American authors. How about we talk about American authors. Guess what I didn't study in college? Ok, lots of things, but those especially. I did 19th century British and French lit, and when I asked if I could take one American lit class and have it count for my major, the head of the Comparative Lit department said "NO ENGLAND AND AMERICA ARE DIFFERENT CULTURES YOU STAY AWAY; MORE BALZAC FOR YOU."
Add to that my high school's horrible English Department, and I've read pretty much nothing of what I'm supposed to read. Here are the authors I think of when I hear about American authors:
And...others. I guess. I've read at least one book by most of the American ladies, because I'm a ladyist, and I've read enough Steinbeck (although is there ever really enough, people?), and probably enough James, Twain, and Hawthorne. But American literature is SO DOMINATED BY DUDES. Particularly in the 20th century. Shouldn't that trend have been reversed? Where are all the Literary Giantesses for America in the 20th century?
Whenever I hear about the authors in the above list, I think 'Omg they just sound so BORING.' Because they're all Guys. Not guys, but Guys. Just...men sitting around with their three-quarters-empty glass of whiskey, talking about how some two-dimensional female character screwed them over, and then moving on to how they used to go fishing with their father, and he was a sonuvabitch but you can tell they're still real real into him. They'll maybe say something about their mother like, she was a "strong" woman, but they don't really give two shits for talking about her, because they've got this fishing thing to talk about.
That's how I imagine all of Hemingway's novels.
At least with 19th century novels by British dudes, you have characters saying "What-ho!" and adjusting their cravats and the like. THAT I will read. I don't need some insecure 20th century men foisting their ideas about masculinity on me when those ideas are bullshit to begin with.
Does anyone like any of these guys or have a defense for them? I'm willing to admit I might be making massive generalizations and not allowing for shades of grey but how else are we going to promote discussion, I ask you.
|ugh you're all terrible.|