Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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September 10, 2005
feet are destiny?

Of the several published reviews that I've seen of the new Edmund Wilson     bio, only the one in Harpers mentioned a foot fetish ("And many people who have read through the journals have become weary of Wilson's fascination with women's feet, which he describes in endless detail . . . ."). Unfortuntely, the bio's index includes no entry for the phrase, for those who want to find and read those passages first. Shameful.

I believe that in the journals of his that I've read, I've come across only one foot-related entry. It stuck in my memory indelibly. However, I've always found it of a character not salacious in the least but much more post-traumatic:

Coming away from a cocktail party, she had tripped at the top of a flight of stone stairs and fallen all the way.

Her feet were very small for her body, and she was always afraid of falling when she wore high heels, would always make me stop till the way was clear when we were crossing the street in New York, and then would proceed very cautiously.

Wilson is writing about his second wife, who died in a freak accident two years after their wedding. The piece is "The Death of Margaret" and appears in The Thirties.