I've been reading a collection of profiles by Claudia Pierpont-Roth, who writes for the New Yorker, on notable twentieth-century (female) minds. I thought my blog's (ever-expanding, because I post so much) audience would appreciate the following:
on Eudora Welty's family/her relationship to the South--
"Her loyalty to a past and now often despised way of life was naturally intensified by a loyalty to the family she'd lost, but also, it seems, by her need to justify her years of sacrifice to them. (Compare Faulkner on the subject of the artist's sacrifice: 'If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode to a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies.')"
on Doris Lessing's men-troubles--
"And the very modern 'men-babies' that the age was producing certainly weren't going to give anything--there were now spoken rules about this--even as they pillaged her emotional store and absorbed all the loving and cooking and the nursing and the sex that any sensible Victorian woman would have set at a far higher price."
Pierpont-Roth seems most interested in these women as mother-figures, and as sexual partners to men, using their intellectual work as a lens. She really hates Anais Nin. More soon.