Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Elfriede Jelinek's Women as Lovers

Jelinek's Women as Lovers is a bleak story about two factory workers who strive to get married, with only one of them who expects and wants to experience "love." Throughout the narrative, Jelinek provides a harsh, but realistic, critique of the systems that subjugate women in society both in the past and the present. As a past member of the communist party, it's not surprising that at the root of Jelinek's novel is a harsh criticism of the effects of capitalism on not only women, but on humanit; the criticism itself is almost through a marxist-feminist lense though Jelinek herself denies feminism and feminist intentions. In this novel, Jelinek's tongue-in-cheek sarcasm functions as a powerful tool for criticism and is a pleasure to read.
I read this book for an upper division Women's Literature class and it stands out as, in my opinion, the only realistic portrayal of the confinment that society places, and has placed, on women.
Verdict: You should read this book. Though it's a translation, and I'm weary of that, the translator has done a good job capturing the frank style of Jelinek.
What to listen to while reading: Crass- Penis Envy

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