Categories
History Literature

The Writing or the Sex?: Or Why You Don’t Have to Read Women’s Writing to Know It’s No Good

The Writing or the Sex?: Or Why You Don’t Have to Read Women’s Writing to Know It’s No GoodDale SpenderPergamon Press1989

In The Writing or the Sex? Spender questions the differences between female and male literature. Taking the view that the difference lies not within the writing itself, but in the response to the writing, she writes that men have been in charge of according value to literature, and that they have found the contributions of their own sex immeasurably superior. With her usual wit and easy-to-read, yet incisive style, the author presents evidence for a form of literary criticism which takes account of the exploitative practices of men.

Table of Contents

Part One: On the Judgment of Literary Men
1. Language Studies: From the Spoken to the Written Word
2. Literary Criticism: Making It for Men
3. Publishing: Damned if You Do, and Damned if You Don’t
4. Reviewing: The Little Women Are Entitled To
5. Education: Learning Literary Housework

Part Two: Women’s Judgment of Literary Men
6. Women’s Work and Women’s Criticism
6.1 Working Out the Silence
6.2 Women’s Lives, Women’s Literature
6.3 Handmaids to Literary Men
7. Polish, Plagiarism and Plain Theft
7.1 Acknowledgement of the Problem
7.2 By Another Name
7.3 Sonya Tolstoy: A Case of Rejection (1844-1919)
7.4 Zelda Fitzgerald: A Paradigm of Plain Theft (1900-1947)