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42

Los Angeles

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someone who works at a clothing store and ends up selling her underwear to strangers via the internet. good depiction of sexual dynamics (and abuse of power) in retail and, well, in general

Cline, E. (2017). Los Angeles. In Rausing, S. Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3. Granta Magazine, pp. 42-57

46

[...] Oona wanted to be an actress. The sad fact of this city: the thousands of actresses with their thousands of efficiency apartments and teeth-whitening strips, the energy generated by thousands of treadmill hours and breach runs, energy dissipating into nothingness. Maybe Oona wanted to be an actress for the same reasons Alice did: because other people told them they should be. It was one of the traditional possibilities for a pretty girl, everyone urging the pretty girl not to waste her prettiness, to put it to good use. As if prettiness was a natural resource, a responsibility you had to see all the way through.

fascinating. perhaps the only valid use of "prettiness", then, is to wield it as a weapon in order to attack the hierarchy itself

—p.46 by Emma Cline 1 year, 5 months ago

[...] Oona wanted to be an actress. The sad fact of this city: the thousands of actresses with their thousands of efficiency apartments and teeth-whitening strips, the energy generated by thousands of treadmill hours and breach runs, energy dissipating into nothingness. Maybe Oona wanted to be an actress for the same reasons Alice did: because other people told them they should be. It was one of the traditional possibilities for a pretty girl, everyone urging the pretty girl not to waste her prettiness, to put it to good use. As if prettiness was a natural resource, a responsibility you had to see all the way through.

fascinating. perhaps the only valid use of "prettiness", then, is to wield it as a weapon in order to attack the hierarchy itself

—p.46 by Emma Cline 1 year, 5 months ago
49

How to explain - if Alice wasn't taking a class, if she wasn't otherwise engaged, that meant her terrible job, her terrible apartment, suddenly carried more weight, maybe started to matter. The thought was too much to consider squarely.

on dead-end jobs and the extremely "capitalist realism" idea that we must always be hustling for a better life, as opposed to trying to make our jobs better right now

—p.49 by Emma Cline 1 year, 5 months ago

How to explain - if Alice wasn't taking a class, if she wasn't otherwise engaged, that meant her terrible job, her terrible apartment, suddenly carried more weight, maybe started to matter. The thought was too much to consider squarely.

on dead-end jobs and the extremely "capitalist realism" idea that we must always be hustling for a better life, as opposed to trying to make our jobs better right now

—p.49 by Emma Cline 1 year, 5 months ago