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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sticking to What I Said...

I am sticking to what I said about Maureen Corrigan's "Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading." The book is a tour de force on reading and enjoying the reading habit. The only minuscule fault I've found on the book is that it politicizes some things that are better off as simply literature. She seems to take the previously enjoyable "female extreme adventure" a bit too far. Half way through Chapter 3, we are still talking about it. I don't have a problem with it so much as I am making the statement that this part of the book might be a bit over-done. I do have some problems with passages like this one:
"Feminist detective-fiction heroines take a lickin', but they always come back tickin', ultimately (if only temporary) clearing their patch of the evil infestation of the patriarchy."

Also, "[these heroines] dodge bullets and disarm thugs to aim their own suggestively phallic pistols at male-dominated institution like the Catholic Church and the banking and insurance industries that have given women grief for so long."

I know for a fact that Ms. Corrigan is a feminist because she states it clearly enough in the text. I also understand that as a college professor (and one at a very liberal and elite institution such as Georgetown) she "reads" at times like--how else shall we put it--a college professor. Having spent four years of my life in graduate school, and being part of academia I recognize that these interpretations are valid. I just didn't expect to find them in a book that seems pitched to a general/lay person audience. Having said that, there are very interesting moments in the second half of the book. Her inclusion of Mark Edmundson is excellent; he is "the" last word on "reading." I have great faith in all that Maureen Corrigan states about the future of reading. We shall all wait and see.

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At 1:20 PM, Blogger Suzan Abrams said...

A fascinating book post as always, JCR. :-)

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Interesting! I'm curious about this book...wish my TBR Mountain was a bit shorter!


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