Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Here are a group of women who aren't married, who spend a lot a time attending and helping out at their Anglican church. They probably have a small income and don't have to work. They may have a regular volunteering gig.

They also have insides and feeling and relationships. Their relationships do not involve sex.

Barbara Pym the novelist wrote like these women and their feelings and relationships mattered.

She also wrote as if their feelings and relationships mattered exactly as much as the feelings and relationships of people who perceived themselves as cutting edge intellectuals.

The equating of these kinds of people tended to make the single church women matter more and the intellectuals matter less than is generally perceived.

Her work was fairly popular when she was young in the fifites, very unpopular as the sixties hit (she couldn't get published) and popular again in the late seventies and eighties when she was older.

One criticism of her books when they weren't liked that was nothing happened.

I think a big problem was saying that the personal life and feelings of the kind of person who reviews books is no more important than the personal life of a single older woman who helps out at church.

She makes the case well. It is grounding and not necessarily easy to hear,