The first of these next two pieces isn't exactly a list, though it certainly does speak to reading pleasure...
I have been thinking every day about this issue, and have had many things that I almost said, feeling uncomfortable about all of them. This was what I wanted to say, and I realised that it depended upon not saying. Though there is a mixed metaphor there that should perhaps be fixed. So how is this?
". . . and to .........., literary genius, who steered me firmly away from romantic fiction"
These words in the Acknowledgements of the book I'm reading now are both the rightest and wrongest words in any book I can remember reading, in 2007 or any other year. The name of the book is ........ (it matters as much as the name of the "literary genius," which is nothing at all for the purposes of my few words). The book as written IS romantic fiction of the highest order, for it isn't some artificial-sugar-laden thing confected for others who are supposed to like that sort of thing. It is pure as the sap exuded from a cut tree. It is high romance, because the story came from the writer's heart, and it tells about what she most loves. Technically, the words don't flow like they would if she were a real writer. The words taste rough and true, which makes the book only more romantic.
Susanna J. Sturgis:
Words and Music 2007
I spent most of last winter in
At WisCon 30, I was fascinated by the various discussions that either explored or touched on the "generation gap" in contemporary feminism, and in recent years I've been variously exasperated, infuriated, and ultimately puzzled by the notions that many men of all ages in the
At last I got it. Siegel relies heavily on texts, both Second Wave and Third, to sketch her pictures of feminism—and nonfiction texts at that, by writers whose access to mainstream print was way above average. So much of feminism as I knew it was rooted in doing—organizing women's centers and bookstores and health-care collectives and music festivals, etc., etc.—and what we learned in the process. Sisterhood, Interrupted barely glimpsed this, and it didn't tell me much of what I most wanted to know about Third Wave feminists either: what they were doing. Feminism confirmed me in my nearly lifelong conviction that words were important, but it also taught me that words couldn't tell the whole story. With feminism, as with Christianity, Islam, red-state Republicanism, the 12-step program, and probably every other mass movement, the "real thing" exists in the living as well as in the texts. The discrepancies between the text and the practice often take the outsider—especially the outsider who comes with debunking on her/his mind—by surprise.
Ever since I read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, I've wondered "what if"—what if one of the people she worked alongside by some miracle mustered the skills, the energy, and the access to mainstream publishing to get her story into widely read print? In my wondering I've read, or at least skimmed, books and articles along the lines of What's the Matter with
Under my skin in a different—but maybe not so?—way is something that isn't even "text" at all—or maybe it is? In 2006 rock master Bruce Springsteen toured Europe and the
Emma Goldman had it right: Don't trust any revolution you can't dance to. Singing is good too.