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Love is Not a Bowl of Quinces

meowwalex's picture

While "Lifting Bellies" was undoubtedly more a stream of consciousness text than the prose we are given in The Book of Salt, I think that there are places in The Book of Salt that seem like they could be imitating a stream of consciousness form. We are mostly given the story in first person, but at other points, there is a direct switch that Binh makes.

"Quinces are ripe, GertrudeStein, when there are the yellow of canary wings in midflight. They are ripe when their scent teases you with the snap of green apples and the perfumed embrace of coral roses. But even then quinces remain a fruit, hard and obstinate--unless, GertrudeStein, until they are simmered, coddled for hours above a low, steady flame....a color you can is not a bowl of quinces yellowing in a blue and white china bowl, seen but untouched."

The prose here is so aware of taste and scent and vision, and seems to pave the way for a conversation about how sexuality can be described -- and maybe best so-- when using terms of the five senses (This passage brought to mind Goblin Market in regards to the sense of taste/fruits). I think that it is interesting the way in which Truong has presented the main character -- we get to see what he is really thinking in a way that is a little disjointed sometimes.