The Cultural Gutter

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The Female Reader

guttersnipe
Posted September 18, 2012

At Bookslut, Jenny McPhee writes about female readers, the imagined female reader and the anxiety of male authors: “The [contemporary male novelists] fear the female reader is no longer willing to interpret rampant misogyny as searing self-portraits of mangled masculinity, but rather as just more misogyny and who needs it? Their livelihoods threatened, the [contemporary male novelists] are doing the utmost in their narratives to tell the imagined female reader that they are at least hyperaware of their own utter self-absorption. So nowadays “female characters get to remind the hero that he’s a navel-gazing jerk, but most of the good lines, and certainly the brilliant social and psychological observations, still go to the hero.”

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