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fiction is distinguished from nonfiction for a reason, & we continuously frame it as such. — lαrissα phαm (@lrsphm) December 10, 2017 signifier that we associate with the personal essay.
we use fiction to say certain things about the world, and it allows for devices like unreliable narration, which don't fly in a personal essay. It has an intimate, confessional feminine narrative voice, the kind of voice we have learned to associate with “It Happened to Me”–style first-person narratives.
I guess for me-- I liked the interiority, how eerily true it felt.
The trivializing of women’s stories also plays into one of the persistent oddities surrounding “Cat Person”; namely, the frequency with which readers have called it an “article” or an “essay” or generally treated it as a piece of nonfiction rather than as a short story.
“The point at which she receives unequivocal evidence about the kind of person he is is the point at which the story ends.” As the story began to go viral, a series of narratives began to emerge around it: It was a good story.
No, it was a bad story, and people who thought it was good had not read enough short stories.
A story like John Updike’s “A&P,” in which a man watches women and thinks about how hot they are, is a literary classic that is regularly taught in high schools.
The literary canon’s attempts to delve into women’s heads, meanwhile, tend to look like C. Lewis’s “Shoddy Lands,” in which a woman’s mental landscape is devoted entirely to her own grotesque body, and the absence of the male gaze in her head is a moral affront.
Today, anti-union efforts largely center on stoking resentment toward public-sector employees.