Monday, 5 September 2011

Women writing

I seem to have found myself reading women authors in the last few days.

I don't know if I should make that distinction any more (just as 'actress' has mostly become replaced by 'actor' for all - although I still fail to see how using the masculine version for both can really prove liberating. When I asked a woman she said that 'actress' seemed like a qualification, somehow implying 'a lesser version of', but I don't fully understand. But hey, I'm only a bloke).  Maybe male actors should be called actresses instead?

Ahem.  Anyway, I found a copy of The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, and what a delightful read!  A fictionalised account of her years in Paris in the 50s, as an adventurous, modern and bohemian woman.

I also discovered that The Stacks at the library had a copy of Slouching Towards Bethelem by Joan Didion, a series of essays about the USA in the early and late 60s.  A fairly harsh eye on various sub-cultures, but a touch of nostalgia, too (for her family background).  Her portrait of the Haight, however, offers little joy.  Not that I intend to romance the late 60s, as methedrine and other harder drugs screwed up the London scene, too.  And when I ran off to explore the US in 1970 I spent a long time in San Francisco and deliberately never went to explore Haight-Ashbury, as the whole scene sounded over the hill.  Sad.

Finally, I am browsing and skimming through Marina Warner's book about story-telling: From the beast to the blonde : on fairy tales and their tellers, which has some fascinating content, and may earn a more close reading.

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