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From Chris Wayan's journal, 1997/7/7

Elizabeth Feuer's book Paper Doll is about a gifted girl named Les whose legs were paralyzed in a car crash when she was little. Now she's a teenage violin prodigy--the family star. Her big brother, on the other leg, is the designated family fuckup. He warns her she pays a price for stardom too: a sexless, funless, regulated life. She genuinely loves music and disbelieves him at first.

But when she finally meets a boy, and slacks off a hair on music, Dad forbids her to date till she knuckles down and practices! "After all, he doesn't care about you--he just figures you're an easy target, desperate, because of your legs." Oh, hey, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad!

Les starts to realize how her life is constrained by her mom's coddling and dad's highly conditional love. So she goes on a music strike. They bargain, but her musical gift won't be bought and sold, and it leaves her. Her dad assumes it's willful, to spite him, but the truth is, Les is facing an artistic block.

She only gets art back when she starts living in the moment, embracing pleasure, risking hurt. Makes love with her boyfriend--and sex unblocks art. Well, no, it's broader than that.

Happiness unblocks art.

LISTS AND LINKS: creativity - happiness! - genius and giftedness - family - disability - musicians - love - random rants - a 2nd book on parent-abuse of a prodigy: Lynn Hall's Flyaway

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