Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aqueductista Links

Niall Harrison has a long piece about Vandana Singh's work, specifically reviewing The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet but also discussing Distances and Of Love and Other Monsters.

Vandana Singh has an excellent post that includes thoughts on "writing the other" and "mammoth fail" here.

As already noted by Cat Rambo, Eileen Gunn interviews Nisi Shawl at Fantasy Magazine: their discussion ranges from Nisi's work (both fiction and nonfiction), to pie, to Nisi's thoughts on being the first African American to have been awarded the Tiptree (which she has also written about in the latest Aqueduct Gazette (soon to be posted at Aqueduct's site).

Liz Henry reflects on connections between women, inspired by her reading of two Conversation Pieces, My Death and De Secretis Mulierum. (link thanks to Josh Lukin)

Morgan Dhu also writes about My Death (here), Distances (here), and De Secretis Mulierum (here).


Foxessa said...

Thanks for the post and the links!

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

I'm sorry to say that these links have provoked the same old same old among people I love, respect and admire very much.

Can anyone explain why so many read these posts as "white people should never write about anything that isn't about them?"

I am certain that is not what Vandana said.

My goodnes, the 'word verification' for this is 'aging'. Maybe that explains it. But it applies at least as much to me!

Love, c.

Timmi Duchamp said...

I can't imagine Vandana ever saying such a thing, C. I haven't seen this discussion myself. But I find myself thinking that for all his faults, Freud coined a useful word for that kind of misreading.

If I understood correctly, the "or not" in her title referred to removing the other altogether-- which she is most certainly not recommending to white writers.

Josh said...

Freud gave us several useful categories: are you thinking "projection" or something along those lines? Repetition compulsion? Transference, probably.

Vandana is very explicit about what she wishes authors who've been insensitive should have done; and it ain't "write only people who resemble you." Dunno where people who actually read her words might be getting that. Her very first point about Mammothfail is that Wrede was wrong to do that.

But people thought "Born in the USA" was a celebration of patriotism and "Strange Fruit" was "that sexy song about swaying black bodies," so any misreading is conceivable.

Cat Rambo said...

I kinda view the writers who proclaim that the message is "white people should never write about anything that isn't about them" as doing the equivalent of sulkily leaving and taking their ball home in order to make sure that if they're not having fun, no one should.

I'm not sure they're getting that message so much as they're choosing to interpret things that way.

It's an easy way out for me, and it's a stupid and petty (and imo irresponsible) one, and the subtext is "How DARE you call me on my bad behavior?"

But maybe I'm just cranky, I dunno.

Foxessa said...

Well, these are writers-people who in their own work and in their own lives are not writing or behaving with ignorance or insensitivity, and in no way behave like that.

So that's why I feel so disturbed by their reading of such clear and calm posts as Vandana's. It's as though we are not speaking the same language or existing on the same planet. These are old, old friends, they are wonderful people and the writers among them are really fine writers whose work I admire for all the right reasons. I know they are not like this, so why are they so determined to read like this? It's not like them.

I had linked to Vandana's post because it was so clear and so calm, and without any bile or guile or anything negative.

Love, c.

Vandana Singh said...

Hello, Foxessa, thanks for spreading the word about my blog posts. I am sorry and frankly bewildered that some folks should respond as you mentioned. Their interpretation is quite contrary to my intention.


And thanks to you and to Timmi and Josh and Cat for really getting what I was trying to say.

Well, what can one do but keep talking and writing, and perhaps some day more people will listen.


Foxessa said...

Vandana -- I am as shocked and confused as you.

Like you and everyone else, I'll just keep trying.

Love, C.