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I'm reading an interesting, older book I've never heard of until recently by Jane Marcus called Art and Anger, which is basically feminist criticism about women's reading and criticisms of women's reading. Anyway in an essay towards the end she reproduces this fascinating poem by Catherine des Roches (c. 1555-84), from an unpublished translation by Tilde Sankovitch. Art and Anger was published in 1988, and I haven't done much to track down whether the translation of the poem has since been published. Anyway, it's an interesting meditation:

To my Spindle

My spindle and my care, I promise you and swear
To love you forever, and never to exchange
Sweet domestic honor for a thing wild and strange,
Which inconstant, wanders, and tends its foolish snare.

With you at my side, dear, I feel much more secure
Than with paper and ink arranged all around me,
For, if I needed defending, there you would be,
To rebuff any danger, to help me endure.

But, spindle, my dearest, I do not believe
That, much as I love you, I will come to grief
If I do not quite let that good practice dwindle

Of writing sometimes, if I give you fair share,
If I write of your goodness, my friend and my care,
And hold in my hand both my pen and my spindle.

Comments

( 4 comments — Add your .02 )
browngirl
Oct. 6th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
What a goregeous poem about balancing work and writing. It really resonates.

This book sounds awesome! But/and I do wish feminism at large would realize that these patterns play out for other groups too. If I had a dollar for every publicly avowed feminist I've seen turn around and shout down people trying to discuss how the treatment of racial minorities or queer people or disabled people affects our abilities to write and to have our writing read, I could fly first class to come visit you. *wry smile* I don't know if a writer in the late 80s would ave thought of that but it seems pertinent to the discussion now, at least.
caitri
Oct. 6th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
Well ACTUALLY *g*
I underlined this bit in the same essay:

"The white woman critic must be careful not to impose her own alphabet on the art of women of color; the heterosexual critic must not impose her own alphabet on the lesbian writer. She must learn to read their languages." (217)

And YES to everything you say. And I've had this in the back of my mind while writing my essays on women's writing and fandom. And also: How can you get at these things when reading anonymous writing, or writing on the internet, unless it's explicitly defined by the writer herself? And what are the issues of "trespassing" when reading and writing in private communities? And so many other thoughts I have yet to define!
browngirl
Oct. 6th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Well ACTUALLY *g*
WOOOOOOOT! \o/

One thing about ;anonymous' writing is that how people speak and write is often coded by demographics, even without names and pictures attached. I was reading an article about that recently...

(And yeah, I adore that oyou think about this stuff!)
caitri
Oct. 6th, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Well ACTUALLY *g*
<3 (I don't think that I'm that great at it, but I certainly try to do my best.)

I agree on that demographic coding. But for instance, one thing I've been trying to think about is how to talk about fannish writing when you are talking about largely women fans. Like, okay, when I'm talking about fanfic since at LEAST the 60s, the overwhelming majority of fic is by women. It just is. Men write the nonfictional essays or linguistic discussions of imaginary languages and manuals for things that don't exist, but most narrative fiction is by the women. (for example, in my personal zine library I have 247 Star Trek zines, exactly *2* stories are by men who identify as men. I know this because they say so, and because I looked.)

But then how to interrogate beyond that unless people self-identify, and how to discuss that? I mean, I'm thinking of that awesome POC identification thread from a while back where tons of people were responding to Racefail/their erasure from fandom, and, like, if you wanted to do something about POC responses in fandom, you could go there, but what are the issues of cross-referencing every one on that thread (and there were thousands of people) to AO3 or LJ? And just--the creation of spaces and identities and how to talk about it all.

I'm rambling. Basically how does one talk about intersectionalities and erasure in an anonymous situation vs. the possibility of outing (?) people in an uncool way. And stuff.
( 4 comments — Add your .02 )

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