TNC on the lack of women in book lists…

I’m quoting the whole thing because it’s so darn awesome:

There’s a lot of twittering about Esquire’s list of 75 books that men should read and the fact that only one book by a woman–Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find. There’s a point to be made here about sexism. But I’d like to focus on the implicit incuriosity that always accompanies these sorts of things.

Books are our most intimate art-form. The reader does a temporary mind-meld with the author, and a collaborative world–their words and our imagination–is conjured from nothing. And because each reader’s mind is his own, each of those conjured worlds, each of those planes, are different. And because the libraries are filled with incredible books, those of us who are readers spend our whole lives creating these private planes, walking them, mapping them, comparing ours with those of other readers, and then returning to our own only to see the contours changed.  And so we map anew.
Why any dedicated reading man would dream of this sorcery strictly with other men is beyond me. It goes against one of the great assets of reading–the voyage to new worlds. It would be as if Magellan said, “I like my small town fine enough.”
Put bluntly, if you call yourself a reading man, but don’t read books by women, you are actually neither. Such a person implicitly dismisses whole swaths of literature, and then flees the challenge of seeing himself through other eyes.
This is not a favor to feminists. This is not about how to pick up chicks. This is about hunger, greed and acquisition. Do not read books by women to murder your inner sexist pig. Do it because Edith Wharton can fucking write. It’s that simple.
AMEN AMEN A MILLION TIMES AMEN!!!!! (Sorry that the formatting is fucked up. WordPress is being weird and won’t let me fix it).
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3 thoughts on “TNC on the lack of women in book lists…

  1. I do not like the new position of your reply button, why should I have to scroll to the top of an article to reply to it? I just read it, I’m at the bottom.

    Anyways, I agree wholeheartedly about books creating a shared vision between writer and reader, and the importance of challenging yourself through literature. However, I honestly feel like the reason for this article is so missing the fucking point. List articles are the journalistic equivalent of shitting on a bedsheet and calling it art. No, actually, taking a crap at least causes some mild exertion, I’d say top-ten or top 75 or whatever are easier than pooping. Honestly, “75 books every man should read?” Where the hell do I start? Let’s ignore the fact that Esquire is basically a man-Cosmo, and just look at the article itself. It’s garbage, pure and simple. You’ve posted articles by “TNC” before and I think he’s too good for commenting on such garbage. I mean, it’s tough, like you said, it’s trending or whatever it’s called on twitter (I am old and do not understand twitter, in fact twitter is the cultural moment I fell of the “with-it bus”) and thus should provoke criticism or response, but I just despair that people actually care about what books some no-name journalist thinks every bro just read. I doubt the writer of the article has read every book on that article and furthermore, 20/75 books on should be The Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian instead of just the first book in the series. Then again, I think the visual representation of my “private plane” would be full of fucking tall-ships, exploding planets and some godamn dragons too. Oh, and some dudes drinking wine and shooting muskets.

  2. I just appreciate TNC taking the time at his blog to comment on the douchery of such lists, as well as the time he’s been dedicating lately to women writers. Most men don’t.

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