Artstars as Ordinary People

The Artstars by Anne Elliot
Indiana University Press, Publication date: 10/01/2019, ISBN: 978-0-253-04436-5

The characters in the collection of stories by Anne Elliot, entitled The Artstars, have art degrees. For each one you might say that Art is their life but, with one exception, not their livlihood. Any practicing artist in any medium will recognize the existential struggles of the mostly ordinary people who are the Artstars.

The collection of stories, and the lives of the main characters are intertwined. Each story is narrated by a different voice. In the first story, Light Streaming from a Horse’s Ass, the narrator addresses the main character as you. I wasn’t sure if she was talking about herself, or a variation of me or you the Artist. By describing the actions of the main character to the main character, she managed to convey admiration. The narrator is asserting that the process of creating and living with oneself and others is of interest, and might even matter.

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Marvelina Chapter 20 Part 2

I have never believed that sex work is liberating. It’s an industry like most others. It exploits its workers and even its customers really. In Square City the Sex Quarter is used to control the male operators. The women who provide the services are drugged and compliant.

	The Operators paraded up the stairs, now swaying their hips and licking their lips as they crossed the faux cut stone bridge. Joe felt the spikes in his boots sinking into the reinforced cardboard as he followed them. Curved buildings with entryways shaped like vulvas beckoned to the men from the other side of the bridge. Perfumed steam rose into the air lit up in pink. Cheap thrills offered by mechanical devices were arranged in view of the bridge to titillate the Operators and persuade them to part with some change as soon as they crossed over. A red carpet promised more expensive pleasures for those desiring to search further within the twisted streets of the Sex Quarter.

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