Reading Kate Zambreno‘s latest brilliant book ( and I don’t use the word brilliant very often) HEROINES I am incensed, furious, livid, at what was (and maybe still is) considered an acceptable attitude towards women’s writing of the modernist era.
I can’t put the damn book down – my PhD – the submission of which is fast approaching, imminent in fact! – sits neglected as I devour Zambreno’s deliciously constructed text.

“He writes I imagine, in the tradition of neurotic men who treat women as objects but are forgiven for their insight and sensitivity, in the tradition of falling in love and into beautiful girls. The entire history of Western literature is dominated by absolute pricks, I realize, pricks that can’t get hard but yet ejaculate with such eloquent language, Beckett was a prick with Lucia Joyce (poor Lucia), Scott Fitzgerald was a prick and how does she get revenge? She is always the minor writer.”

Kate Zambreno, Heroines (2013) p. 228.

The only problem being? Now I want to read EVERYTHING she mentions – all of it – the novels, the biographies, the letters, the diaries, the scraps – THE EVIDENCE of the silenced/othered.

I like to think my own heroine, Rebecca West, survived and was artistically successful because she dumped that pompous narcissist H. G. Wells , who tried his damnedest to control her, squirrelling her and their son off to the wilds of Wales and Norfolk to keep her out of sight and away from her career … just in time!

It’s made me more aware of myself as a female, as a writer, as a fractured identity than anything else I have ever read – it speaks to women in the here and now. Claim yourselves! She seems to be saying. Don’t be negated – don’t be sanitised by male expectations!

This author is inspirational.

In other news – 

Meet Hilda!

We don't all need to be size 0 to look HOT!
We don’t all need to be size 0 to look HOT!

On a more frivolous note – a friend sent me a link to this cheeky little bit of lighthearted fluff … leaving the whole hyper sexualised/objectifications of the female body thing aside for now it’s good to know a fat girl can rock the Pin-up world!

After all I keep saying it so it must be true  FAT is a feminist issue!

Zaftig /zäftig/ adjective: (of a woman) Having a full, rounded figure; plump. Yep – and baby I am not giving up cake for no man!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Feeling Furious

  1. Sadly, the above image of a pin-up girl is as constructed as the thinner versions are. I say it even as I acknowledge that it is somehow a positive change that there was a variety within the images on pin-up girls. It is worth to have a look on the graphics showing how this kind of images of “big” girls has not much to do with bigger bodies in real life, showing how, at the end, the same ideals keep influence the construction of both images (thinner and bigger bodies). http://24.media.tumblr.com/793f690aa1b091b94e89e409d9036ed8/tumblr_mqs6xeE7YG1qlrhf4o1_1280.jpg

    1. There is no getting round the fact that images of women (and men) usually conform to aesthetic ‘ideals’ rather than representational realities.
      Hilda for me represents something positive in attitudes to the female body – and more than anything it is the irreverent conduct that makes me smile – and in some of the cartoons she does have a few fat folds and ripples.
      Hilda for me is satirising the whole industry – and evidence that you don’t have to draw upon the uber skinny to create beautiful images of women. This artist is reviving the aesthetics of Rubens and Botticelli but in a comedic, cartoony lighthearted way …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s