New French Feminisms: An Anthology

By Elaine Marks; Isabelle De Courtivron | Go to book overview

Denise Le Dantec

I fear that women's speech and women's writing are being rapidly institutionalized, and it's a shame. It invades almost everything. You have to become a "terrorist" again in order to be heard and what you have to do to yourself to become a terrorist is by nature hateful and I don't like it a bit: I don't like women warriors even if at one time they were necessary and it is thanks to them that we can write at all.

"They" are publishing us all over the place: yes there is a modishness that I can't stand and that makes me suffer. Because we are losing our song, that quality of "effusion" (though that is not the word I would use) -- In any case, people are buying us (at a bad price like all writers in France) and selling us (rather well, even if it is bad). We risk falling into the trap and, once again, questions such as "Who and how are we?" are asked. Power fascinates us as much as it fascinates men, except that we don't have any. But so much the better. Because by repeatedly saying "it's their fault, the fault of the men" we may finally realize our own responsibility in the story, and in History, with a capital "H." We may have to accept the fact that accepting the role of slave is exactly the same as accepting the role of master. . . . We must leave behind that particular dialectic for a momentary pessimism that is both critical and necessary. I realize that I am very harsh, but it is because all of that is difficult for me.

Translated by Marilyn R. Schuster

From an unpublished interview by Elaine Marks, Summer 1976.

-119-

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