Women’s sexuality surrounds us, but right beneath that there’s this other standard for women’s desire that’s still informed by uneasiness. It’s linked, ultimately, to the comfort that we all get—men and society as a whole—from this idea that women are somehow less desiring than men. We can still lean on women a little bit to keep society stable. The dichotomy that’s set up is that men are animals and anarchic in their lust and women are civilized and civilizing in their sexuality.
So torture, rendition, assassination, all of these things are bad. Unless “we” do them. Because we are an exceptional people. Our hearts are always pure.
I’m always amused by the way questions are asked. “What did you intend?” That’s not even a recognizable verb. You don’t intend when you write. You sit down and you’re thinking things and dreaming things and someone says something and you think “Ah!” That’s how it happens. Intention is not part of the game.
We don’t allow our radical imaginations to soar.
Our new issue is here! Interviews with Bill Ayers and Lore Segal, fiction by Teresa Milbrodt and Mario Alberto Zambrano, poetry by Jaswinder Bolina and Sara J. Grossman, and dispatches from Syria, Israel and Palestine.
Our new issue is on the scene!
What’s inside? An excerpt from Lynn Segal, interviews with Lucie Brock-Broido and David Gilbert, new fiction by Nicholas Girder and Jennifer Acker Shah, with art from Edward Butynsky, and a short film about drone strike survivors. Oh, and poetry!
I think most works of historical fiction are about the time that they are supposedly about, but they’re also about the time in which they were written.
I’m not naïve enough to think that this will effect anything like war policy in the country. But I do think it can have a smaller effect—not on the war, but on the afterwar, the thing that’s going on now. It’s not that people aren’t paying attention, but here’s a chance to personalize the idea of a disorder, the statistics that we hear. There was a line in one of the reviews of the first book, something like: you can take this book off the shelf and read it and think, this is what happened and this is how it felt. I would like to think that this book will do that for the afterwar. This is what’s happening and this is how it feels.
You know, someone once asked [Boris] Pasternak why he always had religious imagery in his novels and poetry, and he answered: “Because they warm a room like a candle.” That’s pretty much why I fill my scenes with emotion.
I think that part of the reason I wrote was for acceptance.