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Author Topic: Andrea Dworkin  (Read 9735 times)
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Peterson
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« on: December 10, 2011, 01:24:56 AM »

OK, since there is already a Sotos thread for the more harmfully-inclined on this board, I'm starting a Dworkin thread. I'm assuming there isn't really anyone on here who reads her stuff for the "theories," so who's into her fiction? I just finished "Pornography: Men Possessing Women" (non-fiction, if you've read it, look for the "tit pulp" excerpt, pure gold!) and I have to say I loved it. Not just because certain parts were particularly arousing, but how much the book really says about the author. I can see how Sotos is so inspired by her style, it's just full of impact and sensationalism (in the neutral sense). She was really a perverse hysterical wretch bent on digging up the dirt on everyone's fantasies (her own included, IMHO). Any other Dworkin or similarly "gritty" feminist author recommendations?
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HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 02:42:02 PM »

Her fiction is amazing, I just wish she'd written more. Superpowerful modernist prose with an experimental angle and a belief system behind it that charges every situation described with unbearable intensity. I've recommended 'Mercy' to every serious reader I know and had to fight against their preconceptions of the author...it's not a book anyone is left disappointed by. Left feeling devastated and distraught maybe.

I suppose I do read her non-fiction for the theories as well as for the style. Her extremity is always impressive and the central analogy of the historical treatment of women with centuries of anti-semitism in 'Scapegoat' was so unlikely it really did make you think.

Never read any feminist non-fiction writer who comes anywhere near her. In fiction Helen Zahavi's "Dirty Weekend" has a similar spirit.
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 08:07:33 PM »

I haven't read her fiction. I think PORNOGRAPHY is the only title I currently own. Check out Diane E.H. Russell esp FEMICIDE & AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY. Website is at:

http://www.dianarussell.com/books.html

A.P. has pictures. Also MAKING VIOLENCE SEXY is excellant (great title).
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 08:46:15 PM »

I was browsing through SCUM manifesto book, since finnish publisher did translation of it. But roughly 20,- for thin paperback... hmm..  Might go for it eventually.
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 10:21:11 AM »

I'll write a little more about 'Mercy' as it's one of my favourite books ever.

The narrator 'Andrea' takes after Sade's Justine in that she is treated to sexual abuse from childhood onwards. Unlike Justine, she does enjoy sex. Hot and heavy descriptions of giving blowjobs as a teenager to old guys on buses, and hippy troilism in Greece. But poverty, over-sensitivity and a bad marriage grind her down. The last straw is when a pick-up who's watched 'Deep Throat' facefucks her without warning. After that she seems to lapse into a full-blown kind of mental illness, as she sees nothing but cruelty in the world and meditates on Birkenau and Masada in despair. The prose becomes more disturbed in its rhythm and the last chapter '30 April 1974' is one of the most distressing pieces of writing I've ever read: kind of a hellish opposite of the final section of Joyce's Ulysses. There are two different versions of the last chapter, in the first she sets fire to herself outside a porno shop (I found out later this was based on a real woman), in the second she decides to go out randomly to attack and kill men in the street after learning martial arts. There's no choice but suicide or homicide left: all hope and reason is lost.

There's also a prologue and epilogue narrated by someone called 'Not-Andrea' (Andrea refers to herself as 'not-cunt' in parts of the main text). Not-Andrea is a cool and intellectual feminist professor who bases herself on Simone de Beauvoir who doesn't see a problem with much about human sexuality and has a bent for S&M.

In the afterword Dworkin names Linda Lovelace's 'Ordeal' as an inspiration for the book. And Linda later repudiated the contents of that, saying she was under the spell of Christian and feminist handlers when writing it. Much like the details of Dworkin's own history which many have called into question, we'll never know.
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HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 03:30:16 AM »

'Ordeal' is best read in conjunction with 'Inside Linda Lovelace'. Two accounts of events which couldn't be more different but are equally untrue.

Deep Throat is a lousy movie by any standards IMHO. Pure fluke that it was the one that made porn mainstream.
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HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 06:57:12 PM »

Have only read Dworkin's Ice and Fire which I recall being a good novel - I guess this too was another thinly veiled autobiography as fiction. Must have read it about 7 years back though so my memory is hazy on finer details, although I do seem to think there was a similar breakdown of the protagonist's state of mind/storytelling technique near the end of that novel too (or maybe all the way through it even?), with an increasingly repetitive use of phrases, words, sentences building up in quite an effectively despairing way. I've got Mercy somewhere too (maybe in both paperback and hardback editions even) but it's unread for some reason - I'll have to dig both of them out for a refresh.

Yeah, midway through Ice and Fire the language breakdown (in the style of Kathy Acker, much as they were political opponents) starts as she riffs on a Pasolini quote about how life is unbearably pleasurable and mixes it with stuff from Jane Eyre ("Reader, I married him") - totally deconstructing/detourning the original quote by explicitly referring to social power relations. Incredibly intelligent and intense writing and I love how she keeps repeating the phrase "I became a feminist. Not the fun kind" throughout that novel. I don't agree with her conclusions or the overall worldview she espoused but she was one of the 20th century's best writers in any genre.
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 07:01:34 PM »

I was browsing through SCUM manifesto book, since finnish publisher did translation of it. But roughly 20,- for thin paperback... hmm..  Might go for it eventually.

I was just reading newspaper and apparently there is theatre version going now in Sweden. And who knows what is wrong with the country, but its been written there are demonstrations in front of theater. For and against. There are other theaters showing support & sympathy with reading sessions of SCUM manifesto. People are getting death threats and male columnist are being the assholes they tend to be, haha..  Fags are offended. Transgender people are offended. Just like the world of 2011 - everybody are being entitled to be offended. By feminist play, based on something written back in 60's. OOOOHH MYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD !!!!!!!
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 04:05:31 PM »

Haha yeah, there's been a really fun debate going on the past months, death threats coming in from offended "masculinists"/"male's rights activists" in the US and elsewhere. Because, you know, it propagates for the killing of men, and that's a hate crime, and whatnot. The cock-ripping feminists are taking over.

The actual performance of the play sounds rather intriguing. First, all the women in the audience are allowed to enter. Not the men, They have to wait outside for a while, and when they come into the room, the spotlights are on their seats (separated from the women of course), and both the female audience + the actor (think it's a one-woman show) stares at the men, who are throughout the show ridiculed and questioned, victimized, used as props. I'd go and see it. Sounds like a high-brow CON-DOM performance, wil you submit to the abuse?
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GEWALTMONOPOL
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 05:22:25 PM »

Haha yeah, there's been a really fun debate going on the past months, death threats coming in from offended "masculinists"/"male's rights activists" in the US and elsewhere. Because, you know, it propagates for the killing of men, and that's a hate crime, and whatnot. The cock-ripping feminists are taking over.

Oh dear!


The actual performance of the play sounds rather intriguing. First, all the women in the audience are allowed to enter. Not the men, They have to wait outside for a while, and when they come into the room, the spotlights are on their seats (separated from the women of course), and both the female audience + the actor (think it's a one-woman show) stares at the men, who are throughout the show ridiculed and questioned, victimized, used as props. I'd go and see it. Sounds like a high-brow CON-DOM performance, wil you submit to the abuse?

That sounds ace. I assume they're ready, able and willing for any male to go there and confront them throughout? Has anyone tried?
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 07:56:59 PM »

The target audience for that kind of theatre play is hardly the one to not play along - especially when the whole point of it is to shove a boot in the face of the patriarchy; I find it hard to believe that a lot of people would go see it without already agreeing with the ideology behind it.
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 12:08:21 PM »

No doubt the mangina demographic will be over represented at such an event. It would be interesting to observe it. Does this thing play anywhere near the civilised parts of Sweden or is it out of reasonable reach for us southerners?
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2011, 12:43:52 PM »

Stockholm. What did you expect? I hope it comes to Malmö though. I'd pay for it.
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