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Remember how I was reading Elena Ferrante and wondering what was up with her literary acceptance?

Well I'm about 4/5 done with her third book, and I think it's literary because it's about bad, unfulfilling sex and how marriage and children make women miserable. Which, full points for edginess there, I guess, but well, it bugs me that if you have a heroine with a happy relationship and orgasms, it's relegated to Romance or Chick Lit, and if not, it is ~Literature.~ Like, that's some regressive, Victorian issues there.

I feel like there's more to be said, but my brain isn't quite there yet. But I feel like there must be a connection between genre and sex positivity, and I'm wondering if any works has been done on that.

ETA: I actually finished book 3 tonight and got into the first few pages of book 4, and somehow things ended up being even MORE literarily trite and painful. Main character has an affair (and orgasms) with a douchecanoe, and it goes as well as you'd expect. Just. Why. WHY does women in literature apparently have to be middle-class heterosexual women having affairs that go badly? THAT IS SO CLICHE AND BORING. JFC.

Comments

( 4 comments — Add your .02 )
blcwriter
Jul. 30th, 2016 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hello, hello! I started the first one and the unrelenting misery was like a kick to the head. I think I gave up before page 100.

And then I reread the Golden Compass. ☺
caitri
Jul. 31st, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
I just finished the fourth one and the second half of it was really interesting and well done. Like, I feel like I could have been onboard with the series if it was shrunk down to a single volume.

My next go at a happy read (*snort*) is The Well of Loneliness, because somehow I got on a lesbian novel kick.
blcwriter
Aug. 3rd, 2016 01:04 am (UTC)
I think that "this is going to be way too long" feeling was what also got me, bu I am glad you're enjoying it. I'm donating my copy to the library book sale.

I recommend anything Mary Renault, but her "The Friendly Young Ladies" is lesbian centric, and not so unrelenting as anything by J. Winterson, and of far better quality than R. M. Brown. (Elizabeth Bear's Karen Memery is great queer steampunk western scifi, fwiw...)
caitri
Aug. 3rd, 2016 03:38 am (UTC)
I read "The Friendly Young Ladies" which is how I found out about The Well of Loneliness. Which....did not do it for me; returned it to the library today. I have been in A Mood because traveling which makes settling into reading difficult sometimes. :/
( 4 comments — Add your .02 )

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