Saturday, February 6, 2010

Terry Castle

Terry Castle's books include The Apparitional Lesbian: Female Homosexuality and Modern Culture (1993) and Boss Ladies, Watch Out! Essays on Women and Sex (2002). Her anthology, The Literature of Lesbianism, won the Lambda Literary Editor's Choice Award in 2003. She lives in San Francisco and is Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University.

Her new book is The Professor and Other Writings.

From her interview with Jed Lipinski at Salon:

You’re known primarily as a literary critic and scholar. What triggered this shift toward memoir?

Maybe inside every English prof there’s a writer screaming to get out? Certainly there was in me, even when I was writing more conventionally academic books. But lately I’ve also felt increasingly estranged from the sort of jargon-ridden pseudo-writing that for the past 10 or 15 years has been emanating from so many college English departments. Much of what passes for advanced literary scholarship these days is dreadful twaddle -- incoherent, emotionally empty, deeply illiterate. A lot of ideological posturing goes along with it. I’d gotten sick of it -- all the p.c. preening and plumage display -- and wanted to write more frankly and personally, and if I could with a certain lyricism and emotional force.

In your essay on World War I, you confess that you covet male bravery, even though this strikes you as a somewhat non-feminist thing to say. How do you reconcile this admiration for men with your own feminism?

When the piece first appeared it’s true some female readers didn’t like it. The odd banshee squeal could be heard. But I do think men and women are socialized differently and that boys ...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue