I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

In the Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher talks about and uses bits of journals she discovered that she had written at the time to describe how she felt at the time about herself and about how she felt about the affair she was having with her married co-star Harrison Ford. She couldn't talk to a friend about the affair because they might tell someone and it might get back to his wife. Fisher had gone onto the set of the movie looking to have an affair or romance, but she was looking at the unmarried men. Carrie, the daughter of "America's Sweetheart's" Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher had a front row seat to her father's infidelity to her mother. She knew what "the other woman" could do to a family and a marriage and wouldn't dream of doing that herself.

So how did an affair with Ford, a married man happen? It started by accident and then she just couldn't believe that he would want to be with her. You could tell that Ford was going to be a major star. And Fisher, even at twenty, knew that she wasn't going to be. So it was flattering to have Ford pay her attention, even if Ford was fifteen years older than she was. On top of that, she had little experience with men. She had one boyfriend, a college boyfriend with whom she had just broken up with. And the handful of other men she had made out with they had not gotten very far. This is all partly due to having a mother who drummed into her head that a guy won't want to hang around if he's getting the milk for free and partly due to her oversexed father who left her mother for Elizabeth Taylor.  Ford would feel pretty bad once he found out how little experience she did have because he was perhaps being given a gift that he didn't think he deserved.  

Fisher did ask Ford if he was ok with her disclosing their affair before she wrote this book.  She only discloses a small part of the diaries and not all of it is about Ford. Some of it is about how she feels about herself. Her insecurities, her growing into adulthood, her trying to make sense of life. They also include poetry. The diaries are beautifully written and show you the writer she would become.  

Ford was the only married man with whom she had an affair with. She was pretty serious about that rule for herself. Ford was just somehow the exception to it. They would meet up on Friday nights usually at the place she was borrowing from a friend since it was nicer than the place Ford was staying at. They were all being paid scale for this movie and the housing situation was sad but especially for Ford who was sending home a chunk of his paycheck to his wife and kids back home.

What did Fisher feel towards Ford or Ford her? Read the book to find out. This is a fascinating read and a real insight into Fisher and her take on Leia and Star Wars and it's fans. She says in the book that she is thinking of releasing more of the diaries/journals. However, as we all know she died from complications of a heart attack last week so who knows whether or not her family will release them or let them die with her. I'd love to read more, just because they are so well written it's a joy to read them. But the information contained within might be something they decided is better laid to rest. And I can respect that because the entries here are quite personal and soul-baring.    But that was Fisher to the end. Not afraid to talk about herself and her failings. It made her more human and more reachable and someone to look up to at the same time.

I do know that women have to look younger longer—in part due to the fact that cragginess doesn’t enhance most women’s overall appearance, and in part because I don’t know that many straight men whose goal is to achieve a kind of dewy teenage appearance. But maybe I don’t get around enough.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 45) 
Of course I think most people want to be liked, I think, especially when you consider the lonely alternatives. Even the fringier members of society—gangsters, drug cartel types, garden-variety serial killers—even they want to be liked in their own endearing ways.  They might want to be admired for their own particular brand of impressive awfulness, such as managing to elude the law for longer than anyone in their questionable line of work, or for the unique and even striking manner in which they slaughtered their victims. Clearly there are numerous methods that can be employed in one’s ravenous quest to be loved.-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 56) 
I wonder if she’s having an affair with Peter and assume that she more than likely is, because Peter is attractive also. Not as attractive as Koo, but he doesn’t have to be because as you no doubt are aware, if you have a penis and a job, being handsome is a fantastic bonus but hardly a necessity.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 75-6) 
Someone has to stand still for you to love them—my choices are always on the run.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 114) 
I’ve got to learn something from my mistakes instead of establishing a new record to break. Maybe stop fooling around with all these human beings and fall in love with a chair. It would have everything that the immediate situation has to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional and intellectual feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience and less response. The less the merrier.  Chairs. They’re always there when you need them and, while their staying implies total devotion, they still manage to remain aloof, noncommittal and insensitive. Immovable and loyal. Reliable and unconsoling. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 123)  
It’s very dangerous to have someone like you, because one day he’ll find that you are not the person he thought you were. He’ll end up someday having only one thing in common with you and that’ll be a shared sense of contempt and disgust for you. Of course you knew all along how foolish and worthless you were, you just hoped that if you crouched down behind yourself enough he wouldn’t see it. But one day when your guard is off-duty you see him see. You both catch you at yourself. Catch you behaving. And then you’re lost. No. You were lost all along.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 123-4) 
It’s not nice being inside my head. It’s a nice place to visit but I don’t want to live in here.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 135)
 If you’d never gotten close I wouldn’t have/noticed when you were far away/But you filled up my nights and then emptied/my days
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 145) 
I wish I could go away somewhere but the only problem with that is that I’d have to go too.
-Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist p 178)
Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Diarist-Carrie-Fisher/dp/0399173595/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483378397&sr=1-1&keywords=the+princess+diarist

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