Saturday, December 23, 2006

Idea Novelists.

Just a little update on my holidays…
Oh, it is just so relaxing to sit around and visit, sip coffee, read a bit, and eat dead animals.
Last night it was a turkey.
Tonight, → turkey carcass soup!
Tomorrow, there will be yet some other animal that was running too slow, fated to end up in our festive holiday cauldron!
I come from a long line of non-vegans!
Carniverous to the core!

I’ve been reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
As I vowed to do, so have I done.
I am reading Rand for the Holidays! As I am only 138 pages in, [of 695] I will hold my comments for later.
For now, I just want to mention something that caught my eye, on the back of my ancient used-paperback novel.
This Signet edition was published in the early 1970’s. [Fountainhead was originally published in 1943].
The back of the book quotes the New York Times as saying, of Rand: “A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly… This is the only novel of ideas written by an American woman that I can recall.”

I paused upon reading that last line, and sort of looked at it again.
What exactly is the critic suggesting?
Was it so startling that a → “woman” ← could write “a novel of ideas”?
It seems…. well, not like something that would be an acceptable statement today, for instance.
Is it true that there were not many American women novelists “of ideas”?
It was bothering me so I did some research.
And well, it seems true that it is a bit difficult to find what one might call American women novelists of ideas, from that era. I’m talking about the 1960’s – 1970’s.
I came up with writers like Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison. I’m sure there are many more, but the thing is, it is difficult to find them.
It is amazing how male-dominated the world of literature was, in those decades.
I wonder if this is still the case? I would think that it is NOT!
Most of my favorite contemporary writers are female, and I would say that they are writing great “novels of ideas.”
So I am currently concluding that the blurb on the back of my Fountainhead is quite wonderfully archaic.

But help me out.
Tell me of a few more American [female] novelists of ideas, that would have been writing in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.



Cold Molasses said...

Here is the true question on readers minds is Jack???

cipriano said...

So far I have had no phone calls about Jack, and I have left explicit instructions as to where I can be reached if anything is wrong with him. So... I am thinking, believing, that Jack is doing alright.
Thanks for the concern, and Merry Christmas to you and your own varmints there, Cold Mol!

May said...

Great post! The world needs more men like you.