“I am worried about the implications of throwing the label ‘women’s pain’ around individual experiences of suffering, and I am even more uncomfortable with women who feel free to speak for all women. I worry about making pain a ticket to gain entry into the women’s club. And I worry that the assumption of vulnerability threatens to invigorate just the sexist evils it aims to combat by demanding that men serve as shields against it.” In an essay for the Boston Review, Jessa Crispin shares her concerns about the “wounded women” trend in literature right now, citing Leslie Jamison‘s The Empathy Exams and Roxane Gay‘s Bad Feminist as well the Twitter campaign #yesallwomen as particular examples. Pair with Ryan Teitman‘s Millions review of The Empathy Exams.
Gearing up for his forthcoming retrospective at the Tate Modern, Damien Hirst told the Guardian that he “still believe[s] art is more powerful than money.” This from the man whose tiger shark and formaldehyde sculpture “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” sold for $12 million– the figure that Don Thompson reports in The $12 Million Stuffed Shark.
Google put up a special Shakespeare page for easy access to all of his plays through Google Book Search. The Book Search blog has additional details.Latest literary trend story: senators writing books. “About 30 of the 100 currently serving U.S. senators have authored books at some point in their careers, and the number is growing.”A literary trend story continues: Product placement in novels. Earlier instances include efforts from Ford and BMW.In the Guardian, “An American judge intervening in a long-simmering feud has ruled that the rights to John Steinbeck’s most famous novels… should be seized from his publisher and handed to his descendants.”And finally, there’s Ed’s Twenty-One More Reasons Why Litbloggers Are Evil & Unethical
Anwen Crawford reflects on newly published letters from Sylvia Plath; “The belief among many of Plath’s devotees seems to be that if we can get clear of other people’s fingerprints on her texts, allowing Plath to ‘fully narrate her own autobiography,’ as the editors here describe it, we will at last solve the riddle of her. The extremities of her poetry will balance against the circumstances of her life; the latter will equal the former. But her griefs were ordinary; it is what she did with them that wasn’t. Plath turned her common sorrows—dead father, mental illness, cheating husband—into something like an origin story for pain itself, as if her own pain preceded the world.” In the New Yorker