A Hot-Eyed Moderate: Essays by Jane Rule

By Jane Rule

The essays during this inspiring assortment examine the craft of writing and the artwork of residing and loving Jane Rule stocks her insights into the inventive method, sexual constancy, feminist politics, and the transformative strength of affection. half I & mdash; & ldquo;On Writing & rdquo; & mdash;dispenses suggestion (writing is & ldquo;a craft that needs to be practiced & rdquo;); bargains observations (& ldquo;The artistic technique in  Read more...

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Sometimes writers put their moral views into the thoughts and speech of particularly sympathetic characters. But the main and more powerful vehicle for morality is plot. ” We judge people more by what they do than by what they say, and novelists have the further power of being able also to judge by what they make their characters do. The human appetite for justice is so often thwarted in life that one of the chief activities of fantasy is to punish or reward those people who deserve but seem to receive neither in life.

Ziggy, for all his male chauvinist piggery, “laughs in bed,” is as hairy as the gorillas he studies, and, though his women leave him, he can always find another because he likes women and women like him. It is Christian to forgive the sinner, but forgiveness here is pushed dangerously and gladly to the sin as well, for sinning teaches people to free themselves from stultifying righteousness. In “Mina and Clare” Bob has to commit adultery to forgive it in others. The salt mine of the title of that story is not a place of punishment but the magnificent setting for an illicit sexual union.

They are being our historians, sociologists, psychologists. With their testimony we have an opportunity to make more informed political judgments because we have an understanding of our complex and particular culture only a real literature can give. In a report on her trip to Australia, Margaret Atwood mused on Australia’s lack of honor for its Nobel Prize winning writer, Patrick White. ” It is a mark of colonial mentality to be envious and mistrustful of excellence, to feel exploited and betrayed rather than enlightened by the articulate and intelligent.

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