I've been under attack.
Yes, readers. You know what you've done. You all have me doubting my ability to read books by men. Sure, I might love Henry Fielding. And.... Shakespeare.... But I have a difficult time focusing on the finely-formed sentences of men.
Not all men, right? I really enjoyed Douglas Coupland and Nick Hornby in the last twelve months. But truly, my attention span is low -- take What is the What as an example. Excellent book, for sure, but I had to rush through the final three hundred pages in five hours Saturday night. I was up until 4 a.m. My eyes hurt. And I never, ever, felt any closer to the main character. Which is weird, because it was a fictionalized autobiography. Yet I felt there was a distance between me and him.
A failure on Eggers's part? I don't think so. A gender gap? Perhaps.
On this note, I am challenging myself to read more male authors. I've started with an easy one. D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.
That's right. A formerly banned book. A book published decades after Lawrence's death. But if there is ever a way to move past the the gender gap, it must be through the rhetoric of inappropriate sex.
Anyway, I'm already loving everything about Lawrence's matter-of-fact style. And I'm going to stop talking about this now. I think I'm blushing.
"Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen." (p. 1)
".... being a girl, one's whole dignity and meaning in life consisted in the achievement of an absolute, a perfect, a pure and noble freedom. What else did a girl's life mean? To shake off the old and sordid connections and subjections." (p. 3)
".... early in 1918 Clifford was shipped home smashed, and there was no child. And Sir Geoffrey died of chagrin." (p. 9)