Reading/Struggling to Truly Understand
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
What if all the ads and all the whoreoscopes seemed to imply was that if only you were narcissistic enough, if only you took proper care of your smells, your hair, your boobs, your eyelashes, your armpits, your crotch, your stars, your scars, and your choice of Scotch in bars - you would meet a beautiful, powerful, potent, and rich man who would satisfy every longing, fill every hole, make your heart skip a beat (or stand still), make you misty, and fly you to the moon (preferably on gossamer wings), where you would live totally satisfied forever.

and it goes on... and I become more perplexed, wishing I had some internal context of the 1960's to which I could refer...

We had more in our lives than just men; we had our work, travel, friends. Then why did our lives seem to come down to a long succession of sad songs about men? Why did our lives seem to reduce themselves to manhunts? Where were the women who were really free, who didn't spend their lives bouncing from man to man, who felt complete with or without a man? We looked to our uncertain heroines for help, and lo and behold - Simone de Beauvoir never makes a move without wondering what would Sartre think? [ed:...] Timid in their lives and brave only in their art. Emily Dickinson, the Brontes, Virginia Woolf, Carson McCullers...Flannery O'Connor raising peacocks and living with her mother, Sylvia Plath sticking her head into an oven of myth. Georgia O'Keefe alone in the desert, apparently a survivor. What a group! Severe, suicidal, strange. Where was the female Chaucer? One lusty lady who had juice and joy and love and talent too? Where could we turn for guidance? [Ed:...] Almost all the women we admired most were spinsters or suicides. Was that where it all led?

I like the goal of this book. I'm just not certain I'm liking how she chooses to portray her ideals, how she narrates the character development. Hmm. I might have to finish this, and revisit it later. The subject matter is, all at once, incredibly relevant to my life, and also totally irrelevant. Very odd.