Heti, Sheila, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Sharpton, eds. Women in Clothes. New York: Blue Rider, 2014.
I read a review of this book in BookForum and thought it sounded amazing, so I bought it from one of amazon.com’s independent sellers. It is the results of a survey the editors did of women about clothing. The goal was to document some of the everyday discourse around women’s clothing as opposed to that in the fashion world and media. The book includes text, drawings, and photographs. Aesthetically it is a very pleasing object, and the subject sounds super fascinating and important. I can’t wait to read it!
The design for Manchester United’s 2013/2014 change strip has been leaked, and you can view it here. I love United, but I must say that this is an ugly, ugly shirt. The blue is fine, as this has been a traditional color for United change strips and they wore it against Benfica at Wembley when they won their first European Cup in 1968, but the lumberjack flannel shirt pattern is atrocious. The black also clashes with the blue because they are both darker colors–almost any other color (yellow might be decent) would be better than the black even though black is the club’s secondary color. I would much prefer a simple blue shirt with the same design as their primary red ones. It would also be neat to have a green and yellow change strip as an homage to the club’s original colors. They used this color scheme one year in the mid-1990s and I have thought about purchasing one of these shirts used, but the design is marred by the ’90s garishness that was all too common in the footballing world.
I haven’t posted in several weeks because I am currently on the job market and have had several interviews that have taken up all of my non-teaching time. However, my life should be a little less crazy in the near future, so I’ll be able to get back to my normal routine of posting a few times per week.
Here are a few brief thoughts on subjects that have been kicking around in my head recently:
1. I just finished teaching Zadie Smith’s White Teeth in my Literary Criticism and Research course, and it struck me during my re-reading of the book just how much it is a response to the Rushdie Affair. Millat and his fundamentalist Muslim friends go to an anti-Rushdie protest midway through the novel, and then the Affair is never explicitly mentioned again (in fact, even during this episode Rushie is not mentioned by name). But the final third of the book is devoted to the conflict between science and religion, with Millat’s group KEVIN and Hortense’s cabal of Jehovah’s Witnesses on one side and Marcus and Magid on the other. Of course these two narratives do not have to be nearly as much in opposition as public discourse in the United States claims they are, but the Rushdie Affair and its portrayal in White Teeth illuminates how when one side (the religious fundamentalists) forces the dialogue to be black or white, one must choose sides, and that the correct choice is to be on the side of freedom of speech and rationality.
2. I bought two new suits in preparation for my interviews and have been thinking about how they relate to the presentation of myself as a person, and as a part of this preoccupation I have been noticing other people’s clothing much more than usual. Last night I was at a party and was so intrigued by someone’s shirt that I asked to feel it even though I had never met the person before! I like the concept of putting a lot of care and consideration into building one’s wardrobe, but usually I am too lazy to actually do this.
3. Danny Welbeck really needs a goal, having only scored once in the league this season. He’s been getting a lot of playing time recently and is often in the starting lineup (today he came on as a late substitute against Fulham, and this kind of usage will probably become the norm now that Wayne Rooney is fully fit again), but has been unable to take advantage of these opportunities. His overall play has been decent, but as a striker his lack of scoring is glaring. The team hasn’t been suffering from Welbeck’s drought because of the presence of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie (and perhaps van Persie’s presence has thrown Welbeck off his game a bit, though that is no excuse). It is clear, however, that when he gets the ball in scoring positions he is thinking too much–his lack of goals is in his head. He’s one of my favorite players, and should have a long and successful career at United, but really needs a goal so that he can stop thinking about it and continue with his development.