Author Topic: RIP Kate Millett  (Read 321 times)

Offline the ganze metsieh

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Offline Betty Croker's frosted buns

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 2017, 10:56:30 PM »
 :'(

Drank every word of "Sexual Politics" as a 16 year old.

RIP.

Offline valerie

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #2 on: Oct 12, 2017, 09:28:19 PM »
OMG!  How few responses for a woman who said "Blogs are for anoraks who couldn't get published any other way." among many other thought-provoking comments.  A hero  who preceded our liberation, although we seem to be on  a regressive track since Nov2016 in the USA :'(
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Offline Lust for Life

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #3 on: Oct 12, 2017, 11:04:23 PM »
You're right, Val, it's not many. Thanks to Betty and The GM I went off and read several obituaries, articles and interviews - only I didn't realise I hadn't posted.

Offline the ganze metsieh

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #4 on: Oct 14, 2017, 11:28:50 PM »
I finally read Sita. From the Virago back cover:

"The author of Sexual Politics records the lingering decline of her affair with a seductive older woman. Every lover's trick, every piercing anguish is here: the self-deceptions, the obsessive analysis, the stifling aroma of disappointment, the cruel reprieves of lust and laughter, the helpless watching. While Sita - dashing and dramatic - irretrievably draws away. Vivid, exciting, hypnotic in its intensity, Sita turns a familiar failure of love into a powerful triumph".

I'd add that it is also often tedious, in a way that mirrors the tedium of the situation being described. I couldn't help but wonder towards the end if she (Millett) weren't dragging it out because the act of chronicling overrode anything else, like reason or compassion. There were also times when I fairly strongly sympathised with the duplicitous Sita, when I wasn't quite sure if I was supposed to. If I read it again and concentrated I might work that out but I don't mind that it's foggy, again, like the nebulousness described. And finally, I'm glad I didn't read this when I was in any relationship because I think it might have fvcked things up. Or to put it differently, if lesbian relationships were portrayed with the same level of frequency as heterosexual ones, I might feel the proximity less but as it is, I think it impossible to read without an unusual degree of involvement.

If it's necessary to add, the writing is excellent; economical, restrained. She writes elegantly of excess. I wanted to cheer for the artistry, while knowing this undermined the whole premise.
 

Offline Betty Croker's frosted buns

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2017, 01:12:34 PM »
/\ Interesting.

Sita was one of those hardback tomes I schleped around from bedsit to bedsit, dorm to dorm in my late teens before giving up the ghost and handing it in to Oxfam from where it came in the first place. I never read it, although I tried several times.

The impression I had of it was that it was a "stream of consciousness", a genre which I never could deal with. I was too young to cope with my own steam of consciousness, never mind someone else's. But as no one has referred to it in that way in the reviews, I'm wondering whether I am confusing that with her similar work "Flying."

Sexual Politics I still have and still dip into now and again.
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2017, 01:15:08 PM by Betty Croker's frosted buns »

Offline the ganze metsieh

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2017, 01:52:04 PM »
I remember that stream of consciousness description too but it really isn't, it's practically the opposite, deliberate, crafted, honed and eminently readable for being so. I wonder if describing it as incoherent, or at least, hard work, was a way to reduce the impact. For example the descriptions of sex are totally straightforward, accurate and clear. I don't think it's for nothing that Millett made a name as a literary critic of sexist male authors and so when she writes in unmistakable language of lesbian sex, she is doing it with an eye to the elision of us (women and/or lesbians) from the literary canon. I suspect describing her writing as 'stream of consciousness' was the establishment response.

Offline cigarettes and matches

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #7 on: Oct 15, 2017, 01:56:21 PM »
^ never heard of her.  ???
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Offline Grey

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Re: RIP Kate Millett
« Reply #8 on: Oct 15, 2017, 06:36:53 PM »
god what an era that was to come of  age in
Kate Millett Gloria Steinem Betty Freidan Bella Abzug Shirley Chisholm the Lavender Menace ERA RoevWade

I can still remember Millett's interview that outraged the establishment
and I remember a few compelling passages from Sita