Saturday, June 19, 2021

Women sharing secrets in Adrienne Rich and Doris Lessing

The two women in Adrienne Rich's 1962 poem "To Judith, Taking Leave" have been "cramped sharers / of a bitter mutual secret". They may get beyond that experience "as two eyes in one brow / receiving at one moment / the rainbow of the world." But two women sharing "bitter" secrets also appear in Doris Lessing's 1962 novel "The Golden Notebook" when Anna Wulf and Molly Jacobs "exchange glances" while in conversation with Molly's ex-husband Richard: "Anna and Molly again raised their eyebrows at each other, conveying that the whole conversation had been wasted as usual." But unlike Rich's women, Anna and Molly don't yet get beyond their "bitter mutual secret." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 June 2021)

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