Yun Yi's Stuff

“Carol In A Thousand Cities” – More On “Price Of Salt”

Posted on: December 6, 2014

Patricia Highsmith
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After being so thrilled by the ending of Price of Salt, I could not help to go back reading it again, mainly the beginning, where I thought it was slow and boring. Oh it must be I who was slow and bored, because this time I found it enchanting and necessary, so necessary that only after we read all those passages could we be prepared properly for the arrival of Carol – “an amalgamation of all qualities Highsmith admired in a woman” (Beautiful Shadow – A Life Of Patricia Highsmith, Andrew Wilson).

Now I feel my previous review on this book is far away from doing justice of this work, even shallow. This is a classic, a masterpiece of romance. And it was said that it is the first literature work that lesbian lovers’ do not end up suicide, or whatever destructive/tragic ways, and the only lesbian novel written at such high caliber. It has a “happy ending”. Yes, I knew it had happy ending before I read it, but I was still so thrilled when I read last chapter, especially that last paragraph, which possibly the best end of all romance books ever written. This is not because I’ve read all romance books, simply because I could not imagine anything more satisfying, anything more “right on the target” of the heart of human passion, the passion one holds for another.

And for Gods’ sake Highsmith was only 30 year-old when she wrote it!

I quickly gathered some background information about this novel, since I have a biography of hers on my bookshelf. Yes I was right that Highsmith herself was the prototype of character of Therese, also she did have similar experience like Therese does in the book, but of course, she re-constructed story, made Carol an ideal figure, a Godess inspired by a few women from real life.

I could personally identify myself with Highsmith’s passion for women, so I could totally share her longing for this ideal woman, and echo her lines: “… It would be Carol, in a thousand cities, a thousand houses, in foreign lands where they would go together, in heaven and in hell…” (I don’t want to quote more because this book is also a “semi-mystery”.)

And finally (not the least), is there a difference between the love between two women and love between a man and a woman? None! As someone put, the lesbianism in this book should hold no bearing of anyone’s enjoyment. Love is love, as simple as that!

The movie “Carol” which is in making will be out next year. How appropriate they name it. And I am delighted to see that two leading actresses look very close to my impression from the book. I cannot wait to see it!


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