Otherness and Feminism with Anita Brookner

I stumbled upon this interview with author Anita Brookner. It’s a haunting interview  particularly these few passages:


In Hotel du Lac you say that you prefer the company of men to that of women. Which brings me to ask you about your relation to feminism.


I prefer the company of men because they teach me things I don’t know.


One might say, to paraphrase Sartre, l’homme c’est l’autre?


Exactly. It is the otherness that fascinates me. As for feminism, I think it is good for women to earn their living and thereby control their own destinies to some extent. They pay a heavy price for independence though. I marvel at the energy of women who combine husbands, children, and a profession. Anyone who thinks she will fulfill herself in that way can’t be realistic. The self-fulfilled woman is far from reality— it is a sort of Shavian fantasy that you can be a complete woman. Besides, a complete woman is probably not a very admirable creature. She is manipulative, uses other people to get her own way, and works within whatever system she is in. The ideal woman, on the other hand, is quite different: She lives according to a set of principles and is somehow very rare and always has been. As for the radical feminism of today, the rejection of the male, I find it absurd. It leads to sterility. They say it is a reasoned alternative, but an alternative to what? To continuity?

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