Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Women creating

It was great to hear a sonata for violin and piano by American composer Amy Beach on the morning commute, some rain in the offing. We so rarely hear works by women composers. Surely the forces at work in Joanna Russ's How to Suppress Women's Writing, are also at work with women composing and conducting, perhaps even more powerfully. After all, one can write with minimum expense (paper, pen) anywhere - even while ironing, though having "A Room of One's Own" is best.

It was so sad to hear of the death of Tillie Olsen recently, as reported by Julie Bosman in the New York Times. I knew her daughter Kathie when I was teaching at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, some years ago. We were going to have Tillie lecture as a benefit for RCC's literary magazine, The Rogue's Gallery, of which I was faculty advisor at the time. Not sure it's still active - that website looks different now.

Anyway, what Bosman says about Olsen echoes what Russ says: "[Olsen's book] “Silences,” in 1978, [is] an examination of the impediments that writers face because of sex, race or social class."


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