Posted 20 hours ago

The Woman Destroyed (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

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En la actualidad, existe una alta demanda de heroínas, personajes de mujeres (jóvenes por lo general, curiosamente) descritas como fuertes, modelos a seguir. Desde el mundo anglosajón nos llega el "girl power", las "badass female characters": con arcos, domadoras de dragones, supercerebros varios. Un’autrice che conoscevo solo nella sua versione saggistica mi si è rivelata in una prosa calda, profonda ed indimenticabile. She screams how she is rotting all alone, how she is being trampled underfoot. She moans that she is “bored through the ground,” alone on New Year’s Eve.

The title story, “The Woman Destroyed,” is told in a more modified tone; but the undercurrent of despair builds to uncontrolled proportions. In this monologue, the woman tells of a comfortable life that is being washed away by her husband’s affair with another woman.She smiled rather pityingly. "But, Mama, after fifteen years of marriage it is perfectly natural to stop loving one's wife. It's the other thing that would be astonishing!" Witty, immensely adroit … These three women are believable individuals presented with a wry mixture of sympathy and exasperation.”

Youth and what the Italians so prettily call stamina. The vigor, the fire, that enables you to love and create. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.” Even if one is neither vain nor self-obsessed, it is so extraordinary to be oneself – exactly oneself and no one else – and so unique, that it seems natural that one should also be unique for someone else.”The woman telling her story has two grown daughters, one of whom is married and the other pursuing an independent career in the United States. Now, as her unhappiness builds, she even questions her upbringing of her daughters. Each story - spoiler alert - focuses on a woman, each of the three women stands in relationship to the narrator of Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, potential other adult selves maybe, so all three women are not only French, but specifically Parisian, and what I would call from a British point of view, upper middle class - research scientists, university academics, potential government ministers and the like though I suppose a government minister must by definition be upper class even if they are not particularly classy, but still I find myself bridling at that idea, a curious thing one's own prejudices. Each woman is in a crisis - sorry another spoiler - I hope you are keeping count.

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