sorry if this is rude but i don't understand what you're saying with regards to the EF books. i thought they were about female friendship, somewhat, and how tokenism separates women in a way it doesn't men, and how you have to try to protect each other from things, at the same time as you hurt each other. even if it's about larger things like politics, i think the book couldn't be written about two men. i'm just curious for you to explain more.
Oh hi anon, this is a good question and I am glad you asked it! Not rude at all, and in any case I really like rude/blunt questions, particularly in response to me being so rude about something. I like being challenged and I like being given the opportunity to explain myself and I realllly love being shown when I’m wrong about things (seriously)).
To start, in case it’s not clear, I love Elena Ferrante’s books. They are brilliant and I don’t have a single bad thing to say about them. What I’m complaining about has nothing to do with the books themselves, and everything to do with this trend of thinkpieces/personal essays about “female friendship.” (Some examples, though I knowww I’ve seen more.)
The books would be entirely different if they were about two men, but they would ALSO be entirely different if they were about two girls who grew up with money (even more different, I think I would argue, than if they were about like Enzo and Pasquale or whoever), or who grew up in Tuscany, or whatever else. It seems to me either really lazy, or really disingenuous, or really lacking in thought, or SOMETHING, to flatten these extremely local and specific and densely detailed books into “yesss, realistic female friendship!”
I guess I would just really like some of these thinkpiecers to define the terms they’re working with. What do we MEAN when we talk about “female friendship”? What are these supposed stereotypes of ideal permanent loving friendships, and where can I find some examples of them? What kind of weird cultural work is going on when feminist writer Elissa Schappell blithely mentions that “intimacy is our currency” and we are good at “eviscerating” each other?
I don’t know but this has clearly gotten under my dumb SKIN so hiiii tumblr let’s talk?