Ca o cizmă, dar de damă

These books are made for walking: Shoes in literature by

In Iris Murdoch‘s The Black Prince, Julian, who is in her mid-20s, meets up with the much older author Bradley – she’s the daughter of his friend and rival. He meets her in the street outside a shoe shop: she is barefoot, she borrows his socks, he buys her a pair of purple boots. „Julian’s delight was literally indescribable”, and Bradley feels „a ridiculous and unclassifiable sort of glee”. Shortly afterwards he realises that she had „gone away still wearing my socks”. You might have to be a philosopher like Murdoch to unpick the multiple meanings of that scene.

Chick lit has a reputation for shoes and shopping, and the TV Sex and the City series made much of its Manolos and Jimmy Choos. But the original Sex and the City book, by Candace Bushnell, is a much more thoughtful and affecting affair. The shoes mentioned for Carrie are white patent leather boots, 50s-style satin pumps for an „early Stepford Wives’ look” („You look like a newscaster”, Samantha tells her), and strappy sandals when she wants to look like Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction.

Virginia Woolf‘s The Years is little thought-of now, but was her bestselling book in her own lifetime. Going to bed, the heroine Kitty kicks off her shoes and thinks „That was the worst of being so large; shoes were always too tight – white satin shoes in particular”. If you want to look for symbolism here, white satin shoes suggest weddings, which might also be constraining.


Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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