May 19, 2019

"There is one form of power that has fascinated me ever since I was a girl, even though it has been widely colonized by men: the power of storytelling."

"Telling stories really is a kind of power, and not an insignificant one. Stories give shape to experience, sometimes by accommodating traditional literary forms, sometimes by turning them upside down, sometimes by reorganizing them. Stories draw readers into their web, and engage them by putting them to work, body and soul, so that they can transform the black thread of writing into people, ideas, feelings, actions, cities, worlds, humanity, life. Storytelling, in other words, gives us the power to bring order to the chaos of the real under our own sign, and in this it isn’t very far from political power.... I suppose that I chose to write out of a fear of handling more concrete and dangerous forms of power. And also perhaps out of a strong feeling of alienation from the techniques of domination, so that at times writing seemed to be the most congenial way for me to react to abuses of power...."

From "A Power of Our Own/Power is a story told by women. For centuries, men have colonized storytelling. That era is over" by the highly respected novelist Elena Ferrante (in the NYT).

I suppose that I chose to write out of a fear of handling more concrete and dangerous forms of power. 

235 comments:

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rhhardin said...

highly respected novelist Elena Ferrante

Never heard of her. Elena Ferrante et dona ferentes.

rhhardin said...

The Mary Higgens Clark mystery DVDs are beyond awful. People, ideas, feelings, actions, cities, worlds, humanity, life are all there but in the juvenile form women think of them.

rhhardin said...

Vicki Hearne, a great writer of philosophical criticism taking a woman's point of view, wrote truly awful novels.

buwaya said...

The worldview here is rather silly. Ignorant.
Women have been well represented among best-selling authors since the 18th century.

rhhardin said...

Weddings, tears and diseases vs. robots geeks and explosions.

rhhardin said...

The advent of female heroes able to fight big men hand to hand and win are a plus for women in serious films. Usually a pissed off female hero.

alanc709 said...

Do we know for certain that Elena Ferrante is a woman? Has someone broken her anonymity conclusively?

David Begley said...

What?! Women can’t be storytellers?

rhhardin said...

There's the Arabian nights, a thousand stories to divert her husband.

David Begley said...

Romance novels are big business and nearly all of the authors are women. I know one in Omaha. .

rcocean said...

"Widely colonized by men"

What kind of fucking English is that? Who is the colony? Who is being colonized?

That's why women aren't good story tellers. They can't write.

Jonathan Graehl said...

maybe her writing would be better if she weren't only in it for power.
she's ugly inside.

rhhardin said...

Colonized might be anal sex. It's the hatful/hateful thing.

rhhardin said...

Lautreamont's Maldoror has a chapter that explicitly rapes the reader as he describes (figuratively) that very rape.

rcocean said...

Seriously, women read 90% of all fiction and they're the ones that watch most of the the dopey TV dramas. And women write most of it.

Y'know why they don't get more credit? Because their writing has little appeal to most men, whereas many men writers have crossover appeal and are liked by women. However, even there, we have plenty of women writers who appeal to both sexes. So, what the woman complaining about? That Great writers aren't 50% women? They're only 33%? Or is that poor little women are being oppressed by the bad men - in general?

madAsHell said...

Never heard of her.

Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most influential people in 2016.

Yeah.....I missed that issue of Time magazine as well.

rcocean said...

You get the feeling that if the NYT cut out the "Women bitching about something" articles they'd lose 25% of the newspaper.

madAsHell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Ferrante holds that "books, once they are written, have no need of their authors."[5] She has repeatedly argued that anonymity is a precondition for her work[6] and that keeping her true name out of the spotlight is key to her writing process.[7]

According to Ferrante:

"Once I knew that the completed book would make its way in the world without me, once I knew that nothing of the concrete, physical me would ever appear beside the volume—as if the book were a little dog and I were its master—it made me see something new about writing. I felt as though I had released the words from myself."

The feminists have succeeded in creating a generation of infantilized weaklings who are victims in every facet of life. This stupid woman spent her life trying to be anonymous, then decided she wanted attention from her wealthy masters and in 2016 became one of the Time 100 most influential people.

Not Unrelated.

"The data reveals that 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable performing common workplace activities such as mentoring, working one on one, or socializing with a woman. That’s a 32% increase over last year."

Feminism is just another cog in the wheel. A goal of the elite has been to divide the populace in any way it can. Making Men and Women uncomfortable around each other is a crowning achievement.

This woman is a tool and did a good job for her masters.

Ann knows that feeling.

Michael K said...

"How do you write women so well?"

Darrell said...

Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë just said "Wut?"

Fen said...

Sorry she lost me at "colonized" by men.

LOL Get fucked.

madAsHell said...

She also had an opportunity to become a radio broadcaster.

Fen said...

The advent of female heroes able to fight big men hand to hand and win are a plus for women in serious films. Usually a pissed off female hero.



And 20 years later it's still considered "empowering". How many more decades do they need to remind us they are equal?

Achilles said...

Fen said...
Sorry she lost me at "colonized" by men.

LOL Get fucked.


Just another cosseted woman in a western nation living in the safest and most comfortable times protected by men who she hates and derides.

How many hard choices did she ever have to make in her life?

She should be shipped to Afghanistan for a while. She would break after 2 days.

gilbar said...

Isn't it just that Women can't write good stories?

I mean, were there Ever Women that could write as well, as say:
A.M. Barnard?
Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell?
Isak Dinesen?
J.K. Rowling?
Andre Norton?
James Tiptree Jr?
Pat Murphy?

Joan said...

Ugh.

I wonder how long our culture will survive these unending pernicious attacks. "Nibbled to death by ducks" comes to mind.

Darrell said...

Agatha Christie goes looking for a particular mushroom to send to Ferrante. . .

MayBee said...

OMG women are turning even storytelling into a victimization thing?

Women have gotten so exhausting.

Ann Althouse said...

You guys are testy this afternoon.

Clyde said...

"The challenge for now and the foreseeable future is to extract ourselves from what men have engineered: a planet long on the edge of catastrophe." And yet, if it wasn't for those catastrophe-engineering men, Ms. Ferrante and others of her ilk would be living as the wives of subsistence farmers in a world lit only by fire. And around those bonfires, they could gather to tell their stories about how badly men have messed things up.

gbarto said...

Where too many modern novels fall apart is that they seem to be written for the emotional benefit of the storyteller when the true storyteller is primarily interested in provoking something in the hearer.

If you want your story to be effective, you don't worry about the story you want to tell. Your focus is on making the listener feel a certain way at the end. This is why the old timer's ramblings changed the direction of men's lives in ways an eloquent sermon failed to.

Michael K said...

No, we are just tired of the constant bitching by women.

You know who else is tired ? their bosses.

LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey just released the results of a survey on the state of men and women interacting in the workplace in the age of #MeToo. The results are frustrating. The data reveals that 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable performing common workplace activities such as mentoring, working one on one, or socializing with a woman. That’s a 32% increase over last year.

jerpod said...

The advent of female heroes able to fight big men hand to hand and win are a plus for women in serious films. Usually a pissed off female hero.

A kick in the nuts usually figures prominently in the victory.

Jeff Brokaw said...

What MayBee said. This is beyond stupid.

Thinking of yourself as a victim brings with it a passive and factually incorrect mindset that hurts your own ability to process why you’re where you are, and the best ways to get out of it.

A bad idea for that alone. Don’t choose dysfunction and passivity, it’s bad for ya.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel

Bodice rippers are strictly formulaic and the plot usually involves a vulnerable heroine faced with a richer and more powerful male character, whom she initially dislikes. Later, she succumbs to lust and falls into his arms.

Fen said...

For millenniums, every expression of power has been conditioned by male attitudes toward the world.

First off, "milleniums" is an ironic appropriation. Which is different when she does it because shut up you misogynist!

"As a Latin word, the plural of millennium is rendered as millennia. However, since millennium is now an appropriated English word, it is also correct to render the plural form as millenniums."

Second, blaming "the Patriarchy" is a self-refuting argument. If she means to say that since humans began forming societies (around 11,000 years ago), that the males have easily oppressed the females, for 11,000 years in a row, that's quite a win streak: 11,000-0.

If I can easily beat you for 11,000 years straight, we are certainly NOT equals.

IgnatzEsq said...

"You guys are testy this afternoon."

Ferrante is apparently very hateable. Good on her.

Fen said...

You guys are testy this afternoon.

Meh. Make me a sandwich and it will all be good. (LOL sorry, couldn't help that)

Yes I am a grump today, no idea why. Will try to dial it down.

GatorNavy said...

This post and comments are why I am glad my literary and philosophical views have been shaped by Sowell, Kafka, Orwell, Asimov, Twain, Heinlen, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and Hayek. Elena wouldn’t cut it as a barista to these men.

Bruce Hayden said...

"As a Latin word, the plural of millennium is rendered as millennia. However, since millennium is now an appropriated English word, it is also correct to render the plural form as millenniums."

After 7 years of HS and college Latin, “millenniums” sounds ignorant to me.

rhhardin said...

Chick Lit (2016)
This is a comedy drama about four guys trying to save their local pub from closing down. The group writes a chick lit, or more specifically a "mummy porn" novel, in the style of "Fifty Shades of Grey", and it gets snapped up. The only snag, is that the publisher insists that the young female "author" does press and publicity. The guys have to keep their involvement a secret, and so engage an out of work actress to "role play" the part of the author. This leads to her becoming the star in the movie of the book. The tables are turned on the guys, and she is in control, leaving them with the awful prospect of having to secretly churn out sex novels for the foreseeable future.

(imdb)

Seeing Red said...

Feminists whining like the toddlers they are. 24/7/365.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

You guys are testy this afternoon.

maybe from reading Madame Ovary

Fen said...


"The challenge for now and the foreseeable future is to extract ourselves from what men have engineered: a planet long on the edge of catastrophe."

To dovetail with what Achilles said upthread, this woman is ignorant of the real world and of history. For much of it, the human condition has sucked. Average life expectancy of 30 years, soul crushing poverty and despair marked by brief interludes involving much running and screaming.

She is living in the apex of human civilization, and as the most spoiled creature on the face of the planet: an American woman. It's the flash of a spark that will burn out within this century. And she's spending it as a victim of some phantom patriarchy.

Speaking of the superiority of male writers (I'm teasing), Heinlein weighs in:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck".

Seeing Red said...

I’ll take Isaac Asimov’s limericks over her any day.

Eleanor said...

If I want to escape into a book because I'm tired of thinking about important things, there are several women writers who tell a good story. They can make me laugh or make me cry. At the end of the book I feel like I've gone out for a nice afternoon with a friend and had a good time. But they aren't, for the most part, although there are some exceptions, books that stay with me a long time. The books that have changed how I look at the world have mostly been written by men. I suspect it's because until recently the world of men and the world of women have been very different, and man's world has been much larger. That is slowly changing, and that might change the stories women choose to tell.

Seeing Red said...

I was on an Asimov bender in my early 20s.

Rory said...

No one tells more stories than those who watch the children.

It's interesting the choice of "storytelling" rather than writing. For the milleniums of interest here, most storytelling involved preservation of an existing story which transmitted orally from generation to generation. Performance was necessary, but it also required precise memorization.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Y'know why they don't get more credit? Because their writing has little appeal to most men, whereas many men writers have crossover appeal and are liked by women. However, even there, we have plenty of women writers who appeal to both sexes. So, what the woman complaining about? That Great writers aren't 50% women? They're only 33%? Or is that poor little women are being oppressed by the bad men - in general?”

For a half century, I have read industrial quantities of sci-fi and fantasy. Early on, it was mostly by male authors (e.g. Asimov, Heinlein, etc). But for the last quarter century or so, I have tended to prefer either female authorettes, or male/female collaborators. Men tend to be better at gee whiz science and a lot of action. Women tend to weave a tapestry of relationships and feelings around their plots, which seem to make them richer. Working together, you can get good action to move things along, plus the warmth of human interactions.

whitney said...

"You guys are testy this afternoon"

So are us gals. Women are so effing stupid these days it's annoying to be one

wholelottasplainin' said...

Fen said...
The advent of female heroes able to fight big men hand to hand and win are a plus for women in serious films. Usually a pissed off female hero.
**************

Which is still a fantasy, from top to bottom. Totally UNserious.

If wymyn are physically equal to men, then why do they almost always lose to them in sports or in real-life assaults?

Just look at how male trannies are destroying female sports.

Film-makers showing female superheroes kicking the ass of a guy with a fifty pound weight advantage ought to be required to run a chiron along the screen advising,

"SJWs and Empowered Feminists: Don't try this at home".

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

...so effing stupid these days it's annoying to be one

do 'old-school liberals' have this same sentiment?

Drago said...

Simply outlaw the practice of male storytelling.

Problem solved.

Except for Men of Color storytelling. Thats totally cool.

And biological females who identify as men and are, like, exactly the same as biological men in every way, except like totally better due to having been females before, but not really, cuz they were always really males even if they didnt know it....except, of course, better than males cuz actual female genitalia...which doesnt matter. At all.

They can storytell as well.

And muslim men can totally still storytell.

Basically, lets just narrow the storytelling ban to its rightful targets: white western Christian conservative bioligical males.

See?

Easy.

Bruce Hayden said...

“I was on an Asimov bender in my early 20s”

I think that I was caught up with all his fiction by the time I went to college, and had even read some of his non-fiction. Ditto for Heinlein, except that somehow I missed his “Stranger in a Strange Land” until I was in college. I was thinking that maybe it had been written that late, but turns out that it was first published in 1961-62. It was somewhat faddy at the time - for example, It introduced “grok” to the English language, which fit in well to the hippie era that was in full swing then.

mandrewa said...

The most significant thing about Elena Ferrante is that she is fascist. She is a post-modern left-wing hater. And you know that as soon as you read this business about men colonizing writing.

I mean maybe she isn't really that. Maybe she's giving a false signal, but everyone knows what this is supposed to mean. It means she's a fascist-in-good-standing, or as the left would phrase it, she's a good person.

But that's what really matters. It isn't this business about her being female.

There's a mistake here of hating women for this behavior. That's what the left wants.

But this is not all women. Now just like most of the people here, I've read many novels written by women over the years. It didn't even seem significant that they were female. And I think very few of them, these writers from previous decades and further in the past, were fascists, or even close to that.

It's a huge problem that so many young women today seem to be fascist. But maybe that's what inevitably happens when we let our schools be run by fascists.

Fen said...

Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Thieves is very good.

Remember to use the Althouse Amazon Portal to grab it!

(the Wife and I are running an inside joke about politics and advertisers, we want to do a War of the Worlds clickbait where we routinely break for a word from our sponsors)

Fen said...

do 'old-school liberals' have this same sentiment?

Maryland used to be chock-full of "Proud To Be A Democrat" bumper stickers.

They suddenly went POOF! this year.

Quaestor said...

And also perhaps out of a strong feeling of alienation from the techniques of domination, so that at times writing seemed to be the most congenial way for me to react to abuses of power...."

Even Joseph Göbbels would recognize that as bullshit.

Amexpat said...

I just, five minutes ago, finished a story about a female story teller. Scheherazade in "Men Without Women" a Murakami collection of short stories. She was a very good female story teller. But it was written by a man. Not sure if that counts.

Rabel said...

That's a man, Baby.

Playing the ladies for every dollar he can pull.

Or not.

tcrosse said...

"You guys are testy this afternoon"

Some creep slid into my DM.

Quaestor said...

...by the highly respected novelist Elena Ferrante.

If submitted to Wikipedia an editor would digitally blue pencil in the dreaded [by whom?].

The whole thing comes across as the work of a highly paid publicist hired by Farrante's agent who, knowing the quality of his product, has decided it can't sell itself.

Fen said...

I followed Micheal K's link at 1:30 to find Melissa Locker trying to understand why there has been as 33% increase in men reluctant to mentor or even dine and travel with female colleagues. She is very stupid:

"That means the many, many women in this world who are just trying to do their jobs and make progress in their careers are being stymied by men who are terrified of being, I dunno, unable to control themselves while talking to a woman in the conference room."

Gee Melissa, maybe there is a more reasonable explanation? The fact that she would publish such an intellectually vapid statement... SMH.

Fen said...

Sorry, here it is. Deserves it's own fisking.

Bruce Hayden said...

“If wymyn are physically equal to men, then why do they almost always lose to them in sports or in real-life assaults?”

I made this point at one point with a young woman by watching the original Conan movie with her, then asking how could a woman stand up to the guys in that movie. The answer is with a bow (until armor moved to good steel plate around 1400) or a gun. But not sword on sword. Maybe on very rare circumstances, but never with any possibility of regularity. Used to be that the trope was that women could be faster. Nope. Evidence seems to point the other way. Sure Conan is exaggerated, and seemed to be a way for Schwarzenegger and his body building buddies to show off their bodies, but the reality is that males just naturally put on muscle mass much faster than females. Or, I should say, than genetic females with normal levels of testosterone (of course Schwarzenegger and his buddies typically used steroids to get that big).

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

It's a huge problem that so many young women today seem to be fascist.

Every cooing baby turns into a fascist at 24 months, and for a year has all the endearing qualities of Benito Mussolini except a corps of black-shirted goons to do his bidding. Then they grow out of it. Except sometimes (more often than not it seems) they don't.

People like Elena Ferrante happen when they don't.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Thieves is very good”

“Remember to use the Althouse Amazon Portal to grab it!”

Except that she occasionally blogs over at Instapundit, which has its own Amazon Portal, which is why I would give them the nod.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Bruce: Used to be that the trope was that women could be faster. Nope. Evidence seems to point the other way.

I can actually speak to that. My rapier club. I was trained by a female instructor who has 10 years of experience on me. I can't beat her (because I suck at the more complex aspects of the sport). But speed? I'm faster than her. Like a rattlesnake strike. I've actually caught her a few times with it.

BTW, nothing is sexier than a woman who is lethal with a rapier. :)

DavidUW97 said...

Silly garbage like this is why I’ve only been going out with women from Mediterranean countries since a Turkish girlfriend second year at Madison. domestic women are terrible, marinated in bitter Marxist feminism.

buwaya said...

Re SF -

Traditionally the value in it was ideas. The conceptual creation.
That was the whole point really. Just an example of whats typical, and not particularly fine, I am reading Neal Asher's "Skinner" at the moment.

As usual, and typical, he's got a world and a universe, that he's had to create, that world having a unique biology and ecosystem, based on some handwaving, that results in extremely rapid tissue regeneration. The implications can be grotesque, and he goes there. That creation is SF. The characters can be cardboard, but the creatures aren't.

Re women -

Social and personal observation is a strong suit. One woman who is long out of favor is Pearl Buck. She has never been equalled in the matter of getting into the minds of the Chinese peasantry. This is serious stuff, not a soap opera, but the very nature of the material has a built-in pathos. She was a huge best seller in her day.

Perhaps the least "female" female writer ever was Mary Shelley. Also probably one of the most influential writers ever. And I think "Frankenstein" largely sold to men, which is interesting. Ultimately more influential, probably, down the road, than her husband Percy, or those of his circle, Byron and Keats.

An interesting analysis - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DnSmGFmP8qU
Forgive the narrators voice, and it is a six-part series. But insightful.

robother said...

For tens of thousands of years, hunter-gatherers sat around the fire, spell-bound by women's tales of squabbles over berry-picking and child care. Then one man decided to share a story about the day's hunt, and boom, story-telling was never the same.

rhhardin said...

What's a rapier? Foil, epee and sabre are the three when I was fencing - I was sabre. It seems like those would cover all the ways of poking people as a sport.

Michael K said...

One woman who is long out of favor is Pearl Buck.

A favorite of mine is Mary Renault ( Eileen Mary Challans, ) who got me interested in classical Greece and incidentally has written the most sympathetic treatment of homosexuality I've read. She was lesbian but wrote novels about homosexual characters that included their life style that was done in a sympathetic (to me) way.

Another Was Rebecca West whose travel book/history "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" is still the best thing about the Balkans and Serbia.

SGT Ted said...

The entire notion of men "colonizing" anything, much less storytelling, is sexist piggery and misandrist bullshit.

Quaestor said...

What's a rapier? Foil, epee and sabre are the three when I was fencing - I was sabre.

Fen isn't referring to fencing as defined by FIE. He's talking about European martial arts — more realistic swordplay than FIE fencing involving full-weight weapons. There are all kinds of matchups — sword and buckler, sword vs. polearm, arming sword vs two-handed — any kind of matchup that can be documented in contemporary sources are allowed if it can be made relatively safe, thus I haven't seen sword vs. torch...yet.

buwaya said...

HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) - my boy was doing longsword at one time.
I mean, that sort of thing that was normal in the 14th-15th century. Vastly different from modern fencing.

Rapiers are one of the paths in HEMA.

Rapiers are actually very different from epee and foil. Much longer and heavier.

chuck said...

Good lord, "colonized"? Nasty imperialists those men were. Probably white too.

narciso said...

how is it different from Japanese swordplay, kendo, I remember from my brief interest with karate around the time of the karate kid,

Quaestor said...

Michael K. wrote: Mary Renault...who got me interested in classical Greece and incidentally has written the most sympathetic treatment of homosexuality I've read.

Exclusive homosexuality? Because that was pretty rare (or rarely documented) in classical Greece. Its better known from Hellenistic and Principate sources.

buwaya said...

There are lots of videos out there narciso.
HEMA longsword is very different from kendo.

Amexpat said...

There are of course lots of great female story tellers. Carson McCullers is a personal favorite. I just visited Karen Blixen's home with a group through work. Never have read her. I should.

chuck said...

Used to be that the trope was that women could be faster. Nope.

Men's muscles do contract faster on average according to Rippetoe

Fernandistein said...

"colonized"

Creative but dumb. Well, not creative, just dumb.

Quaestor said...

how is it different from Japanese swordplay, kendo, I remember from my brief interest with karate around the time of the karate kid,

European martial arts often involves combats between unlike weapons. Unfortunately, too many EMA enthusiasts are assholes, which explains the abusive garage music imposed on this bout.

SGT Ted said...

But, at least she isn't talking about her vagina. So, that's a plus.

narciso said...

I half expected that as a hardbitten Neapolitan, she wouldn't go for this foolishness, then again donna leon, the American expat in venice, has similar mindsets, I've seen her brunetti episodes dubbed from german,

Hagar said...

I have been thinking for some time about putting up a post about how in recent years a number of women have taken to writing what I call "small history," such as Dava Sobel's "Longitude," etc., someone else on how the traders of the old frontier west were all inter-related, Mai Elliot on her and her family's experience of the war in Viet Nam, Christina Thompson on the settlement of Polynesia, etc. and so forth.

Two-eyed Jack said...

I prefer to hold Samuel Butler's opinion that The Odyssey was written by a Sicilian woman and that it has all been mostly downhill from there.

buwaya said...

We haven't noticed any unusual number of assholes in Hema vs any other sport.
These are all rather young (often very young) men, hence the music.
And maybe the assholes.

Michael K said...

Exclusive homosexuality? Because that was pretty rare (or rarely documented) in classical Greece. Its better known from Hellenistic and Principate sources.

The two I was most impressed by were her novels about Alexander and Hephaistion. The other is "The Mask of Apollo," in which the principle character is homosexual and there is a fair amount of discussion of the life. Both sound realistic to this flagrant heterosexual but are sympathetic. I have had homosexual friends, most of whom died of AIDS during the epidemic. I was aware of their lifestyle which directly contributed to their death. I have had to break the news to a nuclear engineer that he had AIDS when it was a death penalty. He told me it couldn't be true because he was in a 10 year monogamous relationship. What could I say ?

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah some folks just don't know history. This woman's opinion hits Jane Austen, George Sand, Mary Shelley, Frances Trollope (there were two of them with different middle names), the Bronte sisters smack up alongside the head. Can't these 19th century female authors get any respect? (And I'm not even getting to American female authors in that century).

As for female story tellers who hit the big casino for serious coin see Rowling, J. K.

narciso said...

I never heard that theory, but the fact he took 10 years to get back, suggests he did travel quite some distance,

tcrosse said...

I suppose that I chose to write out of a fear of handling more concrete and dangerous forms of power.

It's always best to be careful when handling concrete. You could end up being stuck in the stuff when it hardens.

Unknown said...

Storytelling colonized by men? Let's go back to when men did almost everything, say 1800. Women did very little because so many children died in infancy that women had 6 or more kids. With nursing and childcare and no appliances they were busy with children most of their adult life. Men took care of things so this could take place and the species could survive. Please tell me how this is "oppression". It is just what is.

Lucien said...

@rhhardin:

So the plot of “Chick Lit” is essentially the same as “Remington Steele”?

Earnest Prole said...

I was willing to believe she was highly respected until she uttered the word colonized.

narciso said...

something like that:


https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2017/january/frantumaglia-writers-journey-elena-ferrante

wwww said...

Speaking of storytelling...GOT tonight.

Hagar said...

These "small histories" often tell you more about the "big" history than the "big history does, or at least fill in color and detail that gives more meaning to the "big picture" works.

Fernandistein said...

Women did very little because so many children died in infancy that women had 6 or more kids. With nursing and childcare and no appliances they were busy with children most of their adult life.

That's why men invented the various clothes washing machines, the baby bottle, the electric stove, the microwave oven, the electric clothes iron, and oh yeah electricity, TV dinners and edible underwear. And some other stuff, chlorination and vaccines and whatever, to keep those kiddies alive.

Fernandistein said...

You might say men colonized the field of invention. But it would be a stupid thing to say.

McCackie said...

Projecting her own neurosis and failures onto the "Other".

stevew said...

"You guys are testy this afternoon."

First, note that I don't speak for all the fellas here who are testy this afternoon. My testiness is due to the author's demand for acknowledgement and affirmation of worth. It makes me testy because this is just the latest in a long list of similar pieces: whining and complaining about power and status and acknowledgement and sharing of workloads and on and on and how she's marginalized by other author's success, particularly the male ones that are colonizing, or something.

Write your stories. Publish them, if you can. The affirmation comes from people buying your work product.

Why are so many of these women so lacking in self-confidence that they need the rest of us to tell them how wonderful they are? At least that's what I get from these things.

Fen said...

Quaestor: Fen isn't referring to fencing as defined by FIE. He's talking about European martial arts — more realistic swordplay than FIE fencing involving full-weight weapons. There are all kinds of matchups — sword and buckler, sword vs. polearm, arming sword vs two-handed — any kind of matchup that can be documented in contemporary sources are allowed if it can be made relatively safe, thus I haven't seen sword vs. torch...yet.

buwaya: Rapiers are actually very different from epee and foil. Much longer and heavier

Yup, sounds like you two know more about it than I do! :)

Thanks.

doctrev said...

This, too, is the legacy of American education. A lot of young women, relentlessly patted upon their dainty heads as they Hermione their way to the top of the class, come to the painful realization that no one else cares about their achievements. Being able to write coherently doesn't make them storytellers people want to hear from: and most are too self-absorbed to realize their writing skills are actually sub-par. But it's so UNFAIR, because they write so much like books that win prestigious awards, books their teachers foist upon boys like pearls before swine. And the swine don't read them because they are illiterate, OBVIOUSLY, and not just intensely hostile to both message and messenger. Drago thinks he's joking about the literature ban, but the intense flood of mediocrity is because publishing houses are dominated by New York liberals who sip soy latte and penis.

Or we can cut to the point and say that writing is "colonized" because most women are not just weaker and more cowardly than most men, but dumber too.

wwww said...

Mary Renault

I like Renault quite a bit. Her novel about the myth of Ariadne and the Minotaur is quite fun. If you like her style, Gillian Bradshaw has a MA in Classics and has written several historical novels that are fun. Her "Islands of Ghosts" takes place in Roman Britain.

John Lynch said...

"Colonized" implies there was something there before. Sorry, no, men CREATED stories. Out of nothing.

Nobody said...

This is why they have taken over the literary awards.

Temujin said...

Maybe some of these women should be reading Ayn Rand.

TickTock said...

@ Bruce Hayden

Though more fantasy than SciFi, Sharon Lee and Steve Millers Liaden Universe books are strong evidence for your perspective as their collaboration produces something more interesting than either alone.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Drag Queen Storytelling Hour

(DQSH) is just what it sounds like— drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.



Unknown said...

For a half century, I have read industrial quantities of sci-fi and fantasy. Early on, it was mostly by male authors (e.g. Asimov, Heinlein, etc). But for the last quarter century or so, I have tended to prefer either female authorettes, or male/female collaborators. Men tend to be better at gee whiz science and a lot of action. Women tend to weave a tapestry of relationships and feelings around their plots, which seem to make them richer. Working together, you can get good action to move things along, plus the warmth of human interactions.

If you have not found "her" yet, let me highly recommend Ilona Andrews. "She" is actually a husband/wife team, and their most famous books, the Kate Daniels saga (Titles of the form "Magic Xes" where "X" is a verb..) have butt kicking action *and* heart. Also, they avoid the trap of making the guy just a lust cipher. Curran has fully as much agency as Kate, and even when he's not on the page, he's off doing something fully as important as Kate is.

traditionalguy said...

A collection of short stories that have shared characters and some common connection is the best, because that is how we remember our life story. Tales of the South Pacific is a masterpiece of this genre.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

Book publishing is a female-dominated industry. Trust me. Agents are women. Acquisitions editors are women. Executive editors are women. Reviewers are women.

Most books are written by women, are published by women, and read by women.

Doesn't bother me- women are more likely to shell out the money for books.

Unknown said...

OTOH, the Amazon indie market seems to be male dominated to an extreme, at least in SF. Lots of harem books, and Literay Role Playing Game books asn space opera. Nothing that would be touched by a New York publisher.

Not that there aren't lots of good women authors there as well

Lewis Wetzel said...

Another feminist who longs to control the Power of the Penis and the womb.
Sorry, lady, you can't even take your pick.

Unknown said...

The advent of female heroes able to fight big men hand to hand and win are a plus for women in serious films. Usually a pissed off female hero.
**************

Which is still a fantasy, from top to bottom. Totally UNserious.

If wymyn are physically equal to men, then why do they almost always lose to them in sports or in real-life assaults?


Well, if it's fantasy, that doesn't really matter if you are reading fantasy in the first place. Could Red Sonja really beat the average male warrior, much less the best ones? No. So what.

Another trope is to project current mores backwards, so you have Flintlock-punk series like "Powder Mage" and "The Shadow Campaigns" where Napoleanic France analogs field mixed armies and are ok with homosexuality. It's certainly not realistic, but it works as fiction.

Fen said...

Sorry, had a funny sword vs spear video but those guys are so bad with shield play that I couldn't spread such bad technique into the world :)

deleted

Nancy Reyes said...

Mothers and grandmothers and aunts and nannies have always been story tellers: That is how we "teach" our children about life. We tell them myths, fairy tales, stories of our religious heritage, the tales of our ancestors, the tales of heroism, and the folk tales of our family's history.

But I suppose she means women who tell the PC story of their "liberation" from the family and who get it published and become heroines to the left.

Kevin said...

Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most influential people in 2016.

Well there you have it.

You can't just tell a story, it has to be one people want to hear.

chuck said...

It's certainly not realistic, but it works as fiction.

The only thing missing in those works is women. The fantasy women in the ranks usually act and think like men, so the upshot is a bunch of men with randomly assigned gender labels.

John Lynch said...

@Unknown

Yeah, that's why I'm with an indie publisher and sell on Amazon. That's where the market is.

The money spends the same.

Complaining gets a writer nowhere. Adapt and overcome. There have never been more ways to publish.

Nobody said...

Wait until all the books a digital and they decide what should and shouldn’t be read. It will make the Library of Alexandria look like a cigarette in the wastebasket.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

the penis mightier than the sword

Big Mike said...

There are lots of females writing made-up stories for a living; the field of journalism is full of women.

Quaestor said...

Since it was brought up a word about kendo — Obviously kendo translates to "way of the sword", but as a sport, it resembles actual combat perhaps even less than FIE fencing. Just as in fencing kendo involves defensive parries as well as attacks, but tsurugi, the martial art of the bokken as well as actual swords, the combatants keep at a greater distance and attack with wide sweeping cuts. Because the katana was both very expensive and comparatively fragile Japanese swordsmen sought to avoid sword-on-sword clashes if possible. They typically held the sword high and basically behind their CoG, waiting for the opportunity to inflict a fatal cut. In kendo, the combatant holds the shinai at waist level pointing at the opponent, and he scores by striking a valid target. However, those strikes are not the drawing cuts that katanas are so noted for.

alanc709 said...

My favorite female SF/fantasy author has been Katherine Kurtz for a long time. Mainly for her Deryni novels. She pretty much invented historical fantasy in the 70's.

John Lynch said...

I love digital books. They never go out of print. I don't have to worry about my publisher printing books. Try finding old SF books not written by the big authors. Once out of print, they're gone unless you find them in a used book store. Worse, you don't even know what existed. Finding new authors was often random chance.

chuck said...

Amazon indie market seems to be male dominated to an extreme,

I disagree, the big sellers are romance and juveniles, usually on kindle unlimited. Most romance is written by women, and there is a large niche of romantic fantasy/SF.

Bill Peschel said...

Amazon indie market seems to be male dominated to an extreme,

This would be very difficult to tell, since pennames are allowed. Just as it would be difficult to tell the race of the author.

What is true is that there is no obstacle to publication through Amazon, either books or ebooks. Even people whose books shouldn't have been published. That is the strength and weakness of indie publishing.

Big Mike said...

According to Wikipedia Elena Ferrante has written approximately a half dozen books. Only 219 to go to catch up to Nora Roberts.

Unknown said...

What is true is that there is no obstacle to publication through Amazon, either books or ebooks. Even people whose books shouldn't have been published. That is the strength and weakness of indie publishing.

True that.

However you can generally tell the real stinkers from the product description blurb, and if that's borderline, the "Look inside" will clue you in.

Michael K said...

She pretty much invented historical fantasy in the 70's.

A huge series in historical/fantasy fiction is the "Outlander" series. I have read a couple. The story of the author is pretty interesting. She decided to see if she could write a novel.

Jean Auel has also had a huge career writing her novels of prehistory fiction, beginning with "Clan of the Cave Bear" I was driving back from Seattle to LA in the 80s with two of my kids. I had a series of cassettes of the "Clan" book. The kids were enthralled with it and, when we arrived home, ran into the house to listen to the end.

Unknown said...

Blogger chuck said...
Amazon indie market seems to be male dominated to an extreme,

I disagree, the big sellers are romance and juveniles, usually on kindle unlimited. Most romance is written by women, and there is a large niche of romantic fantasy/SF.


That's why I added "at least in SF" after the comma.

Fantasy is a different genre (though with a large reader overlap) as is Romance.

However, what I should have said is something like "The Amazon indie marketplace gives men the opportunity to write books for men that wouldn't be published by the big publishers".

There are a *lot* of those, but there are also a lot of women authors as well.

Lindsey Buroker comes to mind. She generally writes light second world fantasy, usually with a romance subplot where the heroes banter back and forth in a way Americans are no longer allowed to do. Fun stuff. Mia Archer writes funny, media aware, lesbian superheroes and they're not political or angry about anything. (Well, giant robots and mind controlling worms are sore spots).

wholelottasplainin' said...

John Lynch said...
Book publishing is a female-dominated industry. Trust me. Agents are women. Acquisitions editors are women. Executive editors are women. Reviewers are women.

Most books are written by women, are published by women, and read by women.

Doesn't bother me- women are more likely to shell out the money for books.

**********

You might want to revise and extend your remarks after reading this:


https://www.npr.org/2014/02/26/282600453/when-it-comes-to-womens-writing-how-do-publications-stack-up

(many more male reviewers than females)

and this (cited in the above)

https://newrepublic.com/article/82930/vida-women-writers-magazines-book-reviews

(many more male authors published than females)

"Trust, but verify" ---R. Reagan

chuck said...

the Kate Daniels saga

I enjoyed the series until it went full romance. Seems to happen regularly with female authors, everything is great for the first four or five books in a series, and then it descends into heavy breathing.

Unknown said...

the Kate Daniels saga

I enjoyed the series until it went full romance. Seems to happen regularly with female authors, everything is great for the first four or five books in a series, and then it descends into heavy breathing.


I dunno. People get married and have kids. That's life.

Kate, on the other hand has an evil wizard planning her wedding, and her immortal father is moving his legions on Atlanta to kidnap the baby.

That's fantasy.

Michael K said...

Helen MacInnes is another woman writer whose books I've read over and over. Several have been made into movies in the 1940s. They are marvelous travelogues as many are set in Europe. I think she only wrote one about the US and it is not as good.

chuck said...

Lindsey Buroker comes to mind.

She does a good job of straddling the line. The romance is entertaining, the tears, blushes, and heavy breathing are kept in check, and the fantasy is light.

Rory said...

Sarah Caudwell wrote four good comic mysteries.

John Lynch said...

@wholelottasplainin

That's not my experience at all.

One article is from 2014, the other from 2011. Ancient history in publishing.

What's happening at the top of the heap has nothing to do with the other 99%. I have zero chance of ever being reviewed by those publications, so I don't care if the reviewers are male, female, or Martian. It's like lecturing a guy who works in HR about gender ratios in the boardroom.

Mrs. Bear said...

This novelist's comments are uninteresting and, to me, more or less meaningless. I am an aficionado of horror short stories. Almost all my favorites were written at least 60 years ago and, in many cases, over 100 years ago. The vast majority were apparently written by men. On the other hand, the creepiest short story that I have ever read was "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Does my having noticed this make me virtuous and special? No. It does, however, mean that I can notice merit without caring overmuch what the sex of the author is. Also, my gateway drug to science fiction was Andre Norton, when I was about seven.

Big Mike said...

Around 600 BCE the acclaimed poet Sappho was writing poetry by the cart-load. Does she count? If so then female writers who are huge successes at their craft go back at least 2600 years.

wholelottasplainin' said...

John Lynch said...
@wholelottasplainin

That's not my experience at all.

One article is from 2014, the other from 2011. Ancient history in publishing.

************

Look, you made unsupported assertions, which didn't hold up. Now you say the articles are old, but you offer no more current data. You can't even point to any article that says suddenly, women have taken over.

Tepid and weak tea, indeed.

Big Mike said...

You guys are testy this afternoon.

@Althouse, we speak truth to power. Truth to blogger, anyway.

Marcus said...

1. Why are we so testy? You publish twaddle such as that and you expect platitudes?
2. My indie-published book is selling better than I expected but it's full of sex and drugs stuff so there you go.
3. I colonized storytelling for both of my daughters when they were little. Neither asked their mothers to tell them a bedtime story. It was always dad. Now my granddaughter enjoys it.
Guess it's because I'm a man.

The author needs serious counseling and to stay away from essays. Being named to TIME's list gave her the idea that she's more talented than she really is.

I'd rather read Lazlo all day than one of her books.

THEOLDMAN

Lydia said...

I was wondering just what it means to colonize power, so did a search and found it's a big Foucault thing:

Rather than interiority comprising modern selves, all gets pulled to the surface in “games of truth” and individuals want to lay bare their cherished secrets just as they desire their neighbors’ confessions. Foucault advances Nietzsche’s agonism toward a positive politics of immanence, “the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitutes their own organization.” On the one hand, Foucault occludes disavowal, that somehow we might gainsay the “perpetual relationship of force,” that resistance to power actually means resistance to power. On the other hand, power’s ubiquity means anyone can colonize power; in the same way that the state or capital usurps power “always already there” so others can redirect the flows of power. For Foucault, resistance does not speak of fleeing power; since there is no outside, the only resistance to be had takes place through appropriation: “resistance to power does not have to come from elsewhere to be real. . . . It exists all the more by being in the same place as power.” Only by first ensconcing ourselves within power’s expansive grids, by becoming comfortable with its ubiquity, only by learning to stop worrying and love power, can we then mine power for our own uses. Abstractions like Aufklärung or the repressive hypothesis feign “a binary structure with ‘dominators’ on one side and ‘dominated’ on the other” rather than acquiring modes of resistance within power’s many varied capillary expressions and material instances. Foucault writes, “What’s effectively needed is a ramified, penetrative perception of the present, one that makes it possible to locate lines of weakness, strong points, positions where the instances of power have secured and implanted themselves by a system of organization. . . . In other words, a topographical and geological survey of the battlefield.” Surveying contemporary existence means first recognizing it as a battlefield, ripe for assertions and counter-assertions of power.

Folks like Ferrante have had their minds destroyed by that kind of impenetrable and hate-filled stuff.

Sebastian said...

Storytelling "colonized by men"?

You mean, women occupied the realm of storytelling but then Homer came along and "colonized it"? Russian princesses were budding Jane Austens but then Tolstoy came along and colonized their domain?

Next, they're gonna tell us men colonized science. And philosophy. And composing symphonies. And engineering. And building roads and railroads and computers and airplanes and just about everything else we need to live. Oh, and trash collecting and plumbing and oil drilling and . . .

Rusty said...

Ayn Rand

Fen said...

Anne McCaffrey, Dragonriders of Pern was very good

Freeman Hunt said...

"Colonized?" What the hell.

Why is everyone so annoying now?

Fen said...

Kinda wish Elena had brought this up BEFORE we sent Gognuk out to check for Tigers...

Unknown said...

Anne McCaffrey, Dragonriders of Pern was very good

The first two (iirc) which were novellas in Analog were quite good. After that she overmilked the dragons..

MadisonMan said...

by the highly respected novelist Elena Ferrante

Elizabeth Warren would tell her "You didn't write that." Because no one does things by themselves.

chickelit said...

the penis mightier than the sword

A seething sheath sells Shelley short.

William said...

Margaret Mitchell knew how to tell a good story. GWTW has considerable narrative drive. If you pick it up, you won't put it down until you finish it. Scarlet is something of a proto feminist, albeit a racist one. I wonder how the feminists will sort her out. She has one of the best selling books of all time......Betty Smith wrote a fine book in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I'm pretty sure that it's the definitive book of the immigrant experience......There have been some major female authors. What's she complaining about?.....Just as an aside, one notes that female writers have had far greater success than men when their books were transposed to the screen.

chuck said...

> If you pick it up, you won't put it down until you finish it.

That was my experience. And it wasn't a short book.

Unknown said...

Didn't the NYT have to rejigger their bestseller lists so they could get Rowling out? I'm suspect she's the bestselling author of the last 50 years.

Fen said...

Rather than interiority comprising modern selves...recognizing it as a battlefield, ripe for assertions and counter-assertions of power.

Reminds me of those computer generated gooblygook hoax papers that made it past peer review.

Nobody said...

Around 600 BCE the acclaimed poet Sappho was writing poetry by the cart-load.

Lesbian porn?

Bob Loblaw said...

Well, if it's fantasy, that doesn't really matter if you are reading fantasy in the first place. Could Red Sonja really beat the average male warrior, much less the best ones? No. So what.

The problem is real women are internalizing the message and don't realize 99% of the time if a woman prevails in a fight against a man it's because he didn't fight seriously. There are plenty of videos floating around the web showing what happens when a woman starts a fist fight with a man expecting things to turn out like a Buffy episode and discovering physics for dummies.

Bob Loblaw said...

I find it difficult to believe women authors are underrepresented in fiction. The entire industry is run by women and caters to women.

Clyde said...

It should be noted that Ferrante is Italian, not American, and any infelicities of style such as “millenniums” should probably be blamed on the translator.

Nobody said...

You can’t think of a statement like that as a declarative statement that is intended to be taken as true at face value. It’s more along the lines of a chess move, pawn queen’s rook three or something, and the subtext is “deal with this asshole.” It doesn’t matter what it means.

Fen said...

The first two (iirc) which were novellas in Analog were quite good. After that she overmilked the dragons..

Menolly of the Nine Fire Lizards? That was my fav.

My big sis had just got me back into reading (I can't imagine not picking up a book now, wth was wrong with me?). I was further rescued by Stephen King and a long layover at an airport. The Stand you say? Wow looks really long (lol) but okay I'll start...and I was hooked.

Menolly was the 2nd hook. Remember those complimentary books the Book Clubs would offer if you selected 6 books to JOIN NOW! That was the book I got for free. And yes, it was indeed priceless! :)

Nobody said...

It’s Foucault. as noted above.

DavidD said...

Is there anything, anything at all, into which one cannot inject plaints of racism, sexism, whatever-ism?

You’re a racist/sexist/bigoted homophobe because—shuffles deck—storytelling. Yeah,

Howard said...

She is exactly right. Western men colonize at multiple levels in multiple fields in multiple countries. Now that we have reached a extreme level of success we have allowed our women to participate in our ravenous free market capitalistic economy. of course the adjustment. Is difficult for them and it seems like everything is geared towards men and the male attitude. So it's important that these women who are trying to Enter our economic life would hysterically extol the idea of girl power. The funny thing is is that so many men are intimidated by the competition and have zero ability to empathize with with the female situation ants you get the incel cuckservative movement

Fen said...

It should be noted that is Italian, not American, and any infelicities of style such as “millenniums” should probably be blamed on the translator.

"a number of her letters have been collected and published. From them, we learn that she grew up in Naples, and has lived for periods outside Italy. She has a classics degree; she has referred to being a mother. One could also infer from her fiction and from her interviews that she is not now married...In addition to writing, “I study, I translate, I teach.”[5]

Fen said...

The funny thing is is that so many men are intimidated by the competition and have zero ability to empathize with with the female situation ants you get the incel cuckservative movement

I've started to wonder: are all assumptions based on projection?

Clyde said...

Clyde said...
It should be noted that Ferrante is Italian, not American, and any infelicities of style such as “millenniums” should probably be blamed on the translator.


And probably the term "colonized" as well. It sticks out as something that an American would NOT say in that context, and may just have been clumsy translation.

Clyde said...

And Fen, the article clearly states that it was translated from the Italian by someone else, so I'm willing to cut Ferrante some slack on a few infelicitous turns of phrase.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Bill Burr - "Women are over-rated"

Indeed. Many are.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Howard"is a parody account, right?
It's all buzzwords and gobbledy-gook

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

if she didnt have her head up her ass, she wouldnt see things
as "colonized."

Narayanan said...

... Is there anything, anything at all, into which one cannot inject plaints of racism, sexism, whatever-ism? ...

Somehow all bad -isms are to be replaced or overcome with good progressive collectivism.

Nary a mention of individualism or Independence.

Why is it so?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Where identity politics take you is to mutual incomprehensibility. If women occupy a space so very different from men, why should any story truly written from a female POV be comprehensible to men? Might as well read a novel written by a panda. But since pandas really do occupy a space tat is different from men, pandas don't write novels, and men are not happy chewing on bamboo all day.

Fen said...

so I'm willing to cut Ferrante some slack on a few infelicitous turns of phrase.

That's generous of you considering the courtesy is never returned.

Are you certain she is not fluent in English? 76 years old, spends her time translating... something. And Ferrante is a pseudonym. How do you know the error is the translator's and not her own?

You don't, honestly, right?

Nobody said...

THE BIG IDEAS: WHAT IS POWER?

From the title of the article. I finally decided to read it, since, you know, I spend the $2 a week, and Lydia nailed it.

On the one hand, Foucault occludes disavowal, that somehow we might gainsay the “perpetual relationship of force,” that resistance to power actually means resistance to power. On the other hand, power’s ubiquity means anyone can colonize power; in the same way that the state or capital usurps power “always already there” so others can redirect the flows of power..
...
Only by first ensconcing ourselves within power’s expansive grids, by becoming comfortable with its ubiquity, only by learning to stop worrying and love power, can we then mine power for our own uses. -From Lydia’s excerpt

Power is neither good nor bad — it depends on what we intend to do with it. The older I get, the more afraid I am of using the power of storytelling badly. My intentions in general are good, but sometimes telling a story succeeds in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way. . - The Article

It’s a book report on Foucault.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Lydi quotes Foucault:
“What’s effectively needed is a ramified, penetrative perception of the present"
I didn't find that inpenetrative at all.

Nobody said...

“What Foucault Means to Me."

Nobody said...

My intentions in general are good, but sometimes telling a story succeeds in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way

Sometimes the troglodytes take the wrong lesson from my morality tales!

wwww said...

"The problem is real women are internalizing the message and don't realize 99% of the time if a woman prevails in a fight against a man it's because he didn't fight seriously. There are plenty of videos floating around the web showing what happens when a woman starts a fist fight with a man expecting things to turn out like a Buffy episode and discovering physics for dummies."

Women can figure out that Buffy is fiction. You know the show is about vampires, right?

Fen said...

Colonizer.

It sticks out as something that an American would NOT say in that context, and may just have been clumsy translation.

Black Panther is an American movie, and the audience eye-rolled at this because they understood the context perfectly.

If Ferrante wasn't an acolyte of Identity Politics and a Victimhood peddler, I would give her the benefit of doubt. But she is, so I don't. I doubt this was a clumsy translation. You can criticize me for that, that's fair, it's just my opinion. But aren't you doing the same thing in reverse? Why is it wrong for me but not for you?

Quaestor said...

Women can figure out that Buffy is fiction. You know the show is about vampires, right?

Taken to playing dumb, have we?

Sometimes fiction appeals to the inner life of the reader. The Turner Diaries is also fiction, but a wise person would be suspicious of someone who read that work for the reason I mentioned.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I've just finished Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962). It is skillfully written, a man versus female story is near the top of the surface. The women use cooking, poison, witchcraft, secrets. The man (there is only one), penetrative and colonizing power, bluster, and the threat of violence. Peace, at the end, is achieved when the women drive out the man and seal themselves off from the outside world. The man returns, and begs to re-enter their world, but is rejected.

Quaestor said...

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Did the women build the castle? According to the St. Obama Confession of Faith, the answer must be no.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Connie Willis is the top SF writer these days. McCaffrey is just dragans, dragons, dragons . . . one day she will, perhaps, gift us with a book about unicorns or flying horses.

Lewis Wetzel said...

They created the castle by burning down a house, Quaestor. It's not a feminist book, but that doesn't mean that gender conflict is not written into it.

Narayanan said...

McCaffrey is just dragans, dragons, dragons . . . one day she will, perhaps, gift us with a book about unicorns or flying horses...

Seriously dude (ette)?!

You have not yet come across Acorna series?

BJM said...

Agatha Christie fans might disagree, and few of hers are right barn burners. "And Then There Were None" is the world's best-selling mystery, and with over 100 million copies sold is one of the best-selling books of all time. As I recall it's the world's 6th best selling title.

Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, aka, George Sand was the most successful woman writer of her century. Her fiction made her, in the history of French literature, second only to Victor Hugo. Sand's affair with Chopin and cross dressing in men's clothing added to her notoriety.

@ Fen: I totes agree re Sarah Hoyt's Darkship series and she's a first rate anthology editor too. The woman's got chops.

Quaestor: Fen isn't referring to fencing as defined by FIE.

Ha...I read that as FEI a different type of fencing.

John Lynch said...

Gone with the Wind. Ahem.

Kevin said...

To be totally honest here, I seldom read a book written by a woman. When I've tried I just find it not interesting enough to continue. I've logged about 700 books on Goodreads over the past 10 years, and I'm pretty sure if I sifted through them I'd find at least 95% are written by men. And if I pick up a novel and realize the protagonist is a woman ... I abandon it. Just not interested. But whereas I tend not to be terribly interested in a woman writing a novel about a woman, if I realize I'm reading a novel written by a MAN that purports to be a first person narrative of a female protagonist, I find that positively vile.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Narayanan said...

McCaffrey is just dragans, dragons, dragons . . . one day she will, perhaps, gift us with a book about unicorns or flying horses...

Seriously dude (ette)?!

You have not yet come across Acorna series?

OMG! I looked up McCaffrey's Acorna series in the wikipedia! A unicorn-human girl hybrid! AYEEE! Send it into the cornfield . . .

When I was in junior high school, in the 70s, the librarian must have a had a thing for McCaffrey and Andre Norton (AKA Alice Mary Norton). I liked scifi and there a few books by Heinlein and Arthur Clarke, but the SHELVES WERE WEIGHED DOWN by McCaffrey's stupid dragonrider books and a complete collection of Andre Norton (she wrote A LOT of books). I could never finish volume 1 of the dragonriders -- too girly, and the dragons reminded me of a teenage girl's obsession with horses -- and the Andre Norton books had wonderful inside jacket blurbs, like "A young man in a future ice age is made to live alone in the wilderness to become a man," but the "young man" acted like a teen age girl, with some kind of psychic bond with a wolf pup he rescued. God, they were awful.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Shirley Jackson's more famous works are The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House. She really is a top-notch writer. I mean, heck, I really liked We have Always Lived in the Castle and it's first person protagonist is an insane girl, and I crossed the line into male chauvinism long ago (I like to think of myself as a chauvinist in the mold of Mailer or Hemingway, not Weinstein).

William said...

Colonization is the digestive process of civilization. Or the process by which good food becomes shit. Opinions differ.

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