books, criticism, writing


I have often thought but never written on this blog that dating, relationships, and sex are the feminine-thematic literary equivalent of war and fighting.

I was reminded of this in December, while watching FOUR CHRISTMASES with Eileen. Watching Vince Vaughn get beat up by his brothers was juxtaposed with watching Reese Witherspoon get female-relationship-attacked by her sisters. Punching someone in the gut was the same as asking “When are you getting married?” Stereotypes, yes, but more than that. Models. Themes. Some truth.

Sometimes this thought train leads me to think that PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is the feminine version of, I don’t know, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK. As you moved forward in the history of the novel, you could set up things like THE RADETSKY MARCH alongside THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. You could contrast, historically, the depiction of sex to the depiction of violence. Someone’s probably already done this. What would you put up against THE NAKED AND THE DEAD?

Sometimes the idea leads me to think that there ought to be sex choreographers as well as fight choreographers, for the New Theater.

Mostly I use it to remind myself that I am, as a writer, more of a woman than I sometimes want to admit. I have never written about a fight. I’ve never even been in a fight. I have written, a lot, about relationships, and as I write more, that subject matter keeps coming to the forefront. There may be no avoiding it.