Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gina Ranalli's Wall of Kiss

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's seminal "The Yellow Wallpaper" is psychological horror. It's a story about a woman losing her sanity, and in the process, she projects hallucinations onto the gaudy yellow wall paper in her bedroom. While the themes of madness and patriarchy are nearly timeless, the story does not age well -- the medical antiquation dates the story fiercely.

In that regard, there's always Gina Ranalli's novella Wall Of Kiss. It reads like a 21st century updating of Gilman's story. The author may or have may not have known this when she wrote this, but that is almost immaterial. The resemblance is striking. Ranalli's book is a about a woman who falls in love with a wall. And no, it's not fetish porn, even though there is a sex scene involved. It's obvious that the leading character has become unhinged, to an extent. Still, the dynamic is the same Gilman's. A woman's twisted psyche is projected onto a wall.

Ranalli's novel was either the second or third work of bizarro fiction I've ever read. I have to say, it's still the most resonant work I've seen that genre offer. Of course, I'm still reading, still catching up.

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