Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Boys Versus Girls
"The novels that I get most lost in, can't put down, tend the last few years to be by women: Godwin, Drabble, Lurie, Gould. I admire Spark, Adler, Lessing, and Didion more, for experimentation, form, the shape of their ideas, but I can be more easily distracted from them. The novels that sorta awe more and dazzle me, and which I would like to emulate although I sometimes find them heavy to get through, tend to be by men: Barth, Bartheleme, Pynchon, Robbins, and McGuage. I am more in tune with the women's work, but I would like to stretch in the other direction. Don't think this is a simple sexist remnant. (I remember similarly wanting to read Trollope but be Conrad.) What I dislike about the women's work I like is that within and between and among the understanding, compassion, psychology, forgiveness, is an underlying trivial complaint; a bitch against life. What I love about the men's work is its celebration: love of the Baby Ruth wrapper in the gutter, a celebration of American roadside rubbish. And yet this luv luv luv does seem to me: easy. Super-facial (sic)."
Janet Burroway, from The Writer on Her Work.