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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sex in fiction

Talking to Webster about sex in fiction tonight I convinced  him and myself that no serious attempt had yet been made by a man to present essential femininity; also that the chasm between male and female was infinitely wider and deeper than we commonly realized – in fact an absolutely unpracticable chasm.
A woman might draw, and probably has drawn, a woman with justice ad accuracy for her own sex. Buy a woman’s portrait of a woman is not of much  use to a man. Either it is meaningless to him – a hieroglyphic – or it tells him only things which he knew. A woman is too close to woman to observe her with aloofness and yet with perfect insight – as we should do if we had the insight. Observation can only be conducted from the outside. A woman cannot possibly be aware of the things in herself which puzzle us; and our expectations of our difficulties would simply worry her. The two sexes must for ever remain distant, antagonistic, and mutually inexplicable.
                                                                                          Arnold Bennett: Journals - June 9, 1898

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