Sophie's Choice (was Book Meme)
blake at gaudaprime.co.uk
Tue Jan 11 07:42:18 EST 2005
Jadwiga (responding to me ranting about Styron):
> *sigh* This weekend I was talking to my engineer boyfriend about the
> loathsomeness of Philip Roth and Portnoy's Complaint, and had to explain
> to him the shockingness (to me) of the character not seeing anything
> loathsomely wrong with rape, and in fact Roth and the people who made
> you not really seeming to see *how* nasty it is-- they treated it like a
> mugging. In fact, of less significance than a mugging, more like a
> teenager shoplifting. Gak.
Gak, indeed. Is Roth another 60s American writer, btw? Because Sophie's
Choice left such a nasty taste in my mouth that I pretty much wrote off
the genre of 'male American writers of a certain period' (it's not like
that leaves me with a shortage of things to read, after all...)
As for Otter's point: it's a long time since I read Shakespeare's Lear (I
was besotted with Edward Bond's Lear for a while, hence the qualification
there <g>), but I expect the historical/class difference (me not being a
princess, basically) meant I took the misogyny therein less personally.
It's also a different *type* of misogyny, so I should probably (as usual)
have been more precise in my phrasing: what I disliked about Styron was in
particular the assumption that women and girls have a duty to be sexually
available to any man with whom they interact, and if they fail in that
duty they are morally culpable.
"The White Cobra will take great
pleasure in the black velvet mole."
- *Avon: A Terrible Aspect*.
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