As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m in a state of perpetual frustration with the literary theorists I’m reading for one of my classes. Most of them are dead white males who turned something simple and pleasurable (reading) into something convoluted and unpleasant. And I’m not just talking about their writing style.
They spent their lives writing gobbeldygook. They spent their lives writing unreadable, paradoxical drivel that the average human being doesn’t care about. They wrote for the sake of being high-minded. They succeeded. We think. We’re still trying to figure out if they actually said anything in those pages of essays.
I’ve had a hard time understanding all of the theorists whose works I have read. Their styles are as thick as molasses swamps and their syntax is as tangled as Rapunzel’s hair realistically should have been (honestly, even if she did nothing but brush it, it would still be a blonde bird’s nest).
But the feminist theorists–the women–I understand completely. Their syntax is clear; their theses findable. Their arguments are a little holey, but at least their essays have clear outlines with well-supported and easily-understood points.
Women writers I understand. Male writers, not so much. At least not in this subject area.
And I’m wondering what this says about me.