Somehow, despite having the summer mostly free, I’ve had little time to read in the last few weeks. I think Ms. Karenina’s adventures culminating in her feeling the need to kill herself as a result of her relationship was going awry (and realizing that he was all she had) also kind of left a sour taste in my mouth. I think I’m starting to generally hate women in literature. I’ve been cruising through a lot of Chekhov’s short stories, including “The Darling” and “Ariadne,” and, if you know anything about these two stories, you’ll know it’s not helping my opinion of lit women. I find that my ability to appreciate these wonderfully-written pieces is diminished by how sick I am of seeing women throughout the ages define themselves through romance or lack thereof. I was thinking of returning to one of my all-time favorites, The Awakening, so that I could remember what it was like to adore my heroine. But Edna is defined by her refusal to conform to monogomous societal expectations, so does her refusal to be a good, well-behaved wife also mean that she, too, is defined by romantic involvement? Can I not win?
I think I need some Pynchon in my life. I need kooky, lyrically-relayed misadventures where women are on quests that are not centered around man-catching. (Or woman-catching. Or rebellious non-man-catching. Or pointed, sassy, I-put-men-in-their-place-but-I’m-still-sexy “independence”–yeah, you know what I’m talking about, you watch T.V.) I want women characters to whom romance is ancillary to their existence. TO GRAVITY’S RAINBOW! Onward, towards a world without women defined by romance!