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If the Past Was So Sexist, Why Were There Fewer Bestselling Women Novelists in the Late 20th Century Than in the Early 20th Century?
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Distaff Writers
Steve Sailer

June 23, 2021

Distaff Writers

It’s widely assumed today that, due to systemic sexism, women were so culturally oppressed until roughly last week that, of course, there were few famous women writers.

In truth, however, women have made up a sizable fraction of professional novelists for centuries.

But why then aren’t these old-time women writers more renowned today among anybody not trying to get tenure?

Why did women novelists fall in popularity from the 1940s through the 1970s? There are no doubt many reasons, but an important one that has been almost completely forgotten because it doesn’t fit into Woke mythologizing of the past is that the bohemian artists who would become the cultural elite of mid-century America turned sharply against bluestocking feminism after its year of triumph, 1919, when women were given both Suffrage and Prohibition.

Read the whole thing there?

 
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  1. Anon[308] • Disclaimer says:

    The birthrate was about as low as itnis today back in the early 20th century. 1940s-1960s is when births ratchet up to normal levels (~3.5 children per woman). Hard to chase a novelist career when you have a family to raise (and vice versa).

    I agres though that the radical feminism stretches way back. The 19-20th century was not the idyllic happy time that the trad cucks like to portray it as. Your odds of dying in a war were far greater than your modern odds of being killed by a Negro. The women were ugly and hateful? Literature, much of it written by feminist bulldykes, was rootless and destructive garbage. Things have gotten better over the last 30 years. The woke stuff, the trannies, the importation of foreign women, etc, has done a great deal to reduce the sociecidal feminist undercurrent in the rotten west.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down) said that their grandfather's top boast was that he managed to impregnate their suffragette grandmother.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @SunBakedSuburb, @Daniel H

    , @Travis
    @Anon

    The White birth rate today is lower than even the 1930's and has been under 2.0 since 1970 and under 1.8 since 2016 for whites. During the Great Depression the White fertility rate never fell below 2.2

    Replies: @anon

  2. I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years, but then I remember the female-authored counterpart, the “bonkbuster”a la Jilly Cooper, although I guess it goes all the way back to at least Grace Metalious, and forward to 50 Shades.

    “The Rutshire Chronicles is a series of romantic novels by Jilly Cooper. The stories tell tales of mainly British upper-class families, as well as the show-jumping and polo crowd, in numerous different sexually charged scenarios”

    “Romantic novels”. Euphemism isn’t dead.

    • Agree: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Danielle Steel had a vast number of top ten bestsellers in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Replies: @donut, @Mike Tre

    , @guest007
    @YetAnotherAnon

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @anon, @Anon, @rational actor

    , @dfordoom
    @YetAnotherAnon


    I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years
     
    Male thriller writers have been selling massive numbers of books for at least a century. Edgar Wallace, John Buchan, Sapper, Leslie Charteris. And in the 50s, 60s and 70s writers like Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. And some guy named Mickey Spillane who sold several hundred million books. Erle Stanley Gardner sold several hundred million books.

    It's also worth pointing out that a lot of the books that in the past sold in huge numbers were never going to show up on the NYT bestseller lists. They were paperback originals and they were sold in places like railway bookstalls, rather than bookstores.

    I suspect that lists of bestselling books almost always massively underestimate the sales of genre fiction. A lot of crime fiction and science fiction in the pre-WW2 period was sold in the form of pulp magazines.

    As for women, it's worth remembering that the bestselling woman author of all time was Agatha Christie, not Jane Austen or J.K. Rowling. In fact Christie was the bestselling author of all time, male or female.

    There's also little doubt that bestseller lists underestimate the sales of romance fiction.
  3. Like George Eliot and the Bronte sisters, many female novelists today must be writing under male names.

    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis’s novels were really written by his wife.

    The other thing is that it is really hard to become a best selling novelist these days because people don’t read new novels much.

    At one time novels were mainstream entertainment and Dickens fans in America would eagerly await the arrival of the boat with the latest installment.

    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.

    • Replies: @Tex
    @Jonathan Mason


    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis’s novels were really written by his wife.
     
    FWIW, the same was said of Mrs. Sven Hassel. If so, kudos to her. I do enjoy a tale of Sven, Porta, Tiny, and the crew blasting their way through hordes of Bolsheviks.

    Speaking of lady authors and Nazi penal battalions, the collaboration of Sven Hassel and Beatrix Potter shall remain evergreen in the hearts bunny-loving children and frontkameraden everywhere.

    https://www.richardhmorris.com/2009/03/14/peter-rabbit-tank-killer/

    Replies: @photondancer

    , @Bill Jones
    @Jonathan Mason


    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.
     
    I'd never considered the topic before, I honestly don't think I've ever listened to a female podcaster other than the recently arrived (and rather impressive) Whitney Webb.

    I've never felt the need to search for it . Who suffers from a shortage of female opinion?

    6-7 thousand words a day versus 18-20 thousand.
    , @guest
    @Jonathan Mason

    That wouldn’t answer why whatever share of successful novelists used to be women are women no longer.

    One guess I’d throw out is that women are naturally better at writing subgenres that aren’t as popular anymore. You know:

    the Social novel (not to be confused with social movement novels, i.e. communist novels)

    Domestic novels

    Novels of Manners

    Courtship or Marriage Negotiation novels

    and so forth

    There was a great variety of novels that featured characters chatting away at eachother and feeling things but not expressing or acting out all their feelings while Society pecked at them from the sidelines. Women are fine at writing this stuff. Sort of thing you see on popular tv shows like Downton Abbey.

    (Without looking, I’ll asssume that show was run by a gay man. If a gay man can write it and it’s not entirely about gay men, I presume women could write it too.)

    Women also like to write pornography. If a novel is written by a woman, I’d wager 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be some mix of Social/Domestic/Manners novel and erotica. If erotica is socially acceptable to sell and be seen reading. Lord knows it is in our society.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  4. If the cultural turn happened right after 1919, then shouldn’t the percentage have peaked prior to the 1920s rather than in the 1930s?

    I find it interesting that the percentage never exceeds 50% in any decade of that graph, even though fiction is mostly read by women.

  5. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years, but then I remember the female-authored counterpart, the "bonkbuster"a la Jilly Cooper, although I guess it goes all the way back to at least Grace Metalious, and forward to 50 Shades.


    "The Rutshire Chronicles is a series of romantic novels by Jilly Cooper. The stories tell tales of mainly British upper-class families, as well as the show-jumping and polo crowd, in numerous different sexually charged scenarios"

    "Romantic novels". Euphemism isn't dead.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @guest007, @dfordoom

    Danielle Steel had a vast number of top ten bestsellers in the 1980s and 1990s.

    • Replies: @donut
    @Steve Sailer

    When I visited San Francisco in 1995 with a girlfriend we stayed at a B&B one block from Lafayette Park . We walked our dogs there every day . There was an enormous pile of a house overlooking the bay and I was curious who could afford a palace that size in SF . It turned out to be Danielle Steel . Her house is on the left in the photo .

    https://activerain-store.s3.amazonaws.com/image_store/uploads/8/7/0/8/4/ar133433989848078.jpg

    The house is bigger and the property more extensive than it appears to be in the photo .

    Replies: @anon

    , @Mike Tre
    @Steve Sailer

    Anne Rice was pretty big in the 90's as well.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

  6. In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.

    • Disagree: photondancer
    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Rich

    I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets” and his advice on how male authors can write female characters; “I think of a man, and then I take away reasoning and accountability.”

    Replies: @donut, @SunBakedSuburb

    , @Ralph L
    @Rich

    There are female youtubers who postulate that Mr. Darcy of P&P is on the Spectrum.

    I suppose that in the 70's, reading romance novels was unfashionable.

    , @BB753
    @Rich

    Male writers do understand women or at least try but female writers are so engrossed by their own selves and their "feels" that they don't even pretend to try to understand men or how even the world works. This is true of Jane Austen too. Female literature, it's all garbage.

    , @guest
    @Rich

    My favorite women writers understand men, or at least some kind of men. Though they tend overwhelmingly to be:

    1.) childless (Edith Wharton, Eudora Welty, Ayn Rand), or

    2). lesbians (Patricia Highsmith),

    or possibly both.

    Perhaps there’s a connection there.

    , @dfordoom
    @Rich


    In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.
     
    In lots of novels by men the women come off as either men in dresses or as male wish fulfilment fantasies.

    It's difficult for women writers to get inside the heads of male characters and it's difficult for male writers to get inside the heads of female characters. In both cases because it's a genuinely difficult thing to do.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @Bardon Kaldian, @Rich

  7. @Anon
    The birthrate was about as low as itnis today back in the early 20th century. 1940s-1960s is when births ratchet up to normal levels (~3.5 children per woman). Hard to chase a novelist career when you have a family to raise (and vice versa).




    I agres though that the radical feminism stretches way back. The 19-20th century was not the idyllic happy time that the trad cucks like to portray it as. Your odds of dying in a war were far greater than your modern odds of being killed by a Negro. The women were ugly and hateful? Literature, much of it written by feminist bulldykes, was rootless and destructive garbage. Things have gotten better over the last 30 years. The woke stuff, the trannies, the importation of foreign women, etc, has done a great deal to reduce the sociecidal feminist undercurrent in the rotten west.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Travis

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down) said that their grandfather’s top boast was that he managed to impregnate their suffragette grandmother.

    • LOL: Morton's toes
    • Replies: @RichardTaylor
    @Steve Sailer

    An old stock New Englander related to a folk singer, hanging out with suffragette. Not a head case at all I'm sure.

    Was he related to Pete Seeger? He was a NY area folk singer who did all he could to support communism, although he finally backed off full support of the USSR.

    https://cdn.kqed.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2014/01/90330705.jpg

    Replies: @JMcG

    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @Steve Sailer

    "(not Dylan, but in the next tier down)"

    Llewyn Davis?

    , @Daniel H
    @Steve Sailer


    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down)
     
    Now you got me wonderin' and guessin'. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

    You don't get any WASPier than the Wainwrights. Among their illustrious ancestors were Jay Gould and Peter Stuyvesant.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  8. I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @photondancer
    @Frau Katze

    I am pretty sure it is not unknown for women to combine writing with children. J K Rowling and Agatha Christie managed to be prolific and successful authors while having children.

    As already noted in the comments, people read printed matter in the past. Nowadays the women who would have written books are online doing videos, blogs and podcasts.

    , @3g4me
    @Frau Katze

    @8 Frau Katze: Congratulations on being a huge part of the problem. Your daughter took the spot of a more qualified man who would/could have made being a surgeon his life's work, rather than a pastime she juggles while pretending to be a mother. You are perfectly illustrative of Sailer's commentariat - deploring just certain excesses of globohomo while utterly endorsing its ethos and morality.

    , @guest007
    @Frau Katze

    There are programs at some teaching hospitals where women who took time off to have children go back through the last year of being a resident/fellow so that their skills are up to date. Taking serious time off from being a surgeon can be a major issue but taking time off as an oncologist or immunologist can be deadly to the patients.

    Replies: @Jim Christian

    , @Paul Mendez
    @Frau Katze


    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.
     
    It would be interesting to calculate the different ROIs of tuition expenditures on advanced degrees by gender.

    All around me I see young women getting graduate degrees, working perhaps 5 years in their chosen profession at entry-level wages, then dropping out for a decade or more to raise children. When they return to the workforce they are middle-aged and their knowledge is dated. They’re lucky if they can pick up where they left off, earnings-wise.

    A man who worked in his field continually for 15 years would be entering his peak earning years by the time he hit his 40’s.
    , @S. Anonyia
    @Frau Katze

    Whether children are time-consuming and demanding depends on your cultural view/mores.

    It is true that they are a distraction before they are school-aged. But after that they don't need constant attention. In fact it may hinder normal social development.

    Helicopter parenting wasn't always the norm. Also why wouldn't the advisors presume doctors could hire nannies?

    Replies: @3g4me

    , @Dumbo
    @Frau Katze

    The best female authors were childless or single (or closet lesbians), but I don't think it has to do with time. Sure children take a lot of time, but most dedicated mothers would not have become writers in the first place.

    It's more that (good) female writers tend to be more masculine women. I can't think of almost any good female writer that wasn't at least a bit masculine, or single, or childless, or lesbian.

    (J. K. Rowling is not a good writer, despite her success)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon

  9. @Rich
    In every novel I've read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don't understand men.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Ralph L, @BB753, @guest, @dfordoom

    I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets” and his advice on how male authors can write female characters; “I think of a man, and then I take away reasoning and accountability.”

    • LOL: Rich, Escher
    • Replies: @donut
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I thought about that scene too .

    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    "Jack Nicholson's character in 'As Good As It Gets' "

    Nicholson's gift is the cutting rhetorical shiv sans the heavy menace. He's delightfully insulting.

  10. I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories …

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O’Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but …. perhaps I am too on the Charlotte’s side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Desiderius, @Kylie

    , @Jack D
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Women have always been (and still are) bitchy toward their female competitors. It would have been shocking and out of character for Bronte to have actually liked and praised Austen.

    , @Jonathan Mason
    @Bardon Kaldian

    So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?

    Actually that is plausible, and it is frightening to think that so much of British culture over the last 200 years has been influenced by Austen, perhaps more than any other writer.

    Of course the modern take on Austen is that the families that she wrote about became idle rich on the profits of colonialism and slavery and the Royal Navy, in the era when Britannia ruled the waves.

    Austen's heroines are all hookers, at least in the sense that the primary raison d'etre is to get their hooks into a man with money.

    What gets Austen off the hook is that her books are marvelously witty.

    Replies: @donut, @Single malt, @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Inquiring Mind
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

    quote of Mark Twain

    Seriously, maybe when oppressed by sexism or whatever 'ism, a writer has the tortured soul to become a great artist? When liberated from the oppression, a writer is no longer motivated?

    , @Alden
    @Bardon Kaldian

    If you want morbid and miserable read any of the Bronte’s. If you want fun, entertainment and extreme sarcasm read Austen.

    There’s been more novels specifically for men in the last 50 years. Patterson and Koontz spend pages on endless mechanical, equipment, driving, flying, guns, other weapons, minute details. Men obviously love these details. So more Patterson , Clancy and Koontz books are bought. Many women love the Danielle Steele endless details of fashionable clothes.

    Grisham books are great page turners. Perfect structure to keep the reader’s interest. But at heart, Grisham is Cinderella for young men lawyers. Not only do they win the big mass PI case against evil mega company. But they get the money within days and go off with Princess charming to live happily ever after in the Caribbean. It’s everybody’s dream, retirement at 30. Most of all, Grisham is nauseatingly politically correct.

    Which means he’s on top of the best seller list when the pages are still being printed.

    , @Muggles
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    A few years back when I still tried to read the local paper, I noticed that virtually all the book reviewers were women. They tried to promote books by women and a few gay men who wrote in the female manner (all about some hero/heroine) and their personal problems, family history, inability to find the Mr. Right, etc. "Men are bad", etc. Maybe so but you, honey, are no prize either...

    The sheer volume of "new novels" by female NYC-centric Jewish authors was astonishing. All based on what they knew best, their own upbringings. They (their main character) was usually the suffering victim of paternal or relationship abuse. Misunderstood. Etc.

    None of these seemed readable or interesting, yet all were promoted and paid for by larger publishers. Leading me to suspect these were the "university women" level kind of Romance Novel. Since the dictum is "write what you know" what ends up is a literature of mirror gazing, blame mongering and wishful thinking about feelings and emotions. None of the authors I recall wrote about large families. Don't exist. (So no "Mormon Literature" I guess.)

    I imagine someone buys these books. Female book clubs? Aren't they just excuses for bored housewives to drink chardonnay?

    I'm okay with this as long as I don't have to read this stuff.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @photondancer, @Dennis Dale

  11. It was in 1855 that Nathaniel Hawthorne complained that “America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash–and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed. What is the mystery of these innumerable editions of The Lamplighter (by Maria Susanna Cummins), and other books neither better nor worse? Worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by the hundred thousand.”

    Until around 1800 it was nearly impossible for an author to support himself by the sales of his work; after that, due to the massive increase of literacy, increasing middle class populations, increased availability of leisure time, and the enormous decreases in the cost of printing and distribution, authorship became a profession that could provide ample remuneration for writers and publishers.

    Prior to this era, for centuries authors needed to gain the financial support of wealthy patrons; antiquarian books all have lengthy introductions full of fawning, obsequious praise of the beneficence of such personages as the Duke of Dork and the Princesse de Pamplemousses that would make the average Dear Leader of North Korea blush with embarrassment

    Female authors took early advantage of this new era; I recommend male readers handle books and magazines of the mid-19th Century by female authors with caution and with a double layer of surgical gloves, to avoid contamination by the excess estrogen which to this day drips off the pages of these works-estrogen apparently having a half-life of at least 10,000 years 😉

    • Replies: @C. Van Carter
    @crisis of our third century

    Scribblers like the absurdly popular and prolific E. D. E. N. Southworth:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._D._E._N._Southworth

    Meanwhile poor Herman is haunting a customs office.

  12. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    Henry James yes (although he preferred George Eliot and Turgenev); for Dickens, I'm not so sure. He, as far as I recall, was more into wild stuff like Smollet & Fielding.

    Woolf, another almost great writer, highly appreciated Austen, while typically male authors (Twain, Naipaul) find her dreadful.

    , @Desiderius
    @Steve Sailer

    Persuasion is the ur-Austen.

    Replies: @Ralph L

    , @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    "Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor."

    Henry James viewed Jane Austen as a mentor? That's news to me, as I suspect it would have been to Leon Edel, considered the foremost 20th century authority on James. Austen is not even mentioned in Edel's biography of the Master while Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

  13. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down) said that their grandfather's top boast was that he managed to impregnate their suffragette grandmother.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @SunBakedSuburb, @Daniel H

    An old stock New Englander related to a folk singer, hanging out with suffragette. Not a head case at all I’m sure.

    Was he related to Pete Seeger? He was a NY area folk singer who did all he could to support communism, although he finally backed off full support of the USSR.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @RichardTaylor

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.

  14. @Rich
    In every novel I've read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don't understand men.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Ralph L, @BB753, @guest, @dfordoom

    There are female youtubers who postulate that Mr. Darcy of P&P is on the Spectrum.

    I suppose that in the 70’s, reading romance novels was unfashionable.

  15. Post WWII society was, even in Leftist circles (Leftists are influenced by the zeitgeist as much as anyone else) a time of domesticity after the disruptions of war. Rosie the Riveter (gladly) put down her rivet gun (and Nancy the Novelist put down her pen) and went home to take care of her man and raise their kids. By the late 60s – early 70s, the baby boom babies were all in school and women were bored at home and looking to get back into the workforce.

    If Leftist men did not buy into the conventional Ozzie and Harriet model of domesticity, it is because it interfered with their desire to sleep with as many women as possible – if a woman’s place was not in the home it was at least in the bedroom.

    If any woman wanted to step into the fray of postwar literature, they were going to have to fight for it – no man was going to step aside for her sake. Chivalry was dead, especially in Leftist circles where it was seen as bourgeoise. There were very few women who had the literary talent AND the desire AND the (intellectual) combat skills to undertake and succeed in such a struggle in what had become a very macho industry. Hemingway (who was always writing about wars and bullfights and safaris and other very manly pursuits) became the model for a whole generation of novelists and some (e.g. Mailer) tried to outdo him by being even more macho brawlers.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  16. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Desiderius, @Kylie

    Henry James yes (although he preferred George Eliot and Turgenev); for Dickens, I’m not so sure. He, as far as I recall, was more into wild stuff like Smollet & Fielding.

    Woolf, another almost great writer, highly appreciated Austen, while typically male authors (Twain, Naipaul) find her dreadful.

  17. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    Women have always been (and still are) bitchy toward their female competitors. It would have been shocking and out of character for Bronte to have actually liked and praised Austen.

    • Troll: Rosie
  18. How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Thea

    One should review the trope Unintentional Period Piece. Why limit oneself to novels that are set in the past when there are modern devices that have eliminated many old tropes used in old novels.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnintentionalPeriodPiece

    , @donut
    @Thea

    "It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism."
    Not so , the Greeks and the Romans had novels by at least the 1st. century AD .

    , @Paul Mendez
    @Thea


    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life.
     
    Agree, although maybe an AI could update the cultural references from time to time.

    Ditto for pop music. Songs on my “new music” Sirius channel sound the same as what I was listening to 45 years ago.

    There’s also several lifetimes of movies available online. I’d allow a certain number of new action movies as CGI gets better, however.

    At the risk of angering the 2A folks, would anyone notice if we stopped making any more guns? We have plenty, they last forever with a modicum of care, and technology hasn’t changed much over the past 75 years.

    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…

    Replies: @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY), @Muggles

    , @Deckin
    @Thea

    I believe Fielding and Richardson predate German Romanticism by a fair bit (to say nothing of Cervantes) so you might want to amend your views on the development of the form.

    , @Random Anonymous
  19. Elizabeth Barret Browning was the best selling poet of the Victorian era, but critical posterity have come to regard her husband Robert browning as much the greater poet, as she herself did.

    But the funny part is almost all male poets are gay and almost all female poets are lesbian—even the ones you might not superficially think. I practice a sort of mental affirmative action in which I look for the earnest woman loving male poet! They are the truly underrepresented!

    • Replies: @Happy Tapir
    @Happy Tapir

    Here is a poem by Auden on that theme:

    IX. The Tower

    This is an architecture for the odd;
    Thus heaven was attacked by the afraid,
    So once, unconsciously, a ****** made
    Her maidenhead conspicuous to a god.

    Here on dark nights while worlds of triumph sleep
    Lost Love in abstract speculation burns,
    And exiled Will to politics returns
    In epic verse that makes its traitors weep.

    Yet many come to wish their tower a well;
    For those who dread to drown, of thirst may die,
    Those who see all become invisible:

    Here great magicians, caught in their own spell,
    Long for a natural climate as they sigh
    "Beware of Magic" to the passer-by

  20. Tex says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    Like George Eliot and the Bronte sisters, many female novelists today must be writing under male names.

    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis's novels were really written by his wife.

    The other thing is that it is really hard to become a best selling novelist these days because people don't read new novels much.

    At one time novels were mainstream entertainment and Dickens fans in America would eagerly await the arrival of the boat with the latest installment.

    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.

    Replies: @Tex, @Bill Jones, @guest

    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis’s novels were really written by his wife.

    FWIW, the same was said of Mrs. Sven Hassel. If so, kudos to her. I do enjoy a tale of Sven, Porta, Tiny, and the crew blasting their way through hordes of Bolsheviks.

    Speaking of lady authors and Nazi penal battalions, the collaboration of Sven Hassel and Beatrix Potter shall remain evergreen in the hearts bunny-loving children and frontkameraden everywhere.

    https://www.richardhmorris.com/2009/03/14/peter-rabbit-tank-killer/

    • Replies: @photondancer
    @Tex

    That link made my day so much brighter. :-) Thanks!

  21. Austen’s indisputability as the greatest woman writer of all time on the subject of husband-hunting

    The only comparable male writer I can think of is Anthony Trollope, whom I often enjoy enough to read again, but you could still drop the “woman” or maybe, everything after “time.”

    I once read two chronological collections of Wharton’s short stories. They start out light and funny but become progressively darker and more caustic as she aged. Read 4 of her novels in the 90’s which I finished but don’t care to reread.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    @Ralph L


    I once read two chronological collections of Wharton’s short stories. They start out light and funny but become progressively darker and more caustic as she aged. Read 4 of her novels in the 90’s which I finished but don’t care to reread.
     
    Wharton is one of my favorite authors on account of her wonderful short stories, and some novellas. And like you, I'm not as keen on her novels, with the exception of The House of Mirth.
  22. @Happy Tapir
    Elizabeth Barret Browning was the best selling poet of the Victorian era, but critical posterity have come to regard her husband Robert browning as much the greater poet, as she herself did.

    But the funny part is almost all male poets are gay and almost all female poets are lesbian—even the ones you might not superficially think. I practice a sort of mental affirmative action in which I look for the earnest woman loving male poet! They are the truly underrepresented!

    Replies: @Happy Tapir

    Here is a poem by Auden on that theme:

    IX. The Tower

    This is an architecture for the odd;
    Thus heaven was attacked by the afraid,
    So once, unconsciously, a ****** made
    Her maidenhead conspicuous to a god.

    Here on dark nights while worlds of triumph sleep
    Lost Love in abstract speculation burns,
    And exiled Will to politics returns
    In epic verse that makes its traitors weep.

    Yet many come to wish their tower a well;
    For those who dread to drown, of thirst may die,
    Those who see all become invisible:

    Here great magicians, caught in their own spell,
    Long for a natural climate as they sigh
    “Beware of Magic” to the passer-by

  23. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?

    Actually that is plausible, and it is frightening to think that so much of British culture over the last 200 years has been influenced by Austen, perhaps more than any other writer.

    Of course the modern take on Austen is that the families that she wrote about became idle rich on the profits of colonialism and slavery and the Royal Navy, in the era when Britannia ruled the waves.

    Austen’s heroines are all hookers, at least in the sense that the primary raison d’etre is to get their hooks into a man with money.

    What gets Austen off the hook is that her books are marvelously witty.

    • Replies: @donut
    @Jonathan Mason

    "So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?"
    In one of the footnotes in the first Flashman novel GMF says that in Victorian England some middle class ladies were unaware how children were conceived right up until their wedding night .

    , @Single malt
    @Jonathan Mason

    Popular legend has it that the term "hooker" was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Jonathan Mason

    "So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?"

    I imagine Jane Austen (like pretty much everyone in Elder Days before The Fall) understood the sex drive perfectly well - and that people, especially women, who followed their Passions in pre-Pill, pre-Welfare State, pre-abortion days tended not to fare well.

    Sense and Sensibility is all about this topic.

    Charlotte herself wrote of "my evil wandering thoughts, my corrupt heart, cold to the spirit, and warm to the flesh", so it may be that she leaned to the Sensibility side, and Jane Austen to the Sense side.


    (Almost Missouri - I'm all out of LOLs, or I'd give a thousand to that comment)

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason

  24. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    “Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

    quote of Mark Twain

    Seriously, maybe when oppressed by sexism or whatever ‘ism, a writer has the tortured soul to become a great artist? When liberated from the oppression, a writer is no longer motivated?

  25. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    I am pretty sure it is not unknown for women to combine writing with children. J K Rowling and Agatha Christie managed to be prolific and successful authors while having children.

    As already noted in the comments, people read printed matter in the past. Nowadays the women who would have written books are online doing videos, blogs and podcasts.

  26. You’d think woman novelists would have greater impact because the publishing profession seems highly female and writing literally requires no heavy lifting. And there are big opportunities now on themes of color.

    But despite plenty of female novelists, I can’t think of any long-term true 20th century literary heavyweights. OK, Flannery O’Connor and Ayn Rand deserve some kudos.

    In short it’s like sending Anne Tyler into the ring against Graham Greene. And if there’s a female Max Frisch out there anywhere please let me know

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @Known Fact

    Anne Tyler's quite good.

    Replies: @Known Fact

    , @Paperback Writer
    @Known Fact

    I would put Katherine Ann Porter and Willa Cather against anyone, particularly the latter. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    Her fellow Prairie novelist, Mari Sandoz, was no slouch either.

    Replies: @Known Fact

  27. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    @8 Frau Katze: Congratulations on being a huge part of the problem. Your daughter took the spot of a more qualified man who would/could have made being a surgeon his life’s work, rather than a pastime she juggles while pretending to be a mother. You are perfectly illustrative of Sailer’s commentariat – deploring just certain excesses of globohomo while utterly endorsing its ethos and morality.

    • Troll: Rosie
  28. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Danielle Steel had a vast number of top ten bestsellers in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Replies: @donut, @Mike Tre

    When I visited San Francisco in 1995 with a girlfriend we stayed at a B&B one block from Lafayette Park . We walked our dogs there every day . There was an enormous pile of a house overlooking the bay and I was curious who could afford a palace that size in SF . It turned out to be Danielle Steel . Her house is on the left in the photo .


    The house is bigger and the property more extensive than it appears to be in the photo .

    • Replies: @anon
    @donut

    The Spreckels mansion was built at a time when tycoons still roamed the globe.
    $1,000,000 was quite a lot of money in 1912.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spreckels_Mansion_(San_Francisco)

    Steel is not there all the time, she also resides in Paris.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Steel

  29. 1930’s?

    Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie, two authors still read heavily today.

    You could do essays on both of those, Steve, and have some relevant quips for modern feminism and its pitfalls. Maybe you already have?

  30. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Rich

    I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets” and his advice on how male authors can write female characters; “I think of a man, and then I take away reasoning and accountability.”

    Replies: @donut, @SunBakedSuburb

    I thought about that scene too .

  31. The giant wave of immigration (not giant by today’s standards) of 1880-1920 was from traditional, religious, prolific, Eastern European, Jewish, and Southern European society. As that wave got absorbed, early 20th century feminism declined. The immigrants’ first children born here were not feminists either. These were women who had those 3+ children post War.

    The pill, the perceived financial burden of having children, the real expense of buying a home, and the “collegification” of everyone restored Feminism. Fewer marriages, No children, and of course… demands to move up the career ladder.

    • Replies: @TexJ
    @TexJ

    As a check, I decided to look at Israel, a much more traditional society than the US, where men are drafted to serve in combat and Jewish women still have over 3 children on average. No other industrialized modern state matches this - it replicates baby boom America. And although I cannot find the statistics it does seem that almost all of their best selling authors are men.

  32. @Jonathan Mason
    @Bardon Kaldian

    So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?

    Actually that is plausible, and it is frightening to think that so much of British culture over the last 200 years has been influenced by Austen, perhaps more than any other writer.

    Of course the modern take on Austen is that the families that she wrote about became idle rich on the profits of colonialism and slavery and the Royal Navy, in the era when Britannia ruled the waves.

    Austen's heroines are all hookers, at least in the sense that the primary raison d'etre is to get their hooks into a man with money.

    What gets Austen off the hook is that her books are marvelously witty.

    Replies: @donut, @Single malt, @YetAnotherAnon

    “So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?”
    In one of the footnotes in the first Flashman novel GMF says that in Victorian England some middle class ladies were unaware how children were conceived right up until their wedding night .

  33. Something to consider —

    One of the best selling romantic (in the REAL sense) novelists in recent decades has been Nicholas Sparks. His books pretty much hit the same target audience as Danielle Steele. I mention that because my wife is a fan of both of those novelists. I have read both of their books, and the main difference between the two of them is the settings. Ms. Steele has the women marry very rich romantic men from various places all over the world, while Mr. Sparks tends to concentrate on the Carolina sea coast area, and the men may be just upper middle class.

  34. @TexJ
    The giant wave of immigration (not giant by today’s standards) of 1880-1920 was from traditional, religious, prolific, Eastern European, Jewish, and Southern European society. As that wave got absorbed, early 20th century feminism declined. The immigrants’ first children born here were not feminists either. These were women who had those 3+ children post War.

    The pill, the perceived financial burden of having children, the real expense of buying a home, and the “collegification” of everyone restored Feminism. Fewer marriages, No children, and of course... demands to move up the career ladder.

    Replies: @TexJ

    As a check, I decided to look at Israel, a much more traditional society than the US, where men are drafted to serve in combat and Jewish women still have over 3 children on average. No other industrialized modern state matches this – it replicates baby boom America. And although I cannot find the statistics it does seem that almost all of their best selling authors are men.

  35. I work part-time in a small library. Women will read thrillers and detective novels that are popular with men, but men go nowhere near the romance section or women’s touchy-feely style novels. It’s reasonable to assume the book-buying public works in more or less the same way, which is probably to the disadvantage of many contemporary female writers. Incidentally, it is also hard to interest women in non-fiction.

    My view is that women have generally been inspired to write for money, whereas men will be inclined to work out some big idea on paper that may be very interesting but less commercially viable in the short term. Kafka is the paradigmatic example of the latter; his books still sell, but who remembers the romance novelists of the twenties? In the early eighties Aussie feminist Dale Spender wrote Mothers of the Novel to argue that early female novelists were unjustly neglected today, and their work should be revived. Friendship in Death in Twenty Letters From the Dead to the Living is resuscitated as a former bestseller we should all appreciate. I have a copy of the 1772 edition and it is indeed a morally improving work. I can understand why a man of the Enlightenment might find it interesting and worthwhile, while I struggle to see what a man of today would get out of , say, Nora Roberts or Elin Hilderbrand. I’d say that women’s writing has actually narrowed its scope over time by focusing more on Women’s Feelings, which makes it less attractive to men and probably to posterity.

    But that’s the first reference to Elizabeth Rowe I’ve seen in thirty-five years. You’re a man of many parts, iSteve.

  36. If the Past Was So Sexist, Why Were There Fewer Bestselling Women Novelists in the Late 20th Century Than in the Early 20th Century?

    I say:

    How come these phucking ruling class broads ain’t so hot for MARINE LE PEN?

    DAMMIT!

    The JEW/WASP Ruling Class of the American Empire and the various rancid ruling classes around the globe only push broads that push financialization and mass immigration and globalization and multiculturalism and free trade and open borders and plutocracy and all the other crud that keeps the plutocrats and the upper middle class snot brats in power.

    REDNECK WOMAN?

    OKAY

    YELLOW VEST WOMAN?

    SURE

    Rancid politician whores like Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris and all the other evil distaff scum who do the bidding of the plutocrats and the globalizers?

    HELL NO!

    How About Marine Le Pen For Female Leadership? What Do You Say About French Female Leader Marine Le Pen? New York Times Writer Amanda Traub Only Pushes Broads That Push Plutocracy And Globalization and Financialization!

  37. res says:

    a computer that has studied 67 million words of fiction can guess the sex of the author with 72 percent accuracy.

    That actually seems low to me. I took a look at the link and see:

    Simply by analysing the frequencies of personal pronouns, articles, and numbers in a given novel (written by a heterosexual author), he says it would be possible to guess the sex of the author with about 72 percent accuracy.

    So they are using a fairly simple analysis to reach that 72% figure. But note the caveat of heterosexual!

    The underlying paper is at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.639887/full

    Table 1 is an interesting study in stereotypes. After the MORE.

    There are some other interesting observations. For instance.

    language use varies according to an individual’s age, with increasing age being characterised, for example, by more positive and fewer negative affect words, fewer self-references, more future-tense and fewer past-tense verbs, and increasing cognitive complexity

    They give details of the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) method they used and the reasons for using it. I suspect it would be possible to get higher accuracy with more sophisticated AI techniques. Consider how well Stylometry works to differentiate authors of the same sex. For instance, with the Federalist Papers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stylometry

    [MORE]

    Figure 1 quantifies those observations.

    The paper has similar figures for heterosexual/homosexual men/women, but I think the above two are enough images for this comment.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @res

    That is nothing. I can tell the sex of the author of a novel just by looking at the cover, with >90 accuracy.

    , @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    @res

    Thank you, res, for this informative comment, and for linking to the original paper. I was expecting to find an example of "feminine" sentence contrasted with the "masculine" sentence, but the analysis consists of little more than reading texts word by word, in which some words are associated with a "psycholinguistic" category. From this data, the author's (known) sexual orientation is inferred.

    I wonder what would happen if the same authors were categorized by the four blood types O, A, B, and AB. Could the data be partitioned in such a way as to make a good guess at each author's blood type?

    Replies: @res

  38. @res

    a computer that has studied 67 million words of fiction can guess the sex of the author with 72 percent accuracy.
     
    That actually seems low to me. I took a look at the link and see:

    Simply by analysing the frequencies of personal pronouns, articles, and numbers in a given novel (written by a heterosexual author), he says it would be possible to guess the sex of the author with about 72 percent accuracy.
     
    So they are using a fairly simple analysis to reach that 72% figure. But note the caveat of heterosexual!

    The underlying paper is at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.639887/full

    Table 1 is an interesting study in stereotypes. After the MORE.

    There are some other interesting observations. For instance.

    language use varies according to an individual’s age, with increasing age being characterised, for example, by more positive and fewer negative affect words, fewer self-references, more future-tense and fewer past-tense verbs, and increasing cognitive complexity

     

    They give details of the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) method they used and the reasons for using it. I suspect it would be possible to get higher accuracy with more sophisticated AI techniques. Consider how well Stylometry works to differentiate authors of the same sex. For instance, with the Federalist Papers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stylometry



    https://www.frontiersin.org/files/Articles/639887/fpsyg-12-639887-HTML-r1/image_m/fpsyg-12-639887-t001.jpg

    Figure 1 quantifies those observations.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/files/Articles/639887/fpsyg-12-639887-HTML-r1/image_m/fpsyg-12-639887-g001.jpg

    The paper has similar figures for heterosexual/homosexual men/women, but I think the above two are enough images for this comment.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    That is nothing. I can tell the sex of the author of a novel just by looking at the cover, with >90 accuracy.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  39. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Desiderius, @Kylie

    Persuasion is the ur-Austen.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Desiderius

    Huh?
    It was her last completed novel.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  40. Women are naturally better cut out for fiction than non.

    • Disagree: Rich
  41. They’ve abstracted themselves so far up their asses they can no longer distinguish between description and prescription, or even the ding an sich. Maybe we can send them to a Magritte re-education camp to get their heads right.

    If it’s both or neither people are going with neither, Chuck. It’s your paymasters who exploited that distinction to get their noses in the tent in the first place.

    • Replies: @res
    @Desiderius


    they can no longer distinguish between description and prescription
     
    Is that point being made forcefully and often on Twitter (and elsewhere)? Because it needs to be.

    And sorry for the passive voice. I try to avoid Twitter.
    , @rebel yell
    @Desiderius

    Notice how the objection to CRT in schools is now characterized as censorship and banning.
    The assumption is that ideas don't have to meet any standards to qualify as worth teaching. The Left can propose and implement any nonsense they want and all objections to it are censorship in their eyes.
    In fact CRT should not be taught in our schools for two good reasons:
    1. It isn't true, and schools exist to teach stuff that is true. A theory or body of work should meet standards in a legitimate field of study before we let it into our schools. Evolution passes this test and CRT, like Phrenology, does not. We should be teaching HBD, not CRT, based on standards of good science.
    2. CRT is a political/ideological attack on white families. If normal white people don't want their children being taught that they are members of an evil race, they have the right to say no. It's called majority rule, and it's called parental control over children, and it's called freedom from elite tyranny. Parents/voters may be wise or may be foolish in their decisions, but regardless schools should be accountable to parents and provide the education the parents want. Rich people can hire private tutors and set any rules they want as to what the tutor will teach. Middle class parents need a similar power to send their kids to a school that teaches what the parents want taught.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  42. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    If you want morbid and miserable read any of the Bronte’s. If you want fun, entertainment and extreme sarcasm read Austen.

    There’s been more novels specifically for men in the last 50 years. Patterson and Koontz spend pages on endless mechanical, equipment, driving, flying, guns, other weapons, minute details. Men obviously love these details. So more Patterson , Clancy and Koontz books are bought. Many women love the Danielle Steele endless details of fashionable clothes.

    Grisham books are great page turners. Perfect structure to keep the reader’s interest. But at heart, Grisham is Cinderella for young men lawyers. Not only do they win the big mass PI case against evil mega company. But they get the money within days and go off with Princess charming to live happily ever after in the Caribbean. It’s everybody’s dream, retirement at 30. Most of all, Grisham is nauseatingly politically correct.

    Which means he’s on top of the best seller list when the pages are still being printed.

  43. The main form of Frankfurt School influenced family wrecking propaganda moved to TV in the late 60’s. Boomer skanks just ate that up.

  44. “Why did women novelists fall in popularity from the 1940s through the 1970s?”

    World War II created the postwar paperback boom: soldiers and sailors were given cigarette cartons and paperback books to stick in their sea bags as they settled into their berths on the troop ships. Lots of down time between kinetic actions provided time to smoke and read. A market of male readers was created. It was through paperback books that genre fiction was given space to flourish — SF, crime, horror, mysteries. The good stuff; written mainly by dudes for dudes.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
    @SunBakedSuburb


    World War II created the postwar paperback boom: soldiers and sailors were given cigarette cartons and paperback books to stick in their sea bags as they settled into their berths on the troop ships. Lots of down time between kinetic actions provided time to smoke and read.
     
    I read someone who credited this fact with turning The Great Gatsby into an American classic. It was one of the serious novels “donated” to the war effort by the publishing industry. The protagonist being a vet resonated with a lot of GIs who went on to be English teachers after the war.
  45. I absolutely love the Jack Reacher novels. Finally a mystery hero that wasn’t a recovering alcoholic bitterly divorced, estranged from his kids, lived in a shabby messy apartment, but a strong masculine real man. Unrealistic but still a million times better than all the traumatized detectives of the 1960s, -80s.

    Totally unrealistic and also very politically correct Which might be why they were always on top of the best seller list as the pages were being printed. Same can be said about Jonathan Kellerman novels. Oppressed and discriminated against homosexual hero detective beginning in the 1970s. Perfectly structured page turners. But liberal propaganda on every page.

  46. Lol.

    • Replies: @anon
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Should work out well, given how totally obedient the average Philippino is to authority.

    Also, the headline on CNBC today managed to misspell "Philippines".

  47. Pearl S. Buck is an interesting case here. This female Nobel Prize winner seems to have disappeared in the national conscience. In the 1970s, her “The Good Earth” series was well-known and praised. I read it and found it memorable. The series actually has some insight regarding why the Chinese are the way they are: all work and no play. According to the series, a famine every 50 years in China killed off all the grasshoppers and left only the ants (to borrow from Aesop’s fable).

    Is Ms. Buck neglected because her work is considered Sino-centric cultural appropriation? Is it because she came from an Anglo-American missionary family? Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?

    • Replies: @anon
    @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student

    Dude, Buck's "The Good Earth" was on the AP reading list in local high schools 4 or 5 years ago.

    I frankly prefer Robert Benchley's adaptation, "The Good Pulitzer Earth", just a personal whim.

    , @Jack D
    @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student


    Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?
     
    Your counterfactual makes no sense - if she was Jewish she wouldn't have been in China to begin with. Jews don't feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god.

    Although Buck's profile has faded it has zero to do with any failure by the Jewmedia to prop her up (and she would certainly be in need of propping, being 50 years dead). Here are the other top 10 best selling novels with female authors in 1931, along with Buck (7 out of 10). Most of these books and their authors are so obscure nowadays that even being 100% kosher meat would not help:

    Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
    Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    Back Street by Fannie Hurst
    Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche

    Baum and Hurst were indeed Jewish but apparently the Jewmedia have failed them. A White Bird Flying and Finch's Fortune don't even rate Wikipedia entries at all while The Good Earth has a very extensive writeup. Grand Hotel gets two short paragraphs and the article for Back Street mainly notes that it was filmed 4 different times.

    Replies: @utu, @Alden, @Bardon Kaldian

  48. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Rich

    I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets” and his advice on how male authors can write female characters; “I think of a man, and then I take away reasoning and accountability.”

    Replies: @donut, @SunBakedSuburb

    “Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘As Good As It Gets’ ”

    Nicholson’s gift is the cutting rhetorical shiv sans the heavy menace. He’s delightfully insulting.

  49. @crisis of our third century
    It was in 1855 that Nathaniel Hawthorne complained that "America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash--and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed. What is the mystery of these innumerable editions of The Lamplighter (by Maria Susanna Cummins), and other books neither better nor worse? Worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by the hundred thousand."

    Until around 1800 it was nearly impossible for an author to support himself by the sales of his work; after that, due to the massive increase of literacy, increasing middle class populations, increased availability of leisure time, and the enormous decreases in the cost of printing and distribution, authorship became a profession that could provide ample remuneration for writers and publishers.

    Prior to this era, for centuries authors needed to gain the financial support of wealthy patrons; antiquarian books all have lengthy introductions full of fawning, obsequious praise of the beneficence of such personages as the Duke of Dork and the Princesse de Pamplemousses that would make the average Dear Leader of North Korea blush with embarrassment

    Female authors took early advantage of this new era; I recommend male readers handle books and magazines of the mid-19th Century by female authors with caution and with a double layer of surgical gloves, to avoid contamination by the excess estrogen which to this day drips off the pages of these works-estrogen apparently having a half-life of at least 10,000 years ;)

    Replies: @C. Van Carter

    Scribblers like the absurdly popular and prolific E. D. E. N. Southworth:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._D._E._N._Southworth

    Meanwhile poor Herman is haunting a customs office.

  50. Once in Boston I went to the movies with a couple of girls from school . They wanted to see “Prince of Tides” . I wasn’t having any of that shit so I saw a different movie by myself , I forget which one but it wasn’t as bad as “Prince of Tides” . The movie I saw ended first so I walked into the theater where they were and waited for it to end . This is what I saw :

    “Lowenstein Lowenstein” What crap written by a man . Directed by Barbara Streisand , that must have been fun .

  51. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down) said that their grandfather's top boast was that he managed to impregnate their suffragette grandmother.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @SunBakedSuburb, @Daniel H

    “(not Dylan, but in the next tier down)”

    Llewyn Davis?

  52. Hypotheses.

    (1) Sexism is good for female accomplishment. (Up to a point, of course). Women from countries with more traditional gender roles tend to be more successful, relative to men, than in the WEIRDest ones (% management positions, % self-made billionaires, etc).

    (2) Requirements for writing bestsellers have tightened, increasing the male edge thanks to their greater variation. (OK, I doubt this, but worth throwing it out there).

    (3) Sexism was inadvertently good for female literary accomplishment in that more of them stayed at home a century ago, were bored, and wrote to while away the hours. This is much less relevant in modern societies in which labor participation rates are comparable between the sexes.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Anatoly Karlin

    3 is the obvious answer to the phenomenon that Steve points out, but it doesn't contradict his point. The past wasn't some misogynistic nightmare, even though women had far fewer opportunities in public and professional life. Society was different.

    I find that hatreds are downstream of personal psychological issues and people in the past may actually have been more balanced.

    They certainly had more social support, more spiritual direction and fewer people trying to persuade them to ignore their own issues and blame some random group.

    I am always surprised how moderns are unable to see when they have a context inappropriate hysterical reaction, or choose not to take it as a hint that they need to reflect on why they got so out of control. One thing misogynists, Jews who see Nazis everywhere, SJWs etc. have in common, is that they all seem plainly unhappy.

    I can't travel back in time, but I can read Austen's novels and see that they are devoid of all that nonsense. She was a perpispacious woman, who wrote female characters calmly, and they don't seem like they exist in a world which hates them. It is odd therefore for people nowadays, with no first hand experience, to claim that they actually were hated. My feeling is that moderns lack epistemological humility; which leads to all sorts of problems.

    Replies: @Rosie

    , @JimDandy
    @Anatoly Karlin

    There are far more American women writing now than ever before. There might be more women writers than women readers these days. I think the answer is in the universe of #2. The big publishing houses are almost entirely run and staffed by east coast city women--as are the agencies that represent authors--and they have a tendency to champion and publish works that speak to them. The publishing houses fund these literary fiction boutiques by selling mass-market books that the masses actually like to read--mostly nonfiction. I suspect that bestselling novels these days tend to disproportionately action/thriller/mystery/detective type books. Many male traits, starting with testosterone, give male writers an advantage there.

    , @dfordoom
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Have you read Germaine Greer's book on female poets, The Slip-Shod Sibyls? She argues that the big problem facing women writers in the 18th and 19th century is that they had it much too easy. Women writers with genuine talent failed to develop their talents because they didn't have to. They were over-praised for modest accomplishments.

    She was talking mainly about poets of course. I don't think anyone would argue that this applied to 18th/19th century women novelists who quite obviously did develop their talents. But I think it does apply to 20th/21st century women novelists. Many have been ludicrously over-praised and it probably has harmed them.

  53. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/ShidelerK/status/1407684173217734665?s=20

    They’ve abstracted themselves so far up their asses they can no longer distinguish between description and prescription, or even the ding an sich. Maybe we can send them to a Magritte re-education camp to get their heads right.

    If it’s both or neither people are going with neither, Chuck. It’s your paymasters who exploited that distinction to get their noses in the tent in the first place.

    Replies: @res, @rebel yell

    they can no longer distinguish between description and prescription

    Is that point being made forcefully and often on Twitter (and elsewhere)? Because it needs to be.

    And sorry for the passive voice. I try to avoid Twitter.

  54. Off topic:

    Steve

    Why haven’t you made a post about what happened recently a Nellis USAF Base? Attendance was mandatory for all Airmen…Air”men”…Air”women”….You can be absolutely certain that retired three star Admiral Mike Mullins knew what the consequences of pushing the US Military to go in homo-normed direction we’re going to be…

  55. @res

    a computer that has studied 67 million words of fiction can guess the sex of the author with 72 percent accuracy.
     
    That actually seems low to me. I took a look at the link and see:

    Simply by analysing the frequencies of personal pronouns, articles, and numbers in a given novel (written by a heterosexual author), he says it would be possible to guess the sex of the author with about 72 percent accuracy.
     
    So they are using a fairly simple analysis to reach that 72% figure. But note the caveat of heterosexual!

    The underlying paper is at https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.639887/full

    Table 1 is an interesting study in stereotypes. After the MORE.

    There are some other interesting observations. For instance.

    language use varies according to an individual’s age, with increasing age being characterised, for example, by more positive and fewer negative affect words, fewer self-references, more future-tense and fewer past-tense verbs, and increasing cognitive complexity

     

    They give details of the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) method they used and the reasons for using it. I suspect it would be possible to get higher accuracy with more sophisticated AI techniques. Consider how well Stylometry works to differentiate authors of the same sex. For instance, with the Federalist Papers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stylometry



    https://www.frontiersin.org/files/Articles/639887/fpsyg-12-639887-HTML-r1/image_m/fpsyg-12-639887-t001.jpg

    Figure 1 quantifies those observations.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/files/Articles/639887/fpsyg-12-639887-HTML-r1/image_m/fpsyg-12-639887-g001.jpg

    The paper has similar figures for heterosexual/homosexual men/women, but I think the above two are enough images for this comment.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    Thank you, res, for this informative comment, and for linking to the original paper. I was expecting to find an example of “feminine” sentence contrasted with the “masculine” sentence, but the analysis consists of little more than reading texts word by word, in which some words are associated with a “psycholinguistic” category. From this data, the author’s (known) sexual orientation is inferred.

    I wonder what would happen if the same authors were categorized by the four blood types O, A, B, and AB. Could the data be partitioned in such a way as to make a good guess at each author’s blood type?

    • Replies: @res
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    Thanks. Your blood type example is a good one. The sample size wasn't that small, but probably small enough that you could do that. The question is would there be a meaningful distinction picked up which would generalize to new data or would it just be overfitting which would not generalize?

    P.S. Worth noting that blood type frequencies vary with population groups. So if you had a diverse sample there would probably be a usable (but not really causal) signal to pick up.

  56. @Desiderius
    @Steve Sailer

    Persuasion is the ur-Austen.

    Replies: @Ralph L

    Huh?
    It was her last completed novel.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Ralph L

    Once she had perfected her craft she laid down her pen.

    Many such cases.

  57. Note that for some reason, Harry Potter books were excluded from these lists, depressing the 2000s’ female percentage.

    That’s a pretty big exclusion. The Harry Potter series has sold an estimate 500 million copies. Even through the trough years of 1940’s to 1980’s, there have been a ton of best selling women’s authors who wrote fiction that may not fit into the “novelist” category: Agatha Christie, Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High), Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Ann Martin (Babysitter’s Club), Ann Rice, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie), to name a few.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @Matttt

    Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew),

    "Carolyn Keene" was part of a brand name, like 'Aunt Jemima'. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren't all female. Some people have surmised that the 'Margaret Truman' mysteries were all written by ghostwriters. Not sure if the publisher has ever fessed up or not in the years since she died.

    Replies: @res, @Reg Cæsar

    , @photondancer
    @Matttt

    Indeed. I meant to query that omission too. Excluding the most successful author of the last 20 years smacks of an agenda to me.

    The figures quoted in the Takimag article were best sellers in a given year. That's not a very good measure thanks to trendy people buying books just to show they know what's what (the books are promptly ditched once the next set of prizes are handed out). What about best selling books over the years? That would indicate the authors people actually love. Steve did mention one confounding factor: the number of women writing under pseudonyms. We have no idea how many of the dime novels churned out 100 years ago were written by women.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Muggles
    @Matttt

    According to a quick Google blurb answer, Ayn Rand books have sold 29,500,000 copies (as of May 2013.)

    Some were non fiction but most are novels or novellas.

    So by now over 30 million and counting. First started publishing those in the late 40s thru mid 60s.

    Her literary style is no longer fashionable and was always a bit hard to take. But she dealt with characters with ideas, not just emotions. Many of her main characters were women.

    She gets almost zero attention from critics and the literati and even feminists (mostly) because she was definitely no leftist.

    Most of these books were sold before the airport/drugstore paperback sellers (or Amazon) replaced actual bookstores.

    Replies: @Che Guava

  58. Greg Cochrane in the final sentence of Steve’s UPI classic on Genghis Khan and his DNA, linked in the Takimag story:

    if you found his corpse and could extract his DNA, eventually, at some point in the future, you’d be able to clone ‘the Perfect Warrior.’ Do you think the Department of Defense would want an army of Genghis Khans?

    At this point, I think it is safe to say that if an army of Genghis Khans were cloned, they would quickly crush the DoD, see them driven before them, and hear the lamentations of the DoD’s many (too many) women. As for clasping the women to their bosoms, they would quickly discern most of these women are not the clasp-worthy type.

    In other words, cloning Genghis Khan is a great idea.

    • Replies: @Rich
    @Almost Missouri

    If Mr Khan were cloned and raised in the US, he'd be diagnosed as hyperactive, put on drugs, brainwashed and beaten down until he'd be lucky to get a job in construction after dropping out of high school. Either that or he'd end up a rugby player at Towsen University.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    , @tr
    @Almost Missouri

    If the DOD cloned a thousand Genghis Khans would they be able to fight together, or would then just fight each other to determine which was the Great Kahn?

    , @tyrone
    @Almost Missouri

    I would rather clone Nathan Bedford Forrest .......put him in a room with the current joint chief of staff ,each with a saber.

  59. @Anatoly Karlin
    Hypotheses.

    (1) Sexism is good for female accomplishment. (Up to a point, of course). Women from countries with more traditional gender roles tend to be more successful, relative to men, than in the WEIRDest ones (% management positions, % self-made billionaires, etc).

    (2) Requirements for writing bestsellers have tightened, increasing the male edge thanks to their greater variation. (OK, I doubt this, but worth throwing it out there).

    (3) Sexism was inadvertently good for female literary accomplishment in that more of them stayed at home a century ago, were bored, and wrote to while away the hours. This is much less relevant in modern societies in which labor participation rates are comparable between the sexes.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @JimDandy, @dfordoom

    3 is the obvious answer to the phenomenon that Steve points out, but it doesn’t contradict his point. The past wasn’t some misogynistic nightmare, even though women had far fewer opportunities in public and professional life. Society was different.

    I find that hatreds are downstream of personal psychological issues and people in the past may actually have been more balanced.

    They certainly had more social support, more spiritual direction and fewer people trying to persuade them to ignore their own issues and blame some random group.

    I am always surprised how moderns are unable to see when they have a context inappropriate hysterical reaction, or choose not to take it as a hint that they need to reflect on why they got so out of control. One thing misogynists, Jews who see Nazis everywhere, SJWs etc. have in common, is that they all seem plainly unhappy.

    I can’t travel back in time, but I can read Austen’s novels and see that they are devoid of all that nonsense. She was a perpispacious woman, who wrote female characters calmly, and they don’t seem like they exist in a world which hates them. It is odd therefore for people nowadays, with no first hand experience, to claim that they actually were hated. My feeling is that moderns lack epistemological humility; which leads to all sorts of problems.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The past wasn’t some misogynistic nightmare, even though women had far fewer opportunities in public and professional life. Society was different.
     
    Of course, we also have to consider the experience of less privileged women.
  60. Anon[255] • Disclaimer says:

    I used to hang around on a self-publishing forum and was amazed by the attitude of the women writers. They were ferociously mercenary to the last woman. They wrote for money, period, and they laughed at and were scornful of art. No joke, they hated arty writing and sneered at anyone who said it was important and who wanted to do it.

    But when polled why they wrote, they gave two main reasons. One, they had a retarded/autistic kid they had to support, or they were trying to get out of crappy job they hated. I was astonished by the huge number who admitted to having a retarded/autistic kid. It was massive. A small amount said they wrote to help pay off student loans, but that was minor in comparison to those who wanted to get out of a dead-end job that paid little. These women didn’t think they were able to compete well in the job market and move up. None of them had gone to a top-tier college that might have landed them a higher-paying job.

    They all wrote romance, almost nothing else, and when asked who their favorite writers were, it was always bestselling romance writers. When you asked them what great classic authors they admired, they named the very same bestselling romance writers. If they knew about the classic authors, they didn’t care or had never read them.

    It made me think of H.L. Mencken, who said that every time he came across a talented female writer, she would quit writing the minute she got married.

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money,” said Dr. Johnson. Woman writers only do what Johnson advised what writers should do.

    Writing for art takes real strength of character–and a private income. Virginia Woolf said she was only able to write because a relative had left her money. Arty writing used to be done only by elite men who had enough side income afford to indulge themselves. That’s where the whole genre of poetry comes from–which no one reads.

    • Thanks: photondancer
  61. I would add just one observation, having nothing to do with gender: as far as creative activity goes, it seems that -with significant exceptions, of course – creativity (innovation, invention,…) has some peculiarities, at least when it comes to various fields:

    * visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture,..) – these people, including most “giants”, tend to be gifted in their areas, but in others almost brain-dead. They are usually non-mental. True, Michelangelo was also a significant poet, while Leonardo da Vinci -overrated, by the way – showed insatiable curiosity about everything. But, they were atypical.

    * music (concert/classical) – also, non- mental geniuses at best. Dumb.

    * poetry- brain-dead geniuses

    * literary prose – the best among them are authors-sages, prophets, thinkers. Not analytical-synthetic thinkers, but wisdom writers. Know about human relationships & perennial questions. A combination of sensual, emotional, social & mental.

    * philosophers – perennial questions & also human relations. Essentially two categories: more arts-oriented & more science-oriented, but frequently overlap.

    * exact sciences, especially math & phys – naturally gifted for their areas, but otherwise brain-dead. Interested in things, not people- and not in “perennial questions”.

    * social sciences & humanities – hard to tell. Probably closest to science-oriented philosophers. Too fuzzy a group.

    Also, with regard to maturity- you can produce a work of genius in lyric poetry, music, math, physics in your 20s; you can’t, until you’re 35-40, write great novels or philosophical treatises.

    It comes with experience & maturity.

  62. @Almost Missouri
    Greg Cochrane in the final sentence of Steve's UPI classic on Genghis Khan and his DNA, linked in the Takimag story:

    if you found his corpse and could extract his DNA, eventually, at some point in the future, you'd be able to clone 'the Perfect Warrior.' Do you think the Department of Defense would want an army of Genghis Khans?
     
    At this point, I think it is safe to say that if an army of Genghis Khans were cloned, they would quickly crush the DoD, see them driven before them, and hear the lamentations of the DoD's many (too many) women. As for clasping the women to their bosoms, they would quickly discern most of these women are not the clasp-worthy type.

    In other words, cloning Genghis Khan is a great idea.

    Replies: @Rich, @tr, @tyrone

    If Mr Khan were cloned and raised in the US, he’d be diagnosed as hyperactive, put on drugs, brainwashed and beaten down until he’d be lucky to get a job in construction after dropping out of high school. Either that or he’d end up a rugby player at Towsen University.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Rich

    My theory is that he had Down's, which engendered great trust among his men and relieved him of the burden of an overactive mind.

  63. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/ShidelerK/status/1407684173217734665?s=20

    They’ve abstracted themselves so far up their asses they can no longer distinguish between description and prescription, or even the ding an sich. Maybe we can send them to a Magritte re-education camp to get their heads right.

    If it’s both or neither people are going with neither, Chuck. It’s your paymasters who exploited that distinction to get their noses in the tent in the first place.

    Replies: @res, @rebel yell

    Notice how the objection to CRT in schools is now characterized as censorship and banning.
    The assumption is that ideas don’t have to meet any standards to qualify as worth teaching. The Left can propose and implement any nonsense they want and all objections to it are censorship in their eyes.
    In fact CRT should not be taught in our schools for two good reasons:
    1. It isn’t true, and schools exist to teach stuff that is true. A theory or body of work should meet standards in a legitimate field of study before we let it into our schools. Evolution passes this test and CRT, like Phrenology, does not. We should be teaching HBD, not CRT, based on standards of good science.
    2. CRT is a political/ideological attack on white families. If normal white people don’t want their children being taught that they are members of an evil race, they have the right to say no. It’s called majority rule, and it’s called parental control over children, and it’s called freedom from elite tyranny. Parents/voters may be wise or may be foolish in their decisions, but regardless schools should be accountable to parents and provide the education the parents want. Rich people can hire private tutors and set any rules they want as to what the tutor will teach. Middle class parents need a similar power to send their kids to a school that teaches what the parents want taught.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @rebel yell

    Should's got nothing to do with it.

    They have the power and are flexing it in your face.

    Join or die.

  64. @Rich
    In every novel I've read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don't understand men.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Ralph L, @BB753, @guest, @dfordoom

    Male writers do understand women or at least try but female writers are so engrossed by their own selves and their “feels” that they don’t even pretend to try to understand men or how even the world works. This is true of Jane Austen too. Female literature, it’s all garbage.

  65. @Almost Missouri
    Greg Cochrane in the final sentence of Steve's UPI classic on Genghis Khan and his DNA, linked in the Takimag story:

    if you found his corpse and could extract his DNA, eventually, at some point in the future, you'd be able to clone 'the Perfect Warrior.' Do you think the Department of Defense would want an army of Genghis Khans?
     
    At this point, I think it is safe to say that if an army of Genghis Khans were cloned, they would quickly crush the DoD, see them driven before them, and hear the lamentations of the DoD's many (too many) women. As for clasping the women to their bosoms, they would quickly discern most of these women are not the clasp-worthy type.

    In other words, cloning Genghis Khan is a great idea.

    Replies: @Rich, @tr, @tyrone

    If the DOD cloned a thousand Genghis Khans would they be able to fight together, or would then just fight each other to determine which was the Great Kahn?

  66. OT, but the UK had 16,000+ covid cases yesterday. That is extraordinary as vaccinations are widespread and case numbers were only in the hundreds at this time last year, with no difference in lockdown rules.

    I am sure there are a lot of factors in this, from the Delta variant, to lockdown fatigue, to slightly better testing, but it is still astonishing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51768274

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Triteleia Laxa

    A better question is how many cases reported in the UK or the USA are due to people who have traveled to the UK/USA from countries that have wide community spread such as India, Brazil, South Africa, etc. or countries that have covered up the severity of the disease such as Russia, Turkey, Iran.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @anon
    @Triteleia Laxa

    From WSJ


    U.K. data show vaccines are having a powerful effect. Data published by Public Health England show the variant is primarily spreading among younger age groups, who have only recently been made eligible for vaccination, in a government drive to extend immunity before a full reopening now slated for July 19.

    Under 40s account for three-quarters of Delta cases, according to the data. Over 60s, around 90% of whom are fully vaccinated, make up only 4% of cases.

    The vaccine effect is even more pronounced in hospitalizations. In previous waves of infection, between 10% and 15% of all cases would end up in hospital with severe illness, said Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh. Now, with vaccines, the proportion is closer to 4%, she said.
     

    Important, because I found the UK was the best "leading indicator" for the US. The US had the Michigan surge. Maybe the UK will follow the US now.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  67. The percentage of published novels written by women is way higher now. Maybe today’s national bestsellers tend to be Crime/Thriller novels, where male authors still dominate.

    I also wonder if it was the fact that there were fewer female authors that caused there to be more bestsellers written by females.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
    • Replies: @photondancer
    @JimDandy

    Do male authors predominate in crime/thriller? Seems to me, when I visit the local library or peruse bookstore shelves, that there are a heck of a lot of female authors in this genre.

    Replies: @JimDandy

  68. It’s not that. It’s that men started reading novels. Because they started having some novels marketed towards men. In the 19th and 18th century, most novels were for, about, written by, and read by women.

  69. Perhaps we’ve missed a great female novelist in the making. What a waste of talent ……

    https://www.cnbc.com/id/21149835

    Craigslist Post: I’ll Marry You Only If You Make $500K

    There is a huge debate on Craigslist in New York City over a posting by someone claiming she’s 25 and “spectacularly beautiful.” However, she’s striking out in marrying someone rich.
    ……………………………..

    “Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy. I’m not from New York. I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

    Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 – 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?”

    Here are my questions specifically:

    – Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics — bars, restaurants, gyms

    – What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings

    – Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?

    Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?

    – Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows – lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

    – How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

    Please hold your insults — I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them — in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

  70. @Jonathan Mason
    Like George Eliot and the Bronte sisters, many female novelists today must be writing under male names.

    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis's novels were really written by his wife.

    The other thing is that it is really hard to become a best selling novelist these days because people don't read new novels much.

    At one time novels were mainstream entertainment and Dickens fans in America would eagerly await the arrival of the boat with the latest installment.

    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.

    Replies: @Tex, @Bill Jones, @guest

    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.

    I’d never considered the topic before, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever listened to a female podcaster other than the recently arrived (and rather impressive) Whitney Webb.

    I’ve never felt the need to search for it . Who suffers from a shortage of female opinion?

    6-7 thousand words a day versus 18-20 thousand.

  71. Can you imagine if women and third-world types tended to be taller than white males? How would Disparate Impact Doctrine affect airline seating? Among many other things?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/airline-deals-business-class-first-class-11624388301

    I’ll tell you how: white men would have to sit in the back of the bus, which is where we’re headed anyway.

  72. @Anatoly Karlin
    Hypotheses.

    (1) Sexism is good for female accomplishment. (Up to a point, of course). Women from countries with more traditional gender roles tend to be more successful, relative to men, than in the WEIRDest ones (% management positions, % self-made billionaires, etc).

    (2) Requirements for writing bestsellers have tightened, increasing the male edge thanks to their greater variation. (OK, I doubt this, but worth throwing it out there).

    (3) Sexism was inadvertently good for female literary accomplishment in that more of them stayed at home a century ago, were bored, and wrote to while away the hours. This is much less relevant in modern societies in which labor participation rates are comparable between the sexes.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @JimDandy, @dfordoom

    There are far more American women writing now than ever before. There might be more women writers than women readers these days. I think the answer is in the universe of #2. The big publishing houses are almost entirely run and staffed by east coast city women–as are the agencies that represent authors–and they have a tendency to champion and publish works that speak to them. The publishing houses fund these literary fiction boutiques by selling mass-market books that the masses actually like to read–mostly nonfiction. I suspect that bestselling novels these days tend to disproportionately action/thriller/mystery/detective type books. Many male traits, starting with testosterone, give male writers an advantage there.

  73. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years, but then I remember the female-authored counterpart, the "bonkbuster"a la Jilly Cooper, although I guess it goes all the way back to at least Grace Metalious, and forward to 50 Shades.


    "The Rutshire Chronicles is a series of romantic novels by Jilly Cooper. The stories tell tales of mainly British upper-class families, as well as the show-jumping and polo crowd, in numerous different sexually charged scenarios"

    "Romantic novels". Euphemism isn't dead.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @guest007, @dfordoom

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @guest007

    This article provides a lot evidence which goes against your experience.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jan/15/sarah-ferguson-whats-to-mock-mills-boon-sells-a-romance-every-10-seconds-in-uk

    Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was this week revealed as the latest recruit to the publishers’ roster of authors, with a novel loosely based on the passions of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.

    She joins a publishing institution, founded in 1908, which releases more than 700 new titles every year and accounts for 16% of the UK’s romance fiction market.

    The writing of the novels is not as straightforward or formulaic as some might imagine. “There is an art to it. There isn’t a formula,” said Sharon Kendrick, a writer of more than 100 Mills & Boon novels with sales of 27m books.

    , @anon
    @guest007

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead.

    Huh. How come so many of them keep on being printed?

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    In book form, or Kindle format on Amazon for 99 cents?

    Replies: @guest007

    , @Anon
    @guest007

    It's long been known that any used bookstore has to limit the romance novels that come in, or they'll overwhelm the place.

    Romance novels sell very well, but old romance novels don't. Romance has to keep up with the trends. For example, if you don't name all the current hot brands in between your pages, you're dated and dead. Romance is subject to extreme faddism. If a trope appears on a TV show, all of a sudden every writer has to put it in their books because that's all the readers want--for the next few months, then the fad changes again.

    Replies: @res

    , @rational actor
    @guest007

    Not so. Romance is hugely popular, and a certain amount of it is essentially soft porn with good grammar. Until last year I had never heard of Marie Force (apparently her real name) or Helen Hardt, but women fight for these books when they first come in to the library. The other genre with a strong following is Amish Romance, which is super wholesome and has reliably happy endings as you would expect. It also involves a lot of bread- and preserve-making. Historical romance is moribund at the moment, though. This has become a minority interest in the face of C-suite corset rippers.

    The reason romance books don't move on a book sale is because no one wants to read them a second time. This actually creates a bit of a problem in a library, since we always have to be looking for new authors to feed the female patrons, who are like hungry animals.

    Replies: @guest007, @stillCARealist

  74. @Jonathan Mason
    @Bardon Kaldian

    So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?

    Actually that is plausible, and it is frightening to think that so much of British culture over the last 200 years has been influenced by Austen, perhaps more than any other writer.

    Of course the modern take on Austen is that the families that she wrote about became idle rich on the profits of colonialism and slavery and the Royal Navy, in the era when Britannia ruled the waves.

    Austen's heroines are all hookers, at least in the sense that the primary raison d'etre is to get their hooks into a man with money.

    What gets Austen off the hook is that her books are marvelously witty.

    Replies: @donut, @Single malt, @YetAnotherAnon

    Popular legend has it that the term “hooker” was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Single malt


    Popular legend has it that the term “hooker” was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.
     
    The Massachusetts State House makes it easy for nondescript streetwalkers to rendezvous with state lawmakers:

    https://img.apmcdn.org/bacaefdb7711e025e50da937bfb3560f173d3c1a/uncropped/a6b8fb-newscut-files-2018-03-general-hooker-entrance.jpg

    https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/03/15/general-hooker-entrance

    … there had been salacious (and unproven) rumors about prostitutes hanging around Hooker’s headquarters, back when everyone gossiped about the exploits of the nation’s top generals. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, the word “hooker” as a synonym for “prostitute” does not refer to the general, and had been in use long before he became well-known.
     

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  75. @Jonathan Mason
    @Bardon Kaldian

    So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?

    Actually that is plausible, and it is frightening to think that so much of British culture over the last 200 years has been influenced by Austen, perhaps more than any other writer.

    Of course the modern take on Austen is that the families that she wrote about became idle rich on the profits of colonialism and slavery and the Royal Navy, in the era when Britannia ruled the waves.

    Austen's heroines are all hookers, at least in the sense that the primary raison d'etre is to get their hooks into a man with money.

    What gets Austen off the hook is that her books are marvelously witty.

    Replies: @donut, @Single malt, @YetAnotherAnon

    “So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?”

    I imagine Jane Austen (like pretty much everyone in Elder Days before The Fall) understood the sex drive perfectly well – and that people, especially women, who followed their Passions in pre-Pill, pre-Welfare State, pre-abortion days tended not to fare well.

    Sense and Sensibility is all about this topic.

    Charlotte herself wrote of “my evil wandering thoughts, my corrupt heart, cold to the spirit, and warm to the flesh“, so it may be that she leaned to the Sensibility side, and Jane Austen to the Sense side.

    (Almost Missouri – I’m all out of LOLs, or I’d give a thousand to that comment)

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @YetAnotherAnon

    An interesting writing assignment would be to write a novel in the style of Charlotte Bronte about Princess Diana called Me & Wales, and then write a novel in the style of Jane Austen. about Meghan Markle, which would be called The Woman Who Would Be King.

    Bronte would be mandated to include the line: "Reader, I divorced him" and Bronte would be required to include a line about "a woman in possession of a good fortune being in need of a wife."

  76. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    There are programs at some teaching hospitals where women who took time off to have children go back through the last year of being a resident/fellow so that their skills are up to date. Taking serious time off from being a surgeon can be a major issue but taking time off as an oncologist or immunologist can be deadly to the patients.

    • Thanks: Jim Christian, Desiderius
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    @guest007

    I was going to ask what her proficiency must be after months away from the knife. I don't want THAT surgeon on the knife for so much as a mole removal after a layoff that long.

  77. In the past, upper class women and women with means had servants to do their household duties for them, and so had no work, and so could indulge in writing. And if you were a spinster living with a sister or old mother then the sister/mother would take on all other duties such as running the servants and hosting parties, so you had even more time on your hands.

    I remember PBS’s reality series “Manor House”, which made people live 24/7 in roles on a late-19th Century British Manor estate out in the coountry. They had both people playing the rich family owners and people playing the servants, and all authentic clothing all the time. Everyone had to live for many months in these roles; cooking dinners, cleaning, receiving guests, etc.

    The servant parts were much more interesting—the work was very hard in comparison to today’s household work, and there were lots of spats and intrigue —but one interesting part of the “rich family owners” was the Sister of the Mother.

    The rich family was made up of the a Father, Mother, Child, and Sister of the Mother. After a few weeks, the Sister of the Mother was completely bored out of her mind and felt trapped. Why? Because she had nothing to do and no transportation. Her Sister was the lady of the house, and so got to order people around, fire people, and receive guests, and had some measure of control, but Sister of the Mother had nothing of the sort. And since it was an authentic series, the Sister of the Mother was not allowed to drive off in a car or ride a horse or take a carriage off the property.

    The Sister of the Mother was going positively mad until the producers gave her an old-timey bicycle and let her ride around and off the property on that. In an interview she talked about how world-changing it was for her to have that bit of freedom, and how it must’ve been much more so of the women of that time.

    So boredom was a constant for some of these idle rich women, so many could turn to writing novels to amuse themselves. But nowadays, they have Real Serious Jobs and that don’t afford them such leisure time.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
  78. @guest007
    @YetAnotherAnon

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @anon, @Anon, @rational actor

    This article provides a lot evidence which goes against your experience.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jan/15/sarah-ferguson-whats-to-mock-mills-boon-sells-a-romance-every-10-seconds-in-uk

    Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was this week revealed as the latest recruit to the publishers’ roster of authors, with a novel loosely based on the passions of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.

    She joins a publishing institution, founded in 1908, which releases more than 700 new titles every year and accounts for 16% of the UK’s romance fiction market.

    The writing of the novels is not as straightforward or formulaic as some might imagine. “There is an art to it. There isn’t a formula,” said Sharon Kendrick, a writer of more than 100 Mills & Boon novels with sales of 27m books.

  79. @guest007
    @Frau Katze

    There are programs at some teaching hospitals where women who took time off to have children go back through the last year of being a resident/fellow so that their skills are up to date. Taking serious time off from being a surgeon can be a major issue but taking time off as an oncologist or immunologist can be deadly to the patients.

    Replies: @Jim Christian

    I was going to ask what her proficiency must be after months away from the knife. I don’t want THAT surgeon on the knife for so much as a mole removal after a layoff that long.

  80. • Agree: R.G. Camara, mc23
    • LOL: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Congresspeople should wear NASCAR-style jumpsuits with their donors' logos

    , @kaganovitch
    @JohnnyWalker123

    I have to say, the Kmacniki's obsession with the Rothschilds is just steampunk fantasy for the Jew-fixated. It's been over a century since the World shook on the word of a Rothschild. They have been no more than bit players for a hundred years or more. Even James the 4th baron is only perhaps among the 100 most influential people internationally. His influence is dwarfed by Zuck, Gates, Buffett,Musk, Bezos et al. Ironically it finds its parallel among the fin de siecle shtetl dwellers of Eastern Europe for whom Rothschild was a larger than life figure. There are dozens upon dozens of Rothschild jokes/bon mots from that period. Sample: A local melamed (one room schoolhouse teacher, notoriously poorly paid) proclaimed " Ven ikh volt gevehn Rothschild, volt ikh gevehn reikher vi Rotschild, veyl ikh volt dokh gehat meyn gehalt als melamed oykh" - "Were I Rothschild, I would be wealthier than Rothschild, as I would have my schoolteacher's salary as well".

  81. The shit women write today is crotch novel fare, lousy editorial pap in the papers and of course woke rage, garbage in other words, all of it. Like Nicholson said, absent reason and accountability. Editors let it all publish because sexism. They must give full song to their emotions and idiotic notions and bullshit feelings.

  82. anon[307] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest007
    @YetAnotherAnon

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @anon, @Anon, @rational actor

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead.

    Huh. How come so many of them keep on being printed?

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    In book form, or Kindle format on Amazon for 99 cents?

    • Replies: @guest007
    @anon

    Used books build up over time. People downsizing, moving, or dying are great for used book donations. Thus, one gets romances that date back over decades. Very few of them sell compared to Science fiction, mystery, or generic novels. There are a ton of paranormal romances. People donated so many copies of Twilight, the many very good copies are trashed because there is just no demand.

  83. Anonymous[223] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe because more white women are dating black thugs? That can put a decided curb on women with writing aspirations.

    Note to the white girlz: when you date/marry black thugs, existentially, you’re on your own. If the dude gets violent, his family members will circle the wagons in his defense, while the members of your own family will tend to say amongst themselves, “play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

    This creates a serious dearth in people in your social circle who will take any initiative in your defense should you get a beating, as well as those will look for you, when you go missing, or justice when your body is found.

    You are the ever lonely “I tried to tell her” gal, lost to the ages:

    https://nypost.com/2021/06/23/ex-nfl-player-kevin-ware-named-suspect-in-girlfriends-murder/

  84. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/076/853/155/original/1c431bb41d2d17b8.jpg

    Replies: @Known Fact, @kaganovitch

    Congresspeople should wear NASCAR-style jumpsuits with their donors’ logos

    • Agree: Corn
  85. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Jonathan Mason

    "So basically Charlotte Bronte was saying that Jane Austen did not understand the human sex drive?"

    I imagine Jane Austen (like pretty much everyone in Elder Days before The Fall) understood the sex drive perfectly well - and that people, especially women, who followed their Passions in pre-Pill, pre-Welfare State, pre-abortion days tended not to fare well.

    Sense and Sensibility is all about this topic.

    Charlotte herself wrote of "my evil wandering thoughts, my corrupt heart, cold to the spirit, and warm to the flesh", so it may be that she leaned to the Sensibility side, and Jane Austen to the Sense side.


    (Almost Missouri - I'm all out of LOLs, or I'd give a thousand to that comment)

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    An interesting writing assignment would be to write a novel in the style of Charlotte Bronte about Princess Diana called Me & Wales, and then write a novel in the style of Jane Austen. about Meghan Markle, which would be called The Woman Who Would Be King.

    Bronte would be mandated to include the line: “Reader, I divorced him” and Bronte would be required to include a line about “a woman in possession of a good fortune being in need of a wife.”

  86. @anon
    @guest007

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead.

    Huh. How come so many of them keep on being printed?

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    In book form, or Kindle format on Amazon for 99 cents?

    Replies: @guest007

    Used books build up over time. People downsizing, moving, or dying are great for used book donations. Thus, one gets romances that date back over decades. Very few of them sell compared to Science fiction, mystery, or generic novels. There are a ton of paranormal romances. People donated so many copies of Twilight, the many very good copies are trashed because there is just no demand.

  87. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down) said that their grandfather's top boast was that he managed to impregnate their suffragette grandmother.

    Replies: @RichardTaylor, @SunBakedSuburb, @Daniel H

    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down)

    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

    You don’t get any WASPier than the Wainwrights. Among their illustrious ancestors were Jay Gould and Peter Stuyvesant.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Daniel H


    Was he related to Pete Seeger?
     

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.
     

    Llewyn Davis?

     


    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

     

    You're all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he's written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn't count.

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @JMcG, @Alden, @Jenner Ickham Errican

  88. @RichardTaylor
    @Steve Sailer

    An old stock New Englander related to a folk singer, hanging out with suffragette. Not a head case at all I'm sure.

    Was he related to Pete Seeger? He was a NY area folk singer who did all he could to support communism, although he finally backed off full support of the USSR.

    https://cdn.kqed.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2014/01/90330705.jpg

    Replies: @JMcG

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.

  89. @Almost Missouri
    Greg Cochrane in the final sentence of Steve's UPI classic on Genghis Khan and his DNA, linked in the Takimag story:

    if you found his corpse and could extract his DNA, eventually, at some point in the future, you'd be able to clone 'the Perfect Warrior.' Do you think the Department of Defense would want an army of Genghis Khans?
     
    At this point, I think it is safe to say that if an army of Genghis Khans were cloned, they would quickly crush the DoD, see them driven before them, and hear the lamentations of the DoD's many (too many) women. As for clasping the women to their bosoms, they would quickly discern most of these women are not the clasp-worthy type.

    In other words, cloning Genghis Khan is a great idea.

    Replies: @Rich, @tr, @tyrone

    I would rather clone Nathan Bedford Forrest …….put him in a room with the current joint chief of staff ,each with a saber.

  90. @Thea
    How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    Replies: @guest007, @donut, @Paul Mendez, @Deckin, @Random Anonymous

    One should review the trope Unintentional Period Piece. Why limit oneself to novels that are set in the past when there are modern devices that have eliminated many old tropes used in old novels.

    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnintentionalPeriodPiece

  91. @Triteleia Laxa
    OT, but the UK had 16,000+ covid cases yesterday. That is extraordinary as vaccinations are widespread and case numbers were only in the hundreds at this time last year, with no difference in lockdown rules.

    I am sure there are a lot of factors in this, from the Delta variant, to lockdown fatigue, to slightly better testing, but it is still astonishing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51768274

    Replies: @guest007, @anon

    A better question is how many cases reported in the UK or the USA are due to people who have traveled to the UK/USA from countries that have wide community spread such as India, Brazil, South Africa, etc. or countries that have covered up the severity of the disease such as Russia, Turkey, Iran.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @guest007

    Very few recently in the UK. It is a nightmare to travel back and forth. Having said that, the UK might have stopped travel with India a lot earlier and avoided this Delta variant; which may be particularly contagious.

  92. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Danielle Steel had a vast number of top ten bestsellers in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Replies: @donut, @Mike Tre

    Anne Rice was pretty big in the 90’s as well.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    @Mike Tre

    Rice was not happy when Tom Cruise got the lead role in Interview with the Vampire. (IIRC, she wasn't thrilled with the choice of Brad Pitt as the interviewer.) She said that hiring Cruise to play her vampire was akin to casting Edward G. Robinson as Rhett Butler.

    Didn't Cruise play another high-profile book character (Jack Reacher?) who was 6'4" in the book and 5'7" in the movie?

    Vampire movies and TV shows were hot for a brief period in the early '90s. NBC did a prime-time reboot of Dark Shadows and CBS had a quirky late-night show (Forever Knight) about a vampire who was trying to reform. Francis Ford Coppola's ridiculous version of Dracula was infinitely more amusing than Mel Brooks' tired parody of same.

  93. @donut
    @Steve Sailer

    When I visited San Francisco in 1995 with a girlfriend we stayed at a B&B one block from Lafayette Park . We walked our dogs there every day . There was an enormous pile of a house overlooking the bay and I was curious who could afford a palace that size in SF . It turned out to be Danielle Steel . Her house is on the left in the photo .

    https://activerain-store.s3.amazonaws.com/image_store/uploads/8/7/0/8/4/ar133433989848078.jpg

    The house is bigger and the property more extensive than it appears to be in the photo .

    Replies: @anon

    The Spreckels mansion was built at a time when tycoons still roamed the globe.
    $1,000,000 was quite a lot of money in 1912.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spreckels_Mansion_(San_Francisco)

    Steel is not there all the time, she also resides in Paris.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Steel

    • Thanks: donut
  94. @Thea
    How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    Replies: @guest007, @donut, @Paul Mendez, @Deckin, @Random Anonymous

    “It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.”
    Not so , the Greeks and the Romans had novels by at least the 1st. century AD .

  95. Male who pretends to be a female wants to burn a US Flag on the Olympic podium after he defeats actual females in a bicycle race or something:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/transgender-us-olympic-alternate-bmx-rider-says-her-goal-burn-us-flag-olympic-podium

    • Replies: @res
    @Mike Tre

    You have to give zir credit. Ze knows how to get attention in The Current Year. Of course, how it will all look a decade or three from now has the potential to be interesting.

  96. @Daniel H
    @Steve Sailer


    An upper class WASP friend of mine, a Yale historian, whose brother was a really famous folk singer (not Dylan, but in the next tier down)
     
    Now you got me wonderin' and guessin'. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

    You don't get any WASPier than the Wainwrights. Among their illustrious ancestors were Jay Gould and Peter Stuyvesant.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Was he related to Pete Seeger?

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.

    Llewyn Davis?

    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

    You’re all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he’s written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn’t count.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    @Reg Cæsar

    https://www.quahog.org/factsfolklore/index.php?id=150

    Goodness your family has classy skeletons in its closet.

    Do you ever trot this stuff out at parties? How does it go over? I have always found that my Quality Interweb Content Contributions tend to fall flat splat. Maybe I just need to work on my delivery.

    , @JMcG
    @Reg Cæsar

    I never thought of Harry Chaplin as a folk singer, to be honest.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Alden
    @Reg Cæsar

    You and I are sort of related. The Teffts of Rhode Island I think.

    , @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Reg Cæsar


    I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered.
     
    Peter Lawford to June Allyson in Two Sisters From Boston (1946) :

    My father comes from good stock. Why, his grandfather was the first white man to ever scalp an Indian!
     
  97. @Known Fact
    You'd think woman novelists would have greater impact because the publishing profession seems highly female and writing literally requires no heavy lifting. And there are big opportunities now on themes of color.

    But despite plenty of female novelists, I can't think of any long-term true 20th century literary heavyweights. OK, Flannery O'Connor and Ayn Rand deserve some kudos.

    In short it's like sending Anne Tyler into the ring against Graham Greene. And if there's a female Max Frisch out there anywhere please let me know

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Paperback Writer

    Anne Tyler’s quite good.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @Art Deco

    I like her too, but the point is that she's about as good as it gets lately for female lit. Let's say Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano is the 442nd best novel of the 20th century -- and there is no female-written equivalent of Under the Volcano. Check some list of plays as well and the same thing will apply

  98. @Matttt

    Note that for some reason, Harry Potter books were excluded from these lists, depressing the 2000s’ female percentage.
     
    That's a pretty big exclusion. The Harry Potter series has sold an estimate 500 million copies. Even through the trough years of 1940's to 1980's, there have been a ton of best selling women's authors who wrote fiction that may not fit into the "novelist" category: Agatha Christie, Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High), Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Ann Martin (Babysitter's Club), Ann Rice, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie), to name a few.

    Replies: @Art Deco, @photondancer, @Muggles

    Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew),

    “Carolyn Keene” was part of a brand name, like ‘Aunt Jemima’. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren’t all female. Some people have surmised that the ‘Margaret Truman’ mysteries were all written by ghostwriters. Not sure if the publisher has ever fessed up or not in the years since she died.

    • Replies: @res
    @Art Deco

    It appears that 23 of the first 30 Navy Drew books were written by the same woman (Mildred Wirt Benson).
    https://exhibitions.lib.umd.edu/nancy/influential-authors/carolyn-keene

    Here is a detailed list of the books with the people involved (Outline/Manuscript/Editor/Revised By).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    For the original versions of the books there were two primary people involved and a bunch of randoms. Mildred Wirt and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

    Similar list for the Hardy Boys.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    P.S. It appears that all of the revisions for both were done in the 1959-1975 time frame. I had not realized PC was that far along then.

    Replies: @res

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Art Deco


    “Carolyn Keene” was part of a brand name, like ‘Aunt Jemima’. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren’t all female.
     
    Were any?

    The "Mary Earl" credited with composing "Beautiful Ohio" was really Robert A King. Who was really Robert A Keiser. ("Ohio" was the river.)


    https://youtu.be/xO9a5KAtmTM


    Some of "her" patriotic songs are still relevant.


    https://tile.loc.gov/image-services/iiif/service:music:muswwism:mu:sw:wi:sm:-2:00:20:17:73:muswwism-200201773:0001/full/pct:12.5/0/default.jpg

  99. @Reg Cæsar
    @Daniel H


    Was he related to Pete Seeger?
     

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.
     

    Llewyn Davis?

     


    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

     

    You're all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he's written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn't count.

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @JMcG, @Alden, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    https://www.quahog.org/factsfolklore/index.php?id=150

    Goodness your family has classy skeletons in its closet.

    Do you ever trot this stuff out at parties? How does it go over? I have always found that my Quality Interweb Content Contributions tend to fall flat splat. Maybe I just need to work on my delivery.

    • Thanks: Tex
  100. Don’t forget the lady that was most subversive of them all: Edna Ferher.

    Her big deal books came in the 1920s, So Big, Cimarron, Show Boat.

    Most evil of all: Giant (yeah, the basis of the James Dean movie years later.)

    A bad lady. Sold millions of copies because it was required reading in HS for years.

  101. @Known Fact
    You'd think woman novelists would have greater impact because the publishing profession seems highly female and writing literally requires no heavy lifting. And there are big opportunities now on themes of color.

    But despite plenty of female novelists, I can't think of any long-term true 20th century literary heavyweights. OK, Flannery O'Connor and Ayn Rand deserve some kudos.

    In short it's like sending Anne Tyler into the ring against Graham Greene. And if there's a female Max Frisch out there anywhere please let me know

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Paperback Writer

    I would put Katherine Ann Porter and Willa Cather against anyone, particularly the latter. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    Her fellow Prairie novelist, Mari Sandoz, was no slouch either.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @Paperback Writer

    Thanks, those are good examples of excellent female writers but they just seem in surprisingly short supply compared to the guys. It's all quite like horse racing -- there are plenty of top-notch female-run stables and solid female jockeys, but (in the US at least) they just don't make an impact on the top echeleons of the sport

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

  102. OT – is there a more entertaining MLB player than Max Scherzer? With his two different color eyes, he looks literally insane. Apparently the MLB started random checks of pitchers for doctoring agents, pine tar, etc and Scherzer was checked three times in 3 innings:

    How about when he struck out 10 batters right after breaking his own nose taking bunting practice, but the guy with the Max Scherzer face t-shirt is the best:

    • Thanks: Polemos
  103. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    It would be interesting to calculate the different ROIs of tuition expenditures on advanced degrees by gender.

    All around me I see young women getting graduate degrees, working perhaps 5 years in their chosen profession at entry-level wages, then dropping out for a decade or more to raise children. When they return to the workforce they are middle-aged and their knowledge is dated. They’re lucky if they can pick up where they left off, earnings-wise.

    A man who worked in his field continually for 15 years would be entering his peak earning years by the time he hit his 40’s.

  104. If you consider novel-writing a feminine activity that graph tracks perfectly with Strauss and Howe’s Sexual Dimorphism cycle. Alternatively dimorphic females could just have more time and attention to devote to writing.

    • Replies: @guest
    @Desiderius

    Novel-writing is not effeminate in itself, except in the broad sense that it’s not active in a worldly sense. Not physical and doesn’t require one to put oneself out there In the Arena, so to speak. I mean, once the product is finished you’re out there. But the rest of the time it’s a fairly solitary activity. (One reason why drunks get away with it.)

    If you’re a father who lays bricks for a living, having a son who spends all his time scribbling probably makes him appear namby-pamby. I can se that.

    But it’s still masculine in that it invites intellectual rigor and a drive to dominate in order to be good or successful.

    That being said, among the Fine Arts it is most feminine. Along with playwriting and poetry. All literature, really. While men dominate the highest level of achievement, literature is the only art where where girls put up any contest with the Big Boys.

    We’re talking in a relative sense, of course. Women are blown away in music, for instance. The playing field of the greatest 100 or maybe even 500 composers has not a woman in sight. However, there are great woman writers.

    In that sense it’s relatively feminine, I guess.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Anonymous

  105. OT

    It is sad that so many people here fall prey to misojudaist fantasies. Instead of working toward dismantling of American plutocracy & corruption of political system – combined with suicidal cultural “revolution” – they blame it all on a supposedly ginormous (negative) influence of one tiny ethnic group….

  106. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    @res

    Thank you, res, for this informative comment, and for linking to the original paper. I was expecting to find an example of "feminine" sentence contrasted with the "masculine" sentence, but the analysis consists of little more than reading texts word by word, in which some words are associated with a "psycholinguistic" category. From this data, the author's (known) sexual orientation is inferred.

    I wonder what would happen if the same authors were categorized by the four blood types O, A, B, and AB. Could the data be partitioned in such a way as to make a good guess at each author's blood type?

    Replies: @res

    Thanks. Your blood type example is a good one. The sample size wasn’t that small, but probably small enough that you could do that. The question is would there be a meaningful distinction picked up which would generalize to new data or would it just be overfitting which would not generalize?

    P.S. Worth noting that blood type frequencies vary with population groups. So if you had a diverse sample there would probably be a usable (but not really causal) signal to pick up.

  107. @Reg Cæsar
    @Daniel H


    Was he related to Pete Seeger?
     

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.
     

    Llewyn Davis?

     


    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

     

    You're all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he's written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn't count.

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @JMcG, @Alden, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I never thought of Harry Chaplin as a folk singer, to be honest.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @JMcG


    I never thought of Harry Chaplin [sic] as a folk singer, to be honest.
     
    In his day, anyone with a hollow guitar and comprehensible lyrics (as in diction, not semantics) automatically qualified as a "folk" singer.
  108. @Art Deco
    @Matttt

    Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew),

    "Carolyn Keene" was part of a brand name, like 'Aunt Jemima'. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren't all female. Some people have surmised that the 'Margaret Truman' mysteries were all written by ghostwriters. Not sure if the publisher has ever fessed up or not in the years since she died.

    Replies: @res, @Reg Cæsar

    It appears that 23 of the first 30 Navy Drew books were written by the same woman (Mildred Wirt Benson).
    https://exhibitions.lib.umd.edu/nancy/influential-authors/carolyn-keene

    Here is a detailed list of the books with the people involved (Outline/Manuscript/Editor/Revised By).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    For the original versions of the books there were two primary people involved and a bunch of randoms. Mildred Wirt and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

    Similar list for the Hardy Boys.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    P.S. It appears that all of the revisions for both were done in the 1959-1975 time frame. I had not realized PC was that far along then.

    • Thanks: Desiderius
    • Replies: @res
    @res

    Argh. Serious proofreading fail there. I of course meant Nancy not Navy Drew and here is the correct Wikipedia link for the Nancy Drew books.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nancy_Drew_books

  109. @Thea
    How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    Replies: @guest007, @donut, @Paul Mendez, @Deckin, @Random Anonymous

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life.

    Agree, although maybe an AI could update the cultural references from time to time.

    Ditto for pop music. Songs on my “new music” Sirius channel sound the same as what I was listening to 45 years ago.

    There’s also several lifetimes of movies available online. I’d allow a certain number of new action movies as CGI gets better, however.

    At the risk of angering the 2A folks, would anyone notice if we stopped making any more guns? We have plenty, they last forever with a modicum of care, and technology hasn’t changed much over the past 75 years.

    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…

    • Replies: @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    @Paul Mendez

    Thea, To continue your theme on the repetitiveness of art, Fran Striker, who came up with the character "The Lone Ranger", once said that there are only seven basic plots. (Or was it Shakespeare who said that?)

    The first time I hear the Lady Gaga song "Bad Romance", I thought, "I've heard that tune before". Can anybody identify an earlier version of this tune?:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I

    Replies: @donut

    , @Muggles
    @Paul Mendez


    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…
     
    So do you find yourself standing in a corner at parties by yourself?

    Replies: @anon

  110. @Art Deco
    @Matttt

    Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew),

    "Carolyn Keene" was part of a brand name, like 'Aunt Jemima'. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren't all female. Some people have surmised that the 'Margaret Truman' mysteries were all written by ghostwriters. Not sure if the publisher has ever fessed up or not in the years since she died.

    Replies: @res, @Reg Cæsar

    “Carolyn Keene” was part of a brand name, like ‘Aunt Jemima’. The publisher had a stable of writers who churned them out, and they weren’t all female.

    Were any?

    The “Mary Earl” credited with composing “Beautiful Ohio” was really Robert A King. Who was really Robert A Keiser. (“Ohio” was the river.)

    Some of “her” patriotic songs are still relevant.

  111. @SunBakedSuburb
    "Why did women novelists fall in popularity from the 1940s through the 1970s?"

    World War II created the postwar paperback boom: soldiers and sailors were given cigarette cartons and paperback books to stick in their sea bags as they settled into their berths on the troop ships. Lots of down time between kinetic actions provided time to smoke and read. A market of male readers was created. It was through paperback books that genre fiction was given space to flourish -- SF, crime, horror, mysteries. The good stuff; written mainly by dudes for dudes.

    Replies: @Paul Mendez

    World War II created the postwar paperback boom: soldiers and sailors were given cigarette cartons and paperback books to stick in their sea bags as they settled into their berths on the troop ships. Lots of down time between kinetic actions provided time to smoke and read.

    I read someone who credited this fact with turning The Great Gatsby into an American classic. It was one of the serious novels “donated” to the war effort by the publishing industry. The protagonist being a vet resonated with a lot of GIs who went on to be English teachers after the war.

  112. @Thea
    How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    Replies: @guest007, @donut, @Paul Mendez, @Deckin, @Random Anonymous

    I believe Fielding and Richardson predate German Romanticism by a fair bit (to say nothing of Cervantes) so you might want to amend your views on the development of the form.

  113. @Steve Sailer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Desiderius, @Kylie

    “Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor.”

    Henry James viewed Jane Austen as a mentor? That’s news to me, as I suspect it would have been to Leon Edel, considered the foremost 20th century authority on James. Austen is not even mentioned in Edel’s biography of the Master while Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Kylie

    "Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times"

    I always find it difficult to get a sense of a non-English-language writer's style when reading translations, and I'm not fluent enough in any foreign language to really see it as they wrote it. You can appreciate the story, you assume the translator's done his best to render the style in English, but it can never be the same.

    Solzhenitsyn and Zola are great but there's always a third party, the translator, involved.

    (Mind, some English books have appalling style and are still great. All our children were raised on Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree books - brilliant imagination, dreadful style, doesn't matter).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faraway_Tree

    Replies: @Kylie, @Bardon Kaldian

  114. OT: I think your “Racial Wreckening” has a simple explanation in reduced traffic stops and fear of traffic cops. The embattled Portland Police Bureau has announced no more stops for anything not an immediate safety threat, because racism, probably making official what was becoming customary. Driving in Portland, where highway rules can be laxly observed already, it’s noticeable. People don’t fear the cops. Not fearing the cops has a very different effect on white v black. I think it demonstrates also how much you can achieve, with an ounce of will–I mean all the excess violence and traffic mayhem post Floyd is a fair measure of how much black blood “white supremacy” saves.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Dennis Dale

    I heard on the radio this morning that a (black) Philadelphia city councilman has introduced a bill which will ban the Philadelphia police from stopping anyone for "minor" infractions such as expired registration, no headlights, etc. In other words, the opposite of "broken windows" policing (and broken windows policing is the only tactic that actually works to reduce crime - otherwise the job of the police is to take reports after the crime has already happened - in fact, under the bill, they are supposed to mail you a citation instead so you can throw it in the trash). Blacks drive around with missing lights, no registration (or license or insurance), etc. more often than whites so stopping them is by definition "racist" in the Current Year and we can't have that.

    As you say, the police have already de facto done the same thing, thus the Racial Wreckening as there is no longer any mechanism for getting bad drivers (the type of people who drive without regard for little details like getting a license and have working lights and brakes on their car) off the road.

    But the #1 imperative of the Left is to lessen the number of interactions between the police and blacks because in some small % of these interactions the black person is either violently uncooperative or pulls a weapon on the police and therefore ends up dead at the hands of the police. It's literally better, as far as they are concerned, that 100 (mostly but not only black) people die at the hands of black criminals and reckless drivers than 1 black man die at the hands of the police.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  115. @guest007
    @Triteleia Laxa

    A better question is how many cases reported in the UK or the USA are due to people who have traveled to the UK/USA from countries that have wide community spread such as India, Brazil, South Africa, etc. or countries that have covered up the severity of the disease such as Russia, Turkey, Iran.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Very few recently in the UK. It is a nightmare to travel back and forth. Having said that, the UK might have stopped travel with India a lot earlier and avoided this Delta variant; which may be particularly contagious.

  116. @Mike Tre
    Male who pretends to be a female wants to burn a US Flag on the Olympic podium after he defeats actual females in a bicycle race or something:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/transgender-us-olympic-alternate-bmx-rider-says-her-goal-burn-us-flag-olympic-podium

    Replies: @res

    You have to give zir credit. Ze knows how to get attention in The Current Year. Of course, how it will all look a decade or three from now has the potential to be interesting.

  117. Today’s female writers are writing Science Fiction and having awards given to them for being female. No one reads these dinosaur love stories.

  118. @Paul Mendez
    @Thea


    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life.
     
    Agree, although maybe an AI could update the cultural references from time to time.

    Ditto for pop music. Songs on my “new music” Sirius channel sound the same as what I was listening to 45 years ago.

    There’s also several lifetimes of movies available online. I’d allow a certain number of new action movies as CGI gets better, however.

    At the risk of angering the 2A folks, would anyone notice if we stopped making any more guns? We have plenty, they last forever with a modicum of care, and technology hasn’t changed much over the past 75 years.

    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…

    Replies: @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY), @Muggles

    Thea, To continue your theme on the repetitiveness of art, Fran Striker, who came up with the character “The Lone Ranger”, once said that there are only seven basic plots. (Or was it Shakespeare who said that?)

    The first time I hear the Lady Gaga song “Bad Romance”, I thought, “I’ve heard that tune before”. Can anybody identify an earlier version of this tune?:

    • Replies: @donut
    @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)

    This ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeMFqkcPYcg

  119. @JohnnyWalker123
    Lol.

    https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1407156266439372807

    Replies: @anon

    Should work out well, given how totally obedient the average Philippino is to authority.

    Also, the headline on CNBC today managed to misspell “Philippines”.

  120. @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student
    Pearl S. Buck is an interesting case here. This female Nobel Prize winner seems to have disappeared in the national conscience. In the 1970s, her "The Good Earth" series was well-known and praised. I read it and found it memorable. The series actually has some insight regarding why the Chinese are the way they are: all work and no play. According to the series, a famine every 50 years in China killed off all the grasshoppers and left only the ants (to borrow from Aesop's fable).

    Is Ms. Buck neglected because her work is considered Sino-centric cultural appropriation? Is it because she came from an Anglo-American missionary family? Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?

    Replies: @anon, @Jack D

    Dude, Buck’s “The Good Earth” was on the AP reading list in local high schools 4 or 5 years ago.

    I frankly prefer Robert Benchley’s adaptation, “The Good Pulitzer Earth”, just a personal whim.

  121. @Jonathan Mason
    Like George Eliot and the Bronte sisters, many female novelists today must be writing under male names.

    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis's novels were really written by his wife.

    The other thing is that it is really hard to become a best selling novelist these days because people don't read new novels much.

    At one time novels were mainstream entertainment and Dickens fans in America would eagerly await the arrival of the boat with the latest installment.

    Now people just listen to a podcast. You will find plenty of female podcasters.

    Replies: @Tex, @Bill Jones, @guest

    That wouldn’t answer why whatever share of successful novelists used to be women are women no longer.

    One guess I’d throw out is that women are naturally better at writing subgenres that aren’t as popular anymore. You know:

    the Social novel (not to be confused with social movement novels, i.e. communist novels)

    Domestic novels

    Novels of Manners

    Courtship or Marriage Negotiation novels

    and so forth

    There was a great variety of novels that featured characters chatting away at eachother and feeling things but not expressing or acting out all their feelings while Society pecked at them from the sidelines. Women are fine at writing this stuff. Sort of thing you see on popular tv shows like Downton Abbey.

    (Without looking, I’ll asssume that show was run by a gay man. If a gay man can write it and it’s not entirely about gay men, I presume women could write it too.)

    Women also like to write pornography. If a novel is written by a woman, I’d wager 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be some mix of Social/Domestic/Manners novel and erotica. If erotica is socially acceptable to sell and be seen reading. Lord knows it is in our society.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @guest

    Without looking, I’ll asssume that show was run by a gay man. If a gay man can write it and it’s not entirely about gay men, I presume women could write it too.

    While Julian Fellowes is an old-school rock-ribbed married Conservative, his fellow show runner , Gareth Neame, has a suspiciously sparse "personal life". Which would lead one to believe you are on the money here.

  122. @Art Deco
    @Known Fact

    Anne Tyler's quite good.

    Replies: @Known Fact

    I like her too, but the point is that she’s about as good as it gets lately for female lit. Let’s say Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano is the 442nd best novel of the 20th century — and there is no female-written equivalent of Under the Volcano. Check some list of plays as well and the same thing will apply

  123. @Desiderius
    If you consider novel-writing a feminine activity that graph tracks perfectly with Strauss and Howe's Sexual Dimorphism cycle. Alternatively dimorphic females could just have more time and attention to devote to writing.

    Replies: @guest

    Novel-writing is not effeminate in itself, except in the broad sense that it’s not active in a worldly sense. Not physical and doesn’t require one to put oneself out there In the Arena, so to speak. I mean, once the product is finished you’re out there. But the rest of the time it’s a fairly solitary activity. (One reason why drunks get away with it.)

    If you’re a father who lays bricks for a living, having a son who spends all his time scribbling probably makes him appear namby-pamby. I can se that.

    But it’s still masculine in that it invites intellectual rigor and a drive to dominate in order to be good or successful.

    That being said, among the Fine Arts it is most feminine. Along with playwriting and poetry. All literature, really. While men dominate the highest level of achievement, literature is the only art where where girls put up any contest with the Big Boys.

    We’re talking in a relative sense, of course. Women are blown away in music, for instance. The playing field of the greatest 100 or maybe even 500 composers has not a woman in sight. However, there are great woman writers.

    In that sense it’s relatively feminine, I guess.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @guest

    Music is math gussied up so that would explain the paucity of female composers.

    The solitary activity part is probably the reason there aren't more female novelists than there are.

    As for namby-pamby feminine and effeminate are orthogonal at best. Great literature can bring out the best in both sexes, especially those features most diametrically opposed.

    , @Anonymous
    @guest

    All forms of communication are feminine.

    Replies: @guest

  124. @Paperback Writer
    @Known Fact

    I would put Katherine Ann Porter and Willa Cather against anyone, particularly the latter. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    Her fellow Prairie novelist, Mari Sandoz, was no slouch either.

    Replies: @Known Fact

    Thanks, those are good examples of excellent female writers but they just seem in surprisingly short supply compared to the guys. It’s all quite like horse racing — there are plenty of top-notch female-run stables and solid female jockeys, but (in the US at least) they just don’t make an impact on the top echeleons of the sport

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
    @Known Fact

    Disagree completely. Literature is one of those rare fields that women punch with equal weight to men. My analogy would be to opera and ballet, not athletics.

    I can think of many female writers who deserve to be read, but they aren't, not because they're women but because, as Sailer says, the vast majority of literary careers end in obscurity.

  125. @Rich
    In every novel I've read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don't understand men.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Ralph L, @BB753, @guest, @dfordoom

    My favorite women writers understand men, or at least some kind of men. Though they tend overwhelmingly to be:

    1.) childless (Edith Wharton, Eudora Welty, Ayn Rand), or

    2). lesbians (Patricia Highsmith),

    or possibly both.

    Perhaps there’s a connection there.

  126. Anon[255] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest007
    @YetAnotherAnon

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @anon, @Anon, @rational actor

    It’s long been known that any used bookstore has to limit the romance novels that come in, or they’ll overwhelm the place.

    Romance novels sell very well, but old romance novels don’t. Romance has to keep up with the trends. For example, if you don’t name all the current hot brands in between your pages, you’re dated and dead. Romance is subject to extreme faddism. If a trope appears on a TV show, all of a sudden every writer has to put it in their books because that’s all the readers want–for the next few months, then the fad changes again.

    • Replies: @res
    @Anon

    Seems like that would make for a great genre for an author who cared about making money.

  127. @Ralph L
    @Desiderius

    Huh?
    It was her last completed novel.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Once she had perfected her craft she laid down her pen.

    Many such cases.

  128. @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student
    Pearl S. Buck is an interesting case here. This female Nobel Prize winner seems to have disappeared in the national conscience. In the 1970s, her "The Good Earth" series was well-known and praised. I read it and found it memorable. The series actually has some insight regarding why the Chinese are the way they are: all work and no play. According to the series, a famine every 50 years in China killed off all the grasshoppers and left only the ants (to borrow from Aesop's fable).

    Is Ms. Buck neglected because her work is considered Sino-centric cultural appropriation? Is it because she came from an Anglo-American missionary family? Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?

    Replies: @anon, @Jack D

    Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?

    Your counterfactual makes no sense – if she was Jewish she wouldn’t have been in China to begin with. Jews don’t feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god.

    Although Buck’s profile has faded it has zero to do with any failure by the Jewmedia to prop her up (and she would certainly be in need of propping, being 50 years dead). Here are the other top 10 best selling novels with female authors in 1931, along with Buck (7 out of 10). Most of these books and their authors are so obscure nowadays that even being 100% kosher meat would not help:

    Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
    Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    Back Street by Fannie Hurst
    Finch’s Fortune by Mazo de la Roche

    Baum and Hurst were indeed Jewish but apparently the Jewmedia have failed them. A White Bird Flying and Finch’s Fortune don’t even rate Wikipedia entries at all while The Good Earth has a very extensive writeup. Grand Hotel gets two short paragraphs and the article for Back Street mainly notes that it was filmed 4 different times.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @utu
    @Jack D

    Your counterfactual makes no sense – if she was Jewish she wouldn’t have been in China to begin with. - She could have been a daughter of one of many Jewish communist agents in China.


    Jewish Contributions to the Chinese Revolution
    https://icsum.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IJCS-112-1Yitzhak-for-website.pdf
     
    Jews don’t feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god. - Why sell the metaphorical opium to the masses when you can sell real opium? Opium traders had daughters too.

    The Rival Iraqi Jewish Clans Who Changed the Face of Shanghai
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-rival-iraqi-jewish-clans-who-changed-the-face-of-shanghai-1.8999365
     

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Alden
    @Jack D

    Cather and Hurst were very famous in their time. Hurst was considered more entertainment and Cather more intellectual. Giant the Taylor Hudson movie was from a Cather book. Her books were on all the college and high school reading lists. I never heard of the others.

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @Jack D

    Male or female authors, there are good - and even great - novels that somehow fade away.

    I've read, ca. 15 years ago, Not as a Stranger by some guy Thompson (I don't recall why I read it at all). A good read. I was surprised to discover it had been a bestseller in the 50's.

    Even much closer, two Solzhenitsyn's great novels, Cancer Ward & In The First Circle, written in a classical realist tradition, don't seem to be read anymore. These works are universal, but readers, I'd say, associate them with a vanished Cold War era.

  129. @rebel yell
    @Desiderius

    Notice how the objection to CRT in schools is now characterized as censorship and banning.
    The assumption is that ideas don't have to meet any standards to qualify as worth teaching. The Left can propose and implement any nonsense they want and all objections to it are censorship in their eyes.
    In fact CRT should not be taught in our schools for two good reasons:
    1. It isn't true, and schools exist to teach stuff that is true. A theory or body of work should meet standards in a legitimate field of study before we let it into our schools. Evolution passes this test and CRT, like Phrenology, does not. We should be teaching HBD, not CRT, based on standards of good science.
    2. CRT is a political/ideological attack on white families. If normal white people don't want their children being taught that they are members of an evil race, they have the right to say no. It's called majority rule, and it's called parental control over children, and it's called freedom from elite tyranny. Parents/voters may be wise or may be foolish in their decisions, but regardless schools should be accountable to parents and provide the education the parents want. Rich people can hire private tutors and set any rules they want as to what the tutor will teach. Middle class parents need a similar power to send their kids to a school that teaches what the parents want taught.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Should’s got nothing to do with it.

    They have the power and are flexing it in your face.

    Join or die.

  130. @Rich
    @Almost Missouri

    If Mr Khan were cloned and raised in the US, he'd be diagnosed as hyperactive, put on drugs, brainwashed and beaten down until he'd be lucky to get a job in construction after dropping out of high school. Either that or he'd end up a rugby player at Towsen University.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    My theory is that he had Down’s, which engendered great trust among his men and relieved him of the burden of an overactive mind.

  131. @Mike Tre
    @Steve Sailer

    Anne Rice was pretty big in the 90's as well.

    Replies: @Stan Adams

    Rice was not happy when Tom Cruise got the lead role in Interview with the Vampire. (IIRC, she wasn’t thrilled with the choice of Brad Pitt as the interviewer.) She said that hiring Cruise to play her vampire was akin to casting Edward G. Robinson as Rhett Butler.

    Didn’t Cruise play another high-profile book character (Jack Reacher?) who was 6’4″ in the book and 5’7″ in the movie?

    Vampire movies and TV shows were hot for a brief period in the early ’90s. NBC did a prime-time reboot of Dark Shadows and CBS had a quirky late-night show (Forever Knight) about a vampire who was trying to reform. Francis Ford Coppola’s ridiculous version of Dracula was infinitely more amusing than Mel Brooks’ tired parody of same.

  132. @guest007
    @YetAnotherAnon

    If volunteering at used book sales that are library fund raises, one would realize that the romance novel is dead. Few donations and few sales. The romance novels always end up in the floor with few buyers. The suspense/detective novels sell very well.

    The closest thing to romance novels these days are paranormal romance for teens.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @anon, @Anon, @rational actor

    Not so. Romance is hugely popular, and a certain amount of it is essentially soft porn with good grammar. Until last year I had never heard of Marie Force (apparently her real name) or Helen Hardt, but women fight for these books when they first come in to the library. The other genre with a strong following is Amish Romance, which is super wholesome and has reliably happy endings as you would expect. It also involves a lot of bread- and preserve-making. Historical romance is moribund at the moment, though. This has become a minority interest in the face of C-suite corset rippers.

    The reason romance books don’t move on a book sale is because no one wants to read them a second time. This actually creates a bit of a problem in a library, since we always have to be looking for new authors to feed the female patrons, who are like hungry animals.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @rational actor

    Marie Force's latest novel is ranked 14500 on Amazon paperback sales list. Not exactly a book that everyone is ready.

    , @stillCARealist
    @rational actor

    You Tube and streaming have exposed a huge market for clean TV. The Mormons have some good clean comedy.

    I read an Amish Romance years ago and decided that was all I needed: one book was enough.

  133. utu says:
    @Jack D
    @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student


    Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?
     
    Your counterfactual makes no sense - if she was Jewish she wouldn't have been in China to begin with. Jews don't feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god.

    Although Buck's profile has faded it has zero to do with any failure by the Jewmedia to prop her up (and she would certainly be in need of propping, being 50 years dead). Here are the other top 10 best selling novels with female authors in 1931, along with Buck (7 out of 10). Most of these books and their authors are so obscure nowadays that even being 100% kosher meat would not help:

    Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
    Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    Back Street by Fannie Hurst
    Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche

    Baum and Hurst were indeed Jewish but apparently the Jewmedia have failed them. A White Bird Flying and Finch's Fortune don't even rate Wikipedia entries at all while The Good Earth has a very extensive writeup. Grand Hotel gets two short paragraphs and the article for Back Street mainly notes that it was filmed 4 different times.

    Replies: @utu, @Alden, @Bardon Kaldian

    Your counterfactual makes no sense – if she was Jewish she wouldn’t have been in China to begin with. – She could have been a daughter of one of many Jewish communist agents in China.

    Jewish Contributions to the Chinese Revolution
    https://icsum.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IJCS-112-1Yitzhak-for-website.pdf

    Jews don’t feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god. – Why sell the metaphorical opium to the masses when you can sell real opium? Opium traders had daughters too.

    The Rival Iraqi Jewish Clans Who Changed the Face of Shanghai
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-rival-iraqi-jewish-clans-who-changed-the-face-of-shanghai-1.8999365

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @utu


    Opium traders had daughters too.
     
    And sons, like FDR.

    Replies: @BB753, @Reg Cæsar, @Flip

  134. What happened to your star?

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.

    • Replies: @res
    @Desiderius

    That one was a reply to me, right?


    What happened to your star?
     
    I had not even noticed. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks to me like all of the gold stars went away? The original list is in this post.
    https://www.unz.com/announcement/elevating-excellent-commenters/

    My guess is it had something to do with one of these comments.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4734191
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4736066
    Or perhaps my response to the first.

    I have mixed feelings about it going away; just as I had mixed feelings about getting it. Public recognition tends to be a double edged sword in my experience. It will be interesting to see if/how the dynamics of my interactions with other commenters change. I do value Ron choosing to recognize me along with the others (which happily does not go away, even if the star does) and regret that I may have been the cause of that ending for all.

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.
     
    Well said. I worry about doxxing (especially given the more public profile of Twitter!) and I'm not sure I would deal well with a mob of idiot Wokesters. Both cowardly and lazy of me, but I think it is a battle I am right to choose not to fight. Hopefully some of my comments here (especially the data and statistics based comments) provide ammunition for those who do.

    All the more reason to value those who do choose to comment on Twitter. Especially those who do it using their real name. If Dave Pinsen happens to read this, kudos to you.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.
     
    Thanks. You make the passive voice point frequently along with the tie to fighting back. Since I was obviously using the passive voice AND avoiding the fight I thought I should say something.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @JMcG, @Anonymous

  135. George Dangerfield listed suffragetism as one of the main reasons for the decline of the Liberal Party in his ‘Strange Death of Liberal England’. Ironically after women got the vote in 1918 they helped keep Conservative-led governments in power for all but three of the next 27 years.

  136. Anonymous[138] • Disclaimer says:

    IMHO the “long 19th century British+” era (e.g., inclusive of Edith Wharton and Henry James as part of the same tradition) was the high-point of the novel — or at least a certain kind of novel which tried to explain exact human motivation. I think this is one of the only important fields of contested human endeavor where women really did comprise something like half of the greats (Austen, George Elliot, the various Brontes, etc.) without any need for make-believe or retrospective affirmative action. Not shocking if you think about the subject matter.

  137. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    Whether children are time-consuming and demanding depends on your cultural view/mores.

    It is true that they are a distraction before they are school-aged. But after that they don’t need constant attention. In fact it may hinder normal social development.

    Helicopter parenting wasn’t always the norm. Also why wouldn’t the advisors presume doctors could hire nannies?

    • Replies: @3g4me
    @S. Anonyia

    @140 S. Anonyia: Classic boomer solipsism. Hire a nanny but pursue your dreams to become self-actualized. Children are merely temporary hindrances to women's lives. A pox on you and yours.

  138. @guest
    @Desiderius

    Novel-writing is not effeminate in itself, except in the broad sense that it’s not active in a worldly sense. Not physical and doesn’t require one to put oneself out there In the Arena, so to speak. I mean, once the product is finished you’re out there. But the rest of the time it’s a fairly solitary activity. (One reason why drunks get away with it.)

    If you’re a father who lays bricks for a living, having a son who spends all his time scribbling probably makes him appear namby-pamby. I can se that.

    But it’s still masculine in that it invites intellectual rigor and a drive to dominate in order to be good or successful.

    That being said, among the Fine Arts it is most feminine. Along with playwriting and poetry. All literature, really. While men dominate the highest level of achievement, literature is the only art where where girls put up any contest with the Big Boys.

    We’re talking in a relative sense, of course. Women are blown away in music, for instance. The playing field of the greatest 100 or maybe even 500 composers has not a woman in sight. However, there are great woman writers.

    In that sense it’s relatively feminine, I guess.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Anonymous

    Music is math gussied up so that would explain the paucity of female composers.

    The solitary activity part is probably the reason there aren’t more female novelists than there are.

    As for namby-pamby feminine and effeminate are orthogonal at best. Great literature can bring out the best in both sexes, especially those features most diametrically opposed.

  139. @Jack D
    @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student


    Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?
     
    Your counterfactual makes no sense - if she was Jewish she wouldn't have been in China to begin with. Jews don't feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god.

    Although Buck's profile has faded it has zero to do with any failure by the Jewmedia to prop her up (and she would certainly be in need of propping, being 50 years dead). Here are the other top 10 best selling novels with female authors in 1931, along with Buck (7 out of 10). Most of these books and their authors are so obscure nowadays that even being 100% kosher meat would not help:

    Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
    Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    Back Street by Fannie Hurst
    Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche

    Baum and Hurst were indeed Jewish but apparently the Jewmedia have failed them. A White Bird Flying and Finch's Fortune don't even rate Wikipedia entries at all while The Good Earth has a very extensive writeup. Grand Hotel gets two short paragraphs and the article for Back Street mainly notes that it was filmed 4 different times.

    Replies: @utu, @Alden, @Bardon Kaldian

    Cather and Hurst were very famous in their time. Hurst was considered more entertainment and Cather more intellectual. Giant the Taylor Hudson movie was from a Cather book. Her books were on all the college and high school reading lists. I never heard of the others.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Alden

    "Giant the Taylor Hudson movie was from a Cather book."

    Edna Ferber wrote the novel, Giant, not Willa Cather.

  140. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    @Paul Mendez

    Thea, To continue your theme on the repetitiveness of art, Fran Striker, who came up with the character "The Lone Ranger", once said that there are only seven basic plots. (Or was it Shakespeare who said that?)

    The first time I hear the Lady Gaga song "Bad Romance", I thought, "I've heard that tune before". Can anybody identify an earlier version of this tune?:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I

    Replies: @donut

    This ?

  141. @Tex
    @Jonathan Mason


    For example it was widely believed that Dick Francis’s novels were really written by his wife.
     
    FWIW, the same was said of Mrs. Sven Hassel. If so, kudos to her. I do enjoy a tale of Sven, Porta, Tiny, and the crew blasting their way through hordes of Bolsheviks.

    Speaking of lady authors and Nazi penal battalions, the collaboration of Sven Hassel and Beatrix Potter shall remain evergreen in the hearts bunny-loving children and frontkameraden everywhere.

    https://www.richardhmorris.com/2009/03/14/peter-rabbit-tank-killer/

    Replies: @photondancer

    That link made my day so much brighter. 🙂 Thanks!

  142. @Reg Cæsar
    @Daniel H


    Was he related to Pete Seeger?
     

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.
     

    Llewyn Davis?

     


    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

     

    You're all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he's written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn't count.

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @JMcG, @Alden, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    You and I are sort of related. The Teffts of Rhode Island I think.

  143. @Ralph L
    Austen’s indisputability as the greatest woman writer of all time on the subject of husband-hunting

    The only comparable male writer I can think of is Anthony Trollope, whom I often enjoy enough to read again, but you could still drop the "woman" or maybe, everything after "time."

    I once read two chronological collections of Wharton's short stories. They start out light and funny but become progressively darker and more caustic as she aged. Read 4 of her novels in the 90's which I finished but don't care to reread.

    Replies: @baythoven

    I once read two chronological collections of Wharton’s short stories. They start out light and funny but become progressively darker and more caustic as she aged. Read 4 of her novels in the 90’s which I finished but don’t care to reread.

    Wharton is one of my favorite authors on account of her wonderful short stories, and some novellas. And like you, I’m not as keen on her novels, with the exception of The House of Mirth.

  144. @Thea
    How many novels do we need? It is a relatively recent art form that arose out of German Romanticism.

    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life. The quality ones were written long ago. The hero has a thousand faces anyhow.

    Replies: @guest007, @donut, @Paul Mendez, @Deckin, @Random Anonymous

  145. There are a lot of pseudonymous authors, especially in the mass market sector. Are you sure your data has accurately identified authors’ sex?

    I suspect a lot of bodice-rippers (why does Amazon Kindle keep fruitlessly plying me with them?) are cranked out by men lurking behind the usually female names on the cover.

    Similarly, I’m suspicious about the ethnic background of mass market authors. The names on the covers are way more Anglo-Irish-Scottish than the current composition of such novelist-adjacent professions as journalism and screenwriting (where people normally go by their real names).

  146. @Matttt

    Note that for some reason, Harry Potter books were excluded from these lists, depressing the 2000s’ female percentage.
     
    That's a pretty big exclusion. The Harry Potter series has sold an estimate 500 million copies. Even through the trough years of 1940's to 1980's, there have been a ton of best selling women's authors who wrote fiction that may not fit into the "novelist" category: Agatha Christie, Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High), Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Ann Martin (Babysitter's Club), Ann Rice, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie), to name a few.

    Replies: @Art Deco, @photondancer, @Muggles

    Indeed. I meant to query that omission too. Excluding the most successful author of the last 20 years smacks of an agenda to me.

    The figures quoted in the Takimag article were best sellers in a given year. That’s not a very good measure thanks to trendy people buying books just to show they know what’s what (the books are promptly ditched once the next set of prizes are handed out). What about best selling books over the years? That would indicate the authors people actually love. Steve did mention one confounding factor: the number of women writing under pseudonyms. We have no idea how many of the dime novels churned out 100 years ago were written by women.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @photondancer

    best sellers in a given year. That’s not a very good measure thanks to trendy people buying books just to show they know what’s what (the books are promptly ditched once the next set of prizes are handed out).

    Most bestsellers don't win a lot of prizes: Danielle Steel or James Patterson like making money more than they care about being trendy.

  147. @JimDandy
    The percentage of published novels written by women is way higher now. Maybe today's national bestsellers tend to be Crime/Thriller novels, where male authors still dominate.

    I also wonder if it was the fact that there were fewer female authors that caused there to be more bestsellers written by females.

    Replies: @photondancer

    Do male authors predominate in crime/thriller? Seems to me, when I visit the local library or peruse bookstore shelves, that there are a heck of a lot of female authors in this genre.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @photondancer

    I think so. Yes, there are many female detective novel writers, but women are definitely still the minority there. John Clancy-type novels? Overwhelmingly male authored. John-Grisham-esque legal thrillers? Same. Plus, I think one of the things skewing this whole discussion is the fact that a handful of male "authors" like James Patterson have massive audiences who buy everything "they" crank out.

    Replies: @photondancer

  148. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Anatoly Karlin

    3 is the obvious answer to the phenomenon that Steve points out, but it doesn't contradict his point. The past wasn't some misogynistic nightmare, even though women had far fewer opportunities in public and professional life. Society was different.

    I find that hatreds are downstream of personal psychological issues and people in the past may actually have been more balanced.

    They certainly had more social support, more spiritual direction and fewer people trying to persuade them to ignore their own issues and blame some random group.

    I am always surprised how moderns are unable to see when they have a context inappropriate hysterical reaction, or choose not to take it as a hint that they need to reflect on why they got so out of control. One thing misogynists, Jews who see Nazis everywhere, SJWs etc. have in common, is that they all seem plainly unhappy.

    I can't travel back in time, but I can read Austen's novels and see that they are devoid of all that nonsense. She was a perpispacious woman, who wrote female characters calmly, and they don't seem like they exist in a world which hates them. It is odd therefore for people nowadays, with no first hand experience, to claim that they actually were hated. My feeling is that moderns lack epistemological humility; which leads to all sorts of problems.

    Replies: @Rosie

    The past wasn’t some misogynistic nightmare, even though women had far fewer opportunities in public and professional life. Society was different.

    Of course, we also have to consider the experience of less privileged women.

  149. @Single malt
    @Jonathan Mason

    Popular legend has it that the term "hooker" was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Popular legend has it that the term “hooker” was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.

    The Massachusetts State House makes it easy for nondescript streetwalkers to rendezvous with state lawmakers:

    https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/03/15/general-hooker-entrance

    … there had been salacious (and unproven) rumors about prostitutes hanging around Hooker’s headquarters, back when everyone gossiped about the exploits of the nation’s top generals. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, the word “hooker” as a synonym for “prostitute” does not refer to the general, and had been in use long before he became well-known.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Just inside the doorway:




    https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/slip1.jpg


    https://www.fluentu.com/blog/chinese/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Chinglish-3.jpg

    https://miro.medium.com/max/619/1*KhuPBE0ZvtdDndjTO1mVIA.png


    https://blogs.transparent.com/chinese/files/2013/10/IMG_1768.jpg

    https://static.straitstimes.com.sg/s3fs-public/articles/2017/06/23/sign.jpg

  150. @Reg Cæsar
    @Daniel H


    Was he related to Pete Seeger?
     

    I’m guessing Tom Rush.
     

    Llewyn Davis?

     


    Now you got me wonderin’ and guessin’. Hmm. Loudon Wainwright?

     

    You're all wrong. He obviously means Jim and Harry Chapin, of whom he's written more explicitly in the past. How long have you been reading Steve?

    Harry would tell audiences of two of their more notable ancestors. I forget the other one, but one was the first New Englander hanged for incest.

    Yet I can beat that: Sarah Palin and I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered. King Philip got the same treatment, but he doesn't count.

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @JMcG, @Alden, @Jenner Ickham Errican

    I descend from siblings of Joshua Tefft, the only colonial American to be drawn and quartered.

    Peter Lawford to June Allyson in Two Sisters From Boston (1946) :

    My father comes from good stock. Why, his grandfather was the first white man to ever scalp an Indian!

  151. anon[125] • Disclaimer says:
    @Triteleia Laxa
    OT, but the UK had 16,000+ covid cases yesterday. That is extraordinary as vaccinations are widespread and case numbers were only in the hundreds at this time last year, with no difference in lockdown rules.

    I am sure there are a lot of factors in this, from the Delta variant, to lockdown fatigue, to slightly better testing, but it is still astonishing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51768274

    Replies: @guest007, @anon

    From WSJ

    U.K. data show vaccines are having a powerful effect. Data published by Public Health England show the variant is primarily spreading among younger age groups, who have only recently been made eligible for vaccination, in a government drive to extend immunity before a full reopening now slated for July 19.

    Under 40s account for three-quarters of Delta cases, according to the data. Over 60s, around 90% of whom are fully vaccinated, make up only 4% of cases.

    The vaccine effect is even more pronounced in hospitalizations. In previous waves of infection, between 10% and 15% of all cases would end up in hospital with severe illness, said Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh. Now, with vaccines, the proportion is closer to 4%, she said.

    Important, because I found the UK was the best “leading indicator” for the US. The US had the Michigan surge. Maybe the UK will follow the US now.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @anon


    The US had the Michigan surge.
     
    Hail to the vectors!


    https://youtu.be/jJ214tpjPXg&t=1m59s
  152. @JMcG
    @Reg Cæsar

    I never thought of Harry Chaplin as a folk singer, to be honest.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I never thought of Harry Chaplin [sic] as a folk singer, to be honest.

    In his day, anyone with a hollow guitar and comprehensible lyrics (as in diction, not semantics) automatically qualified as a “folk” singer.

  153. Could it be that men’s and women’s novel sales roller-coaster at different rates at different times? Perhaps women’s sales have been steady all along, while men’s have gone up and down with fashion and the economy.

    Note that the most talked-about author at that graph’s trough was Jacqueline Susann. I know; I stayed up late to watch Johnny.

    But women have been doing better in the era of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James Patterson.

    Indeed, how much of the last decade or two consist of Patterson’s “co-authors”? Remember, he was an advertising exec. The “Toys “Я” US Kid” was his brainchild, though he kindly gave credit to others for pulling it off.

  154. @photondancer
    @Matttt

    Indeed. I meant to query that omission too. Excluding the most successful author of the last 20 years smacks of an agenda to me.

    The figures quoted in the Takimag article were best sellers in a given year. That's not a very good measure thanks to trendy people buying books just to show they know what's what (the books are promptly ditched once the next set of prizes are handed out). What about best selling books over the years? That would indicate the authors people actually love. Steve did mention one confounding factor: the number of women writing under pseudonyms. We have no idea how many of the dime novels churned out 100 years ago were written by women.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    best sellers in a given year. That’s not a very good measure thanks to trendy people buying books just to show they know what’s what (the books are promptly ditched once the next set of prizes are handed out).

    Most bestsellers don’t win a lot of prizes: Danielle Steel or James Patterson like making money more than they care about being trendy.

  155. If the Past Was So Sexist…

    If the past was so “homophobic”…

    Today is Alan Turing’s birthday, and the Bank of England has issued a note in his hono(u)r. It’s chock-full of subtle references to Bletchley Park, which Half-Asleep Chris explains in the video below. Mercifully, only 45 seconds of this covers Turing’s private life. The rest is fascinating and well worth six minutes viewing.

    (Don’t miss the wink at 0:43.)

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Reg Cæsar

    Wait, does that picture say "binary"? Don't they know that gender is non-binary? And do they call him a "Queen"? Amd why does he only get a "micro" chip? Does he not deserve a full-size chip, or is that reserved for the straight white males? And don't get me started on the rainbow flag; it doesn't even have black or brown in it.

    , @donut
    @Reg Cæsar

    Is 50 pounds the current rate for a rent boy ?

    , @Ralph L
    @Reg Cæsar

    When one queen on your money isn't enough.

  156. @photondancer
    @JimDandy

    Do male authors predominate in crime/thriller? Seems to me, when I visit the local library or peruse bookstore shelves, that there are a heck of a lot of female authors in this genre.

    Replies: @JimDandy

    I think so. Yes, there are many female detective novel writers, but women are definitely still the minority there. John Clancy-type novels? Overwhelmingly male authored. John-Grisham-esque legal thrillers? Same. Plus, I think one of the things skewing this whole discussion is the fact that a handful of male “authors” like James Patterson have massive audiences who buy everything “they” crank out.

    • Replies: @photondancer
    @JimDandy

    It seems to me there are loads of female detective novel writers. I see them all over the place: cosy crime, Scandi-noir, whatever genre intrepid crime-fighting pathologists are under and so on. Not so much the political thrillers.

    Loads of women in science fiction and fantasy too.

    Replies: @JimDandy

  157. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Single malt


    Popular legend has it that the term “hooker” was used to describe camp-followers of Civil War general Joseph Hooker.
     
    The Massachusetts State House makes it easy for nondescript streetwalkers to rendezvous with state lawmakers:

    https://img.apmcdn.org/bacaefdb7711e025e50da937bfb3560f173d3c1a/uncropped/a6b8fb-newscut-files-2018-03-general-hooker-entrance.jpg

    https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2018/03/15/general-hooker-entrance

    … there had been salacious (and unproven) rumors about prostitutes hanging around Hooker’s headquarters, back when everyone gossiped about the exploits of the nation’s top generals. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, the word “hooker” as a synonym for “prostitute” does not refer to the general, and had been in use long before he became well-known.
     

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Just inside the doorway:

    [MORE]

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  158. @anon
    @Triteleia Laxa

    From WSJ


    U.K. data show vaccines are having a powerful effect. Data published by Public Health England show the variant is primarily spreading among younger age groups, who have only recently been made eligible for vaccination, in a government drive to extend immunity before a full reopening now slated for July 19.

    Under 40s account for three-quarters of Delta cases, according to the data. Over 60s, around 90% of whom are fully vaccinated, make up only 4% of cases.

    The vaccine effect is even more pronounced in hospitalizations. In previous waves of infection, between 10% and 15% of all cases would end up in hospital with severe illness, said Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh. Now, with vaccines, the proportion is closer to 4%, she said.
     

    Important, because I found the UK was the best "leading indicator" for the US. The US had the Michigan surge. Maybe the UK will follow the US now.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The US had the Michigan surge.

    Hail to the vectors!

  159. @Frau Katze
    I have no special insights into writers, but there is one item you didn’t mention in your Taki article.

    Most women want to have children. Children are very demanding and time-consuming.

    For example, my daughter graduated from medical school in the early 2000s. At the point, the aspiring doctor selects a specialty or decides to be a family practitioner. My daughter was thinking of cardiac or neuro-surgery. She was told that she qualified academically, but these specialties were not suitable if she wanted to have children. The job must be your “whole life.” So she compromised on general surgery.

    She has two children, and took several months off after each was born. Her husband is also an involved father.

    Perhaps this advice is no longer given. I have no idea. Cultural winds have certainly shifted.

    But whatever the profession, woman with children have a lot less time to spend on work in general.

    Replies: @photondancer, @3g4me, @guest007, @Paul Mendez, @S. Anonyia, @Dumbo

    The best female authors were childless or single (or closet lesbians), but I don’t think it has to do with time. Sure children take a lot of time, but most dedicated mothers would not have become writers in the first place.

    It’s more that (good) female writers tend to be more masculine women. I can’t think of almost any good female writer that wasn’t at least a bit masculine, or single, or childless, or lesbian.

    (J. K. Rowling is not a good writer, despite her success)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Dumbo

    But those enduringly famous ones tend to be women writers exalted by men with excellent taste. In contrast, a lot of the bestsellers have been written by women with extreme female brains.

    , @Anon
    @Dumbo

    Have you read Sigrid Undset? IMHO she is way up there or superior to Tolstoy. She develops her story through the life-arc of several characters with astounding historical detail. Her parents were archeologists, and she wrote about medieval Sweden with such accuracy that later discoveries bore out what at the time were her suppositions. One can become submerged in the characters, and you feel the change in their energy and perspective as they age. One feels the giddiness of young love, the chagrin of bitter mistakes, the boredom, the hope of a final hurrah in middle age and the loss of vitality in old age. Yet Undset doesn’t really write about their inner turmoils.. she relates everyday acts. It seems to me she has uncanny depth in her male characters too, particularly the father figure in Kristin Lavransdatter. It is all about moral choices, yet she never moralizes. For all she is good at depicting the minutiae of life, she ends up writing the story of individual souls.

    She had a remarkable ability to plumb the depth of the human condition, and to do it charitably.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigrid_Undset

  160. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest
    @Desiderius

    Novel-writing is not effeminate in itself, except in the broad sense that it’s not active in a worldly sense. Not physical and doesn’t require one to put oneself out there In the Arena, so to speak. I mean, once the product is finished you’re out there. But the rest of the time it’s a fairly solitary activity. (One reason why drunks get away with it.)

    If you’re a father who lays bricks for a living, having a son who spends all his time scribbling probably makes him appear namby-pamby. I can se that.

    But it’s still masculine in that it invites intellectual rigor and a drive to dominate in order to be good or successful.

    That being said, among the Fine Arts it is most feminine. Along with playwriting and poetry. All literature, really. While men dominate the highest level of achievement, literature is the only art where where girls put up any contest with the Big Boys.

    We’re talking in a relative sense, of course. Women are blown away in music, for instance. The playing field of the greatest 100 or maybe even 500 composers has not a woman in sight. However, there are great woman writers.

    In that sense it’s relatively feminine, I guess.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Anonymous

    All forms of communication are feminine.

    • Replies: @guest
    @Anonymous

    Menfolk do have to be hush-hush on the hunt.

    Replies: @very very old statistician

  161. @Dumbo
    @Frau Katze

    The best female authors were childless or single (or closet lesbians), but I don't think it has to do with time. Sure children take a lot of time, but most dedicated mothers would not have become writers in the first place.

    It's more that (good) female writers tend to be more masculine women. I can't think of almost any good female writer that wasn't at least a bit masculine, or single, or childless, or lesbian.

    (J. K. Rowling is not a good writer, despite her success)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon

    But those enduringly famous ones tend to be women writers exalted by men with excellent taste. In contrast, a lot of the bestsellers have been written by women with extreme female brains.

  162. @Jack D
    @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student


    Would she be propped up by the media if she was Jewish?
     
    Your counterfactual makes no sense - if she was Jewish she wouldn't have been in China to begin with. Jews don't feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god.

    Although Buck's profile has faded it has zero to do with any failure by the Jewmedia to prop her up (and she would certainly be in need of propping, being 50 years dead). Here are the other top 10 best selling novels with female authors in 1931, along with Buck (7 out of 10). Most of these books and their authors are so obscure nowadays that even being 100% kosher meat would not help:

    Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
    A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
    Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum
    Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    Back Street by Fannie Hurst
    Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche

    Baum and Hurst were indeed Jewish but apparently the Jewmedia have failed them. A White Bird Flying and Finch's Fortune don't even rate Wikipedia entries at all while The Good Earth has a very extensive writeup. Grand Hotel gets two short paragraphs and the article for Back Street mainly notes that it was filmed 4 different times.

    Replies: @utu, @Alden, @Bardon Kaldian

    Male or female authors, there are good – and even great – novels that somehow fade away.

    I’ve read, ca. 15 years ago, Not as a Stranger by some guy Thompson (I don’t recall why I read it at all). A good read. I was surprised to discover it had been a bestseller in the 50’s.

    Even much closer, two Solzhenitsyn’s great novels, Cancer Ward & In The First Circle, written in a classical realist tradition, don’t seem to be read anymore. These works are universal, but readers, I’d say, associate them with a vanished Cold War era.

  163. @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    "Charles Dickens and Henry James viewed Jane Austen as their mentor."

    Henry James viewed Jane Austen as a mentor? That's news to me, as I suspect it would have been to Leon Edel, considered the foremost 20th century authority on James. Austen is not even mentioned in Edel's biography of the Master while Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    “Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times”

    I always find it difficult to get a sense of a non-English-language writer’s style when reading translations, and I’m not fluent enough in any foreign language to really see it as they wrote it. You can appreciate the story, you assume the translator’s done his best to render the style in English, but it can never be the same.

    Solzhenitsyn and Zola are great but there’s always a third party, the translator, involved.

    (Mind, some English books have appalling style and are still great. All our children were raised on Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree books – brilliant imagination, dreadful style, doesn’t matter).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faraway_Tree

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @YetAnotherAnon

    IIrc, H. James was fluent in French.

    I used to read Spanish literature in Spanish so I know a whole lot gets lost in translation. Hamlet in Spanish is awful and La vida es sueño is awful in English.

    But I've read a handful of Duras's novels in English and I definitely get a sense of them (possibly way off-base) in their original French. They read the way French sounds to me, if that makes any sense. I love her style, even translated. I read it partly for the pleasure of the flow of words.

    I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder. It's not hard and it's well worthwhile.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @YetAnotherAnon

    De gustibus....

    Just to remind you that most great novelists were influenced by novels they could not read in the original language, Tolstoy and Joyce being rare exceptions.

    Dostoevsky was influenced by Dickens; Faulkner by Tolstoy, Flaubert and Cervantes; Mann by Russians; Proust by English writers (he didn't know English, contrary to popular opinion) and Russians; Hamsun by Dostoevsky; RLS by Dostoevsky; Woolf by Proust; Garcia Marquez by Kafka, Faulkner, Conrad and Dostoevsky...


    Needless to say, they didn't speak those languages.

  164. @Reg Cæsar

    If the Past Was So Sexist...
     
    If the past was so "homophobic"...

    Today is Alan Turing's birthday, and the Bank of England has issued a note in his hono(u)r. It's chock-full of subtle references to Bletchley Park, which Half-Asleep Chris explains in the video below. Mercifully, only 45 seconds of this covers Turing's private life. The rest is fascinating and well worth six minutes viewing.

    (Don't miss the wink at 0:43.)


    https://youtu.be/ZN-KdGVlREw

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @donut, @Ralph L

    Wait, does that picture say “binary”? Don’t they know that gender is non-binary? And do they call him a “Queen”? Amd why does he only get a “micro” chip? Does he not deserve a full-size chip, or is that reserved for the straight white males? And don’t get me started on the rainbow flag; it doesn’t even have black or brown in it.

  165. It’s a trick, Mr Sailer.

    The Left doesn’t care about sexism. They use it because it gets traction. They use it as a tool against people who actually do care about sexism. The Left uses what the right cares about against the right.
    They use it because YOU care. They don’t.

    Of course, this extends out to thousands of other issues the Left acts like they care about.

    • Agree: Yngvar
  166. @Reg Cæsar

    If the Past Was So Sexist...
     
    If the past was so "homophobic"...

    Today is Alan Turing's birthday, and the Bank of England has issued a note in his hono(u)r. It's chock-full of subtle references to Bletchley Park, which Half-Asleep Chris explains in the video below. Mercifully, only 45 seconds of this covers Turing's private life. The rest is fascinating and well worth six minutes viewing.

    (Don't miss the wink at 0:43.)


    https://youtu.be/ZN-KdGVlREw

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @donut, @Ralph L

    Is 50 pounds the current rate for a rent boy ?

  167. @rational actor
    @guest007

    Not so. Romance is hugely popular, and a certain amount of it is essentially soft porn with good grammar. Until last year I had never heard of Marie Force (apparently her real name) or Helen Hardt, but women fight for these books when they first come in to the library. The other genre with a strong following is Amish Romance, which is super wholesome and has reliably happy endings as you would expect. It also involves a lot of bread- and preserve-making. Historical romance is moribund at the moment, though. This has become a minority interest in the face of C-suite corset rippers.

    The reason romance books don't move on a book sale is because no one wants to read them a second time. This actually creates a bit of a problem in a library, since we always have to be looking for new authors to feed the female patrons, who are like hungry animals.

    Replies: @guest007, @stillCARealist

    Marie Force’s latest novel is ranked 14500 on Amazon paperback sales list. Not exactly a book that everyone is ready.

  168. @guest
    @Jonathan Mason

    That wouldn’t answer why whatever share of successful novelists used to be women are women no longer.

    One guess I’d throw out is that women are naturally better at writing subgenres that aren’t as popular anymore. You know:

    the Social novel (not to be confused with social movement novels, i.e. communist novels)

    Domestic novels

    Novels of Manners

    Courtship or Marriage Negotiation novels

    and so forth

    There was a great variety of novels that featured characters chatting away at eachother and feeling things but not expressing or acting out all their feelings while Society pecked at them from the sidelines. Women are fine at writing this stuff. Sort of thing you see on popular tv shows like Downton Abbey.

    (Without looking, I’ll asssume that show was run by a gay man. If a gay man can write it and it’s not entirely about gay men, I presume women could write it too.)

    Women also like to write pornography. If a novel is written by a woman, I’d wager 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be some mix of Social/Domestic/Manners novel and erotica. If erotica is socially acceptable to sell and be seen reading. Lord knows it is in our society.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Without looking, I’ll asssume that show was run by a gay man. If a gay man can write it and it’s not entirely about gay men, I presume women could write it too.

    While Julian Fellowes is an old-school rock-ribbed married Conservative, his fellow show runner , Gareth Neame, has a suspiciously sparse “personal life”. Which would lead one to believe you are on the money here.

  169. @YetAnotherAnon
    I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years, but then I remember the female-authored counterpart, the "bonkbuster"a la Jilly Cooper, although I guess it goes all the way back to at least Grace Metalious, and forward to 50 Shades.


    "The Rutshire Chronicles is a series of romantic novels by Jilly Cooper. The stories tell tales of mainly British upper-class families, as well as the show-jumping and polo crowd, in numerous different sexually charged scenarios"

    "Romantic novels". Euphemism isn't dead.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @guest007, @dfordoom

    I was going to surmise that perhaps the rise of the Tom Clancy-style thriller accounted for the increase in male novelist sales over the last 30 years

    Male thriller writers have been selling massive numbers of books for at least a century. Edgar Wallace, John Buchan, Sapper, Leslie Charteris. And in the 50s, 60s and 70s writers like Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. And some guy named Mickey Spillane who sold several hundred million books. Erle Stanley Gardner sold several hundred million books.

    It’s also worth pointing out that a lot of the books that in the past sold in huge numbers were never going to show up on the NYT bestseller lists. They were paperback originals and they were sold in places like railway bookstalls, rather than bookstores.

    I suspect that lists of bestselling books almost always massively underestimate the sales of genre fiction. A lot of crime fiction and science fiction in the pre-WW2 period was sold in the form of pulp magazines.

    As for women, it’s worth remembering that the bestselling woman author of all time was Agatha Christie, not Jane Austen or J.K. Rowling. In fact Christie was the bestselling author of all time, male or female.

    There’s also little doubt that bestseller lists underestimate the sales of romance fiction.

    • Agree: photondancer
  170. @Rich
    In every novel I've read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don't understand men.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Ralph L, @BB753, @guest, @dfordoom

    In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.

    In lots of novels by men the women come off as either men in dresses or as male wish fulfilment fantasies.

    It’s difficult for women writers to get inside the heads of male characters and it’s difficult for male writers to get inside the heads of female characters. In both cases because it’s a genuinely difficult thing to do.

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
    @dfordoom

    George Eliot seems to get men. But she'd defy probably any deficiency you could ascribe to women authors.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @dfordoom

    Women experts say that Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence get women right, while Faulkner gets them wrong. Dickens doesn't get them at all. Also, women tend to agree that Dostoevsky knows them best at their most hysterical, bitchy & self-destructive.

    German philosophical novelists (Musil, Broch, Mann) are, in my opinion, not too interested in human personality/motives at all; their long books are basically philosophical treatises masquerading as novels.

    Replies: @photondancer, @very very old statistician

    , @Rich
    @dfordoom

    Yeah, I don't know. I can't speak frome girls' point of view, but women seem to read male novelists more than men read the ladies. All I know, I've never seen chicks get men right. Although, males nowadays are so effeminate, it might be different to the kids.

  171. As a consumer of romance novels I think the main problem is explicit sex scene descriptions. The few female authors who don’t write them fill their novels up with actual plots. Those who do the sex scenes just do plot points to get to the sex scenes. No one writes, or even speaks, like 19th century and early 20th people did.

    However could this be linked to rise and fall of public education? Back in the female day writers were appealing to higher classed individuals. Even after the public schools became a thing, many lower classes left by the age of 12 to go to work. Now days it is about writing for a mass market with many in the mass market are arguably illiterate despite having an “education”. Victoria Holt, who was big in the 70’s, looks like a gifted author compared to the romance novelists of today. Also back you still had some semblance of a meritocracy. SAT’s actually mattered.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Old and Grumpy


    The few female authors who don’t write them fill their novels up with actual plots. Those who do the sex scenes just do plot points to get to the sex scenes. No one writes, or even speaks, like 19th century and early 20th people did.
     
    Historical fiction in general suffers from that problem these days. The characters are always 21st century characters with 21st century social attitudes, they're just dressed in historical costumes. If you're a writer of historical fiction and you try to give your characters the attitudes and values of a previous era you will not get published.
    , @guest
    @Old and Grumpy

    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose. Not even to the level of the grossest and most indulgent depictions f bodily violence.

    What they do serve is prurient interests. Whatever value that has in itself, serving such interests can’t help but drag a work down. Much like if you make a horror movie with an abundance of jump scares. You know the audience will start to anticipate more scares. Until anticipation takes up most of their viewing interest.

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous. More or less equivalent to descriptions of bowel movements. I don’t need to know, thank you very much

    Replies: @dfordoom

  172. @Known Fact
    @Paperback Writer

    Thanks, those are good examples of excellent female writers but they just seem in surprisingly short supply compared to the guys. It's all quite like horse racing -- there are plenty of top-notch female-run stables and solid female jockeys, but (in the US at least) they just don't make an impact on the top echeleons of the sport

    Replies: @Paperback Writer

    Disagree completely. Literature is one of those rare fields that women punch with equal weight to men. My analogy would be to opera and ballet, not athletics.

    I can think of many female writers who deserve to be read, but they aren’t, not because they’re women but because, as Sailer says, the vast majority of literary careers end in obscurity.

  173. @utu
    @Jack D

    Your counterfactual makes no sense – if she was Jewish she wouldn’t have been in China to begin with. - She could have been a daughter of one of many Jewish communist agents in China.


    Jewish Contributions to the Chinese Revolution
    https://icsum.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IJCS-112-1Yitzhak-for-website.pdf
     
    Jews don’t feel obligated to journey to the four corners of the earth in order to persuade the heathens to worship their god. - Why sell the metaphorical opium to the masses when you can sell real opium? Opium traders had daughters too.

    The Rival Iraqi Jewish Clans Who Changed the Face of Shanghai
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-rival-iraqi-jewish-clans-who-changed-the-face-of-shanghai-1.8999365
     

    Replies: @Jack D

    Opium traders had daughters too.

    And sons, like FDR.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Jack D

    Funny how many of the elite families made their fortunes in the opium trade: Folger, Yale, Harriman, Russell, Delano, Bush, etc.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Jack D



    Opium traders had daughters too.
     
    And sons, like FDR.
     
    Ah, the halcyon days when Jews and Southerners voted alike and en bloc! Tevye's Valley Authority.
    , @Flip
    @Jack D

    The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusetts. The family's fortune originates from trading opium and tea between North America and China in the 19th century plus other investments in the same period. The name descends from Scottish immigrants and can be traced back to Sir John de Forbes in Scotland in the 12th century. Family members include businessman John Murray Forbes (1813–1898), part of the first generation who accumulated wealth, and politician John Forbes Kerry (born 1943).

  174. @S. Anonyia
    @Frau Katze

    Whether children are time-consuming and demanding depends on your cultural view/mores.

    It is true that they are a distraction before they are school-aged. But after that they don't need constant attention. In fact it may hinder normal social development.

    Helicopter parenting wasn't always the norm. Also why wouldn't the advisors presume doctors could hire nannies?

    Replies: @3g4me

    @140 S. Anonyia: Classic boomer solipsism. Hire a nanny but pursue your dreams to become self-actualized. Children are merely temporary hindrances to women’s lives. A pox on you and yours.

  175. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/076/853/155/original/1c431bb41d2d17b8.jpg

    Replies: @Known Fact, @kaganovitch

    I have to say, the Kmacniki’s obsession with the Rothschilds is just steampunk fantasy for the Jew-fixated. It’s been over a century since the World shook on the word of a Rothschild. They have been no more than bit players for a hundred years or more. Even James the 4th baron is only perhaps among the 100 most influential people internationally. His influence is dwarfed by Zuck, Gates, Buffett,Musk, Bezos et al. Ironically it finds its parallel among the fin de siecle shtetl dwellers of Eastern Europe for whom Rothschild was a larger than life figure. There are dozens upon dozens of Rothschild jokes/bon mots from that period. Sample: A local melamed (one room schoolhouse teacher, notoriously poorly paid) proclaimed ” Ven ikh volt gevehn Rothschild, volt ikh gevehn reikher vi Rotschild, veyl ikh volt dokh gehat meyn gehalt als melamed oykh” – “Were I Rothschild, I would be wealthier than Rothschild, as I would have my schoolteacher’s salary as well”.

  176. Anon[201] • Disclaimer says:

    Perhaps tangentially relevant: when you start agent hunting for a literary agent you’ll find more than 90% of them are women, and all almost carbon copies of each other. I wonder how this will impact traditional publishing in the future. Especially as that industry transforms to being a farm league for streaming service IP rather than a stand alone market.

  177. @Reg Cæsar

    If the Past Was So Sexist...
     
    If the past was so "homophobic"...

    Today is Alan Turing's birthday, and the Bank of England has issued a note in his hono(u)r. It's chock-full of subtle references to Bletchley Park, which Half-Asleep Chris explains in the video below. Mercifully, only 45 seconds of this covers Turing's private life. The rest is fascinating and well worth six minutes viewing.

    (Don't miss the wink at 0:43.)


    https://youtu.be/ZN-KdGVlREw

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @donut, @Ralph L

    When one queen on your money isn’t enough.

  178. @JimDandy
    @photondancer

    I think so. Yes, there are many female detective novel writers, but women are definitely still the minority there. John Clancy-type novels? Overwhelmingly male authored. John-Grisham-esque legal thrillers? Same. Plus, I think one of the things skewing this whole discussion is the fact that a handful of male "authors" like James Patterson have massive audiences who buy everything "they" crank out.

    Replies: @photondancer

    It seems to me there are loads of female detective novel writers. I see them all over the place: cosy crime, Scandi-noir, whatever genre intrepid crime-fighting pathologists are under and so on. Not so much the political thrillers.

    Loads of women in science fiction and fantasy too.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @photondancer

    I guess the distinction should be made between written by a woman and written as a woman. Lotta this happening:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/08/men-are-pretending-to-be-women-to-write-books/535671/

  179. Anonymous[234] • Disclaimer says:

    For whatever reason, there were never great, or even very notable, female Russian novelists. Quite a few great poetesses – yes, but female prose that gained wide popularity is concentrated firmly in memoirs and detective stories.

  180. @rational actor
    @guest007

    Not so. Romance is hugely popular, and a certain amount of it is essentially soft porn with good grammar. Until last year I had never heard of Marie Force (apparently her real name) or Helen Hardt, but women fight for these books when they first come in to the library. The other genre with a strong following is Amish Romance, which is super wholesome and has reliably happy endings as you would expect. It also involves a lot of bread- and preserve-making. Historical romance is moribund at the moment, though. This has become a minority interest in the face of C-suite corset rippers.

    The reason romance books don't move on a book sale is because no one wants to read them a second time. This actually creates a bit of a problem in a library, since we always have to be looking for new authors to feed the female patrons, who are like hungry animals.

    Replies: @guest007, @stillCARealist

    You Tube and streaming have exposed a huge market for clean TV. The Mormons have some good clean comedy.

    I read an Amish Romance years ago and decided that was all I needed: one book was enough.

  181. @res
    @Art Deco

    It appears that 23 of the first 30 Navy Drew books were written by the same woman (Mildred Wirt Benson).
    https://exhibitions.lib.umd.edu/nancy/influential-authors/carolyn-keene

    Here is a detailed list of the books with the people involved (Outline/Manuscript/Editor/Revised By).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    For the original versions of the books there were two primary people involved and a bunch of randoms. Mildred Wirt and Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

    Similar list for the Hardy Boys.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hardy_Boys_books

    P.S. It appears that all of the revisions for both were done in the 1959-1975 time frame. I had not realized PC was that far along then.

    Replies: @res

    Argh. Serious proofreading fail there. I of course meant Nancy not Navy Drew and here is the correct Wikipedia link for the Nancy Drew books.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nancy_Drew_books

  182. @Anatoly Karlin
    Hypotheses.

    (1) Sexism is good for female accomplishment. (Up to a point, of course). Women from countries with more traditional gender roles tend to be more successful, relative to men, than in the WEIRDest ones (% management positions, % self-made billionaires, etc).

    (2) Requirements for writing bestsellers have tightened, increasing the male edge thanks to their greater variation. (OK, I doubt this, but worth throwing it out there).

    (3) Sexism was inadvertently good for female literary accomplishment in that more of them stayed at home a century ago, were bored, and wrote to while away the hours. This is much less relevant in modern societies in which labor participation rates are comparable between the sexes.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @JimDandy, @dfordoom

    Have you read Germaine Greer’s book on female poets, The Slip-Shod Sibyls? She argues that the big problem facing women writers in the 18th and 19th century is that they had it much too easy. Women writers with genuine talent failed to develop their talents because they didn’t have to. They were over-praised for modest accomplishments.

    She was talking mainly about poets of course. I don’t think anyone would argue that this applied to 18th/19th century women novelists who quite obviously did develop their talents. But I think it does apply to 20th/21st century women novelists. Many have been ludicrously over-praised and it probably has harmed them.

  183. @Anon
    @guest007

    It's long been known that any used bookstore has to limit the romance novels that come in, or they'll overwhelm the place.

    Romance novels sell very well, but old romance novels don't. Romance has to keep up with the trends. For example, if you don't name all the current hot brands in between your pages, you're dated and dead. Romance is subject to extreme faddism. If a trope appears on a TV show, all of a sudden every writer has to put it in their books because that's all the readers want--for the next few months, then the fad changes again.

    Replies: @res

    Seems like that would make for a great genre for an author who cared about making money.

  184. res says:
    @Desiderius
    What happened to your star?

    Avoiding Twitter has it's plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it's hard not to press it.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.

    Replies: @res

    That one was a reply to me, right?

    What happened to your star?

    I had not even noticed. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks to me like all of the gold stars went away? The original list is in this post.
    https://www.unz.com/announcement/elevating-excellent-commenters/

    My guess is it had something to do with one of these comments.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4734191
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4736066
    Or perhaps my response to the first.

    I have mixed feelings about it going away; just as I had mixed feelings about getting it. Public recognition tends to be a double edged sword in my experience. It will be interesting to see if/how the dynamics of my interactions with other commenters change. I do value Ron choosing to recognize me along with the others (which happily does not go away, even if the star does) and regret that I may have been the cause of that ending for all.

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.

    Well said. I worry about doxxing (especially given the more public profile of Twitter!) and I’m not sure I would deal well with a mob of idiot Wokesters. Both cowardly and lazy of me, but I think it is a battle I am right to choose not to fight. Hopefully some of my comments here (especially the data and statistics based comments) provide ammunition for those who do.

    All the more reason to value those who do choose to comment on Twitter. Especially those who do it using their real name. If Dave Pinsen happens to read this, kudos to you.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.

    Thanks. You make the passive voice point frequently along with the tie to fighting back. Since I was obviously using the passive voice AND avoiding the fight I thought I should say something.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @res

    Well you block the idiots and engage with the non-idiots to get a sense of where your adversaries are. To prevent doxxing I'd restart my account when I hit 100 followers, then I got a little bolder and let the fifth and last get up over 200 before I got out when SCB did (around August?) and it became clear that Trump had no intention of protecting any of his supporters and may well have been behind some of the attacks on ones he preferred not to be associated with.

    Feels like the radicals here create a safe(r) space for the not-quite-so-radical but that may be wishful thinking when/if the SHTF.

    , @JMcG
    @res

    Mr. Unz has a post up on the new option to subscribe to various digests (daily, weekly) or particular authors on his Review. Included in that post is his decision to do away with the gold stars entirely. I’m sure we’ll all continue to value your comments, Res, as long as the powers that be allow the site to continue.

    , @Anonymous
    @res

    FWIW, on the Ron's original list you are the only one I'd have given the star. Dearieme and PhysicistDave are also consistently good, even if their posts are never as substantial as many of yours.

    Nothing cowardly about worrying of being doxxed. These days it does not take much to upend one's life.

    Replies: @res

  185. @Dennis Dale
    OT: I think your "Racial Wreckening" has a simple explanation in reduced traffic stops and fear of traffic cops. The embattled Portland Police Bureau has announced no more stops for anything not an immediate safety threat, because racism, probably making official what was becoming customary. Driving in Portland, where highway rules can be laxly observed already, it's noticeable. People don't fear the cops. Not fearing the cops has a very different effect on white v black. I think it demonstrates also how much you can achieve, with an ounce of will--I mean all the excess violence and traffic mayhem post Floyd is a fair measure of how much black blood "white supremacy" saves.

    Replies: @Jack D

    I heard on the radio this morning that a (black) Philadelphia city councilman has introduced a bill which will ban the Philadelphia police from stopping anyone for “minor” infractions such as expired registration, no headlights, etc. In other words, the opposite of “broken windows” policing (and broken windows policing is the only tactic that actually works to reduce crime – otherwise the job of the police is to take reports after the crime has already happened – in fact, under the bill, they are supposed to mail you a citation instead so you can throw it in the trash). Blacks drive around with missing lights, no registration (or license or insurance), etc. more often than whites so stopping them is by definition “racist” in the Current Year and we can’t have that.

    As you say, the police have already de facto done the same thing, thus the Racial Wreckening as there is no longer any mechanism for getting bad drivers (the type of people who drive without regard for little details like getting a license and have working lights and brakes on their car) off the road.

    But the #1 imperative of the Left is to lessen the number of interactions between the police and blacks because in some small % of these interactions the black person is either violently uncooperative or pulls a weapon on the police and therefore ends up dead at the hands of the police. It’s literally better, as far as they are concerned, that 100 (mostly but not only black) people die at the hands of black criminals and reckless drivers than 1 black man die at the hands of the police.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    No, they just want to federalize (and then globalize) the police power completely.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale

  186. There are many many pretty little lies (or unpleasant truths, depending on your perspective). And one of the most important ones is this:

    Women are generally not very good at doing literary art and, in fact, art in general. It is very very hard for women to think outside of themselves.

    The few women who were really good at it tend to be very sharp intellects, like Edith Wharton and George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), or spinsters (Austen and Emily Dickinson).

    Even Austen, great as she was, succeeded as an artist in FORM, with precise character counterpoints to create a balanced tableau of interacting characters, but constrained by the very circumscribed world in which she lived.

    Wharton was a true cosmopolitan and exceptional intellect, but even her work falls into the narrow category of “novel of manners.”

    George Eliot is arguably the greatest modern female novelist. Novels like Adam Bede, or her greatest, Middlemarch (one of all time best ever) show an author who, like a man, can stand outside of self and see a world beyond her own psyche.

  187. @res
    @Desiderius

    That one was a reply to me, right?


    What happened to your star?
     
    I had not even noticed. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks to me like all of the gold stars went away? The original list is in this post.
    https://www.unz.com/announcement/elevating-excellent-commenters/

    My guess is it had something to do with one of these comments.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4734191
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4736066
    Or perhaps my response to the first.

    I have mixed feelings about it going away; just as I had mixed feelings about getting it. Public recognition tends to be a double edged sword in my experience. It will be interesting to see if/how the dynamics of my interactions with other commenters change. I do value Ron choosing to recognize me along with the others (which happily does not go away, even if the star does) and regret that I may have been the cause of that ending for all.

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.
     
    Well said. I worry about doxxing (especially given the more public profile of Twitter!) and I'm not sure I would deal well with a mob of idiot Wokesters. Both cowardly and lazy of me, but I think it is a battle I am right to choose not to fight. Hopefully some of my comments here (especially the data and statistics based comments) provide ammunition for those who do.

    All the more reason to value those who do choose to comment on Twitter. Especially those who do it using their real name. If Dave Pinsen happens to read this, kudos to you.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.
     
    Thanks. You make the passive voice point frequently along with the tie to fighting back. Since I was obviously using the passive voice AND avoiding the fight I thought I should say something.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @JMcG, @Anonymous

    Well you block the idiots and engage with the non-idiots to get a sense of where your adversaries are. To prevent doxxing I’d restart my account when I hit 100 followers, then I got a little bolder and let the fifth and last get up over 200 before I got out when SCB did (around August?) and it became clear that Trump had no intention of protecting any of his supporters and may well have been behind some of the attacks on ones he preferred not to be associated with.

    Feels like the radicals here create a safe(r) space for the not-quite-so-radical but that may be wishful thinking when/if the SHTF.

    • Thanks: res
  188. @Jack D
    @Dennis Dale

    I heard on the radio this morning that a (black) Philadelphia city councilman has introduced a bill which will ban the Philadelphia police from stopping anyone for "minor" infractions such as expired registration, no headlights, etc. In other words, the opposite of "broken windows" policing (and broken windows policing is the only tactic that actually works to reduce crime - otherwise the job of the police is to take reports after the crime has already happened - in fact, under the bill, they are supposed to mail you a citation instead so you can throw it in the trash). Blacks drive around with missing lights, no registration (or license or insurance), etc. more often than whites so stopping them is by definition "racist" in the Current Year and we can't have that.

    As you say, the police have already de facto done the same thing, thus the Racial Wreckening as there is no longer any mechanism for getting bad drivers (the type of people who drive without regard for little details like getting a license and have working lights and brakes on their car) off the road.

    But the #1 imperative of the Left is to lessen the number of interactions between the police and blacks because in some small % of these interactions the black person is either violently uncooperative or pulls a weapon on the police and therefore ends up dead at the hands of the police. It's literally better, as far as they are concerned, that 100 (mostly but not only black) people die at the hands of black criminals and reckless drivers than 1 black man die at the hands of the police.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    No, they just want to federalize (and then globalize) the police power completely.

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
    @Desiderius

    Yes, but near-term it's removing all contact between police and blacks, as a "driver" of "mass incarceration"--CRT and "restorative justice" is the replacement of crime with incarceration as the ultimate problem. Crime is only relevant as a driver of black incarceration, one that has to be obscured or ultimately blamed on whites. When the Floyd Train pulled into town last summer and the abolitionists were having their way, the first things to go were the police gang, school and transit units. All without argument; just the charge they arrest too many blacks. The incarceration issue is their Grail right now.

    But yeah, long term they don't want to replace men (and sundry new genders) with guns enforcing rules.

  189. @Jack D
    @utu


    Opium traders had daughters too.
     
    And sons, like FDR.

    Replies: @BB753, @Reg Cæsar, @Flip

    Funny how many of the elite families made their fortunes in the opium trade: Folger, Yale, Harriman, Russell, Delano, Bush, etc.

  190. I suppose the obvious answer is that society was more sexist back then but that writing was one of the few professions that it was acceptable for women to make a living at.

    Today women have the choice of any profession so it doesn’t hold the same appeal that it once did.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @al gore rhythms

    About a decade ago, when I was working in the business publishing industry, the rule of thumb I heard from those in the know was that only about 5,000 people in the entire United States were able to make full time livings as book authors. If anything that number's even lower today.

    While working at a different job some years before that, probably in the very early 2000's, I happened to see some financial statements from an older woman who was a fairly well-known and prolific author in a popular fiction genre. I was shocked at how meager her income was, barely lower middle class if that.

  191. @Anon
    The birthrate was about as low as itnis today back in the early 20th century. 1940s-1960s is when births ratchet up to normal levels (~3.5 children per woman). Hard to chase a novelist career when you have a family to raise (and vice versa).




    I agres though that the radical feminism stretches way back. The 19-20th century was not the idyllic happy time that the trad cucks like to portray it as. Your odds of dying in a war were far greater than your modern odds of being killed by a Negro. The women were ugly and hateful? Literature, much of it written by feminist bulldykes, was rootless and destructive garbage. Things have gotten better over the last 30 years. The woke stuff, the trannies, the importation of foreign women, etc, has done a great deal to reduce the sociecidal feminist undercurrent in the rotten west.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Travis

    The White birth rate today is lower than even the 1930’s and has been under 2.0 since 1970 and under 1.8 since 2016 for whites. During the Great Depression the White fertility rate never fell below 2.2

    • Replies: @anon
    @Travis

    Do you have a plan or a suggestion? Or do you just take pleasure from blackpilling others?

  192. @Jack D
    @utu


    Opium traders had daughters too.
     
    And sons, like FDR.

    Replies: @BB753, @Reg Cæsar, @Flip

    Opium traders had daughters too.

    And sons, like FDR.

    Ah, the halcyon days when Jews and Southerners voted alike and en bloc! Tevye’s Valley Authority.

  193. @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    No, they just want to federalize (and then globalize) the police power completely.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale

    Yes, but near-term it’s removing all contact between police and blacks, as a “driver” of “mass incarceration”–CRT and “restorative justice” is the replacement of crime with incarceration as the ultimate problem. Crime is only relevant as a driver of black incarceration, one that has to be obscured or ultimately blamed on whites. When the Floyd Train pulled into town last summer and the abolitionists were having their way, the first things to go were the police gang, school and transit units. All without argument; just the charge they arrest too many blacks. The incarceration issue is their Grail right now.

    But yeah, long term they don’t want to replace men (and sundry new genders) with guns enforcing rules.

  194. @res
    @Desiderius

    That one was a reply to me, right?


    What happened to your star?
     
    I had not even noticed. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks to me like all of the gold stars went away? The original list is in this post.
    https://www.unz.com/announcement/elevating-excellent-commenters/

    My guess is it had something to do with one of these comments.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4734191
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4736066
    Or perhaps my response to the first.

    I have mixed feelings about it going away; just as I had mixed feelings about getting it. Public recognition tends to be a double edged sword in my experience. It will be interesting to see if/how the dynamics of my interactions with other commenters change. I do value Ron choosing to recognize me along with the others (which happily does not go away, even if the star does) and regret that I may have been the cause of that ending for all.

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.
     
    Well said. I worry about doxxing (especially given the more public profile of Twitter!) and I'm not sure I would deal well with a mob of idiot Wokesters. Both cowardly and lazy of me, but I think it is a battle I am right to choose not to fight. Hopefully some of my comments here (especially the data and statistics based comments) provide ammunition for those who do.

    All the more reason to value those who do choose to comment on Twitter. Especially those who do it using their real name. If Dave Pinsen happens to read this, kudos to you.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.
     
    Thanks. You make the passive voice point frequently along with the tie to fighting back. Since I was obviously using the passive voice AND avoiding the fight I thought I should say something.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @JMcG, @Anonymous

    Mr. Unz has a post up on the new option to subscribe to various digests (daily, weekly) or particular authors on his Review. Included in that post is his decision to do away with the gold stars entirely. I’m sure we’ll all continue to value your comments, Res, as long as the powers that be allow the site to continue.

    • Thanks: res
  195. @Travis
    @Anon

    The White birth rate today is lower than even the 1930's and has been under 2.0 since 1970 and under 1.8 since 2016 for whites. During the Great Depression the White fertility rate never fell below 2.2

    Replies: @anon

    Do you have a plan or a suggestion? Or do you just take pleasure from blackpilling others?

  196. @Jack D
    @utu


    Opium traders had daughters too.
     
    And sons, like FDR.

    Replies: @BB753, @Reg Cæsar, @Flip

    The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusetts. The family’s fortune originates from trading opium and tea between North America and China in the 19th century plus other investments in the same period. The name descends from Scottish immigrants and can be traced back to Sir John de Forbes in Scotland in the 12th century. Family members include businessman John Murray Forbes (1813–1898), part of the first generation who accumulated wealth, and politician John Forbes Kerry (born 1943).

  197. @Alden
    @Jack D

    Cather and Hurst were very famous in their time. Hurst was considered more entertainment and Cather more intellectual. Giant the Taylor Hudson movie was from a Cather book. Her books were on all the college and high school reading lists. I never heard of the others.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “Giant the Taylor Hudson movie was from a Cather book.”

    Edna Ferber wrote the novel, Giant, not Willa Cather.

  198. @Bardon Kaldian
    I am not well informed about this, but, simply from memories ...

    * one should not confuse success (bestsellers) with true literary accomplishment. I would say that women still sell much more books than men (romances, various vampires & fantasy, ..), at least in the Anglophone world. Danielle Steel vs Steven King.

    * book clubs are basically female, all around the world. One more for women

    * just, literary novelists seem to be a dying breed, both sexes/genders. In my opinion, the greatest female novelists & fiction writers have been Marguerite Yourcenar, Flannery O'Connor and George Eliot, plus some works of Charlotte Bronte, Willa Cather & LeGuin (if we include sci fi authors).

    I tried Austen, but .... perhaps I am too on the Charlotte's side:

    I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s work’s ‘Emma’ – read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable – anything like warmth or enthusiasm; anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her ready by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet; what sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study, but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of Death – this Miss Austen ignores.
     

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason, @Inquiring Mind, @Alden, @Muggles

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    A few years back when I still tried to read the local paper, I noticed that virtually all the book reviewers were women. They tried to promote books by women and a few gay men who wrote in the female manner (all about some hero/heroine) and their personal problems, family history, inability to find the Mr. Right, etc. “Men are bad”, etc. Maybe so but you, honey, are no prize either…

    The sheer volume of “new novels” by female NYC-centric Jewish authors was astonishing. All based on what they knew best, their own upbringings. They (their main character) was usually the suffering victim of paternal or relationship abuse. Misunderstood. Etc.

    None of these seemed readable or interesting, yet all were promoted and paid for by larger publishers. Leading me to suspect these were the “university women” level kind of Romance Novel. Since the dictum is “write what you know” what ends up is a literature of mirror gazing, blame mongering and wishful thinking about feelings and emotions. None of the authors I recall wrote about large families. Don’t exist. (So no “Mormon Literature” I guess.)

    I imagine someone buys these books. Female book clubs? Aren’t they just excuses for bored housewives to drink chardonnay?

    I’m okay with this as long as I don’t have to read this stuff.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Muggles

    I think you've mixed genre fiction with serious literature.

    Most great novelists did write about feelings, emotions, ... among them three supreme novelists - according to E.M.Forster - Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Proust. Of course, they had been writing about other things, too. But, this applies also to great female novelists, for instance very great writers like George Eliot or Marguarite Yourcenar.

    Introspective novel is a product of a specific temperament, and essential novels authored by highly erotically charged heterosexuals like Benjamin Constant and J.W. Goethe are mostly about- feelings, as well as the classic written by a suppressed sex maniac, Samuel Richardson.

    , @photondancer
    @Muggles

    Female suffering has been a genre for a long time. Way upthread someone mentioned Pearl S Buck, who had a successful career based on this. Book clubs probably do have something to answer for; a lot of these books even have a section at the end titled "Questions for your book club". This type of book also clutters up the tables at the secondhand book fairs I attend, indicating they're not worth a second read. So I don't buy them.

    , @Dennis Dale
    @Muggles


    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.
     
    Novels should be about feelings and emotions. Tolstoy did not disdain their importance and Dostoyevsky made a study of them. The Sun Also Rises is a story of feelings and emotions.

    Plot and action alone are nothing. Writers who study social manners with an appreciation of individual psychology, like the best Anglo authors, Thackeray, Eliot, Austen, make the best books.

  199. @al gore rhythms
    I suppose the obvious answer is that society was more sexist back then but that writing was one of the few professions that it was acceptable for women to make a living at.

    Today women have the choice of any profession so it doesn't hold the same appeal that it once did.

    Replies: @prosa123

    About a decade ago, when I was working in the business publishing industry, the rule of thumb I heard from those in the know was that only about 5,000 people in the entire United States were able to make full time livings as book authors. If anything that number’s even lower today.

    While working at a different job some years before that, probably in the very early 2000’s, I happened to see some financial statements from an older woman who was a fairly well-known and prolific author in a popular fiction genre. I was shocked at how meager her income was, barely lower middle class if that.

  200. @Matttt

    Note that for some reason, Harry Potter books were excluded from these lists, depressing the 2000s’ female percentage.
     
    That's a pretty big exclusion. The Harry Potter series has sold an estimate 500 million copies. Even through the trough years of 1940's to 1980's, there have been a ton of best selling women's authors who wrote fiction that may not fit into the "novelist" category: Agatha Christie, Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High), Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Ann Martin (Babysitter's Club), Ann Rice, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie), to name a few.

    Replies: @Art Deco, @photondancer, @Muggles

    According to a quick Google blurb answer, Ayn Rand books have sold 29,500,000 copies (as of May 2013.)

    Some were non fiction but most are novels or novellas.

    So by now over 30 million and counting. First started publishing those in the late 40s thru mid 60s.

    Her literary style is no longer fashionable and was always a bit hard to take. But she dealt with characters with ideas, not just emotions. Many of her main characters were women.

    She gets almost zero attention from critics and the literati and even feminists (mostly) because she was definitely no leftist.

    Most of these books were sold before the airport/drugstore paperback sellers (or Amazon) replaced actual bookstores.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    @Muggles

    Don't let Amazon replace bookshops.

    How? Buy nothing from them. Boycott!

    All of the most interesting books I have ever read were from physical shops or libraries.

  201. @Paul Mendez
    @Thea


    There are enough novels to keep a person reading for the rest of their life.
     
    Agree, although maybe an AI could update the cultural references from time to time.

    Ditto for pop music. Songs on my “new music” Sirius channel sound the same as what I was listening to 45 years ago.

    There’s also several lifetimes of movies available online. I’d allow a certain number of new action movies as CGI gets better, however.

    At the risk of angering the 2A folks, would anyone notice if we stopped making any more guns? We have plenty, they last forever with a modicum of care, and technology hasn’t changed much over the past 75 years.

    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…

    Replies: @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY), @Muggles

    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…

    So do you find yourself standing in a corner at parties by yourself?

    • Replies: @anon
    @Muggles

    So do you find yourself standing in a corner at parties by yourself?

    Perhaps, but surely unencumbered with a coffee mug, fridge magnet, Christmas ornament, free weight or gun. So he's got that going for him...

  202. @Anonymous
    @guest

    All forms of communication are feminine.

    Replies: @guest

    Menfolk do have to be hush-hush on the hunt.

    • Replies: @very very old statistician
    @guest

    yes, that is why hockey players NEVER TALK, much less shout, when they are playing hockey, and why tank commanders are RELUCTANT to shout at the tank crew over the engine noise ----- because COMMUNICATION is feminine.

    Replies: @guest

  203. @Muggles
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    A few years back when I still tried to read the local paper, I noticed that virtually all the book reviewers were women. They tried to promote books by women and a few gay men who wrote in the female manner (all about some hero/heroine) and their personal problems, family history, inability to find the Mr. Right, etc. "Men are bad", etc. Maybe so but you, honey, are no prize either...

    The sheer volume of "new novels" by female NYC-centric Jewish authors was astonishing. All based on what they knew best, their own upbringings. They (their main character) was usually the suffering victim of paternal or relationship abuse. Misunderstood. Etc.

    None of these seemed readable or interesting, yet all were promoted and paid for by larger publishers. Leading me to suspect these were the "university women" level kind of Romance Novel. Since the dictum is "write what you know" what ends up is a literature of mirror gazing, blame mongering and wishful thinking about feelings and emotions. None of the authors I recall wrote about large families. Don't exist. (So no "Mormon Literature" I guess.)

    I imagine someone buys these books. Female book clubs? Aren't they just excuses for bored housewives to drink chardonnay?

    I'm okay with this as long as I don't have to read this stuff.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @photondancer, @Dennis Dale

    I think you’ve mixed genre fiction with serious literature.

    Most great novelists did write about feelings, emotions, … among them three supreme novelists – according to E.M.Forster – Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Proust. Of course, they had been writing about other things, too. But, this applies also to great female novelists, for instance very great writers like George Eliot or Marguarite Yourcenar.

    Introspective novel is a product of a specific temperament, and essential novels authored by highly erotically charged heterosexuals like Benjamin Constant and J.W. Goethe are mostly about- feelings, as well as the classic written by a suppressed sex maniac, Samuel Richardson.

  204. To Steve’s heading,

    Err, because the latter are, in tie main, boring harridans?

    Japan is the earliest, with Murasaki’s story of Genji. Sometimes claimed to be the first novel.

    Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book is very good, but episodic, and much for advice, so not a novel.

    Still, both far predate any European comparables.

    Rightist friends claim that one or both was really a man, in the case of Murasaki, they may be correct, or not.

    Both well worth reading.

    For 20th century west, I like the work of Anna Kavan. A junky, it seems, but her novel Ice, and other, mainly shorter works I have read are great.

    Of course, greatly love Austen and Brontes, much more, the above is to point others to work that is little heard of now.

    Have never read Gone with the Wind, must do so, thank you Steve.

  205. @Muggles
    @Matttt

    According to a quick Google blurb answer, Ayn Rand books have sold 29,500,000 copies (as of May 2013.)

    Some were non fiction but most are novels or novellas.

    So by now over 30 million and counting. First started publishing those in the late 40s thru mid 60s.

    Her literary style is no longer fashionable and was always a bit hard to take. But she dealt with characters with ideas, not just emotions. Many of her main characters were women.

    She gets almost zero attention from critics and the literati and even feminists (mostly) because she was definitely no leftist.

    Most of these books were sold before the airport/drugstore paperback sellers (or Amazon) replaced actual bookstores.

    Replies: @Che Guava

    Don’t let Amazon replace bookshops.

    How? Buy nothing from them. Boycott!

    All of the most interesting books I have ever read were from physical shops or libraries.

  206. @photondancer
    @JimDandy

    It seems to me there are loads of female detective novel writers. I see them all over the place: cosy crime, Scandi-noir, whatever genre intrepid crime-fighting pathologists are under and so on. Not so much the political thrillers.

    Loads of women in science fiction and fantasy too.

    Replies: @JimDandy

    I guess the distinction should be made between written by a woman and written as a woman. Lotta this happening:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/08/men-are-pretending-to-be-women-to-write-books/535671/

  207. @dfordoom
    @Rich


    In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.
     
    In lots of novels by men the women come off as either men in dresses or as male wish fulfilment fantasies.

    It's difficult for women writers to get inside the heads of male characters and it's difficult for male writers to get inside the heads of female characters. In both cases because it's a genuinely difficult thing to do.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @Bardon Kaldian, @Rich

    George Eliot seems to get men. But she’d defy probably any deficiency you could ascribe to women authors.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Dennis Dale

    Get men... Not literally...

    But the outstanding example of plainness fostering genius and leading to fulfillment is George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans, 1819–1880). She was almost grotesquely plain, while radiating intelligence, wit, and laughter, at any rate as a young woman; later she became more solemn.9 But no man ever proposed to her until after she made herself rich and famous. Her father was an estate agent, like Wordsworth’s, and was mean, especially to her: after she nursed him devotedly for years, all he left her was £2,000 in trust, enough to produce an income of £90 a year but not enough to live on even then. She faced what she called the “horrible disgrace of spinsterhood” and, in order to remain respectable, lived with the family of her unpleasant, disapproving elder brother, Isaac, and spent her time in plain sewing, playing the piano, and reading to her nephews and nieces in a household of conventional religious and social observance which was to her stiffeningly narrow. Marian (as she called herself after about 1851) was not a forceful character, being shy and painfully conscious of her homely appearance, and still more of her powerlessness in a man’s world. But she was not without courage and self-knowledge, and knew that, given the smallest chance, she could make a living in the world. ….. Marian Evans was a highly emotional, not to say amorous woman, and if she could have married a man of anything approaching her own intelligence, she might have been perfectly happy, given birth to many children, and never written a novel. The trouble was that she was neither pretty nor handsome. Frederick Locker wrote: “Her countenance was equine. Her head had been intended for a much larger woman. Her garments concealed her outline, they gave her a waist like a milestone.” Jane Carlyle observed: “She looks Propriety personified. Oh, so slow!” Evans fell in love repeatedly—for example with Herbert Spencer, to us a fusty, flyblown figure; founder of that pseudoscience sociology; writer of now unreadable books; and celebrated chiefly for his curious saying, “A proficiency at billiards is a sure sign of a misspent youth.” Spencer, despite his personal faults, evidently attracted clever women; he also inspired a passion in Beatrix Potter (later Webb), who was not only brilliant in intellect but beautiful and rich. Evans worshipped him, and she wrote him a remarkable and shameless letter, in effect a proposal of marriage:


    I want to know if you can assure me that you will not forsake me, that you will always be with me as much as you can, and share your thoughts and feelings with me. If you become attached to someone else, then I must die, but until then I could gather courage to make life valuable if only I had you near me. . . . Those who have known me best have always said, that if ever I loved one thoroughly my whole life must turn upon that feeling, and I find they say truly. You curse the destiny which has made the feeling concentrate itself on you—but if you will only have patience with me you shall not curse it long. You will find that I can be satisfied with very little, if I can be delivered from the dread of losing it.
     
    It must have taken great courage to compose, and still more to send, this letter, which inspired great terror in the recipient. Evans went on:

    I suppose no woman before wrote such a letter as this—but I am not ashamed of it, for I am conscious that in the light of reason and true refinement I am worthy of your respect and tenderness, whatever gross men or vulgar-minded women may think of me.11

     

    However, Spencer was unresponsive, as he was to Beatrix Potter later. He never married, though he once shared a house with two maiden ladies, eventually quarreling with both of them. If Marian Evans had induced Spencer to marry her, the likelihood is that she would not have become a writer of fiction, of which he strongly disapproved. Denied marriage, she moved in an overwhelmingly masculine society.
  208. @dfordoom
    @Rich


    In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.
     
    In lots of novels by men the women come off as either men in dresses or as male wish fulfilment fantasies.

    It's difficult for women writers to get inside the heads of male characters and it's difficult for male writers to get inside the heads of female characters. In both cases because it's a genuinely difficult thing to do.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @Bardon Kaldian, @Rich

    Women experts say that Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence get women right, while Faulkner gets them wrong. Dickens doesn’t get them at all. Also, women tend to agree that Dostoevsky knows them best at their most hysterical, bitchy & self-destructive.

    German philosophical novelists (Musil, Broch, Mann) are, in my opinion, not too interested in human personality/motives at all; their long books are basically philosophical treatises masquerading as novels.

    • Replies: @photondancer
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The comments here about how women only write about feelz while men write about The Real Issues are ludicrous. I've read my fair share of classic literature as well as modern novels and the men are right up there writing about personal issues. Anyone who claims otherwise is cherry picking.

    I just reread a couple of volumes of Somerset Maugham's short stories and it occurred to me that if you gave them to a group of people with the name blanked out, quite a few of them would probably assume the stories had been written by a woman. They're almost entirely about love and interpersonal relationships. No doubt someone will now come along and say this is because Maugham was gay, as if heterosexual men never fall in love or think about how they get on with others.

    , @very very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    there are no "women experts" who are not also experts on humanity .... and there is almost no overlap between the guys who are willing to work year after year on novels and the guys who are experts on humanity (think about it ---- you can disagree, but before you disagree, think about it).
    Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence are basically at the level of Cosmopolitan columnists when they describe women. Not because they do not understand women as a novelist, whose characters include women, should, but simply because they were not geniuses at everything. Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife's friends. Flaubert was a lyrical poet but a sleazy guy, with no philosophical grounding and nothing more than superficial insight into the souls of others. Lawrence was a nut.

    Replies: @Anon

  209. @Dennis Dale
    @dfordoom

    George Eliot seems to get men. But she'd defy probably any deficiency you could ascribe to women authors.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Get men… Not literally…

    But the outstanding example of plainness fostering genius and leading to fulfillment is George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans, 1819–1880). She was almost grotesquely plain, while radiating intelligence, wit, and laughter, at any rate as a young woman; later she became more solemn.9 But no man ever proposed to her until after she made herself rich and famous. Her father was an estate agent, like Wordsworth’s, and was mean, especially to her: after she nursed him devotedly for years, all he left her was £2,000 in trust, enough to produce an income of £90 a year but not enough to live on even then. She faced what she called the “horrible disgrace of spinsterhood” and, in order to remain respectable, lived with the family of her unpleasant, disapproving elder brother, Isaac, and spent her time in plain sewing, playing the piano, and reading to her nephews and nieces in a household of conventional religious and social observance which was to her stiffeningly narrow. Marian (as she called herself after about 1851) was not a forceful character, being shy and painfully conscious of her homely appearance, and still more of her powerlessness in a man’s world. But she was not without courage and self-knowledge, and knew that, given the smallest chance, she could make a living in the world. ….. Marian Evans was a highly emotional, not to say amorous woman, and if she could have married a man of anything approaching her own intelligence, she might have been perfectly happy, given birth to many children, and never written a novel. The trouble was that she was neither pretty nor handsome. Frederick Locker wrote: “Her countenance was equine. Her head had been intended for a much larger woman. Her garments concealed her outline, they gave her a waist like a milestone.” Jane Carlyle observed: “She looks Propriety personified. Oh, so slow!” Evans fell in love repeatedly—for example with Herbert Spencer, to us a fusty, flyblown figure; founder of that pseudoscience sociology; writer of now unreadable books; and celebrated chiefly for his curious saying, “A proficiency at billiards is a sure sign of a misspent youth.” Spencer, despite his personal faults, evidently attracted clever women; he also inspired a passion in Beatrix Potter (later Webb), who was not only brilliant in intellect but beautiful and rich. Evans worshipped him, and she wrote him a remarkable and shameless letter, in effect a proposal of marriage:

    I want to know if you can assure me that you will not forsake me, that you will always be with me as much as you can, and share your thoughts and feelings with me. If you become attached to someone else, then I must die, but until then I could gather courage to make life valuable if only I had you near me. . . . Those who have known me best have always said, that if ever I loved one thoroughly my whole life must turn upon that feeling, and I find they say truly. You curse the destiny which has made the feeling concentrate itself on you—but if you will only have patience with me you shall not curse it long. You will find that I can be satisfied with very little, if I can be delivered from the dread of losing it.

    It must have taken great courage to compose, and still more to send, this letter, which inspired great terror in the recipient. Evans went on:

    I suppose no woman before wrote such a letter as this—but I am not ashamed of it, for I am conscious that in the light of reason and true refinement I am worthy of your respect and tenderness, whatever gross men or vulgar-minded women may think of me.11

    However, Spencer was unresponsive, as he was to Beatrix Potter later. He never married, though he once shared a house with two maiden ladies, eventually quarreling with both of them. If Marian Evans had induced Spencer to marry her, the likelihood is that she would not have become a writer of fiction, of which he strongly disapproved. Denied marriage, she moved in an overwhelmingly masculine society.

    • Thanks: Dennis Dale, JMcG
  210. Anon[211] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dumbo
    @Frau Katze

    The best female authors were childless or single (or closet lesbians), but I don't think it has to do with time. Sure children take a lot of time, but most dedicated mothers would not have become writers in the first place.

    It's more that (good) female writers tend to be more masculine women. I can't think of almost any good female writer that wasn't at least a bit masculine, or single, or childless, or lesbian.

    (J. K. Rowling is not a good writer, despite her success)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon

    Have you read Sigrid Undset? IMHO she is way up there or superior to Tolstoy. She develops her story through the life-arc of several characters with astounding historical detail. Her parents were archeologists, and she wrote about medieval Sweden with such accuracy that later discoveries bore out what at the time were her suppositions. One can become submerged in the characters, and you feel the change in their energy and perspective as they age. One feels the giddiness of young love, the chagrin of bitter mistakes, the boredom, the hope of a final hurrah in middle age and the loss of vitality in old age. Yet Undset doesn’t really write about their inner turmoils.. she relates everyday acts. It seems to me she has uncanny depth in her male characters too, particularly the father figure in Kristin Lavransdatter. It is all about moral choices, yet she never moralizes. For all she is good at depicting the minutiae of life, she ends up writing the story of individual souls.

    She had a remarkable ability to plumb the depth of the human condition, and to do it charitably.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigrid_Undset

    • Thanks: Dumbo
  211. @dfordoom
    @Rich


    In every novel I’ve read by a woman, the men always come off as chicks in pants. Women don’t understand men.
     
    In lots of novels by men the women come off as either men in dresses or as male wish fulfilment fantasies.

    It's difficult for women writers to get inside the heads of male characters and it's difficult for male writers to get inside the heads of female characters. In both cases because it's a genuinely difficult thing to do.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @Bardon Kaldian, @Rich

    Yeah, I don’t know. I can’t speak frome girls’ point of view, but women seem to read male novelists more than men read the ladies. All I know, I’ve never seen chicks get men right. Although, males nowadays are so effeminate, it might be different to the kids.

  212. @Muggles
    @Paul Mendez


    And don’t get me started on coffee mugs, free weights, refrigerator magnets, Christmas ornaments, clothes hangers…
     
    So do you find yourself standing in a corner at parties by yourself?

    Replies: @anon

    So do you find yourself standing in a corner at parties by yourself?

    Perhaps, but surely unencumbered with a coffee mug, fridge magnet, Christmas ornament, free weight or gun. So he’s got that going for him…

  213. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Kylie

    "Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times"

    I always find it difficult to get a sense of a non-English-language writer's style when reading translations, and I'm not fluent enough in any foreign language to really see it as they wrote it. You can appreciate the story, you assume the translator's done his best to render the style in English, but it can never be the same.

    Solzhenitsyn and Zola are great but there's always a third party, the translator, involved.

    (Mind, some English books have appalling style and are still great. All our children were raised on Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree books - brilliant imagination, dreadful style, doesn't matter).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faraway_Tree

    Replies: @Kylie, @Bardon Kaldian

    IIrc, H. James was fluent in French.

    I used to read Spanish literature in Spanish so I know a whole lot gets lost in translation. Hamlet in Spanish is awful and La vida es sueño is awful in English.

    But I’ve read a handful of Duras’s novels in English and I definitely get a sense of them (possibly way off-base) in their original French. They read the way French sounds to me, if that makes any sense. I love her style, even translated. I read it partly for the pleasure of the flow of words.

    I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder. It’s not hard and it’s well worthwhile.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Kylie

    "I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder."

    Schubert?


    War es also gemeint,
    Mein rauschender Freund,
    Dein Singen, dein Klingen,
    War es also gemeint?

    Zur Müllerin hin!
    So lautet der Sinn.
    Gelt, hab’ ich’s verstanden?
    Zur Müllerin hin!
     

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

  214. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Kylie

    "Balzac, Flaubert and Turgenev all are mentioned numerous times"

    I always find it difficult to get a sense of a non-English-language writer's style when reading translations, and I'm not fluent enough in any foreign language to really see it as they wrote it. You can appreciate the story, you assume the translator's done his best to render the style in English, but it can never be the same.

    Solzhenitsyn and Zola are great but there's always a third party, the translator, involved.

    (Mind, some English books have appalling style and are still great. All our children were raised on Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree books - brilliant imagination, dreadful style, doesn't matter).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faraway_Tree

    Replies: @Kylie, @Bardon Kaldian

    De gustibus….

    Just to remind you that most great novelists were influenced by novels they could not read in the original language, Tolstoy and Joyce being rare exceptions.

    Dostoevsky was influenced by Dickens; Faulkner by Tolstoy, Flaubert and Cervantes; Mann by Russians; Proust by English writers (he didn’t know English, contrary to popular opinion) and Russians; Hamsun by Dostoevsky; RLS by Dostoevsky; Woolf by Proust; Garcia Marquez by Kafka, Faulkner, Conrad and Dostoevsky…

    Needless to say, they didn’t speak those languages.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  215. @guest
    @Anonymous

    Menfolk do have to be hush-hush on the hunt.

    Replies: @very very old statistician

    yes, that is why hockey players NEVER TALK, much less shout, when they are playing hockey, and why tank commanders are RELUCTANT to shout at the tank crew over the engine noise —– because COMMUNICATION is feminine.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @guest
    @very very old statistician

    To be fair, I used to play hockey and do not remember chit-chat on the ice.

    Tamk commanders most likely keep their conversation to what their subordinates have to know. Probably not like a sewing circle inside those things,

  216. @Bardon Kaldian
    @dfordoom

    Women experts say that Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence get women right, while Faulkner gets them wrong. Dickens doesn't get them at all. Also, women tend to agree that Dostoevsky knows them best at their most hysterical, bitchy & self-destructive.

    German philosophical novelists (Musil, Broch, Mann) are, in my opinion, not too interested in human personality/motives at all; their long books are basically philosophical treatises masquerading as novels.

    Replies: @photondancer, @very very old statistician

    The comments here about how women only write about feelz while men write about The Real Issues are ludicrous. I’ve read my fair share of classic literature as well as modern novels and the men are right up there writing about personal issues. Anyone who claims otherwise is cherry picking.

    I just reread a couple of volumes of Somerset Maugham’s short stories and it occurred to me that if you gave them to a group of people with the name blanked out, quite a few of them would probably assume the stories had been written by a woman. They’re almost entirely about love and interpersonal relationships. No doubt someone will now come along and say this is because Maugham was gay, as if heterosexual men never fall in love or think about how they get on with others.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
  217. @Bardon Kaldian
    @dfordoom

    Women experts say that Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence get women right, while Faulkner gets them wrong. Dickens doesn't get them at all. Also, women tend to agree that Dostoevsky knows them best at their most hysterical, bitchy & self-destructive.

    German philosophical novelists (Musil, Broch, Mann) are, in my opinion, not too interested in human personality/motives at all; their long books are basically philosophical treatises masquerading as novels.

    Replies: @photondancer, @very very old statistician

    there are no “women experts” who are not also experts on humanity …. and there is almost no overlap between the guys who are willing to work year after year on novels and the guys who are experts on humanity (think about it —- you can disagree, but before you disagree, think about it).
    Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence are basically at the level of Cosmopolitan columnists when they describe women. Not because they do not understand women as a novelist, whose characters include women, should, but simply because they were not geniuses at everything. Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife’s friends. Flaubert was a lyrical poet but a sleazy guy, with no philosophical grounding and nothing more than superficial insight into the souls of others. Lawrence was a nut.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @very very old statistician

    “ Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife’s friends. ”

    Agree. Tolstoy is a powerful narrator, he can make Napoleon seem real as part of War and Peace down to the shape of his calves. But it would be difficult to find a Tolstoy character that isdepicted as truly likable, and he seemed to delight in the contemptible moments of his protagonists. Wisdom does not come when one dislikes so much about others. A commenter here once said he found solace reading about goodness in Tolstoy.. I had to wondered what his point of reference was.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

  218. @Muggles
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    A few years back when I still tried to read the local paper, I noticed that virtually all the book reviewers were women. They tried to promote books by women and a few gay men who wrote in the female manner (all about some hero/heroine) and their personal problems, family history, inability to find the Mr. Right, etc. "Men are bad", etc. Maybe so but you, honey, are no prize either...

    The sheer volume of "new novels" by female NYC-centric Jewish authors was astonishing. All based on what they knew best, their own upbringings. They (their main character) was usually the suffering victim of paternal or relationship abuse. Misunderstood. Etc.

    None of these seemed readable or interesting, yet all were promoted and paid for by larger publishers. Leading me to suspect these were the "university women" level kind of Romance Novel. Since the dictum is "write what you know" what ends up is a literature of mirror gazing, blame mongering and wishful thinking about feelings and emotions. None of the authors I recall wrote about large families. Don't exist. (So no "Mormon Literature" I guess.)

    I imagine someone buys these books. Female book clubs? Aren't they just excuses for bored housewives to drink chardonnay?

    I'm okay with this as long as I don't have to read this stuff.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @photondancer, @Dennis Dale

    Female suffering has been a genre for a long time. Way upthread someone mentioned Pearl S Buck, who had a successful career based on this. Book clubs probably do have something to answer for; a lot of these books even have a section at the end titled “Questions for your book club”. This type of book also clutters up the tables at the secondhand book fairs I attend, indicating they’re not worth a second read. So I don’t buy them.

  219. Read the whole thing there?

    Are you uptalking in imitation of a modern woman? (The question mark).

  220. @Muggles
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    A few years back when I still tried to read the local paper, I noticed that virtually all the book reviewers were women. They tried to promote books by women and a few gay men who wrote in the female manner (all about some hero/heroine) and their personal problems, family history, inability to find the Mr. Right, etc. "Men are bad", etc. Maybe so but you, honey, are no prize either...

    The sheer volume of "new novels" by female NYC-centric Jewish authors was astonishing. All based on what they knew best, their own upbringings. They (their main character) was usually the suffering victim of paternal or relationship abuse. Misunderstood. Etc.

    None of these seemed readable or interesting, yet all were promoted and paid for by larger publishers. Leading me to suspect these were the "university women" level kind of Romance Novel. Since the dictum is "write what you know" what ends up is a literature of mirror gazing, blame mongering and wishful thinking about feelings and emotions. None of the authors I recall wrote about large families. Don't exist. (So no "Mormon Literature" I guess.)

    I imagine someone buys these books. Female book clubs? Aren't they just excuses for bored housewives to drink chardonnay?

    I'm okay with this as long as I don't have to read this stuff.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @photondancer, @Dennis Dale

    Another aspect to this, at least in recent times, is that most novels are now written by women or gay men. That is, novels about feelings and emotions, rather than action and stuff that requires movement and complicated plotting. Not War and Peace but Me and My Psychological Issues.

    Novels should be about feelings and emotions. Tolstoy did not disdain their importance and Dostoyevsky made a study of them. The Sun Also Rises is a story of feelings and emotions.

    Plot and action alone are nothing. Writers who study social manners with an appreciation of individual psychology, like the best Anglo authors, Thackeray, Eliot, Austen, make the best books.

  221. @Old and Grumpy
    As a consumer of romance novels I think the main problem is explicit sex scene descriptions. The few female authors who don't write them fill their novels up with actual plots. Those who do the sex scenes just do plot points to get to the sex scenes. No one writes, or even speaks, like 19th century and early 20th people did.

    However could this be linked to rise and fall of public education? Back in the female day writers were appealing to higher classed individuals. Even after the public schools became a thing, many lower classes left by the age of 12 to go to work. Now days it is about writing for a mass market with many in the mass market are arguably illiterate despite having an "education". Victoria Holt, who was big in the 70's, looks like a gifted author compared to the romance novelists of today. Also back you still had some semblance of a meritocracy. SAT's actually mattered.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @guest

    The few female authors who don’t write them fill their novels up with actual plots. Those who do the sex scenes just do plot points to get to the sex scenes. No one writes, or even speaks, like 19th century and early 20th people did.

    Historical fiction in general suffers from that problem these days. The characters are always 21st century characters with 21st century social attitudes, they’re just dressed in historical costumes. If you’re a writer of historical fiction and you try to give your characters the attitudes and values of a previous era you will not get published.

  222. @very very old statistician
    @guest

    yes, that is why hockey players NEVER TALK, much less shout, when they are playing hockey, and why tank commanders are RELUCTANT to shout at the tank crew over the engine noise ----- because COMMUNICATION is feminine.

    Replies: @guest

    To be fair, I used to play hockey and do not remember chit-chat on the ice.

    Tamk commanders most likely keep their conversation to what their subordinates have to know. Probably not like a sewing circle inside those things,

  223. @Old and Grumpy
    As a consumer of romance novels I think the main problem is explicit sex scene descriptions. The few female authors who don't write them fill their novels up with actual plots. Those who do the sex scenes just do plot points to get to the sex scenes. No one writes, or even speaks, like 19th century and early 20th people did.

    However could this be linked to rise and fall of public education? Back in the female day writers were appealing to higher classed individuals. Even after the public schools became a thing, many lower classes left by the age of 12 to go to work. Now days it is about writing for a mass market with many in the mass market are arguably illiterate despite having an "education". Victoria Holt, who was big in the 70's, looks like a gifted author compared to the romance novelists of today. Also back you still had some semblance of a meritocracy. SAT's actually mattered.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @guest

    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose. Not even to the level of the grossest and most indulgent depictions f bodily violence.

    What they do serve is prurient interests. Whatever value that has in itself, serving such interests can’t help but drag a work down. Much like if you make a horror movie with an abundance of jump scares. You know the audience will start to anticipate more scares. Until anticipation takes up most of their viewing interest.

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous. More or less equivalent to descriptions of bowel movements. I don’t need to know, thank you very much

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @guest


    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose.
     

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous.
     
    The erotic literature that women read is pornography. A great deal of romance fiction is pornography. Women prefer not to call it porn but that's what it is.

    Taking the sex scenes out of these kinds of books would be like taking the murders out of murder mysteries, or taking the espionage out of spy fiction.

    Men like visual pornography. Women like literary pornography. Men like to see sex acts and naked women. Women like fantasies about sexually charged situations.

    I don't have a problem with it. If women like reading porn let them do so.

    Replies: @guest

  224. Anon[342] • Disclaimer says:
    @very very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    there are no "women experts" who are not also experts on humanity .... and there is almost no overlap between the guys who are willing to work year after year on novels and the guys who are experts on humanity (think about it ---- you can disagree, but before you disagree, think about it).
    Tolstoy, Flaubert and Lawrence are basically at the level of Cosmopolitan columnists when they describe women. Not because they do not understand women as a novelist, whose characters include women, should, but simply because they were not geniuses at everything. Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife's friends. Flaubert was a lyrical poet but a sleazy guy, with no philosophical grounding and nothing more than superficial insight into the souls of others. Lawrence was a nut.

    Replies: @Anon

    “ Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife’s friends. ”

    Agree. Tolstoy is a powerful narrator, he can make Napoleon seem real as part of War and Peace down to the shape of his calves. But it would be difficult to find a Tolstoy character that isdepicted as truly likable, and he seemed to delight in the contemptible moments of his protagonists. Wisdom does not come when one dislikes so much about others. A commenter here once said he found solace reading about goodness in Tolstoy.. I had to wondered what his point of reference was.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Anon

    Sorry to inform you, but...... you can't get the Sublime. It's like tone-deafness, it cannot be repaired.

    Replies: @very old statistician

  225. @Kylie
    @YetAnotherAnon

    IIrc, H. James was fluent in French.

    I used to read Spanish literature in Spanish so I know a whole lot gets lost in translation. Hamlet in Spanish is awful and La vida es sueño is awful in English.

    But I've read a handful of Duras's novels in English and I definitely get a sense of them (possibly way off-base) in their original French. They read the way French sounds to me, if that makes any sense. I love her style, even translated. I read it partly for the pleasure of the flow of words.

    I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder. It's not hard and it's well worthwhile.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    “I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder.”

    Schubert?

    War es also gemeint,
    Mein rauschender Freund,
    Dein Singen, dein Klingen,
    War es also gemeint?

    Zur Müllerin hin!
    So lautet der Sinn.
    Gelt, hab’ ich’s verstanden?
    Zur Müllerin hin!

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Mind, singing is different - the emotion is in the way it's sung as much as in the words, although it's useful to have a translation.

    "La delaissado" is heartbreaking even if you don't speak Occitan. All you have to know is that the little shepherdess waits in vain for her lover on the hilltop, she thought he loved her (and she loved him so!), and when the first star comes out she's still there crying.


    Uno pastourèlo èsper olaï al capt del bouès
    Lou galan doguélo, mé né bén pas!

    "Ay! souï délaïssado!
    Qué n'aï pas vist lou mio galant;
    Crésio qué m'aïmábo, è ton l'aïmé ièu!"

    Luziguèt l'estélo, aquèlo què marco la nuèt
    E lo pauro pastoureletto
    Démouret à ploura...
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7IvN5F9HEY
  226. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Kylie

    "I teach myself the texts in their original German for my favorite Lieder."

    Schubert?


    War es also gemeint,
    Mein rauschender Freund,
    Dein Singen, dein Klingen,
    War es also gemeint?

    Zur Müllerin hin!
    So lautet der Sinn.
    Gelt, hab’ ich’s verstanden?
    Zur Müllerin hin!
     

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    Mind, singing is different – the emotion is in the way it’s sung as much as in the words, although it’s useful to have a translation.

    “La delaissado” is heartbreaking even if you don’t speak Occitan. All you have to know is that the little shepherdess waits in vain for her lover on the hilltop, she thought he loved her (and she loved him so!), and when the first star comes out she’s still there crying.

    Uno pastourèlo èsper olaï al capt del bouès
    Lou galan doguélo, mé né bén pas!

    “Ay! souï délaïssado!
    Qué n’aï pas vist lou mio galant;
    Crésio qué m’aïmábo, è ton l’aïmé ièu!”

    Luziguèt l’estélo, aquèlo què marco la nuèt
    E lo pauro pastoureletto
    Démouret à ploura…

  227. Anonymous[234] • Disclaimer says:
    @res
    @Desiderius

    That one was a reply to me, right?


    What happened to your star?
     
    I had not even noticed. Thanks for pointing it out. It looks to me like all of the gold stars went away? The original list is in this post.
    https://www.unz.com/announcement/elevating-excellent-commenters/

    My guess is it had something to do with one of these comments.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4734191
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/robin-diangelos-miasma-theory-racism-comes-out-of-our-pores-as-white-people/#comment-4736066
    Or perhaps my response to the first.

    I have mixed feelings about it going away; just as I had mixed feelings about getting it. Public recognition tends to be a double edged sword in my experience. It will be interesting to see if/how the dynamics of my interactions with other commenters change. I do value Ron choosing to recognize me along with the others (which happily does not go away, even if the star does) and regret that I may have been the cause of that ending for all.

    Avoiding Twitter has it’s plusses and minuses. It is the main field of battle upon which we have undeniable advantages in a fair fight so it’s hard not to press it.
     
    Well said. I worry about doxxing (especially given the more public profile of Twitter!) and I'm not sure I would deal well with a mob of idiot Wokesters. Both cowardly and lazy of me, but I think it is a battle I am right to choose not to fight. Hopefully some of my comments here (especially the data and statistics based comments) provide ammunition for those who do.

    All the more reason to value those who do choose to comment on Twitter. Especially those who do it using their real name. If Dave Pinsen happens to read this, kudos to you.

    You have no reason to ever apologize to me.
     
    Thanks. You make the passive voice point frequently along with the tie to fighting back. Since I was obviously using the passive voice AND avoiding the fight I thought I should say something.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @JMcG, @Anonymous

    FWIW, on the Ron’s original list you are the only one I’d have given the star. Dearieme and PhysicistDave are also consistently good, even if their posts are never as substantial as many of yours.

    Nothing cowardly about worrying of being doxxed. These days it does not take much to upend one’s life.

    • Replies: @res
    @Anonymous

    Thank you for the kind words. Dearieme is one of my favorite commenters. I have had many good interactions with him in James Thompson's blog. His comments may not be lengthy, but I think they are often quite intellectually substantial (in some ways more so than mine, we have different approaches and he brings some interesting life experiences to bear, as well as obviously being quite intelligent). They also often lead to more substantial conversation.

    PhysicistDave is another excellent commenter (and his stories of his daughter's travails at UCLA are heart breaking). Though he has been having some flame wars with people lately which are about as useful and enjoyable to read as my flame wars. I think he is suffering a similar problem to mine--losing patience with the influx of trolls around here.

  228. Much of Genesis may have been written by a woman (it’s wildly feminist, from Abraham being commanded by God to “do all that Sarah tells you” through Potiohar’s wife taking the sexual initiative against Joseph’s innocence (and then providing an early example of “hell hath no fury loke a woman scorned”).

    The Book of Ruth was almost certainly written by a woman as it’s nothing more than a Poverty to Princess story. That’s really it.

    Song of Songs is a love story, much of it from the first person perspective of a young woman. She describes being spooned (or forked) with his left arm under her head and his right arm hugging her and she talks about the tragedy of her man getting disappointed when he keeps wanting to get in and she keeps refusing. During this negotiation however she gets incredibly wet and her innards yearn for him but by then he’s gone (he either left because the wouldn’t put out or lost his hardon) and she is keft sexually frustrated. In fact much of what she writes is explicitly addressed to her female readers, the “daughters of Jerusalem”.

    As for the Book of Esther, a man’s hand may have been involved but, as the name implies, it is a woman’s tale about stupid ineffectual men being bettered by their wives (Vashti, Zeresh and of courses Esther herself).

    Women have been publicly writing best sellers for their female readership for a long time and their works were considered good enough to end up IN THE BIBLE.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Anonymous8090

    This was Harold Bloom thesis. I don't believe it, but- if it's true, that women are basically animals for reproduction & Montaigne was right.

    Women, as sex/gender, are more members of a kind than they are individuals. The Talmud says something like (quoting from memory): “Women are a separate people”; Michel de Montaigne, a man perhaps completely unacceptable to modern feminist mind said that women were not fully human (now, we shouldn’t take him literally). He equated them with nature & nature’s processes and thought they were lacking in “higher” mental pursuits & non-egoic strivings. Of course, perhaps he followed now archaic modes of thought- men are, after all- equally rooted in nature: but, men’s “natural state” gives them much more freedom in life. Although Montaigne was one of the fathers of modern Western mind- I think he is, along with Shakespeare, the first progenitor of intellectual/spiritual modernity- he remains safely in the tradition of male reductionism re females.

    This leads me to a rather tenuous association: when I compare Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Pentateuch’s rendition of females (Leah, Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah, ..) they all seem like sex-procreation machines without individuality; their entire “meaning of life” is to get knocked up & to give birth to as many children as possible.

    So far, so good. We’re still in the realm of traditions, and perception of men’s & women’s role was exclusively pre-modern & could be applied to both east & West equally.

    On the other hand, ancient Greeks– the best of their writers, dramatists & philosophers; they, perhaps unwilling progenitors of what will become in next 200-2500 years modern world- treat women as individuals, especially Sophocles & Euripides. But, even a man’s man like Aeschylus give us unforgettable Clytemnestra in “Oresteia”. Of course, these women were seen from male perspective- but they are ravishing. Is it something in Western mind, that all whites/Europeans have inherited, that pushes for individualism, however intermittently? That gives women potentiality for individualization, which they themselves would not have the power nor will to obtain or fight for. Is individualism “genetically” Western thing, while others assimilate only aspects of it, only in portions they can digest?

    So- generally, without Western men’s interference, women go with the flow.

    Be as it may, only Western men, from Paris to Petrograd, from London to Ottawa and Buenos Aires, not only let, but actively push individuality on their females. So, low birth rate in the West (Sweden, Poland, ..) is a conflation of male individualism & female wish for an easier, more gratifying life without fussing around too many children who’re constantly screaming & nagging. In other corners of earth (Japan, China, modernized Iran,..) it is just a second component.

    While, the natural condition among Africans, most Mestizos & Arab browns seems to retain female procreational animalism as described in the Pentateuch.

    In both cases, women go with the flow, either having post-modern pseudo-individual fun & not having babies ( West, North) or pumping out babies because that’s their natural position in the chain of life (South, East).

    Replies: @very old statistician

  229. @Anonymous
    @res

    FWIW, on the Ron's original list you are the only one I'd have given the star. Dearieme and PhysicistDave are also consistently good, even if their posts are never as substantial as many of yours.

    Nothing cowardly about worrying of being doxxed. These days it does not take much to upend one's life.

    Replies: @res

    Thank you for the kind words. Dearieme is one of my favorite commenters. I have had many good interactions with him in James Thompson’s blog. His comments may not be lengthy, but I think they are often quite intellectually substantial (in some ways more so than mine, we have different approaches and he brings some interesting life experiences to bear, as well as obviously being quite intelligent). They also often lead to more substantial conversation.

    PhysicistDave is another excellent commenter (and his stories of his daughter’s travails at UCLA are heart breaking). Though he has been having some flame wars with people lately which are about as useful and enjoyable to read as my flame wars. I think he is suffering a similar problem to mine–losing patience with the influx of trolls around here.

  230. @Anon
    @very very old statistician

    “ Tolstoy was a genius at constructing narrative flow and incorporating detail, but NOTHING he wrote shows that he ever understood other men, or other women, half as well as a normal human being in a normal society understands his friends and his wife and his wife’s friends. ”

    Agree. Tolstoy is a powerful narrator, he can make Napoleon seem real as part of War and Peace down to the shape of his calves. But it would be difficult to find a Tolstoy character that isdepicted as truly likable, and he seemed to delight in the contemptible moments of his protagonists. Wisdom does not come when one dislikes so much about others. A commenter here once said he found solace reading about goodness in Tolstoy.. I had to wondered what his point of reference was.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Sorry to inform you, but…… you can’t get the Sublime. It’s like tone-deafness, it cannot be repaired.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Baron Kaldian --- anon was right, when someone randomly says they are not sure why Tolstoy is associated with the sublime, they probably have a good reason. You were wrong to criticize him.

    For the record, in all of Anna Karenina, the sublime moments are all hidden, and are mostly attributable, by someone who understands Russia, to the fact that the boyar Tolstoy was surrounded, in his early youth, by the normal retinue of an aristocrat, to include a few elderly aunts with true Christian mysticism in their souls, and possibly by one or two of the clergy who were not timeservers among their hundreds of timeserver brethren. Later in life he was a mediocrity or worse when it comes to understanding the sublime, but all his life he probably carried the memories to which I have alluded.

    That being said, there are a couple of sublime moments in War and Peace - none before Andrey gets conked at Austerlitz, and only one or two thereafter. Nobody who reads the whole novel thinks of it as being focused on the sublime - it is more Horatian than that, in the Aristotolian sense that "everything in moderation" (the poor old Greek boy was wrong about that, but on the UNZ review our comments are limited as far as number of words ---- so all I can say is, I hope you understand, dear Baron)

    There are many many novelists in American and European languages who are much better at the sublime than the poor little Muscovite rich boy who did not even like his wife and left her, as creepy men do, to walk to a railroad station. But you, being a Baron and all, either know that or do not know that; none of which excuses you for being rude and wrong in your anti-anon expostulation. Well, be better tomorrow than today, I know you can do it.

  231. @Anonymous8090
    Much of Genesis may have been written by a woman (it's wildly feminist, from Abraham being commanded by God to "do all that Sarah tells you" through Potiohar's wife taking the sexual initiative against Joseph's innocence (and then providing an early example of "hell hath no fury loke a woman scorned").

    The Book of Ruth was almost certainly written by a woman as it's nothing more than a Poverty to Princess story. That's really it.

    Song of Songs is a love story, much of it from the first person perspective of a young woman. She describes being spooned (or forked) with his left arm under her head and his right arm hugging her and she talks about the tragedy of her man getting disappointed when he keeps wanting to get in and she keeps refusing. During this negotiation however she gets incredibly wet and her innards yearn for him but by then he's gone (he either left because the wouldn't put out or lost his hardon) and she is keft sexually frustrated. In fact much of what she writes is explicitly addressed to her female readers, the "daughters of Jerusalem".

    As for the Book of Esther, a man's hand may have been involved but, as the name implies, it is a woman's tale about stupid ineffectual men being bettered by their wives (Vashti, Zeresh and of courses Esther herself).

    Women have been publicly writing best sellers for their female readership for a long time and their works were considered good enough to end up IN THE BIBLE.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    This was Harold Bloom thesis. I don’t believe it, but- if it’s true, that women are basically animals for reproduction & Montaigne was right.

    Women, as sex/gender, are more members of a kind than they are individuals. The Talmud says something like (quoting from memory): “Women are a separate people”; Michel de Montaigne, a man perhaps completely unacceptable to modern feminist mind said that women were not fully human (now, we shouldn’t take him literally). He equated them with nature & nature’s processes and thought they were lacking in “higher” mental pursuits & non-egoic strivings. Of course, perhaps he followed now archaic modes of thought- men are, after all- equally rooted in nature: but, men’s “natural state” gives them much more freedom in life. Although Montaigne was one of the fathers of modern Western mind- I think he is, along with Shakespeare, the first progenitor of intellectual/spiritual modernity- he remains safely in the tradition of male reductionism re females.

    This leads me to a rather tenuous association: when I compare Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Pentateuch’s rendition of females (Leah, Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah, ..) they all seem like sex-procreation machines without individuality; their entire “meaning of life” is to get knocked up & to give birth to as many children as possible.

    So far, so good. We’re still in the realm of traditions, and perception of men’s & women’s role was exclusively pre-modern & could be applied to both east & West equally.

    On the other hand, ancient Greeks– the best of their writers, dramatists & philosophers; they, perhaps unwilling progenitors of what will become in next 200-2500 years modern world- treat women as individuals, especially Sophocles & Euripides. But, even a man’s man like Aeschylus give us unforgettable Clytemnestra in “Oresteia”. Of course, these women were seen from male perspective- but they are ravishing. Is it something in Western mind, that all whites/Europeans have inherited, that pushes for individualism, however intermittently? That gives women potentiality for individualization, which they themselves would not have the power nor will to obtain or fight for. Is individualism “genetically” Western thing, while others assimilate only aspects of it, only in portions they can digest?

    So- generally, without Western men’s interference, women go with the flow.

    Be as it may, only Western men, from Paris to Petrograd, from London to Ottawa and Buenos Aires, not only let, but actively push individuality on their females. So, low birth rate in the West (Sweden, Poland, ..) is a conflation of male individualism & female wish for an easier, more gratifying life without fussing around too many children who’re constantly screaming & nagging. In other corners of earth (Japan, China, modernized Iran,..) it is just a second component.

    While, the natural condition among Africans, most Mestizos & Arab browns seems to retain female procreational animalism as described in the Pentateuch.

    In both cases, women go with the flow, either having post-modern pseudo-individual fun & not having babies ( West, North) or pumping out babies because that’s their natural position in the chain of life (South, East).

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Dude you sound gay, and not nice gay, but Baron Charlus gay (Baron Charlus was the character in Proust who was gay and who was angry that French men were not masculine enough - he was himself not someone who anyone, much less a fertile woman, ever really admired as a fellow human being).

    Replies: @Anonymous

  232. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Anon

    Sorry to inform you, but...... you can't get the Sublime. It's like tone-deafness, it cannot be repaired.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    Baron Kaldian — anon was right, when someone randomly says they are not sure why Tolstoy is associated with the sublime, they probably have a good reason. You were wrong to criticize him.

    For the record, in all of Anna Karenina, the sublime moments are all hidden, and are mostly attributable, by someone who understands Russia, to the fact that the boyar Tolstoy was surrounded, in his early youth, by the normal retinue of an aristocrat, to include a few elderly aunts with true Christian mysticism in their souls, and possibly by one or two of the clergy who were not timeservers among their hundreds of timeserver brethren. Later in life he was a mediocrity or worse when it comes to understanding the sublime, but all his life he probably carried the memories to which I have alluded.

    That being said, there are a couple of sublime moments in War and Peace – none before Andrey gets conked at Austerlitz, and only one or two thereafter. Nobody who reads the whole novel thinks of it as being focused on the sublime – it is more Horatian than that, in the Aristotolian sense that “everything in moderation” (the poor old Greek boy was wrong about that, but on the UNZ review our comments are limited as far as number of words —- so all I can say is, I hope you understand, dear Baron)

    There are many many novelists in American and European languages who are much better at the sublime than the poor little Muscovite rich boy who did not even like his wife and left her, as creepy men do, to walk to a railroad station. But you, being a Baron and all, either know that or do not know that; none of which excuses you for being rude and wrong in your anti-anon expostulation. Well, be better tomorrow than today, I know you can do it.

  233. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Anonymous8090

    This was Harold Bloom thesis. I don't believe it, but- if it's true, that women are basically animals for reproduction & Montaigne was right.

    Women, as sex/gender, are more members of a kind than they are individuals. The Talmud says something like (quoting from memory): “Women are a separate people”; Michel de Montaigne, a man perhaps completely unacceptable to modern feminist mind said that women were not fully human (now, we shouldn’t take him literally). He equated them with nature & nature’s processes and thought they were lacking in “higher” mental pursuits & non-egoic strivings. Of course, perhaps he followed now archaic modes of thought- men are, after all- equally rooted in nature: but, men’s “natural state” gives them much more freedom in life. Although Montaigne was one of the fathers of modern Western mind- I think he is, along with Shakespeare, the first progenitor of intellectual/spiritual modernity- he remains safely in the tradition of male reductionism re females.

    This leads me to a rather tenuous association: when I compare Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Pentateuch’s rendition of females (Leah, Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah, ..) they all seem like sex-procreation machines without individuality; their entire “meaning of life” is to get knocked up & to give birth to as many children as possible.

    So far, so good. We’re still in the realm of traditions, and perception of men’s & women’s role was exclusively pre-modern & could be applied to both east & West equally.

    On the other hand, ancient Greeks– the best of their writers, dramatists & philosophers; they, perhaps unwilling progenitors of what will become in next 200-2500 years modern world- treat women as individuals, especially Sophocles & Euripides. But, even a man’s man like Aeschylus give us unforgettable Clytemnestra in “Oresteia”. Of course, these women were seen from male perspective- but they are ravishing. Is it something in Western mind, that all whites/Europeans have inherited, that pushes for individualism, however intermittently? That gives women potentiality for individualization, which they themselves would not have the power nor will to obtain or fight for. Is individualism “genetically” Western thing, while others assimilate only aspects of it, only in portions they can digest?

    So- generally, without Western men’s interference, women go with the flow.

    Be as it may, only Western men, from Paris to Petrograd, from London to Ottawa and Buenos Aires, not only let, but actively push individuality on their females. So, low birth rate in the West (Sweden, Poland, ..) is a conflation of male individualism & female wish for an easier, more gratifying life without fussing around too many children who’re constantly screaming & nagging. In other corners of earth (Japan, China, modernized Iran,..) it is just a second component.

    While, the natural condition among Africans, most Mestizos & Arab browns seems to retain female procreational animalism as described in the Pentateuch.

    In both cases, women go with the flow, either having post-modern pseudo-individual fun & not having babies ( West, North) or pumping out babies because that’s their natural position in the chain of life (South, East).

    Replies: @very old statistician

    Dude you sound gay, and not nice gay, but Baron Charlus gay (Baron Charlus was the character in Proust who was gay and who was angry that French men were not masculine enough – he was himself not someone who anyone, much less a fertile woman, ever really admired as a fellow human being).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @very old statistician

    Bardon is a Croatian guy in his middle forties who has never been married and may be, I have suspected, a virgin. Nothing wrong with any of that. I don't think he understands women at all. Notice that when talking about women he merely quotes various novelists or philosophers and never offers any first-person accounts as just about every other commenter does -- granted, most if not all of those are just bar talk with little or no connection to reality, but, still, they are typical guy talk. Bardon...well, he's different. I like reading what he writes, whatever the topic, whether he is on to something or flying solo way out there among the clouds, because he's an interesting guy.
    But don't get him started on Serbs.

    Replies: @very old statistician

  234. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Dude you sound gay, and not nice gay, but Baron Charlus gay (Baron Charlus was the character in Proust who was gay and who was angry that French men were not masculine enough - he was himself not someone who anyone, much less a fertile woman, ever really admired as a fellow human being).

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Bardon is a Croatian guy in his middle forties who has never been married and may be, I have suspected, a virgin. Nothing wrong with any of that. I don’t think he understands women at all. Notice that when talking about women he merely quotes various novelists or philosophers and never offers any first-person accounts as just about every other commenter does — granted, most if not all of those are just bar talk with little or no connection to reality, but, still, they are typical guy talk. Bardon…well, he’s different. I like reading what he writes, whatever the topic, whether he is on to something or flying solo way out there among the clouds, because he’s an interesting guy.
    But don’t get him started on Serbs.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Anonymous

    When I first read Waugh's Sword of Honor Trilogy, I - not exactly a Slavicist, but also not exactly someone who does not understand these things - was surprised that Waugh did not seem to understand very well the vast differences between the Croats and the Serbs, and I am always happy when some good-hearted person who knows those differences speaks about those differences.

    He insulted someone who had agreed with me, and I stood up, as honorable people do, for the person who agreed with me.
    I hope the comparison to Baron Charlus reflects more poorly on me than on him ---- but I am someone who does not care if I win an argument or not, I have years and years of bar talk behind me, and I would rather be wrong about someone who is better than I thought, than right about them.

  235. @guest
    @Old and Grumpy

    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose. Not even to the level of the grossest and most indulgent depictions f bodily violence.

    What they do serve is prurient interests. Whatever value that has in itself, serving such interests can’t help but drag a work down. Much like if you make a horror movie with an abundance of jump scares. You know the audience will start to anticipate more scares. Until anticipation takes up most of their viewing interest.

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous. More or less equivalent to descriptions of bowel movements. I don’t need to know, thank you very much

    Replies: @dfordoom

    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose.

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous.

    The erotic literature that women read is pornography. A great deal of romance fiction is pornography. Women prefer not to call it porn but that’s what it is.

    Taking the sex scenes out of these kinds of books would be like taking the murders out of murder mysteries, or taking the espionage out of spy fiction.

    Men like visual pornography. Women like literary pornography. Men like to see sex acts and naked women. Women like fantasies about sexually charged situations.

    I don’t have a problem with it. If women like reading porn let them do so.

    • Replies: @guest
    @dfordoom

    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose. They serve a prurient purpose. Meaning they are there for no he purposes of sex. Or for the purposes of titillation, if you will.

    Except your similes are a bit off. For instance, you could take the Murder out of murder mysteries and there could still be mystery. Some readers may be enticed by the actual murder, but most people read those things for mystery.

    Those who are in it for the bodily reality of violence would do bette to watch horror movies or look at autopsy photos.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  236. @Anonymous
    @very old statistician

    Bardon is a Croatian guy in his middle forties who has never been married and may be, I have suspected, a virgin. Nothing wrong with any of that. I don't think he understands women at all. Notice that when talking about women he merely quotes various novelists or philosophers and never offers any first-person accounts as just about every other commenter does -- granted, most if not all of those are just bar talk with little or no connection to reality, but, still, they are typical guy talk. Bardon...well, he's different. I like reading what he writes, whatever the topic, whether he is on to something or flying solo way out there among the clouds, because he's an interesting guy.
    But don't get him started on Serbs.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    When I first read Waugh’s Sword of Honor Trilogy, I – not exactly a Slavicist, but also not exactly someone who does not understand these things – was surprised that Waugh did not seem to understand very well the vast differences between the Croats and the Serbs, and I am always happy when some good-hearted person who knows those differences speaks about those differences.

    He insulted someone who had agreed with me, and I stood up, as honorable people do, for the person who agreed with me.
    I hope the comparison to Baron Charlus reflects more poorly on me than on him —- but I am someone who does not care if I win an argument or not, I have years and years of bar talk behind me, and I would rather be wrong about someone who is better than I thought, than right about them.

  237. @dfordoom
    @guest


    Talking to fans of erotic literature about the literary value of sex scenes is like falling into a pit of vipers. They can never accept that such scenes serve almost no literary purpose.
     

    For me, outside of actual pornography sex scenes are superfluous.
     
    The erotic literature that women read is pornography. A great deal of romance fiction is pornography. Women prefer not to call it porn but that's what it is.

    Taking the sex scenes out of these kinds of books would be like taking the murders out of murder mysteries, or taking the espionage out of spy fiction.

    Men like visual pornography. Women like literary pornography. Men like to see sex acts and naked women. Women like fantasies about sexually charged situations.

    I don't have a problem with it. If women like reading porn let them do so.

    Replies: @guest

    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose. They serve a prurient purpose. Meaning they are there for no he purposes of sex. Or for the purposes of titillation, if you will.

    Except your similes are a bit off. For instance, you could take the Murder out of murder mysteries and there could still be mystery. Some readers may be enticed by the actual murder, but most people read those things for mystery.

    Those who are in it for the bodily reality of violence would do bette to watch horror movies or look at autopsy photos.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @guest


    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose.
     
    What is a "literary purpose" exactly? You could argue that the jokes should be eliminated from comic novels because they serve no literary purpose. You could ague that the thrills should be eliminated from thrillers because they serve no literary purpose.

    What is literature anyway? Is genre fiction literature? Is "literary fiction" just another genre?

    Most of the novels ever written are genre fiction. Are novels and literature the same thing?

    Fiction genres have their own conventions. Murder mysteries have a crime to be solved. Science fiction has to contain some element of science or technology or it has to involve speculation about the future of society. Romance fiction has to have romance. It's hard to separate romance and sex. Romantic relationships are almost always sexual relationships. A romantic relationship might be a brief fling or a marriage but it's going to involve sex.

    Whether you like your thrillers to contain explicit depictions of violence or very low-key violence is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied violence or the threat of violence. And whether you like your romance fiction to contain explicit depictions of sex or very low-key treatment of the subject is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied sex or the possibility of sex.

    Replies: @guest

  238. @guest
    @dfordoom

    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose. They serve a prurient purpose. Meaning they are there for no he purposes of sex. Or for the purposes of titillation, if you will.

    Except your similes are a bit off. For instance, you could take the Murder out of murder mysteries and there could still be mystery. Some readers may be enticed by the actual murder, but most people read those things for mystery.

    Those who are in it for the bodily reality of violence would do bette to watch horror movies or look at autopsy photos.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose.

    What is a “literary purpose” exactly? You could argue that the jokes should be eliminated from comic novels because they serve no literary purpose. You could ague that the thrills should be eliminated from thrillers because they serve no literary purpose.

    What is literature anyway? Is genre fiction literature? Is “literary fiction” just another genre?

    Most of the novels ever written are genre fiction. Are novels and literature the same thing?

    Fiction genres have their own conventions. Murder mysteries have a crime to be solved. Science fiction has to contain some element of science or technology or it has to involve speculation about the future of society. Romance fiction has to have romance. It’s hard to separate romance and sex. Romantic relationships are almost always sexual relationships. A romantic relationship might be a brief fling or a marriage but it’s going to involve sex.

    Whether you like your thrillers to contain explicit depictions of violence or very low-key violence is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied violence or the threat of violence. And whether you like your romance fiction to contain explicit depictions of sex or very low-key treatment of the subject is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied sex or the possibility of sex.

    • Replies: @guest
    @dfordoom

    First and foremost, I don’t ascribe to any secret definition of literature. I use the one most everyone uses. Unless they have an axe to grind.

    If you aren’t aware of the basic elements of storytelling, that would be one explanation for your silly questions.

    No, I absolutely would not need to exclude jokes if I were to exclude descriptions of the sex act from the litany of properly literary devices.

    Nor would I have to exclude thrills. Are you kidding? Is this a troll?

    Your questions have the character of a criminal caught by the police with a smoking gun asking “What gun?”

    Jokes *can* be gratuitous. One *could* write in thrills just for the sake of thrills. In which case they would not serve a literary purpose.

    However, both of those devices can and also do serve literary purposes. They very naturally do so.

    Sex scenes never do.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.

    Neither is it a literary purpose to depict the biological realities. As I said, not any more than looking at auyopsy photos is a literary activity, despite the great number of books about murder. Which commonly involve dead bodies.

    Why are these things (the sex act, the human body postmortem) in themselves literary? Well, what are the elements of fiction?

    plot
    character
    setting
    theme
    etc.

    Are any of these served by the mechanics of sex? The in-and-out of the act? Well, you could further these things while sex proceeds. But like I said, you could also do so while someone is pooping on a toilet. If you did, people would wonder: “why do I have to hear about the poop stuff?” It’s the other stuff that could possibly push the story forward or give the reader some sort of meaningful experience.

    Readers probably wouldn’t wonder why sex was being described the same way he wonders about pooping. Because the reader would know people naturally find sex of interest. However, that interest is not literary.

    It could be scientific, if you’re into that. More likely, the interest is sexual. Meaning intended to stimulate the sexuality of the reader. Such is a use of pornography, not of literature properly defined.

    Because we civilized folk do not classify pornography as literature. Even if it is in written form. This is not like the FALSE DIVISION between “literary” fiction fiction and “genre” fiction. Because, you know, in all manner of arts pornography is set aside from the aesthetic experience. One affects the loins merely, and the other the intellect. Or the spirit. Or anything but what’s being stimulated by pornography.

    Now, you might say the spasms of laughter rippling through my body when I experience is kind of like an orgasm I might receive from consuming pornography. They are both physical reactions, if nothing else.

    Likewise thrills. Which after all are measured in spine-chills and goosebumps.

    But who are we kidding? Humor can often be beside the point of a story. Or it can be gratituitous. However, in the vast majority of stories it is successfully used for literary purposes. There are few stories that don’t contain humor in one form o another.

    If we’re talking formal jokes only, those have a greater tendency to be ends in themselves. However, jokes on general tend to advance the elements of fiction. Character especially. Thene also. Less so setting and plot, but even those it can aid.

    When thrills are used as things-in-themselves, people tend to noyhce and call them out. What is the main criticism of the Paranormal Activities movie series? That it’s “just a bunch of jump scares.” Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.

    Again, though, thrills can and are used properly to advance stories. Sex scenes are not. They are always Vil-de-sacs. The fact that characters have sex is meaningful. Describing a penis going in and out of an orifice is not.

    A great many horror and suspense writers have figured out how to use thrills to aid the elements of storytelling. No one who gas’s ever lived has managed to figure out how to use pornography to do so.

    Once someone figures that out, I’ll change my tune.

    At best sex scenes serve pornographic purposes.. if they happen to contain important information, that information would always be better exposed outside the context of the act.

    Imagine, for example, a Hamlet soliloquy taking place in the midst of him moving his bowels. With a full relaying aid all the action going down in his bowels. The bowel-moving would be superfluous, would it not? That sort of biological description serves no literary purpose.

    I’m not entirely joking, because one of the most unfortunate books ever to be written, James Joyce’s Ulysses,* pulled exactly this trick with pooping and sex. Except the information he conveyed in these scenes was not in the level of a Hamlet soliloquy. It was mostly gobbledygook.

    That book uses all sorts of no -literary tricks, though. Sex was probably the money memorable such trick, because you know people. Sex stands out to them.

    ————

    That being said, I don’t want to assume you’re just trolling me. Because though you ask a lot of silly quetions, there’s one genuine issue you bring up:

    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction

    and

    “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.

    See, professional critics of literature with their heads up their butt don’t think High Literature need bother with mundane things like plot. Because nothing regular people enjoy can form part of a story thru give precious ratings in the New Yorker or what-have-you.

    This is dishonest practices. Of regular people can enjoy Shakespeare and Beethoven)and they do), they can enjoy High-Falutin’ books. Popularity neither makes nor unmakes fine art,

    ——-

    As for your points about convention and expectation, mostly you’re talking past me. I don’t think this addresses my points at all. Because I am not talking about any and all depiction of anything that could conceivably be considered sex. I’m definitely not talking about “low-key” depictions and absolutely not implied sex. Did you even read my post.

    Literally the only subgenre of fiction promising to readers the explicit depiction of the sex act is erotica. Now, erotic literature does not have to be full-on pornography. But if it contains detailed descriptions of the sex act, then either it is pornography or it’s playing the James Joyce game of “look what I can get away with.” Usually not the latter.

    *Any number of books could have breached the obscenity barrier. Others did, notably Lady Chattery’s Lover. Which had the advantage on Ulysses of being readable,

    I say Ulysses was more unfortunate for literature because it managed to get itself placed on the high shelf of Great Books, despite being a con-job.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom

  239. Yes! Finally something about judi online terpercaya.

  240. Nice article but it isn’t true at all in my opinion that TS Eliot is better than Ezra Pound.

  241. guest says:
    @dfordoom
    @guest


    That’s what I was saying. Sex scenes do not serve a literary purpose.
     
    What is a "literary purpose" exactly? You could argue that the jokes should be eliminated from comic novels because they serve no literary purpose. You could ague that the thrills should be eliminated from thrillers because they serve no literary purpose.

    What is literature anyway? Is genre fiction literature? Is "literary fiction" just another genre?

    Most of the novels ever written are genre fiction. Are novels and literature the same thing?

    Fiction genres have their own conventions. Murder mysteries have a crime to be solved. Science fiction has to contain some element of science or technology or it has to involve speculation about the future of society. Romance fiction has to have romance. It's hard to separate romance and sex. Romantic relationships are almost always sexual relationships. A romantic relationship might be a brief fling or a marriage but it's going to involve sex.

    Whether you like your thrillers to contain explicit depictions of violence or very low-key violence is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied violence or the threat of violence. And whether you like your romance fiction to contain explicit depictions of sex or very low-key treatment of the subject is a matter of taste but there has to be at least implied sex or the possibility of sex.

    Replies: @guest

    First and foremost, I don’t ascribe to any secret definition of literature. I use the one most everyone uses. Unless they have an axe to grind.

    If you aren’t aware of the basic elements of storytelling, that would be one explanation for your silly questions.

    No, I absolutely would not need to exclude jokes if I were to exclude descriptions of the sex act from the litany of properly literary devices.

    Nor would I have to exclude thrills. Are you kidding? Is this a troll?

    Your questions have the character of a criminal caught by the police with a smoking gun asking “What gun?”

    Jokes *can* be gratuitous. One *could* write in thrills just for the sake of thrills. In which case they would not serve a literary purpose.

    However, both of those devices can and also do serve literary purposes. They very naturally do so.

    Sex scenes never do.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.

    Neither is it a literary purpose to depict the biological realities. As I said, not any more than looking at auyopsy photos is a literary activity, despite the great number of books about murder. Which commonly involve dead bodies.

    Why are these things (the sex act, the human body postmortem) in themselves literary? Well, what are the elements of fiction?

    plot
    character
    setting
    theme
    etc.

    Are any of these served by the mechanics of sex? The in-and-out of the act? Well, you could further these things while sex proceeds. But like I said, you could also do so while someone is pooping on a toilet. If you did, people would wonder: “why do I have to hear about the poop stuff?” It’s the other stuff that could possibly push the story forward or give the reader some sort of meaningful experience.

    Readers probably wouldn’t wonder why sex was being described the same way he wonders about pooping. Because the reader would know people naturally find sex of interest. However, that interest is not literary.

    It could be scientific, if you’re into that. More likely, the interest is sexual. Meaning intended to stimulate the sexuality of the reader. Such is a use of pornography, not of literature properly defined.

    Because we civilized folk do not classify pornography as literature. Even if it is in written form. This is not like the FALSE DIVISION between “literary” fiction fiction and “genre” fiction. Because, you know, in all manner of arts pornography is set aside from the aesthetic experience. One affects the loins merely, and the other the intellect. Or the spirit. Or anything but what’s being stimulated by pornography.

    Now, you might say the spasms of laughter rippling through my body when I experience is kind of like an orgasm I might receive from consuming pornography. They are both physical reactions, if nothing else.

    Likewise thrills. Which after all are measured in spine-chills and goosebumps.

    But who are we kidding? Humor can often be beside the point of a story. Or it can be gratituitous. However, in the vast majority of stories it is successfully used for literary purposes. There are few stories that don’t contain humor in one form o another.

    If we’re talking formal jokes only, those have a greater tendency to be ends in themselves. However, jokes on general tend to advance the elements of fiction. Character especially. Thene also. Less so setting and plot, but even those it can aid.

    When thrills are used as things-in-themselves, people tend to noyhce and call them out. What is the main criticism of the Paranormal Activities movie series? That it’s “just a bunch of jump scares.” Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.

    Again, though, thrills can and are used properly to advance stories. Sex scenes are not. They are always Vil-de-sacs. The fact that characters have sex is meaningful. Describing a penis going in and out of an orifice is not.

    A great many horror and suspense writers have figured out how to use thrills to aid the elements of storytelling. No one who gas’s ever lived has managed to figure out how to use pornography to do so.

    Once someone figures that out, I’ll change my tune.

    At best sex scenes serve pornographic purposes.. if they happen to contain important information, that information would always be better exposed outside the context of the act.

    Imagine, for example, a Hamlet soliloquy taking place in the midst of him moving his bowels. With a full relaying aid all the action going down in his bowels. The bowel-moving would be superfluous, would it not? That sort of biological description serves no literary purpose.

    I’m not entirely joking, because one of the most unfortunate books ever to be written, James Joyce’s Ulysses,* pulled exactly this trick with pooping and sex. Except the information he conveyed in these scenes was not in the level of a Hamlet soliloquy. It was mostly gobbledygook.

    That book uses all sorts of no -literary tricks, though. Sex was probably the money memorable such trick, because you know people. Sex stands out to them.

    ————

    That being said, I don’t want to assume you’re just trolling me. Because though you ask a lot of silly quetions, there’s one genuine issue you bring up:

    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction

    and

    “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.

    See, professional critics of literature with their heads up their butt don’t think High Literature need bother with mundane things like plot. Because nothing regular people enjoy can form part of a story thru give precious ratings in the New Yorker or what-have-you.

    This is dishonest practices. Of regular people can enjoy Shakespeare and Beethoven)and they do), they can enjoy High-Falutin’ books. Popularity neither makes nor unmakes fine art,

    ——-

    As for your points about convention and expectation, mostly you’re talking past me. I don’t think this addresses my points at all. Because I am not talking about any and all depiction of anything that could conceivably be considered sex. I’m definitely not talking about “low-key” depictions and absolutely not implied sex. Did you even read my post.

    Literally the only subgenre of fiction promising to readers the explicit depiction of the sex act is erotica. Now, erotic literature does not have to be full-on pornography. But if it contains detailed descriptions of the sex act, then either it is pornography or it’s playing the James Joyce game of “look what I can get away with.” Usually not the latter.

    *Any number of books could have breached the obscenity barrier. Others did, notably Lady Chattery’s Lover. Which had the advantage on Ulysses of being readable,

    I say Ulysses was more unfortunate for literature because it managed to get itself placed on the high shelf of Great Books, despite being a con-job.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @guest


    Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.
     
    But we were talking about romance fiction. It's fiction about love and sex. If it's a story about love and sex then the moment that the protagonists have sex sure as hell does advance the story. How graphic you like the description of the sex to be is a matter of personal taste. Clearly many of the women who read romance fiction want it to be fairly graphic. If that's what they like then good luck to them.

    Romance fiction is basically pornography for women, the difference being that men are mostly aroused by visual images of a sexual nature while women are aroused by reading about situations of both a sexual and emotional nature.

    Saying that the sex scenes in romance novels are gratuitous and unnecessary is like saying that the pictures of naked women in a girlie magazine are gratuitous and unnecessary.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.
     
    If it's romance fiction then its purpose is to arouse the reader emotionally and sexually. And yes, some women will read romance fiction and then masturbate. If that's what they want to do then that's fine. If it's add a little bit of joy to their lives I don't have a problem with that.
    , @dfordoom
    @guest


    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction and “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

     

    I agree.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.
     
    I agree. But if all fiction is literature then erotic fiction is literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.
     
    To a certain extent, yes. The division is also intended to make the people who read “literary” fiction feel superior to people who read other genres.

    As for whether fiction other than erotic fiction or romance fiction should include graphic sex, that's a tricky question. There are occasions when it really is important to convey to the reader that the relationship between two characters has changed from just good friends into passionate love and on those occasions it can be desirable to give a sex scene a genuine erotic charge.

    Personally it's not the sex in modern literature (or modern movies) that bothers me. It's the unnecessary crudity and vulgarity, and the unnecessarily graphic violence.
  242. @guest
    @dfordoom

    First and foremost, I don’t ascribe to any secret definition of literature. I use the one most everyone uses. Unless they have an axe to grind.

    If you aren’t aware of the basic elements of storytelling, that would be one explanation for your silly questions.

    No, I absolutely would not need to exclude jokes if I were to exclude descriptions of the sex act from the litany of properly literary devices.

    Nor would I have to exclude thrills. Are you kidding? Is this a troll?

    Your questions have the character of a criminal caught by the police with a smoking gun asking “What gun?”

    Jokes *can* be gratuitous. One *could* write in thrills just for the sake of thrills. In which case they would not serve a literary purpose.

    However, both of those devices can and also do serve literary purposes. They very naturally do so.

    Sex scenes never do.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.

    Neither is it a literary purpose to depict the biological realities. As I said, not any more than looking at auyopsy photos is a literary activity, despite the great number of books about murder. Which commonly involve dead bodies.

    Why are these things (the sex act, the human body postmortem) in themselves literary? Well, what are the elements of fiction?

    plot
    character
    setting
    theme
    etc.

    Are any of these served by the mechanics of sex? The in-and-out of the act? Well, you could further these things while sex proceeds. But like I said, you could also do so while someone is pooping on a toilet. If you did, people would wonder: “why do I have to hear about the poop stuff?” It’s the other stuff that could possibly push the story forward or give the reader some sort of meaningful experience.

    Readers probably wouldn’t wonder why sex was being described the same way he wonders about pooping. Because the reader would know people naturally find sex of interest. However, that interest is not literary.

    It could be scientific, if you’re into that. More likely, the interest is sexual. Meaning intended to stimulate the sexuality of the reader. Such is a use of pornography, not of literature properly defined.

    Because we civilized folk do not classify pornography as literature. Even if it is in written form. This is not like the FALSE DIVISION between “literary” fiction fiction and “genre” fiction. Because, you know, in all manner of arts pornography is set aside from the aesthetic experience. One affects the loins merely, and the other the intellect. Or the spirit. Or anything but what’s being stimulated by pornography.

    Now, you might say the spasms of laughter rippling through my body when I experience is kind of like an orgasm I might receive from consuming pornography. They are both physical reactions, if nothing else.

    Likewise thrills. Which after all are measured in spine-chills and goosebumps.

    But who are we kidding? Humor can often be beside the point of a story. Or it can be gratituitous. However, in the vast majority of stories it is successfully used for literary purposes. There are few stories that don’t contain humor in one form o another.

    If we’re talking formal jokes only, those have a greater tendency to be ends in themselves. However, jokes on general tend to advance the elements of fiction. Character especially. Thene also. Less so setting and plot, but even those it can aid.

    When thrills are used as things-in-themselves, people tend to noyhce and call them out. What is the main criticism of the Paranormal Activities movie series? That it’s “just a bunch of jump scares.” Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.

    Again, though, thrills can and are used properly to advance stories. Sex scenes are not. They are always Vil-de-sacs. The fact that characters have sex is meaningful. Describing a penis going in and out of an orifice is not.

    A great many horror and suspense writers have figured out how to use thrills to aid the elements of storytelling. No one who gas’s ever lived has managed to figure out how to use pornography to do so.

    Once someone figures that out, I’ll change my tune.

    At best sex scenes serve pornographic purposes.. if they happen to contain important information, that information would always be better exposed outside the context of the act.

    Imagine, for example, a Hamlet soliloquy taking place in the midst of him moving his bowels. With a full relaying aid all the action going down in his bowels. The bowel-moving would be superfluous, would it not? That sort of biological description serves no literary purpose.

    I’m not entirely joking, because one of the most unfortunate books ever to be written, James Joyce’s Ulysses,* pulled exactly this trick with pooping and sex. Except the information he conveyed in these scenes was not in the level of a Hamlet soliloquy. It was mostly gobbledygook.

    That book uses all sorts of no -literary tricks, though. Sex was probably the money memorable such trick, because you know people. Sex stands out to them.

    ————

    That being said, I don’t want to assume you’re just trolling me. Because though you ask a lot of silly quetions, there’s one genuine issue you bring up:

    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction

    and

    “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.

    See, professional critics of literature with their heads up their butt don’t think High Literature need bother with mundane things like plot. Because nothing regular people enjoy can form part of a story thru give precious ratings in the New Yorker or what-have-you.

    This is dishonest practices. Of regular people can enjoy Shakespeare and Beethoven)and they do), they can enjoy High-Falutin’ books. Popularity neither makes nor unmakes fine art,

    ——-

    As for your points about convention and expectation, mostly you’re talking past me. I don’t think this addresses my points at all. Because I am not talking about any and all depiction of anything that could conceivably be considered sex. I’m definitely not talking about “low-key” depictions and absolutely not implied sex. Did you even read my post.

    Literally the only subgenre of fiction promising to readers the explicit depiction of the sex act is erotica. Now, erotic literature does not have to be full-on pornography. But if it contains detailed descriptions of the sex act, then either it is pornography or it’s playing the James Joyce game of “look what I can get away with.” Usually not the latter.

    *Any number of books could have breached the obscenity barrier. Others did, notably Lady Chattery’s Lover. Which had the advantage on Ulysses of being readable,

    I say Ulysses was more unfortunate for literature because it managed to get itself placed on the high shelf of Great Books, despite being a con-job.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom

    Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.

    But we were talking about romance fiction. It’s fiction about love and sex. If it’s a story about love and sex then the moment that the protagonists have sex sure as hell does advance the story. How graphic you like the description of the sex to be is a matter of personal taste. Clearly many of the women who read romance fiction want it to be fairly graphic. If that’s what they like then good luck to them.

    Romance fiction is basically pornography for women, the difference being that men are mostly aroused by visual images of a sexual nature while women are aroused by reading about situations of both a sexual and emotional nature.

    Saying that the sex scenes in romance novels are gratuitous and unnecessary is like saying that the pictures of naked women in a girlie magazine are gratuitous and unnecessary.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.

    If it’s romance fiction then its purpose is to arouse the reader emotionally and sexually. And yes, some women will read romance fiction and then masturbate. If that’s what they want to do then that’s fine. If it’s add a little bit of joy to their lives I don’t have a problem with that.

  243. @guest
    @dfordoom

    First and foremost, I don’t ascribe to any secret definition of literature. I use the one most everyone uses. Unless they have an axe to grind.

    If you aren’t aware of the basic elements of storytelling, that would be one explanation for your silly questions.

    No, I absolutely would not need to exclude jokes if I were to exclude descriptions of the sex act from the litany of properly literary devices.

    Nor would I have to exclude thrills. Are you kidding? Is this a troll?

    Your questions have the character of a criminal caught by the police with a smoking gun asking “What gun?”

    Jokes *can* be gratuitous. One *could* write in thrills just for the sake of thrills. In which case they would not serve a literary purpose.

    However, both of those devices can and also do serve literary purposes. They very naturally do so.

    Sex scenes never do.

    What are literary purposes? Not giving the reader sexual pleasure up to and including orgasm. That is extra-literary, I must say.

    Neither is it a literary purpose to depict the biological realities. As I said, not any more than looking at auyopsy photos is a literary activity, despite the great number of books about murder. Which commonly involve dead bodies.

    Why are these things (the sex act, the human body postmortem) in themselves literary? Well, what are the elements of fiction?

    plot
    character
    setting
    theme
    etc.

    Are any of these served by the mechanics of sex? The in-and-out of the act? Well, you could further these things while sex proceeds. But like I said, you could also do so while someone is pooping on a toilet. If you did, people would wonder: “why do I have to hear about the poop stuff?” It’s the other stuff that could possibly push the story forward or give the reader some sort of meaningful experience.

    Readers probably wouldn’t wonder why sex was being described the same way he wonders about pooping. Because the reader would know people naturally find sex of interest. However, that interest is not literary.

    It could be scientific, if you’re into that. More likely, the interest is sexual. Meaning intended to stimulate the sexuality of the reader. Such is a use of pornography, not of literature properly defined.

    Because we civilized folk do not classify pornography as literature. Even if it is in written form. This is not like the FALSE DIVISION between “literary” fiction fiction and “genre” fiction. Because, you know, in all manner of arts pornography is set aside from the aesthetic experience. One affects the loins merely, and the other the intellect. Or the spirit. Or anything but what’s being stimulated by pornography.

    Now, you might say the spasms of laughter rippling through my body when I experience is kind of like an orgasm I might receive from consuming pornography. They are both physical reactions, if nothing else.

    Likewise thrills. Which after all are measured in spine-chills and goosebumps.

    But who are we kidding? Humor can often be beside the point of a story. Or it can be gratituitous. However, in the vast majority of stories it is successfully used for literary purposes. There are few stories that don’t contain humor in one form o another.

    If we’re talking formal jokes only, those have a greater tendency to be ends in themselves. However, jokes on general tend to advance the elements of fiction. Character especially. Thene also. Less so setting and plot, but even those it can aid.

    When thrills are used as things-in-themselves, people tend to noyhce and call them out. What is the main criticism of the Paranormal Activities movie series? That it’s “just a bunch of jump scares.” Meaning regular people are cognizant of the difference between thrills used to advance a story and thrills used for the sake of thrills. And they reject the latter.

    Again, though, thrills can and are used properly to advance stories. Sex scenes are not. They are always Vil-de-sacs. The fact that characters have sex is meaningful. Describing a penis going in and out of an orifice is not.

    A great many horror and suspense writers have figured out how to use thrills to aid the elements of storytelling. No one who gas’s ever lived has managed to figure out how to use pornography to do so.

    Once someone figures that out, I’ll change my tune.

    At best sex scenes serve pornographic purposes.. if they happen to contain important information, that information would always be better exposed outside the context of the act.

    Imagine, for example, a Hamlet soliloquy taking place in the midst of him moving his bowels. With a full relaying aid all the action going down in his bowels. The bowel-moving would be superfluous, would it not? That sort of biological description serves no literary purpose.

    I’m not entirely joking, because one of the most unfortunate books ever to be written, James Joyce’s Ulysses,* pulled exactly this trick with pooping and sex. Except the information he conveyed in these scenes was not in the level of a Hamlet soliloquy. It was mostly gobbledygook.

    That book uses all sorts of no -literary tricks, though. Sex was probably the money memorable such trick, because you know people. Sex stands out to them.

    ————

    That being said, I don’t want to assume you’re just trolling me. Because though you ask a lot of silly quetions, there’s one genuine issue you bring up:

    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction

    and

    “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.

    See, professional critics of literature with their heads up their butt don’t think High Literature need bother with mundane things like plot. Because nothing regular people enjoy can form part of a story thru give precious ratings in the New Yorker or what-have-you.

    This is dishonest practices. Of regular people can enjoy Shakespeare and Beethoven)and they do), they can enjoy High-Falutin’ books. Popularity neither makes nor unmakes fine art,

    ——-

    As for your points about convention and expectation, mostly you’re talking past me. I don’t think this addresses my points at all. Because I am not talking about any and all depiction of anything that could conceivably be considered sex. I’m definitely not talking about “low-key” depictions and absolutely not implied sex. Did you even read my post.

    Literally the only subgenre of fiction promising to readers the explicit depiction of the sex act is erotica. Now, erotic literature does not have to be full-on pornography. But if it contains detailed descriptions of the sex act, then either it is pornography or it’s playing the James Joyce game of “look what I can get away with.” Usually not the latter.

    *Any number of books could have breached the obscenity barrier. Others did, notably Lady Chattery’s Lover. Which had the advantage on Ulysses of being readable,

    I say Ulysses was more unfortunate for literature because it managed to get itself placed on the high shelf of Great Books, despite being a con-job.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom

    Certain critics abide by a ridiculous bifurcation of literature into two categories:

    “literary” fiction and “genre” fiction.

    I do not abide by these categories. They are offensive to me, and a dirty trick.

    I agree.

    There is no “literary” fiction. All fiction is literature. There is no “genre” fiction. There are sub-genres of fiction, but examplars of these are not non-literary. They too are literature.

    I agree. But if all fiction is literature then erotic fiction is literature.

    This division was invented in my conspiratorial opinion to free stories from a responsibility to execute successfully the things popular fiction tends to manage successfully. Things like plot.

    To a certain extent, yes. The division is also intended to make the people who read “literary” fiction feel superior to people who read other genres.

    As for whether fiction other than erotic fiction or romance fiction should include graphic sex, that’s a tricky question. There are occasions when it really is important to convey to the reader that the relationship between two characters has changed from just good friends into passionate love and on those occasions it can be desirable to give a sex scene a genuine erotic charge.

    Personally it’s not the sex in modern literature (or modern movies) that bothers me. It’s the unnecessary crudity and vulgarity, and the unnecessarily graphic violence.

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