RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Words from the Monastery (
Date: 27 May 2000

Are there exceptions to the rule? Of course ... are there readers who are exceptions as well? Yes to that as well. Maybe I'm the exception to the rule
... some inherent psychic ability that tells me who the author is and it actually has nothing to do with the writing, but being able to tell the difference in the writing perspectives is just the most rational interpretation of that psychic knowledge ... I don't think so.

"Written on the Body" by Jeanette Winterson is touted by the literati as a novel who's protagonist is genderless and Ms Winterson is praised for her superior writing ability at being able to successfully accomplish this ... but from my reading perspective the protagonist is obviously a woman. To
"give" specifics (if such things exist) would require a rereading, but the mannerisms and view are obviously not male ... well, the character isn't a male then what's left for the character to be?

I'll look into the works you've listed and those that others have listed and take notes while reading them ... see what I can come up with. But while I do that ... maybe some of you believe there is no difference can come up with quantifiable evidence supporting your view beyond your opinion that it's so as well (that is what y'all are asking me to after all ... turn about is fair play) ... prove me wrong. :)

volente Deo,

Anthony Dauer Alexandria, Virginia

"The dead are heavy, after all."
 -Will Christopher Baer, "Penny Dreadful"

Hard-Boiled Noir Discussion

> From: Mark Sullivan
> Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2000 2:28 AM
> Anthony:
> Is Leigh Brackett writing from a female or male perspective? She is
> often assumed to be male, but is her perspective the same as her male
> contemporaries? I'm really not sure.
> Is the anti-heroine of Miami Purity simply "a man in a dress?" The book
> is very Jim Thompson-y, but I think there are some interesting
> differences due to the changed gender of the protagonist.
> And is there a difference between Miami Purity (female writer and
> protagonist) and Shooting Elvis (male writer, female protagonist)? Both
> have female lead protagonists who get in trouble by doing stupid things
> because of their boyfriends.
> And the Jack Early books, was it obvious to readers that they were
> written by a woman before the name was reveal to be a pseudonym?
> I'm willing to believe that the most "macho" books, for lack of a better
> term, like Spillane, for instance, are primarily from (and for?) a male
> perspective; and I'm willing to say that some books are primarily from
> (and for?) a female perspective. However, I think we're talking about a
> Venn diagram with a very large area of overlap in the middle.
> I've also wondered if, in general, women might not be better at writing
> from a male point of view than men from a female, simply because the
> male point of view has been so hegemonic and women have been forced to
> work within it for so long that they can ape it, while men have been
> more able to ignore the alternative. Of course, the best writers of
> both sexes are able to create convincing characters of either sex --
> isn't that part of being a good writer, creating good characters,
> period?

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