Monday, February 21, 2011

My Flannel Knickers, by Leonora Carrington

“Thousands of people know my flannel knickers, and though I know this may seem flirtations, it is not. I am a saint.” A great title and first line; I couldn't resist.

I’m not really sure what to think of this story. At first, I thought it was about the deterioration of a beautiful woman into and\ old woman who is wishing for her youth. The more I read this short story, the more I thought that she just became a crazy old woman. How did she become a saint? I don’t think she is. She was a prisoner, but I don’t think she still is. Is what she is calling an island really an island or is it just a plot of land she was sent to, where she was “put out to pasture”?

I’m not sure what to think of this story. I found it very odd. I found My Flannel Knickers in The Oxford Book Of English Short Stories and there are no bios included. As most people do these days, I searched Google for Leonora Carrington. I found images of paintings and articles on Leonora Carrington, the Surrealist painter. Mentions of her writing are only a side note, a sentence in passing, whilst the focus remains on her art. Her focus is her painting and it seems to influence her writing, as there was definitely something surreal about this story.

Her paintings are really lovely. I’ve included one with this post. I’d definitely go see and exhibit of her work. While the story was well written and clearly carefully crafted, I’m not sure if I’d read more of her work. I like to be able to follow the plot. Or should I say, I like be able to identify the point of the story. Read Carrington if you like work that is experimental or surreal, but be prepared to read it more than once (I had to read it twice, slowly) to understand what is happening.

Thanks to John Mutford at The Book Mine Set for hosting Short Story Monday.


  1. I just Googled her art-- pretty interesting stuff for sure. I think I shall do a post on authors who paint (or painters who write). Thanks for the inspiration...

  2. The one I reviewed this week is a bit odd as well. There was so much packed in it that I was a bit confused, but I enjoyed it.