I’m taking part in a group reading of Marguerite Young’s enormous and seldom read Miss Macintosh, My Darling over at World’s Least Popular Book Club. Others involved are Damion Searls, Will Schofield, Levi Stahl, Ed Park, and Stephen Sparks. It should be entertaining . . .
“What far from average people have walked these streets, in old time! An angel like a hermaphrodite butterfly, a butterfly catcher, a Daniel Boone of the infinite, a finite Elijah, a herb doctor, Lot’s wife, many pastorals, many mechanics, clouded dreamers, a celibate breeder of horses, poor Yahoos, the Spirit of Nature, rational man, irrational man, patriarchs, undertakers. Nor does this list, inclusive as it seems, exhaust the possibilities of nineteenth-century salvationism, as expressed by two Utopias – the first, forerunner of a New Moral World, to encompass all nations and all governments. Two Utopias comprehended, within a half-mile square surrounded by a vast wilderness, past, present, and future, however abstrusely – the burning of Rome, city planning, explosion of stars, a new calendar, anarchy, a New Jerusalem, repression, expansion, moneyless Eden, exaltation of pearls, a three-hour working day, exaltation of horses, infinite regress, the united nations of earth, the many, the few, Lucifer, lotus-eaters, the falling of autumn leaves, the myths of Narcissus, good dentistry, many fictions. So that such perfectionist orders, which would have excluded much of mistaken life itself, with all its infinite variety.”
(Marguerite Young, Angel in the Forest: A Fairy Tale of Two Utopias, p. 3.)