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C'est moi

22 October 2014     9:42 am     11,927 notes

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What, after all, will become of those entities quaintly known as “books” in the imminent, hypertextually, hypersophisticated millennium? Will there be real people who will really read, really study, and really teach what used to be called literature in the brave new world toward which we’re zooming with such alarming speed? Some of my formulations may seem extravagant, but all point to questions of serious consequence to feminist critics and, more generally, to the academy. Putting aside for the moment my hyperbole about the hypertextual, is there in this posttheoretical era a phenomenon we can still call “literature,” which can be distinguished from, say, telephone directories, railway schedules, Nordstrom catalogs, and maybe even Web pages? Are there people (once known as “authors”) who produce that stuff, and people (still, I guess, known as “readers”) who in some way consume it? Does it make a difference that some of those people formerly known as authors are beings called “women” rather than beings called “men”? If so, how can we study and teach the effects of that difference? Further, in the hypertechnical future toward which we’re zooming—-no, let me correct myself, in the hyper-real future we already inhabit, with its glimmering computer screens, skeptical postmodernists, and decaying educational infrastructure—-will there even be positions (once known as “jobs”) in which people can study and teach those differences that shape and determine the hypothetical phenomenon once called literature?

— Sanda M. Gilbert, Introduction to the Second Edition of¬†The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination¬†

October 2014     2:42 pm

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Bardot & Gainsbourg, 1967

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