Sep. 13th, 2010

marshtide: (Mist)
I'm perpetually amazed by the things people don't mention about books and authors. I know that for a great many years I had an impression of Virginia Woolf as some Classic Author who probably wrote very dry and dull things which no-one really liked but literary snobs claimed to. This can probably partly be blamed on the uneasy interaction between my mother's literary taste and my aunt's literary taste (the latter being rather more self-consciously high-brow than the former and clashes between the two being fairly common), which left me confused about a lot of books, really.

But also: no-one ever mentioned what they were about. If they did, they left things out. Things that I would have been interested in knowing, even quite a few years ago! Things like "Orlando is about the construction of gender" or "Mrs Dalloway is partly about sexuality, actually."

A lot of people - really a lot! - told me throughout my teens that I should read The Colour Purple, which I think was described as "about race" or possibly as "important" without elaboration. (Where to even start with this one...)

These are just the ones I can remember fastest. You've probably got more.

Do we just not mention the queer stuff? Is it not the done thing in polite conversation? Because really...

(Apropos of: thinking some more about Emma Donoghue's Inseparables - still recommended - and also suddenly remembering that I started reading Virginia Woolf finally because a few years ago Val said that she was a really good writer and also that there was stuff to be had on the gender and sexuality front there. And that I had this oh my god I had no idea moment.)

...and I'm going to go to class right now (and am totally going "oh my god and my teacher will have looked at my practice paper over the weekend and I know I spelt that one word wrong oh my god!" because I am ridiculous) so you get left with this mess of half-thoughts. Have fun!


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