Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Why Fifty Shades of Grey When One Shade of White Will Suffice?
An anonymous contributor as part of a posted comment sent in a link a good few weeks back to a fashion photo set entitled INSTITUTIONAL WHITE as photographed by STEVEN KLEIN (click on his name to visit the original set on the Interview Magazine site).
I had down loaded the pic and had it all set up to post while away in Brighton after the London – Brighton cycle ride. But as you now know, due to changes in the way Blogger works and its incompatibility with the browser supported by my portable notebook computer (coupled with my inability to update said machine) I was unable to upload any graphical content while away from home. I have been back around a week now but what with various personal dramas and yet more health concerns I have done little until now. I did get quite a lot written in the pubs in and around Brighton though; the place is just so inspirational in one way or another – of which more next time (I took pics on my phone which promptly died on me and so I’m waiting until I can persuade it to let me download from it!).
Back to the photo set and having followed the link and looked through the pictures I have to say I found this one the most evocative. The nurse or institution wardress uniform is not really my cup of tea as you know, preferring to imagine (and evoke in my writing) the more traditional British nurse or hospital matron’s uniform of the 1960s and early 70s but the steel key ring dangling from the belt as a sort of badge of office or token of authority is just perfect. It's these little details that go to build the picture - and write the story. The same can be said for the protagonist’s facial expressions: There is that look of despair and desperation on the face of the patient as she senses her mind, her personality, her very soul, being drawn from her by the rigid control and strict discipline of the bleak institution she has been placed in. As a counterpoint there is the passion written across the face of the nurse or carer as she knowingly and lovingly works towards that very end, not so much driving the girl out of her mind as gently guiding her, expertly dismantling her sanity piece by piece, perhaps for her own ends, perhaps to satisfy the aims of others. Whatever the woman's motives, the look of utmost passion on her face is enough to assure one that her methods would only be those embodying the most exquisite subtlety.
As a teller of the tale, then, the question for one's imagination becomes exactly what those techniques might consist of. Given, say, six months before the girl comes up before a psychiatric review panel, the question becomes; how best to ensure her tenure in the institution is extended when the time comes?
Well, there is food for thought! And why Fifty Shades of Grey? Because some misguided pundit recently emailed with the comment that certain parts of my work constituted “The Fifty Shades of Grey for the really kinky!” Personally I don't think there's enough eroticism in the content of much of what I write for such a comparison (not overt eroticism anyway - although there are quite a few apparently who find the fattening up aspect in volume 3 appealing), but nevertheless praise indeed!