The self-portrait, as written by a woman, is read as somehow dangerous & indulgent. Some sort of gag order from modernism that even Second-Wave feminist critics, reading Jean Rhys, reading Zelda, reading Anaïs Nin, have internalized— this idea of being self-indulgent, in indulging in the self as contrary to art…
…The charge against women writers so often is narcissism. This unconscious bias against women who are full of themselves bleeds into reactions against their literature. That it’s somehow cheating to draw from one’s OWN life, even if it’s with startling insight into the human condition, or more forbidden still, the complex & ambivalent female condition.
Kate Zambreno, from Heroines (via muscovite)
this neatly sums up what is going to be my Masters dissertation
We ought never to forget that in spite of the bliss love promises its first effect is one of turmoil and distress. Passion fulfilled itself provokes such violent agitation that the happiness involved, before being happiness to be enjoyed, is so great as to be more like its opposite, suffering.
Death and Sensuality, A Study of Eroticism and the Taboo
George Bataille, 1962