Dec 27, 2009

Liberalism in writing: The art of masculine roses and feminine thorns

Re-evaluating Woolf’s Androgynous Mind (by Elizabeth Wright)

“…A way of thinking that would enable women and by implication men to write as themselves, still in a sexed body, but without the attendant prejudices and discriminations that are connected to the body by society. To write without consciousness of sex is to see the piece of work for itself not as its author… Woolf is arguing here that sex should enter the mind and, through the medium of its androgynous thinking patterns, re-emerge incandescent and unconscious of itself on the other side.”


“Woolf leaves the reader in no doubt that the androgynous mind is the creative ideal, but what marks a text as the production of an androgynous mind? How do women avoid writing as women constructed by patriarchy, or avoid writing like men in the service of patriarchy? How do men prevent themselves from writing angrily about women and pompously or egotistically about themselves? In A Room of One’s Own Woolf demonstrates the turgidity of the male sentence.”


“The strength of language and form as a means of realising Woolf’s androgynous vision lies in the fact that “masculine and feminine can be exchanged, or travestied, because words can be.”

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