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marge piercy - braided lives [Mar. 25th, 2007|10:33 pm]
Year of the Womyn

crafting_change
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[mood |awake]

I just finished Marge Piercy's Braided Lives. The whole book was truly amazing - a mesh of what seems to really be biography mingled with historical fiction, a retelling of what women endured in the 40s and 50s. Here is something included a review of the main character/possibly the actual authors writing:

Miss Stuart's sevent volume of poetry is crammed with reductionist simplistic snippets of women's lib cant. In describing a series of male/female encounters in which women are are injured, raped, maimed, Stuart is unsympathetic to male needs. Individual poems stress only the woman's role and anguish, instead of taking a balanced view. Only the poems about good sex transcend this morbid polematic bias. When we men denigrate women, compare them to mud, death, meat, sows, sloughs, sewers, traps, toilets, when we equate them with mortality, contigency, nature, when we put down women who put out and women who don't, we are merely being universal. Miss Stuart is guilty of special pleading. in art there can be no special pleading for women. Her poetry is uterine and devoid of thrust. Her volume is wet, menstruates and carries a puirse in which it can't find anything.

I want my art to be wet and menstrual!!!
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book love [Feb. 24th, 2007|07:28 pm]
Year of the Womyn

crafting_change
[Tags|, ]
[mood |awake]

Somewhat reposted from my LJ: I finished 'Geek Love' and am utterly wow'd by it. I think I could reread it again and again and again until this year is over, that is how much I loved it. I can read any sort of book: drama, sci-fi, any setting place or time - but for me the characters have to have this innately human story. It can't be all car chases and explosions, but rather rip your heart out raw stuff for me to love it.
Here are some entirely non-spoiler-y excerpts that had me wanting to read them aloud to whoever was nearest:
On the cruelness of children
We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears , getting a lollipop or toy bears worth of comfort. We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skulls for which there is no remedy, no safety, no comfort at all. We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness.

On love
That’s how I loved. Its O.K. for me to love a norm like that. But if he comes to loving me it’s because I’ve twisted him and changed him. If he loves me he’s corrupted. I can’t love him anymore. I won’t pretend it didn’t hurt.

On motherhood
Then the real fear began. With the baby outside me and vulnerable, I suddenly saw the world as hostile and dangerous. Anything, including my own ignorance, coud hurt her, kill her, snatch her from me. I wanted to cram her back inside where she’d be safe. I am too weak to protect her.

Geek Love make me want to write, they twist my brain and make me see things (life, art, the arrangement of a paragraph) entirely differently.

Katherine Dunn, the author, is a bit of a mystery only because finding her books seems near impossible. She grew up working class and in Kansas and seems to truly view art not in strata of high and low, but just.. earthy. I now want to find her other books and devour them at a much quicker pace.
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(no subject) [Feb. 10th, 2007|12:39 pm]
Year of the Womyn
rsharp
So here's what I've been reading...it's full of spoilers, so if you don't want to know plotlines, don't read!



I read 2 novels by E. Annie Proulx, Postcards and The Shipping News. Both had male protagonists, interestingly. Postcards involved a man who killed his girlfriend (and possibley raped her) in the beginning and then spent a life on the run, wandering, working odd jobs. I found it hard to identify with the character, for obvious reasons, but there were some beautiful passages of description, with lots of lists, which I love.

The Shipping News was about a man who moves to a remote area of NE Canada after his wife cheats on him and leaves him with their two daughters. His older aunt (who is a closet lesbian) convinces him to move back to where she grew up (and was raped by her brother and subsequently had an abortion). She is relieved when her nephew accepts her in spite of her past. WTF.

I'm hearing echos of bell hooks, here. That anyone can be a part of the white supremicist patriarchal hegemony. And I'm sad that The Shipping News won the Pulitzer.

On a positive note, I've also been reading some poetry, Denise Levertov and
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So here's what I've been reading...it's full of spoilers, so if you don't want to know plotlines, don't read!



I read 2 novels by E. Annie Proulx, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Postcards-Annie-Proulx/dp/1841155012/sr=1-2/qid=1171080892/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-4017191-6206222?ie=UTF8&s=books">Postcards</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Shipping-News-Novel-Annie-Proulx/dp/0743225422/sr=1-2/qid=1171081961/ref=sr_1_2/103-4017191-6206222?ie=UTF8&s=books">The Shipping News</a>. Both had male protagonists, interestingly. Postcards involved a man who killed his girlfriend (and possibley raped her) in the beginning and then spent a life on the run, wandering, working odd jobs. I found it hard to identify with the character, for obvious reasons, but there were some beautiful passages of description, with lots of lists, which I love.

The Shipping News was about a man who moves to a remote area of NE Canada after his wife cheats on him and leaves him with their two daughters. His older aunt (who is a closet lesbian) convinces him to move back to where she grew up (and was raped by her brother and subsequently had an abortion). She is relieved when her nephew accepts her in spite of her past. WTF.

I'm hearing echos of bell hooks, here. That anyone can be a part of the white supremicist patriarchal hegemony. And I'm sad that The Shipping News won the Pulitzer.

On a positive note, I've also been reading some poetry, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Water-Denise-Levertov/dp/0811210278/sr=1-10/qid=1171082566/ref=sr_1_10/103-4017191-6206222?ie=UTF8&s=books">Denise Levertov</a> and <a href+"http://www.amazon.com/Feminine-Gospels-Carol-Ann-Duffy/dp/0571211305/sr=1-2/qid=1171082515/ref=sr_1_2/103-4017191-6206222?ie=UTF8&s=books">Carol Ann Duffy</a>. I highly recommend Feminine Gospels (CAD). Here's my fav Levertov I've read:

Variation on a Theme by Rilke
by Denise Levertov

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me--a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day's blow
rang out, metallic--or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.
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(no subject) [Jan. 31st, 2007|09:14 pm]
Year of the Womyn

peregrin8
I finished Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link. It's a book of short stories, and they range from the vaguely surreal to full-tilt fantastical. There are a lot of nested narratives, and a few zombies, and there is a whole town that hides in a magic purse when the marauders show up.

Highly recommended if you like That Sort Of Thing. (I do.)


"There was a difference between art, which you just looked at, and things like soap, which you used. Even if the soap smelled so good that you didn't want to use it, only smell it. This was why people got so pissed off about art. Because you didn't eat it, and you didn't sleep on it, and you couldn't put it up your nose. A lot of people said things like 'That's not art' when whatever they were talking about could clearly not have been anything else, except art." -- Kelly Link, "Some Zombie Contingency Plans"
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(no subject) [Jan. 3rd, 2007|02:00 pm]
Year of the Womyn

peregrin8
Well, I have this one book-by-a-dude to finish up (Little, Big) but then I am going to start reading Magic for Beginners. What are y'all reading?
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(no subject) [Dec. 9th, 2006|10:02 am]
Year of the Womyn

elktooth_chain
Well, it's almost the middle of December, so I was wondering how everyone's reading plans are shaping up. I have a few reading lists I normally read from, so I'll probably be sticking with those but skipping over the male authors. And then in between those, I'm going to try to focus on more specifically feminist or otherwise political writers. I haven't really read much feminist stuff at all since college, so I really want to get back into that. I've also gotten really interested in anarchism lately, so I'll definitely be reading Emma Goldman and other anarchist and/or anarachafeminist writers. There are also a zillion really famous female novelists that I'm kind of embarrassed to say I've never read: Alice Walker, Isabel Allende, Octavia Butler, the list goes on! (But there are probably a zillion famous male novelists I've never read either, since I don't do much fiction generally.) So I'll be trying to work them in too.

Anyway, that's some of what I've been thinking about. Anyone else?
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