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Calais by Kathleen Winsor

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Fri August 6th, 2010, 9:08 pm

"Misfit" wrote:I thought she was still in HS and starting her senior year there and lived in a uni town.


So did I, then there was mention of her major being in anthropology and minor in sociology. Do you have majors and minors in HS? I did get a bit confused by the timescale in this section. She has to be at university - in her home town - when she's playing Jade Ring, because Jack is cutting her dead in the corridors and he's doing graduate work. But the transition from HS to university never gets mentioned. It does make sense that she would live at home and attend the local uni because it would save money.

Misfit wrote:Despite all the sex she's having the scenes are still rather tame.


There's all of this very over the top stuff about her bones melting and the universe melting, or whatever. It's certainly tame compared to books like Scruples or Lace which were the bestsellers of the day. The style is quite similar to Barbara Taylor Bradford sex scenes though - they tend to go on for pages with a lot of very flowery description. Have you read Robert and Arabella? I found that much more earthy but a bit repetitive.

Misfit wrote:The relationship with the manager/director was a bit odd though IMHO.


I've only just come to that but it seemed to come out of nowhere and I couldn't really understand what Arlette was after - does she think sleeping with him will help her career, is she trying to forget Anthony or is she genuinely attracted to him? Or can she just not resist making another conquest? So far I feel it's the latter.

I've really appreciated how Arlette and Anthony play off of each other and how they use that to develop their on-stage characters. Rather Richard Burton/Liz Taylor-ish.

Did she write this before or after that big old affair?


Yes, actually I think Burton and Taylor did a film version of Taming of the Shrew. The Taylor Burton scandal was in the mid 60s I think, so this would have been written after that.
Last edited by Miss Moppet on Tue November 25th, 2014, 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Fri August 6th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Do you have majors and minors in HS?


Not in the one I went to.

Have you read Robert and Arabella? I found that much more earthy but a bit repetitive.


No, the only other of KW's I've read is Wanderers Eastward Wanderers West. Very good, half set in 1800's Montana, the other half New York.

Or can she just not resist making another conquest? So far I feel it's the latter.


Same here, I didn't quite get the attraction or why she'd want to, let alone continue it.

Yes, actually I think Burton and Taylor did a film version of Taming of the Shrew


Aha! Let's see if that is where this is going. Might have to do some reading up on these two and their history together. Next play is Othello. I loved how they worked Arlette up to the big slap.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Fri August 6th, 2010, 10:02 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Same here, I didn't quite get the attraction or why she'd want to, let alone continue it.


Yes, from being the girl who always said no in HS, Arlette's now the girl who can't say no. I think maybe it's the power that attracts her - she seems to go for other stars, older men, authority figures. Something else I'm wondering. What is she doing about contraception? She's having all these spontaneous rolls on the carpet with various men, and no mention of any preventative measures. This is pre-Pill so I think most likely method would be diaphragm. Arlette seems pretty organised so I guess she remembers to use it every day in case some random love affair starts up.

Misfit wrote:Aha! Let's see if that is where this is going. Might have to do some reading up on these two and their history together. Next play is Othello. I loved how they worked Arlette up to the big slap.


She never actually got to hit him though did she? Personally, if it was me, I would have walked into his dressing-room and smacked him one when he least expected it. Then explained that I was just 'getting into character' before the show. But if Arlette did that it would end with them rolling about on the dressing-room floor, because that's the way things go with her.

The implication is that once Arlette and Anthony hook up their performances are better than ever. I have heard that IRL that can kill a performance stone dead, but I don't really know. Then again the offscreen romance seemed to work for the Oliviers and Burtons.

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Misfit
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Postby Misfit » Fri August 6th, 2010, 11:16 pm

What is she doing about contraception?

I seem to recall when she started up with the professor (or whatever he was) that there was mention of of him planning on making an appointment for her to see his doctor for that reason. I assume there were things that could be *done* pre-pill?

She never actually got to hit him though did she?


You must not be there yet, and slightly spoilerish if you've not seen the play but Othello whacks Desdemona.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Fri August 6th, 2010, 11:57 pm

"Misfit" wrote:What is she doing about contraception?

I seem to recall when she started up with the professor (or whatever he was) that there was mention of of him planning on making an appointment for her to see his doctor for that reason. I assume there were things that could be *done* pre-pill?


Oh yes, I forgot that. I think she would get fitted with a diaphragm. It does have to be fitted. Could be an IUD only I don't think a doctor in the 50s would fit a woman who hadn't had children with an IUD. I could be wrong about that.

You must not be there yet, and slightly spoilerish if you've not seen the play but Othello whacks Desdemona.


No, I haven't got there, Anthony is still making the Jane Eyre film. I think I will catch up with you tonight though.

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Misfit
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Postby Misfit » Sat August 7th, 2010, 1:02 am

Good. I stopped at page #295 when you mentioned you were starting it. Give me a heads up when you're getting closer so I don't pick up another book that interferes (as in I can't put it down) with returning to Calais.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Sat August 7th, 2010, 3:42 pm

"Misfit" wrote:Good. I stopped at page #295 when you mentioned you were starting it. Give me a heads up when you're getting closer so I don't pick up another book that interferes (as in I can't put it down) with returning to Calais.


Right, I'm now about page #300 but we have different editions so I'm not sure if we are at the same place. Arlette is at the opening night party for Othello in 'a low-cut dress the color of a ripe mango.'

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Misfit
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Postby Misfit » Sat August 7th, 2010, 3:52 pm

"Miss Moppet" wrote:Right, I'm now about page #300 but we have different editions so I'm not sure if we are at the same place. Arlette is at the opening night party for Othello in 'a low-cut dress the color of a ripe mango.'


I was way past Othello. I have about 150 pages to go on current read and will pick up Calais again after I finish. I'm vegging at home today and can easily find an excuse not to vacuum, mop and dust :o :p
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
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Postby Miss Moppet » Sat August 7th, 2010, 4:48 pm

The striptease sequence was interesting. Would have liked a few more details of how Arlette was taught to move as I can't exactly picture how she could take off her clothes in such an intriguing way and still not show too much. The whole sequence is 50 seconds but that is actually quite a long time on stage when nothing else is happening.

I'm enjoying all the details about the different productions. I'm getting really fed up with Jerry and Anthony though. They are so chauvinistic and controlling. I think Arlette should give Anthony a good hard slap so he can see how he likes it and knee Jerry in the nuts for good measure. Instead of providing them with sexual favours and listening to every word they say like it's gospel.

I think Arlette has got a self-esteem problem. She doesn't think much of the movies, but when Anthony gets an Oscar she feels intimidated, although you can't get an Oscar without being in a movie.

Oh, and Arlette was surprised when she ended up in bed with her leading man in the Elizabeth play...I wasn't.

Interesting that KW describes either classic plays or fictional contemporary ones. Although even the contemporary plays refer to historical characters such as Jade Ring (I think this is her entry on Wikipedia) and Elizabeth/Gloriana and Robert Dudley obviously refers to Elizabeth I. I would love to know how Arlette would tackle, say, a part in an Arthur Miller play, but maybe it was too much of a hassle to get permission to quote lines.

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Misfit
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Postby Misfit » Sat August 7th, 2010, 5:19 pm

Would have liked a few more details of how Arlette was taught to move as I can't exactly picture how she could take off her clothes in such an intriguing way and still not show too much
.

One of those times I really wish there'd been a movie. I couldn't quite picture it too well either.

I'm enjoying all the details about the different productions.


So far this is the strongest point for me. I loved how they kept her in the dark during the rehearsals for Othello so she'd show surprise onstage.

Oh, and Arlette was surprised when she ended up in bed with her leading man in the Elizabeth play...I wasn't.


She does sleep with everyone doesn't she?
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be


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