The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath.
A novel about a woman who lost it!
As in, her mind.
Wonderfully written, even though I still do not know what a bell jar is?
My research has only unearthed that the title referenced the fact that a bell jar essentially traps something to keep it on display. And supposedly, Plath used the bell jar as a metaphor to talk about the repression of women in American society.
See… I did not get that last point at all.
But, I seem to never see feminism when it is supposed to be there.
For instance, I love Margaret Atwood.
And I don’t just mean her books.
I mean personally.
I am sort of “in love” with her.
I have met her and spoken with her on several occasions, and I have honestly found her to be so gracious and receptive, and totally… Margaretty.
She leaves me somewhat... enamored.
One time [lacking a book] I got her to sign a Starbucks coffee receipt, and not only did she do it, she laughed about it.
Thought it was cute.
But whenever I tell people I love Margaret Atwood’s work [she is one of the very few authors I would buy without even checking for what the new book is about… I have to be selective like this when it comes to new releases, by the way, because I am horribly poor… so, Atwood shares this privilege of unconditionally getting into my wallet, along with an elite grouping of authors such as Jose Saramago, Jane Urquhart, Emma Donoghue, Ian McEwan, and Shakespeare…. the latter of which has, regretfully, if I have anything to say about it, really not released anything “new” in a while…] ← OK, that was the longest bracketed diversion in history…. so, as I was saying, whenever I tell people I am in love with Margaret Atwood, so often they say something like, “Oh, she is so feminist!”
I am waiting for clarification.
So what if she is? What would that have to do with the level of literature she is capable of producing?
To not read Atwood, based on such a [false] prejudice, would be like not reading Saramago because “he is so Portuguese!”
Thing is…. I have read very nearly almost everything by Atwood, and I don’t even see her as a "feminist writer."
In reading Atwood, I always have found that her women are pretty much as screwed up as her men are.
In fact, the men are often more admirable and/or decent and/or intelligent than any of the women are.
Maybe what people mean when they say that Margaret Atwood is a “feminist” is that when she talks she has a sort of nasally tone that makes you instantly realize she is about at least 217 times smarter than you are, on virtually every subject at hand?
Is that what Atwoodian “feminism” means?
Just thought I would drop into town tonight, long enough to say that I do not see The Bell Jar as being a novel “about the repression of women in American society.”
And mind, I got this quote from a very reputable source.
And we all know that there are only four gradations of Veracity in the world right?
4) Human Experience.
Granted, the book was published in the same year as I was born…  so maybe back then, it was some sort of social statement of… something.
But I read it from a purely modern male perspective I guess, and my conclusion is that it is a wonderful novel that should not be overlooked by all of the three or four genders we have on the go, here in modern-day 2008!
And finally… do any of you know Margaret Atwood’s phone number?
I seem to have lost it!