Alice Fishburn on Curtis Sittenfield’s new short story collection. American Writer comments & more!
Curtis Sittenfeld proved the nature of her ‘Feminism’ by her outrageous attempt at producing a political/personal apologetic for Hillary Clinton! The Sunday Times interview shows her, no just lack of judgement , but her obsequious political opportunism.
Did she like Hillary more than when she started this book more than three years ago? “Yes, more, more! You know, for a lot of the last three years I’ve put on a pant suit and blond wig, metaphorically. I would never write a book from the point of view of a character I was unable to sympathise with. I feel very emotional about her. There’s this reflexively negative way of talking about her. Yet she’s such a hero and role model to so many people, especially many women, which doesn’t get acknowledged as much as it should.”
She says she ended up loving her. But she had also fallen for Bill during her research. She had read his big, swaggering autobiography, My Life.
“I mean, this is the thing; while reading it, I felt like I fell in love with him. And it was very surprising to me. But I think a writer needs to be able to feel the emotions her characters feel.”
That has parity with Hillary’s argued ‘Feminism’, that exists on the same plane as Sheryl Sandberg Neo-Liberal Manifesto of corporate conformaty ‘Lean In’.
A generation of ‘Feminists’ ‘ remain utterly ignorant of their intellectual precursors: Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Eva Figes, Kate Millet etc.
What can the reader make of this quote from Alice Fishburn explication of one of Sittenfeld’s latest short stories:
“White Women Lol” is perhaps the most topical of the stories: dealing as it does with Jill, who spots a table of five black people at her friend’s party and, assuming that they’re in the wrong place, tries to get them to leave. A covert recording of the encounter is posted on Facebook, goes semi-viral, sends shockwaves through her friendship group and sparks a variety of outraged online reactions: “a GIF of a fair-haired white man blinking (posted by a black man) and another GIF of a cartoon rat shaking his finger in disapproval (posted by a black woman) and another GIF of a baby spitting out what looked like pureed peas in abject disgust (posted by a white woman).”
Jill, her protagonist looks, about as clueless, as a chartable reader might find the author of this story to be. Or is that mansplaining?