Who: Read this if you’re a woman, whether or not you call yourself a feminist. Read it if you’re a man trying to write realistic women, because the structures Griffin talks about are ones that affect all of this, but particularly women. Read it if you don’t mind some poetry mixed in with your thinking.
Why: Read this to reexamine the words and metaphors we use to describe both nature and women, to understand the attitudes behind the language.
He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. that wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But dfor him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part of this world, that he was set on this world as a stranger. He sets himself apart from woman and nature.
And so it is Goldilocks who goes to the home of the three bears, Little Red Riding Hood who converses with the wolf, Dorothy who befriends a lion, Snow White who talks to the birds, Cinderella with mice as her allies, the Mermaid who is half fish, Thumbelina courted by a mole.
When: Read this when you want to be lulled by words out of your own body and into the material forms of tree and earth and shell.
Where and how: Read this near a window, where you can look out at trees or sky or mountains or water.