Pamflet Salon & the enchantment of Lily Dahl// oh maybe maybe it’s the clothes we wear…

At the second Pamflet salon, we discussed Siri Hustvedt’s The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, a sexy noirish tale set in Anywheresville, USA. Lily is an attractive heroine who reminded us of Anna Paquin’s spunky, spirited waitress in True Blood. She’s going through some confusing times, but it was the supporting cast that really brought her story to life. We pondered exactly why there’s something so seductive and compelling about these small town stories set in the American mid-west – impossible to imagine the same sexy melancholy attaching itself to a tale set in a suburb of Birmingham, say. Is it the allure of the foreign? The fact that we were raised on Little House on the Prairie, Dorothy’s Kansas and Anne of Green Gables (ok that’s Canada but you get the picture)… There was something distinctly To Kill a Mockingbird-ish about Lily’s town, the creepy houses, kooky characters (Dirty Dick and Filthy Frank!) who turn out to be not what they seem, the cafe which is the hub for all the goss. And Harper Lee famously came from the same town as Truman Capote who wrote In Cold Blood, about the Clutter family’s bloody murder in their isolated farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and… well it goes on.

We agreed that there’s something very scary and weirdly claustrophobic about being in a small town in a very big landscape – agoraphobia from the wide open spaces, where your nearest neighbour could be 20 miles away and everyone leaves their doors unlocked, which allows the random oddball to come in and get you…We also wondered why publishers seem incapable of matching their covers to the contents within – why show a blonde girl on the cover when on, like, page nine or something Lily is described as a brunette? Tsk, it’s terribly lazy and these things do matter – it’s hard to shake that first impression once it’s lodged in your mind. Anna F attested that Hermia (Lily’s role in the play within the, um, book)is that of a short girl, but asked why it’s always A Midsummer Night’s Dream that’s the Shakespeare play of choice in novels?

And then onto another bar for the apres-salon, where we plucked up the courage to tell a Marilyn-alike how smokin’ hot she looked (and privately tutted at the scruffiness of her swain – seriously guys, make a frikkin’ effort!) This led on to a discussion on the general skanky perviness of the unholy triumverate that is Terry Richardson, Olivier Zahm and Dov Charney. yukyukyuk. Middle aged men in paedo-specs sliming over young girls and getting away with it cos it’s fashion. Well I’m in fashion and I can honestly say: not in my name chaps. And Tavi agrees.

But my, the kids are looking stylish these days – some lovely fashion notes caught the eye on this Tuesday night in Shoreditch, particularly that cute knotted brown belt trend. It seems hipster style has calmed down a bit and gotten a little more stylish. It’s the Linda McCartney effect and thank goodness for it – her legacy shall be more than veggieburgers. From American gothic to frozen tofu via fashion-pervs. It can only be a Pamf-salon…xx

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