Cynthia Ozick on gossip and literature in today's Times:
"Yet even Solomon’s Proverbs, that ancient well of prudence, in one of its seemingly admonitory homilies, reveals — against its intent — a fierce intuition for the shattering force of storytelling: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s innermost parts.”
A man’s innermost parts! A woman’s innermost parts! Interpret this as you will, it all comes down to the self-conscious and vulnerable organ that humanity once dared (defiantly, subversively) to call Soul — where gossip longs to tread.
No gossip, no interiority. No interiority, the anthill."
Read the article here.
Our innermost parts. The soul. Or the kidneys. Or the genitals. Or all at the same time.