‘Short Skin – I dolori del giovane Edo’ directed by Duccio Chiarini (Italy 2014)
Edoardo, or Edo (Matteo Creatini), is a serious, sensitive and intelligent 17-year-old virgin whose hormones are at odds with his physical development.
He would like very much to have sex but is frustrated in his fumbling attempts to do the deed primarily because he suffers from phimosis, or tight foreskin.
This is a delicate subject for me as I also have this condition although fortunately not to the degree that it causes serious discomfort or pain. It did however make me wonder if I would have had a better sex life if this condition could have been corrected in my teens.
Unlike women, who visit gynecologists as routine means of maintaining physical well-being, men would only visit doctors or urologists if they had problems and even then might put off a visit as long as possible. I can never remember any doctor checking my privates and I have never volunteered to be probed in this area. Continue reading
I haven’t read the book that contains this quote but they are wise words and is something I need to practice more:
“Effective listening is more than simply avoiding the bad habit of interrupting others while they are speaking or finishing their sentences. It’s being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond.”
From ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson (1997)
Related : Frock Files blog on the same topic (this is also where I nicked the image from!)
THE AFTERNOON OF A WRITER by Peter Handke
(Translated by Ralph Manheim, Minerva paperback, 1991)
One of Zadie Smith’s more sobering rules for budding writers was that they should be resigned to “the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied”.
This bleak, but no doubt realistic, viewpoint is one I suspect Austrian playwright and novelist Peter Handke would also subscribe to.
In ‘The Afternoon Of A Writer’ he presents the scribe’s life as one dogged by self doubt, guilt and constant feelings of inadequacy.
The brief tale follows a nameless man who having spent some time writing “a few lines that had clarified a state of affairs to his satisfaction” goes out for a random stroll around a nameless European city before returning home where he feeds his nameless cat and goes to bed. His life is no bed of roses! Continue reading
GIRL IN TRANSLATION by Jean Kwok (Riverhead Books, 2010)
As a compelling, at times shocking, account of a young immigrant’s life in America this book has many merits. As a convincing work of narrative fiction it leaves a lot to be desired.
The episodic nature of the novel is problematic in that the story has a disjointed quality. As the author jumps from one event to the next, the reader is left with more questions than answers.
In the opening chapter we learn that the mother of the first person narrator, Kimberley Chang, had suffered from tuberculosis in China but her state of health is something which is barely mentioned therafter.
Later on, at the age of 18, when it is clear that Kimberley (Kim) needs to obtain U.S. citizenship, she applies and studies hard for naturalization but we are never told how the actual test went. The cumulative effect of these gaps is disorientating and infuriating. Continue reading