My cherished Naiad Price of Salt is a reminder of that valiant and vital effort to recover gay and lesbian histories, to bring a culture to light, and in doing so to fuel a movement that ended up changing the social and political landscape of the United States forever. Neither she nor Carol looked like that."
26 May 2007
The author received mounds of letters from lesbians, as well as gay men, thanking her for the hopeful ending to her novel.
"The Price of Salt." People still get fired or kicked out of their homes because they are, or are thought to be, gay.
And millions of people around the world--in the parts of the world that allow such films to be shown--will watch a well-told, well-acted story of two women in love and be moved by it. Richard picks up a saltshaker. You have to forget my finger, and look at where it is pointing. Hers was the love that not only didn't dare speak its name, but had no idea what its name might be. The self-possessed, athletic, charming wife of a wealthy businessman, she was also an alcoholic who had been in and out of psychiatric institutions. Highsmith was a pared-down, precise writer whose stories rarely strayed from the solipsistic minds of her protagonists—most of them killers (like the suave psychopath Tom Ripley) or would-be killers (like the unhappy husbands in several of her books).
So as people line up to see Carol (and I, for one, intend to be in that line), I hope they'll also pick up The Price of Salt so that they can judge for themselves what Highsmith wanted to say about queerness in the 1950s. 1.3K views View 7 Upvoters
©2020 Verizon Media. Can the two women truly be left alone to make a life together? Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 May 2007
“The Price of Salt” was a unique expression of candor in a career built on artifice. She is forced to choose between her daughter and Therese. Many of her characters are vaguely bohemian, artists or would-be artists, who knowingly read James Joyce and--more significantly--Gertrude Stein. (The use of Modernism as a signifier of both hipness and queerness is one of the novel's fetching period details, along with references to the atom bomb and a level of tobacco and alcohol consumption that makes Don Draper look abstemious. “The Price of Salt” is the only Highsmith novel in which no violent crime occurs. Instantly, I am terrified, because I know she knows I am terrified and that I love her. Written by Patricia Highsmith, a lesbian writer, under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, it was her second novel (the first being Strangers on a Train) and her first piece of lesbian fiction. The expression to be worth one’s salt, which means you’re competent and deserve what you’re earning, is most often said to have its roots in ancient Rome, where soldiers were sometimes paid in salt or given an allowance to purchase it. Judging from the trailers, the cigarettes and cocktails have made it into the movie, but I suspect that the winking allusions to Stein haven't.). A 12-N box sits on the same book.
Because this was a time of lesbian pulp fiction, in which all books with homosexual content "punished" the homosexuals in the end. Boston Review. Before the days of artificial refrigeration, the main method for preserving food was to treat it with salt.
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It's the book labeled Carol (Movie Tie-In), released as part of the marketing campaign for the "major motion picture" announced on the new cover, which also features the exquisite faces of the film's co-stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. In her feverish dreams, the plot details of The Price of Salt started to come together.
Unfortunately, Senn never read, or even heard about, the book she inspired. But the fact is that particular permutation of desire was a potent reality for some women in 1952, as it is for some women now.
It seems romance is the seasoning Therese's life needs. There remains the possibility of Therese and Carol living happily ever after, which was unheard of.
The characters know about people "like that."
Therese is not an eloquent or self-revealing character, and her dialogue with Carol is sometimes banal. It's the price they have to pay to society, where their same-sex relationship is forbidden.
The love story is at once hijacked and heightened by the chase story. Thanks.
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