To begin at the beginning; you must die according to your coloring.

April 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Times were different during the days of Djuna Barnes (aka Lydia Steptoe). From her deeply dark satirical piece “What is Good Form in Dying?: In Which a Dozen Dainty Deaths Are Suggested for Daring Damsels”

To begin at the beginning; you must die according to your coloring. For a blonde to die a brunette death is inexcusable; for a golden-haired lady to die  like one whose hair is Titian red, or silver, is not only an intrusion but a vulgarity. For a blonde to leap out of a window, to shoot herself, to drink poison, or to slash her wrist with a razor is quite unmentionably bad taste. There is but one way for a blonde to end everything, provided that she be small and delicate of bone, and tiny of tissue.

She must hang.

[. . .]

Let us now approach the case of the brunette.

For the cold, the cruel, the heavy-lidded vampire of the brunette order, for one who moves slowly, like a wolf-hound, what is allotted to her in the etiquette book of death?

Poison.

Fire is also permissible, but it is nowadays almost out of the question. She can hardly cling to the gas-log until she dies; there is no chic about a gas-log, and there are, in these times fewer and fewer fireplaces built upon the grand scale, and almost no bonfires.

So poison it must be.

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