The Dead Ladies Project Exiles Expats and Ex Countries When Jessa Crispin was thirty she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving Half a decade later she s still on the roa

  • Title: The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries
  • Author: Jessa Crispin
  • ISBN: 9780226278452
  • Page: 349
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving Half a decade later, she s still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding, a way of being in the world that demands neither constant struggle nor complete surrender The Dead Ladies PWhen Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving Half a decade later, she s still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding, a way of being in the world that demands neither constant struggle nor complete surrender The Dead Ladies Project is an account of that journey but it s also much, much Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels an itinerary of key locations in its literary map, of places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh As she reflects on William James struggling through despair in Berlin, Nora Barnacle dependant on and dependable for James Joyce in Trieste, Maud Gonne fomenting revolution and fostering myth in Dublin, or Igor Stravinsky starting over from nothing in Switzerland, Crispin interweaves biography, incisive literary analysis, and personal experience into a rich meditation on the complicated interactions of place, personality, and society that can make escape and reinvention such an attractive, even intoxicating proposition Personal and profane, funny and fervent, The Dead Ladies Project ranges from the nineteenth century to the present, from historical figures to brand new hangovers, in search, ultimately, of an answer to a bedrock question How does a person decide how to live their life

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      Published :2018-08-19T09:10:02+00:00

    One thought on “The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries”

    1. I picked this up in a newly opened independent bookstore in my area, and when the owner of the store saw it in my hands, she expressed her enthusiastic appreciation for Jessa Crispin. "She's a smartie," she said. But honestly, I wasn't so sure. I had never warmed to Crispin's website, Bookslut, even though it should have been exactly the kind of thing I loved. I always had a sense that Crispin's work was hobbled by her trying too hard to be the smartest person in the room. I hate saying that abo [...]

    2. I've been a Crispin fan girl since discovering her blog, Bookslut, several years ago. She has unearthed many treasures for me from the back catalogues of the 20th century, probably most significantly Rebecca West's Black Lamb, Grey Falcon (which features in this book), but numerous other books as well. Her recommendation of Baba Yaga Laid an Egg led me to Ugresic's fascinating work. It's no exaggeration to say that without Crispin my reading list would be far more mainstream and less rich - her [...]

    3. msarki.tumblr/post/1359898Feeling displaced and shaken from birth I am not surprised this author has never exactly seemed to fit in. Being the weirdo in the room is what she says she is used to. But she defiantly prefers to reject them before they rejected you. But this sophisticated and crazy spinster outsider manages to make me want to be led on a walk with her like a cat on a leash. Jessa Crispin, in just one published book, has surpassed Geoff Dyer on my favorite memoir/travelogue/litcrit li [...]

    4. Suicidal impulses were starting to get the better of Crispin, so she knew it was time to get out of town. Because that's what you do when you're a writer: you design a project you can publish and get paid for, and at the same time try to save your own damn life. Thus begins a story about travel, famous dead creatives, and getting your shit together. Oddly enough, it works.Not that isn't rough going, especially at first. Crispin is not very likable, but she doesn't give two shits whether you like [...]

    5. Okay, let's come right out and say that there were a few parts where I had to mentally separate the author as the author from the author as my sister, to sort of ignore that this is my childhood she's alluding to here, my hometown, me. But those parts were mercifully small. (I will go back and process those parts later, though I'm not sure Jessa would want me to.)Anyway, biased or not, I thought it was marvelous. Especially the Berlin chapter, which (despite there being an actual introduction) i [...]

    6. A really insightful exploration of art, self, love, and Europe. Engaging, relatively well-written, melancholic, and an ode to the artists who influenced the author and the places that influenced them.

    7. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.But that's unfair: I did like it, most of the way through. For most of the book it was one of those "I'll have to get my own copy after I return it to the library" books. And then it wasn't. Crispin writes very well and has read widely and with great consideration (though as another reviewer notes, her choices tend to the dead white canon). She obviously thinks deeply about what she reads, the lives of the authors, and her surroundings. Those thou [...]

    8. Jessa Crispin's writing style is bland, slow, and mundane at best. At worst is is painfully dull and laced with failed attempts at insight and clever remarks. This book is a story of a woman who likes to read and name drop but doesn't add insight or humor, a story of someone who romanticizes emotions but cannot convey them convincingly; all under the guise of a bourgeoise adventure that seeks to unveil exciting new stories but fails miserably at every turn.

    9. I sctually couldn't finish this. I was a longtime reader of Bookslut, Crispin's book blog. It was great; she dropped it abruptly-ish (to readers), and part of what followed is this book. The upshot is that each chapter (barring Igor Stravinskty?) imagines the life of a female expat in tandem with musings and confidences about Crispin herself. Let me say, I think there is a place for the memoirs of neurotic white ladies. God knows Joan Didion has a place in my heart, and on my shelf. But in 2015, [...]

    10. I'm not certain when exactly I discovered Jessa Crispin's online literary magazine, Bookslut, but I know it was early days. She was still in Texas, still finding the shape of the blog and the articles. I just remember being delighted by it, not just because she was tapping into a woefully underserved cross section of the publishing world by reviewing titles out of small presses and in lesser known genres, but because she herself had a distinctive voice that just clicked for me. In all the years [...]

    11. Jessa Crispin travelled the world in the footsteps of artists she has loved who include men, women, writers and composers. Each city is dedicated to a person who inspired her.I wanted to love this book. I heard an interview with Jessa and immediately wanted to read this book. But I don't think I got it. It is unclear what it is - it isn't a biography of her chosen people as she appears to know very little about some of them. It definitely isn't a travel guide to the amazing cities she visits as [...]

    12. I'm a fan of Jessa Crispin and Bookslut (although I haven't followed Bookslut much lately), and this was exactly the book I wanted but hadn't really dared to hope for. Set against the backdrop of about half a dozen cities, Crispin's story of self-imposed exile mingles with the tales of other writers, artists, and creatives who needed to flee. From Nora Barnacle to Claude Cahun, Crispin travels in good company. By the time I finished The Dead Ladies Project, I had stuck a little Post-It flag on a [...]

    13. A fine memoir and geo-biographical exploration. Crispin goes on a year and a half wander though statelessness to understand herself, to understand other actors upon her thinking and existence. particularly intriguing to me were the sections on Wm James/Berlin, Nora Barnacle Joyce/Trieste, and Cahun/Jersey, but each segment was interesting and thought provoking.

    14. What a beautiful book. This is a genre I love - biography/memoir/spilling of guts. One of the few books I have read that I would say affected me deeply, even when I didn't agree with the author. Five out of five, two thumbs up, would read again.

    15. I’ve got this silly little rule – not reading two books by the same author in a row. Boy, am I glad I broke it after reading Why I Am Not a Feminist. This is part memoir and part travelogue - since I haven’t been able to travel for a few years this was perfect to satisfy my travel bug (for now). Also, Crispin is in that neverending group of authors that makes me say “damn, they say what I want to say, only better!” while I read them. I suspect I'd find her writings interesting even if [...]

    16. Personal, sad, witty, wise, and occasionally off-the-wall, Jessa Crispin's account of her odyssey through Europe in search of dead literary ladies (and a reason for living) is a delight. Her writing is never less than entertaining, whether she is dealing with matters of the heart (often her own), philosophical puzzles, literary ephemera, or the problems of luggage and tampons. One of the most original and entertaining reads I have encountered in some time. I will seek out more of her work, and p [...]

    17. Thematically, this is pretty much the travel memoir I'd have wanted to write. And Jessa Crispin is a GODDAMN good writer! Outward-looking, oscillating between self-conscious and self-aware.

    18. Love a book with an appendix of books for further reading and one which inspired a whole lot of wanderlust.This is smart travel writing by an amazing talent. Recommended.

    19. It's pretty rare for me to give a book full 5 stars, without thinking I liked everything about the book. This is one of those significant books. In a nutshell: 1. Crispin is suicidal, she manages the popular blog The Bookslut, and decides to take off from her comfortable, familiar Chicago life and live out of a suitcase for two years (or more), go to East Europe (among other places), and think about certain books and people in those countries. This book is her recounting that journey.2. It's mad [...]

    20. I don't get the title, because, writer-worshipfully and culturally, this seemed pretty dude-centric, even with the chapters focusing on the chicks Nora Barnacle (whose chapter seemed to have the specter of James Joyce lurking all around, even though that chapter is totally a four-star read and worth the price of the book, which I checked out from the library) and Maud Gonne (who still outshines William Yeats, even though "[i]t was Yeats who brought Gonne to the Golden Dawn"). Even the writer her [...]

    21. Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own and this book should have swapped titles. Bolick's project was much more a "Dead Ladies" one; Crispin's is more accurately the tale of a spinster.Considering I'm a sensitive, college-educated woman who lost my mother to cancer at 24 and has always had a boyfriend but balk at marriage, I related to Bolick's work much more.Crispin's misery (including being the other woman) seems entirely self-induced. I liked the chapter on Maud Gonne and Rebecca West, though.

    22. ALRIGHT. 1) If you call something the Dead Ladies Project it should probably be about ladies not ladies and dudes and it should definitely not START with a dude. Like call it Dead Artists Project that would be more accurate.2) This is really pretentious in a way I pretend I hate but I'm actually into. 3) (idk why I started this number thing but Imma go with it) I liked the lesbians4) There is a lot of angst about boys who are not worth it. I mean aside from how bored I am with heterosexuality al [...]

    23. Jessa Crispin's book is parts memoir, history, travelogue and feminism, and it's the work of a grown-up who fully engages with her life, her surroundings and her decisions. It's remarkable how much complexity she finds in daily interactions, and the way she seamlessly integrates her research into place is unique. One of my favorite books all year.Now off to write a screenplay about Claude Cahun.

    24. I was so moved by the honesty and starkness of this, how it was ultimately okay with the wander and the loneliness of life and travel, with how there aren't conclusions but there is a forwardness. It was beautiful in ways I didn't expect. It was exactly what I needed when I found it.

    25. South of France/Margaret AndersonThen there is the changeling, who came to this planet as an already formed creature, and whose identity has nothing to do with the people who raised her. The family's only influence is circumstantial; they cannot mold their little beast into something they can recognize as being of them. They can try. They do, often, brutally. But it is of no use, they are forever estranged, and whatever familial appearance she inherited - her father's nose, her mother's ash-blon [...]

    26. At 30 years old Jessa Crispin was at an impasse. She felt lost with no way to get out. So she did - getting rid of most of her possessions, she took off for Berlin for no other reason than that was where artistic failures went. And in Berlin she began her study of William James, less well known than his brother Henry. She then moves on to Trieste a city with torn loyalties, as over past century and a half it has belong to several countries. She is drawn to Trieste as it is where another failure, [...]

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