In Regards to Chapter 5 of
Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place
15 April 1999
The office in chapter 5 seemed to be a place where appearance mattered more than function... but that's common enough everywhere, especially when women are involved.
Was Griffith's "Marriage club" like the Baloney Club? I don't think so since I didn't agree with the generic interpretation of the Balony Club. Sure there are clubs everywhere and if you know about it you can often fake being a member if you wish to.
Aud's confession to being a member of the "Butch Club" seems to confirm for me that she is an invert and may as well be a man as far as most of the novel is concerned.
The reference to "brain" and "dress" sizes being related is an ancient cliche that seems unworthy of comment.
I'm not really familiar enough with Mission Impossible or Barb Wire or Humphrey Boghart or Lauren Becall to comment on any likenesses or lack thereof.
I really didn't see any references in this chapter that made me think about "What is cool?" I didn't really read much into the idea of a 50 year old executive on the tennis course trying to impress his secretary. It's something that happens and the stress of it is real, even if the act is questionable.
In addition to physical superiority, Aud seems to be intellectually superior to everyone around her. This really didn't impress me since she is a fictional character in a fictional world and it seems her accomplishments were farcical because of the exaggerated incompetance of everyone around her and her excessive ability to do anything. If someone wants to write a book impressing me "women can do this too", it would be wiser to write a true story, or at least one were the woman and supporting characters are both realistic. This seems to be the work of a disgruntle feminist shouting "Me too!"
As for intellectualism verse materialism / consumerism, I've long noted how perverse this culture is in these regards.... humans mean nothing, utility everything. Aud is lucky to have everything, looks, money, and usefulness. Whatmore can a fictional character ask for?
I have no clue who Hugho Boss is. It seems stupid to me that people wear too many clothes when it's hot, but few people anywhere dress from a utilitarian or often even aesthetic purpose... clothing is more often a statement and it shall remain that way as long as clothing can be an expensive commodity and we live in a classist capitolist society.
I really couldn't care how Griffith spelled Beatriz -- I have no clue how popular the name is with any spelling in Spain and there are plenty of people with odd names and unusual spellings... more so if one does not culturally contextualize the names in question.
That Beatriz needed Aud to dress her seemed a concession by Griffith that feminine women are incompetant when determining these things for themselves... they need men or masculine women to make this determination. With feminists like this, who needs men to repress women?
I still have no clue why this book is called Blue Place