mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Warning for honkingly big sexist attitude.

I don't read current male writers any more. There've been only three I can think of in the last five years: Jann Martel, Jonathan Kellerman, and Tanaka. There are no major female characters in The Life of Pi which made The Life of Pi pleasantly bearable. I read Kellerman for Milo, all the while spitting at revolting Alex whom Kellerman so wants me to admire, and I was paid to read Tanaka so I tried to keep my spitting to a minimum. Maybe those two vols of Houshin Engi in French count as well but I doubt it. Otherwise, even when I read shounen manga, I read women.

The standard male voice is flatly uncongenial to me. It describes a world I neither like nor recognize, and it has a tendency to make I, Narrator, the only human being in it. Everyone else is roughly either enemy or prey. I, Narrator doesn't think like me at all, especially when he's talking about people of the female persuasion. I tried reading men all through my 20's and 30's, often to ridiculous extremes (hands up everyone who's read Gravity's Rainbow?) and I finally gave up in my 40's. Life is too short.

I would venture that Stephen Brust has as male an authorial voice as anyone I can think of off-hand. I love Stephen Brust-- partly because he can do pastiche at need, of course: ah style, that orphan child of modern F&SF-- but mostly because he doesn't seem to think that the existence of two sexes implies anything except that there are two sexes so-what? Other fictional attempts I've come across at levelling the m/f playing field tend to draw great big arrows pointing to the levelling machine as it goes puffing and clanking across the field behind its load of dirt. Brust just steps out onto a level field as if its existence were nothing remarkable. This I find refreshing. Thanks again, incandescence, for the intro.
Tags: brust, reading, reading_06
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