Posts Tagged: Sarah Seltzer

Where We’ve Been

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It’s hard to enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time when the stack of books on your bedside table keeps reminding you of all the cultural capital you have yet to consume. Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer wonders why we stop re-reading our favorite books as we get older:

I’ve come to understand that I’ll rarely experience that first rush of discovery again, and perhaps that’s the problem with re-reading.

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New Audiences, New Allies

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Can mansplaining ever be productive? Flavorwire’s Sarah Seltzer suggests that while Jon Krakauer’s ignorance may be infuriating, his “show don’t tell” approach to writing about rape in Missoula might help readers see firsthand how structures of oppression operate:

Krakauer isn’t speaking to “us.” He’s speaking to his mainstream audience, and many of them are probably as ignorant as he admits he was.

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Check Your Magic

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Muggle-born students of Hogwarts are an underprivileged class, while magic-born students enjoy unquantified privilege, argues Sarah Seltzer over at Flavorwire. Rowling creates a world where privilege and power are coupled together, just as wealth and race have allowed certain classes greater access to power in the real world:

Rowling isn’t arguing that a wand is directly comparable to a tennis racket but instead making the point that magic (like certain kinds of privilege) is a form of power, one that can be used for both evil and good.

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Like Whatever

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Art is problematic. Humans are problematic. Roxane Gay is a bad feminist. We know this, yet still we attack each other for liking Lil Wayne or Fifty Shades of Grey. Flavorwire‘s Sarah Seltzer wants us to stop telling women what they can and can’t like:

I wouldn’t abandon the practice of critiquing art for its political stance…But what I won’t say is: you’re a bad feminist if you like [Philip] Roth.

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BFFs in Elena Ferrante Novels

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The literary idea that friends’ lives represent unmade choices, roads not taken, is applicable across gender and genre. Naturally, however, it has a particular resonance for women, because so many of life’s choices have particular resonance for women. Whether in 2015 United States or in postwar, pre-feminist Italy, women still feel like they have to lean in the direction of either family or career, creative fulfillment or economic necessity.

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Pride, Prejudice, Repeat

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Jane Austen has been blowing up these days, with hundreds of fan-fictional responses to Pride and Prejudice gracing the dusty corners of bookstores and the Internet. Over at Flavorwire, Sarah Seltzer wonders why we’re still so eager to return to Pemberley:

Because Austen doesn’t overload us with sensory details about her characters, but merely depicts them walking around in the world, talking, judging, and making mistakes, we project a lot of our own experience and imagination into our reading, and this makes us feel personally acquainted with them.

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