Sophie's Choice (was Book Meme)

Ika 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.

Love, Ika

-- 
"The White Cobra will take great
pleasure in the black velvet mole."
- *Avon: A Terrible Aspect*.

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