Marlene Streeruwitz rocks!

June 11, 2007 at 7:16 am | Posted in Literature, Women, Writing | 2 Comments
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On the 2nd day of the women’s writer forum, Marlene Streeruwitz spoke in a so-called panel discussion – why they called it a panel discussion I don’t know. The other woman who was invited to join the panel did not say anything substantial, but instead kept asking Marlene insidious, stupid questions (such as: “when is the female writer happy?” arf) or said banal things about her novels (“I find it difficult to identify with your characters”). I think the “discussion” lasted about an hour (with a moderator also taking a seat on stage) and I enjoyed every little piece that Mrs Streeruwitz said. I am unable to reproduce any of it, the general topic was ‘happiness’ and ‘feminine writing’ (as expected – but with a different twist), and the first thing that pleased me was her laid-back, almost cheerful manner – nothing of the slightly frustrated feminist that I thought to have noted the day before. She used the words ‘hegemony’ and ‘hegemonial’ about 20 times, and I doubt that only half of the people in the room understood what she was talking about, but it spoke to me and I drank all her words. She shook off all those banal questions and gave long, but elaborate and witty,often even funny responses – I am really looking forward to hearing more from her in the days to come.Btw: She also completed a PhD recently, at an American university – I need to find out with whom and about what exactly and add the info to Wikipedia.

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  1. Just a quick thought on the panel you mention–I second your dislike of the questions. Not being able to identify with the characters is not really a critically smart statement, especially regarding this topic. Identifying with the character is a distinctly bourgeois attitude following the ideology of capitalist individualism, which is precisely why the novel historically emerged as a bourgeois genre. Asking such a question in regards to the literature in question hence reproduces in a quite problematic manner the paradigm of the patriarchal/Oedipal logic of capitalist, bourgeois individualism and dissociates the question from the beginning from any valuable inquiry relating to feminism and women’s writing.

  2. There’s not much of a theoretical vibe going on in the female writers community, regrettably – which is what made Marlene Streeruwitz’ responses and suggestions so refreshing. Too bad she is not with us here in Rheinsberg – I kinda thought she would, because she said she was looking forward to the week. Maybe she took the decision not to come after the panel – which would have been quite understandable.


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