By Jane Rule

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

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Extra info for A Hot-Eyed Moderate: Essays

Sample text

It is not, for the most part, an education in overt sexual behavior. Basically we distinguish between boys and girls to indicate to them which group will be expected to overthrow the authority of adults and take their place and which group will be expected to submit to that authority all their lives except as they act it out on the children of the next generation. Probably in most cases we first perceive our fictional characters as male or female. Sometimes I may have question marks in early notebooks beside the sexes of children, but my adult characters present themselves to me first as men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, to be filled in and out from there.

Neither manner of dealing with the world is without pitfalls. Men, whether like Alex in “Amaryllis,” who is too fastidious to be able to live with the mess of a wife and child he loves, or like Ziggy, whose answer to each of his wives, in turn, when she wants something he does not, is “You’re my wife,” do not get their way for long. ” Men in these stories are apt to be successful in their work. They are anthropologists, philosophers, lawyers, architects, teachers. They tend to be children of parents who push them through the door of education into the middle class where they are glad, grateful and proud to be since they have earned their privilege.

Those are safeguards important to me as a writer. Where I live seems to me a question like how I get words on paper, not really relevant to the question of creative process. We live as we can, hoping for that balance of nourishment and peace which will sustain us in our work. I live where I can be sure I am free to practice writing rather than being a writer. The Canadian Climate BECAUSE I WAS BORN and raised in the United States and came to Canada for the first time when I was twenty-five and have now lived over half my life here, I should feel more self-consciously Canadian than a native of the country, more defensively Canadian, if you like.

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