Empty Your Heart on Angela Carter’s Fireworks

(My Angela Carter collection; for a larger version, click here; I have Burning Your Boats, too, but it’s in the bookshelf holding our weird antho source material.)

Paul Charles Smith plans to cover all of Angela Carter’s fiction, and his first post is on her first collection Fireworks. I found Fireworks to be fascinating because it’s somewhat uneven–her evocations of a South American setting and a few others seem like mere stage props, not particularly convincing–and shows Carter finding her voice. Many stories are also clearly affected by her divorce and feeling isolated in another country. I’m not sure I agree with all of Smith’s analysis, but it’s worth checking out since he’s doing such a comprehensive series. One thing’s for sure–Carter was, for her entire career, profane, transgressive, and totally uninterested in uniformity or traditional ways of looking at things.

I’ve got an extensive essay on Carter’s work that’s currently housed at the Scriptorium. I haven’t looked at it recently, and don’t know if it holds up–I wrote it many years ago, when I was 23 or 24.

And if you’re not interested in Angela Carter, here’s our cat trying to get into my office.


  1. says

    The cat’s pretty cool but no match for Angela Carter! The Bloody Chamber is my personal favourite, particularly cause I can see my mother riding to the rescue if I got bridenapped by a creepy murderer.

  2. says

    I see my editions of Angela Carter are, in several cases, quite different to yours. I’ll bequeath them to you in my will. I haven’t read Fireworks for years, but I do have it in a first edition hard cover.

    Cute cat, as are all cats.

  3. jeff vandermeer says

    Anne: Really? I think you’ve posted some on Eye Candy.

    Tell you what: I will bequeath mine to you. that way we’re both covered.

  4. says

    Yes indeed they are on Eye Candy here

    I’m sure you’d lust after my first editions of The Passion of New Eve and The Bloody Chamber

    Thanks for the offer of bequeath, but I think you’ll get my AC books before I get yours, though I intend to live a long time.

  5. says

    Thanks Jeff, I appreciate you taking the time to read it as I know how busy you are, and I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to do so. Lovely collection, myself and my copy of Burning Your Boats and newish paperback novels are very jealous.

    If I have learned anything from the internet, it is that it is hard to compete with a picture of a cat.

  6. Hellbound Heart says

    you lucky sod…..how many thousand books do you own???
    your cat looks like a great footwarmer…

  7. Alex says

    I thought I had read everything by Angela Carter (sans radio plays) but there are titles I don’t recognize in your collection. Also, I’m slightly amused by putting Carter and Tadeusz Konwicki in the same volume of Literary Review.