RARA-AVIS: Re: Rewriting Women

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@colba.net)
Date: 28 May 2000

This whole thread started with a discussion of the blurb for a book none of us have read, and now we're getting people quoting Latin while sneering at the pretentiousness of the literati, and jamming square pegs into round holes to fit notions of gender identities.

It's actually amusing to see how the over-simplified, sweeping and specious logic of some of the alleged feminists of DorothyL and the real he-men on this list are actually quite similar, even when they're spitting at each other from opposite sides of the gender divide. Maybe we can fix the Monk up with head Dottie Diane, and they can have a lot of black-and-white children. Assuming of course he doesn't lop off any essential reproductive body parts in the meantime to prove his point.

I mean, it doesn't take much rocket science to see, and it shouldn't take away from one's own possibly precarious gender identity to admit, that both men and women can write hard-boiled. Or that male and female characters can both be hard-boiled. Gender is, after all, just one component, of many, of a character's makeup. Except perhaps in cartoony stuff like Danielle Steel or Tom Clancy novels, characters tend to be more than just their genders.

More proof that nothing's quite etched in stone, or as simple as it seems? After several intriguing but too-clever by half, "Look at me! I'm brilliant!" short stories in GQ featuring an annoyingly alliterative scandal wanker for a Hollywood scandal rag, James Ellroy drops (most) of the literary overkill and writes a smart, staccato non-fiction piece that calls into question the whole notion of capital punishment, that will surprise more than a few of his readers. It reads like Joe Friday on a talking jag, but it works. It's in this month's issue.

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/

An A&E Mystery.com Site of the Week, but don't let that discourage you.

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