know! I just kept seeing it at one of my favorite places, the Broadway Bookshop, and I felt like I should buy it. I've got this shirt with little patterned Edie heads all over it, and probably I wanted to know more about why she seemed to be famous mostly for hanging around Andy Warhol's crew.
Why it's a winner: At one point, I was about 1/3 of the way through this book, and I found myself balking. I don't balk a lot, but I totally looked up from Edie and thought, "Good Lord! Several hundred pages more to go? 4 realz yo, stop this woman's suffering!!!!" This book made me not want to go out for an entire extended weekend! It made me horrified that such shallow Bret Easton Ellis-style lifesucking detritus could actually exist in real human form! It also made me thankful for so much in my life. Like, my friends are not vapid, drugged up art world hangers-on. I have never been given a methamphetamine cocktail injection in the ass by someone named Dr. Feelgood! And perhaps, most importantly, there is very little chance that Sienna Miller will be portraying me in a silver screen adaptation of my life.

RIP, ladies. You're all winners in my book. Ayyyy-yoooo!!!

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

This is great info to know.