The Diarist feels that folks will know that she has had intercourse together with her father simply by taking a look at her. As a baby, she “was too shy to stick out [her] tongue around other people,” fearing that “they would be able to tell that this tongue had licked a penis.” She was uncomfortable drawings birds, as a result of her “vagina appeared like a chook. Like the way you draw a chook—an m in the sky, with mushy ideas, like a McDonald’s m.”
The connection between artwork, the Diarist’s vagina, and the sky is a delicate however extraordinary motif in The Incest Diaries. When she was “eight or nine years old,” the father tied her to a chair and “put the knife inside and he cut.” The Diarist’s expertise of this violent act approaches the chic:
I used to be so uncomfortable and so frightened that it made me gentle. I floated up out of that bed room and home. I lived in the sky. I performed in the clouds. My physique was down in that home, however I used to be up in the sky. I was the sky. I used to be infinite blue sky after I was tied to the chair when he put the knife inside and lower.
This isn’t the sort of sublimity that lets a reader lose herself in the immersive element of narrative. The impact is the reverse: as an alternative of the reader being distracted from their disgust by marvelous particulars (see: Dying in Venice, Lolita), the writer disassociates herself from the discomfort, refusing to take the reader together with her.
The Diarist makes use of artwork as a approach to talk. Her mom is aware of that the father is having intercourse together with her, however she refuses to acknowledge it. The Diarist writes that the mom’s denial is extra hurtful than something the father did. In response, the Diarist speaks to her mom about violence, needs to indicate her violent photos. She reveals her “footage of the slain beauties at La Specola, the pure historical past museum in Florence.” These beauties have “their innards uncovered—intestines and livers and stomachs, hearts, kidneys spilling out of their completely made, peeled-open, and glowing wax pores and skin. Their faces are peaceable; they put on pearls; they lie on beds of lace.”
The visible turns into a method of communication, in addition to an area of identification for the Diarist, particularly when she appears to be like at works from the previous. The second half of the guide describes her time dwelling in Chile and a person she loves there. She likes to have a look at his “art books.” She appears to be like at “the carnivals in Ensor, the contorted pink and yellow faces, his fats pope, the demise masks.” She appears to be like at “the breastfeeding Byzantine virgin together with her lengthy, stretched-out nipple between her child’s lips.” She appears to be like at lovely photos of Saint John the Baptist, she appears to be like at “Fede Galizia’s cherries, her pears, figs, rabbit, sliced-open melon. Piet Mondrian’s sharp and pure nation drawings. Morandi’s bottles and vases and jars.”