Freitag, 16. Februar 2018

Joyce Carol Oates on Dystopia, Boxing, and Reading Problematic Classics

In Paul Holdengraber’s conversation with Joyce Carol Oates, the two discuss writing about politics, future dystopias, and boxing (a favorite subject for both of them). But to start, Paul asks about revisiting novels, particularly classic works, and which ones take on new meaning. 

From the Episode:
Joyce Carol Oates: I have writing students now and we look at literature from the point of view—the strategies of composition. In other words, we’re not looking at literature for thematic purposes. We’re not scrolling through to find something to be offended by. We’re looking at works of art in terms of how they’re constructed and created. So I can read a work of art that’s actually misogynist or sexist and I can admire it for the precision of the prose. I’m really not looking at thematic content. I teach Hemingway, for instance, and the sexism of Hemingway is imbued throughout his work, so it’s everywhere. It’s not necessarily blatant or even particularly offensive. He will call a man “the man,” he will call a woman “the girl.” It’s in the very prose is the sexism that is taken for granted, that nobody ever question, I don’t think, until recent years.... [mehr]

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