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Louis Quatorze and Twiggy. After the show Jon, one of the stylists, tells me more about the preparation for the event.
‘It took a long time,’ he says. ‘Broadly, the whole theme was exaggeration: exaggerated mannerisms, exaggerated movements and exaggerated hair. The hair was dressed rather than styled — exaggerated bouffant shapes and intricately-dressed French rolls. We directed the models ourselves, because it‘s difficult to get your ideas over to a choreographer. We try to guess what people are going to go for and then steer away from it, while staying within the bounds of fashion.‘
Would anyone ever actually wear their hair like that? How much would it cost them? ‘Well, it‘s intricate, time-consuming, fiddly work,‘ he says, ‘so you would be paying for the hairdresser’s time. People do sometimes want something different for a special occasion, and 1 think you can push the individual as far as they’ll go. People want looks that are different, but not too way out. The hairstyles we used in the show could be tamed down and made very acceptable and suitable.‘
Doing the hair for the show required models who would be prepared to keep still for at least three hours, but Paterson S.A. usually has no trouble finding willing sitters. ‘A lot ofgirls do it for a laugh; otherwise, we look in the Art School for people willing to try something different. Actually, this year everyone was quite eager, because we left their hair long - no baldies or anything.’
After a show with more highlights than heads, the baldies and ponytails join the blondes and beehives in the Amphitheatre for the Scottish Hair Show party. The night is young, but will the hairspray hold?
Paterson SA: Somewhere between Louis Custom and Twiggy
: When a sole chapter of A Home At The
r greeted by the literary world with i
Home sweet 1 home
End OfThe World appeared in the New Yorker, Michael Cunningham was
rapturous applause, which can only be I amplified with the publication of the completed work. !
The novel follows the passage of = Jonathan, Bobby, Clare and Alice through 70s and 80s America. In the . lace of their ragged and incomplete I lives they search for a ‘home’, with all that the word signifies. After the death of his brother, Bobby transfers his devotion to the fanciful, petulant Jonathan, whose lover and alter-ego he becomes. Bobby eventually lollows Jonathan to New York, where he encounters Clare, who loves Jonathan but decides to have Bobby’s child. They embark on a trinity of parenthood, while Jonathan’s mother Alice moves further away from her barren domesticity.
This is a pessimistic, ‘end-of-the-century’ novel. Alternative ‘homes’ prove to be an unattainable
.( Michael Cunningham
dream, leaving Bobby and Jonathan with a deathly parody of lamin life, caring for Jonathan’s dying lover, Erich. Cunningham is swittto point out the value of this improvised family, providing a much-needed voice for AIDS sufferers shunned by their relatives. ‘I don't want the book to be hopeless, it’s probably more pessimistic than I feel in my own file. Any novel that’s worth the trouble is concerned with mortality in a way that we wouldn’t want to concern ourselves in our daily congress.’
The sexual and social revolutions of the 60s and 70s provide a pulsating
backdrop, and while there is an undeniable affection for this era, the author highlights its ultimate futility. ‘lt's one of the shocks of my whole life. that we have little ability to re-invent ourselves. I mean, ltried very hard. There are fundamental human facts that get in the way. When I was a kid in
the 60s, I really believed that the world
was on the brink of profound social change — l was wrong.’
Cunningham employs a rich and lyrical prose in his discussion of the intimacies of human relationships. His work contains an introspection that seems to be an emerging trend in contemporary American literature. He expresses a dissatisfaction with previous minimal styles: ‘There are a lot of writers, enormously praised, who have written very unemphatic, alienated, fragmentary stories. The prose is serviceable, so is Tupperware, it’s nice and sealed and closes so things don’t spoil. I think, for whatever reasons, people have got fed up with that.’ It’s certainly a welcome change and the film industry think so too, the film rights having already been bought by CineCom. (Charlie Llewellyn)
A Home at the End of the World is published by Hamish Hamilton at £13.99.
FICTION BRIEF DELIGHTS
I The Short Stories Of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A New Collection ed. Matthew]. Bruccoli (Scribners £19.95) Once dismissed as hackwork. Fitzgerald‘s stories are now recognised as belonging to the great American tradition of excellence in this deceptively difficult form. Stories rather than novels earned him contemporary fame: in his briefbut illuminating introduction, Bruccoli points out that during 1929 Fitzgerald earned $30,000 from eight short stories published in the Saturday Evening Post. while his books earned total royalties of$31 .77.
This new omnibus collection, the first in 40 years. brings together 43 of the 160 stories Fitzgerald sold to magazines during his twenty years of literary life. Along with justly-praised classics like The Rich Boy, May Day, and Winter Dreams are many lesser-known examples, some never previously anthologised. A rranged in chronological sequence, each is prefaced by a brief description of its literary and biographical context. revealing the development of themes such as idealism and disillusionment, the differences between America and Europe, and the capacity of imagination to transform reality. They also demonstrate. as the Jazz Age gives way to the Depression. Fitzgerald's consummate skill at conveying the atmosphere of an era and the effect of large-scale historical changes on individuals. Vivid in period detail yet timeless in
the human concerns they depict. almost all the stories here possess the peculiar poignant clarity for which the novels are rightly celebrated. (Sue Wilson)
I The Boat House Stephen Gallacher (New English Library £13.95) The hard narrative drive of Gallacher‘s prose has been praised by fans and filmmakers alike, and the forthcoming television adaptation of his first novel Chimera should introduce him to the wider audience he deserves. His new hardback. The Boat House, is a superior thriller with a tighter sense ofstructure and character than most ofits predecessors.
Alina Petrovna is a Russian refugee whose otherworldliness holds the key to a series ofdrownings in the English valley that has become her home. Gallacher takes time to give each of the inhabitants some measure ofcharacter background, so that they draw sympathy and understanding from the reader- this is a community under threat, not a list ofextras waiting to be killed off. Likewise, Alina is more than a killer, because Gallacher has given a terrifying psychological reality to the rusalka, the female water-spirit of Russian folklore, and the result is a compelling portrait ofschizophrenia within the twists and turns ofthe thriller format. (Alan Morrison)
I Nudists May Be Encountered Mary Scott (Serpent‘s Tail. £7.99) That Mary Scott is a woman ofgreat talent
glows invitineg and continuously throughout this collection ofshort stories. The foundations ofeach concern women and their relationships to men and authority — a repeated pattern which lends the book a solid, well-rounded quality. Yet her genres and styles shoot off at tangents. making full use of first and third-person narratives. Sometimes the era of their setting is ambiguous, the next minute they are firmly placed in the present. And what‘s this? It‘s science fiction, and very good it is too.
Although Scott uses women as the focus of her stories, this is not a purely feminist collection. She writes about women, presumably, because she is one. And why not? Yes, there are messages within. Messages which show the weaknesses of women, their strengths and their reactions to the pressures put upon them by society. There are also voices which speak up for the environment, the wider social issues at large today, the list goes on. All this and addictive, well-written story lines. Not bad at all. (Susan Mackenzie)
FORGIVE AND REMEMEMBER
I Anton The Dove Fancler And Other Tales Of The Holocaust Bernard Gotfryd (Andre Deutsch £11.99) If we forget the atrocities of this century, how do we prevent something similar happening in the future? The lessons may have been learned once. but their effect can easily fade along with memories of the deeds. The only thing we learn from history, it has been said, is that
68 The List 8 — 21 March 1991