Beauty and The Best

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith

Every time you open a reference site lesbian books, this book is always in the top three, although The Price of Salt is a book published in 1953. Patricia Highsmith published this book under the name Claire Morgan. The publisher refused to publish the novel as an honest presentation on the theme of homosexuality, so that Highsmith was forced to change his name to be published this novel. Before The Price of Salt, known as a novelist Highsmith thriller, with his book Strangers on a Train, which was a commercial success and was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock. Or a lot of people these days may be more known as a Patricia Highsmith who wrote The Talented Mr.. Ripley, and was filmed with the main star Matt Damon.

At that time not many writers who dare to write the theme of homosexuality. If there is, usually the books are erotica, or characters in the novel's tragic fate or sad endings. And this is clearly different from what is done Highsmith in The Price of Salt. By the publisher, The Price of Salt is considered to blacken the name of Highsmith and to brand as a lesbian novelist. Explained in the afterword written Highsmith in the revised edition published in 1984.

The Price of Salt tells of Belivet Therese, a (potential) stage designer who was forced to work as a department-store SPG before Christmas. In the boredom at work, he met Carol, a housewife whose marriage is on the verge of divorce, who wanted to buy a doll for his daughter.

Therese and Carol met at the time and place, and they both fall in love. If love was always going easily, of course their story would not be a story. Therese decided to go with Carol in the adventure of driving across America. On the way we invited to follow the development of a relationship between two women is through dialogue and description that are slow but flowing smoothly. However, without it they know they journey followed by a private detective who was told by Carol's husband. Until finally makes Carol had to choose between the lover and his daughter.

Highsmith took Therese viewpoint in The Price of Salt, so the reader can feel anxious all the confusion, indecision, and the rise and fall of emotions experienced by Therese since before realizing his sexual orientation and did not know what she wants in life until she realized what she want and need in life.

Maybe because it was written in 1953, in The Price of Salt is not once mentioned the word "lesbian" to describe their relationship. And the reader can get a vision of what kind of homosexuality in the United States in the 1950s. And as a masterpiece, despite half a century has passed over, The Price of Salt is still relevant to our current reading.
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