Good Haul, or rather Tepper, or rather Feminism, or rather...

Rebecca Ganetzky jlynn_cmc_edu at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 28 23:55:08 EDT 2001


I keep forgetting hotmail won't let me do long subject lines.  What I was 
going to say was the definition of literature.  I consider myslef for 
women's rights, and for civil rights for all, etc., yet I'm not particularly 
feministic, and I believe (sorry if I offend anyone) in equality, rather 
than the rights of a given group: i.e. if a man is the best for the job, he 
gets the job.  (On the other hand, if I write the best computer program, I 
should be treated as just as much of a nerd as anyone else. :)  )
But, I do believe in being an activist when necessary -- suffrage movement, 
gay rights -- but (twice in one sentence, my English is terrible)  I don't 
usually consider writings for those purposes literature.  Richard Wright -- 
I adored Native Son, I thought it was poignant and well-written, but I 
resented reading it an my advanced lit class just because Wright was African 
American and wrote on "African American issues."  Whereas, if we hadn't had 
an "Afircan American literature" section, and had been introduced to Bigger 
as a model for the suffering and intolerance of mankind, I would have been 
very happy about the book.
The point, which I have been trying desperatly to get to is that there seem 
to be two distinct types of literature: "Soapbox lit," where the purpose is 
to convey a theme, often at the cost of characters and plot (ala Conrad.  I 
hate Conrad.  Don't get me started on Conrad.)  and I have no term but the 
type of literature, where, hopefully there is a valid theme, but character 
and plot come first.  I have no clue how that's related, but it was 
something that Laurie, or Dorian said that made me think of it.
-RDG

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