Summary The Woman Reader ä PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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Summary The Woman Reader ä PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ¹ How have women read differently from men through the ages In all manner of ways this book asserts This lively story has never been told before the complete history of women's reading and the ceaseless controversies it has inspired Belinda Jack's groundbreaking voluLunteers who taught literacy to women and children on convict ships bound for AustraliaToday new distinctions between male and female readers have emerged and Jack explores such contemporary topics as burgeoning women's reading groups differences in men and women's reading tastes censorship of women's on line reading in countries like Iran the continuing struggle for girls' literacy in many poorer places and the impact of women readers in their new status as significant movers in the world of readi. As author Belinda Jack shows us in her book The Woman Reader the evolution of women as readers has been a long and uneven one There is little known about the earliest women readers and most of what is known is due to women's own records of what they were reading Not surprising most early women readers were from wealthy families However what is surprising is how many of these early readers taught their sons and their daughters to read recommended reading lists even as theses children became adults thus in many cases influencing the ruling of nations and in several cases set up schools for poor girls and women What is also surprising is how often these women wrote to refute some male writer who claimed women should not be allowed to read due to their 'weaker minds' and how often other male writers wrote in support of women's literacy The discussion of female readers inevitably leads to discussions of what they read to women as writers and after the advent of the printing press women as publishers She also discusses the rise of literacy among women not only in the upper classes but in the middle and working classes as well which led inevitably to the publishing of books aimed exclusively towards them This was especially true of the novel which from its earliest beginnings seemed to be popular with women than men This also led inevitably to much discussion about the dangers of reading of anything not religious andor morally instructive on the 'weaker' sex and the fears that indiscriminate reading would lead to bad marriage choices possibly madness but perhaps worst of all women's ability to lead fulfilling solitary and sexual lives without the need of a male figure to guide them The book is illustrated and there is one marvelous picture from the 18th c of a nude woman reclining on a couch book in hand while in the shadows a little devil adds books to the pile beside herJack points out how even female authors like George Eliot felt that much of what was being written for women was bad for them and that novels should always and only reflect real life Writers like Dickens were considered lesser talents whose writing was suitable only to entertain chambermaids I will say here I found Ms Jack's use of this term to describe I assume working women an odd one but it is interesting to note that by the middle of the 19th century literacy among working women was so widespread that books were being written for them and they were being released in serialized form so that they could afford themMy only real criticism of this book would be about the last part concerning the 20th and 21st c Perhaps because of the huge amount of materials available to women she chose instead to discuss the effects of the rise of TV movies and the internet on reading; some to most of us obscure women's reading groups; and the publishing industry itself Among some rather glaring omissions are the popularity of 'chick lit' and YA urban fantasies aimed at the young woman market and the widespread use of ebooks I found the second somewhat ironic since I read this on my Kobo and books written exclusively for paperless readingStill in The Woman Reader author Belinda Jack gives a fascinating picture of women as readers and by extension writers from our earliest portraits of women drawn on cave walls right up to the present Although it is mainly concerned with women in western cultures there are some interesting references to Asian women readers as well as modern women readers in less liberated societies like present day Iran It is well researched well documented and beautifully illustrated and would be a great addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of women or reading or both

Belinda Jack  5 Summary

Literacy or reading what they wished She also recounts the counter efforts of those who have battled for girls' access to books and education The book introduces frustrated female readers of many eras Babylonian princesses who called for women's voices to be heard rebellious nuns who wanted to share their writings with others confidantes who challenged Reformation theologians' writings nineteenth century New England mill girls who risked their jobs to smuggle novels into the workplace and women vo. This was Book Love at first sight A book about the history of reading from a female perspective I was at the fabulous West End Lane bookshop in West Hampstead one of my all time favourite bookshops and although it usually takes me an absolute age to decide which book to pick in this time I was at the till after barely completing the first page This is a true Book to Treasure In The Woman Reader Belinda Jack chronicles over forty centuries of reading and the many many challenges to female literacy over time The book is packed with fascinating anecdotes and the voices of women since what seems like the dawn of time join Jack in a chorus of shared passion for reading From the outside a history of the woman reader appears such a strange topic reading itself is such an internal activity and then to separate out the female experience appears difficult but Belinda Jack's book underlines time after time the anxiety and controversy which female literacy has caused A woman who can read can take on the worldFor my full review

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The Woman ReaderHow have women read differently from men through the ages In all manner of ways this book asserts This lively story has never been told before the complete history of women's reading and the ceaseless controversies it has inspired Belinda Jack's groundbreaking volume travels from the Cro Magnon cave to the digital bookstores of our time exploring what and how women of widely differing cultures have read through the agesJack traces a history marked by persistent efforts to prevent women from gaining. Recently in The New York Review of Books Elaine Blair wrote “Our American male novelists I suspect are worried about being unloved as writers — specifically by the female reader This is the larger humiliation looming behind the many smaller fictional humiliations of their heroes and we can see it in the way the characters’ rituals of self loathing are tacitly performed for the benefit of an imagined female audience” The novelists she uses to illustrate her trenchant and entertaining theory are Michel Houellebec Gary Shteyngart Sam Lipsyte Richard Price Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace She sees their fiction as a reaction to their immediate predecessors — John Updike Norman Mailer and Philip Roth — dubbed by Wallace as the “Great Male Narcissists” The Contemporary Male Novelists asserts Blair are neurotically conscious that the contemporary Female Reader — who the statistics prove keeps publishing economically afloat — finds the near total self absorption of the GMNs repugnant for the FR Wallace imagines Updike is “just a penis with a thesaurus” The CMNs fear the FR is no longer willing to interpret rampant misogyny as searing self portraits of mangled masculinity but rather as just misogyny and who needs it Their livelihoods threatened the CMNs are doing the utmost in their narratives to tell the imagined female reader that they are at least hyperaware of their own utter self absorption So nowadays “female characters get to remind the hero that he’s a navel gazing jerk but most of the good lines and certainly the brilliant social and psychological observations still go to the hero”Male anxiety about the woman reader is as old as reading itself In Belinda Jack’s new book The Woman Reader she meticulously explores the manifestation of this anxiousness historically Some men encouraged and cultivated their women readers Ovid created characters such as Byblis and Philomela to show his empathy for the female plight Others such as Lucian and Juvenal wrote biting satires expressing their disgust for literate and intelligent women During the Reformation Luther Calvin and John Knox all corresponded extensively with well read women whose knowledge of letters and tracts exerted significant influence on the reformers' positions especially regarding what women should and should not be allowed to read Rousseau in his Emile Or On Education wrote that women should read and cultivate their minds but only enough to please their husbands The eighteenth century writer Samuel Richardson had an extensive female readership and kept up correspondence with them often asking for their input and opinions My acuaintance lies chiefly among the ladies he wrote I care not who knows it William Makepeace Thackeray condemned Richardson as an inferior writer of sentimental twaddle read only by old maids and dowagersIn our time the complex anxiety the male author feels vis à vis his female reader reentered popular consciousness with Jonathan Franzen’s Oprah fiasco when Franzen upon the publication of The Corrections in 2001 expressed in an NPR interview his misgivings about a future appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show her audience almost entirely comprised of women “So much of reading is sustained in this country I think by the fact that women read while men are off golfing or watching football on TV or playing with their flight simulator or whatever I worry — I’m sorry that it’s uh — I had some hope of actually reaching a male audience” ie the legitimate and legitimizing male audience he imagined was enjoyed by the GMNs and all the literary luminaries before them Upon the publication of his next book Franzen buried his disdain for his imagined female readers deep in his pockets and eagerly appeared on Oprah Yet this powerful economic force of female readers has not altered the great disparity in publication between men and women writers; sadly the VIDA Women in Literary Arts statistics continue to prove this year after year The legitimizing White Male Standard Approval Franzen desires maintains its iron grip on all of usContinue reading at Bookslut