Saturday, January 23, 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 Deborah Solomon in the New York Times Magazine:

Is it odd to be known for having written a derisive essay about a former friend, Susan Sontag, who once described you, rather generously, as the “most enlightening literary critic at large today”?

I like to think that the piece is as much a tribute, a work of homage, as it is a piece of satirical description.

I missed the tribute part. It was published shortly after her death and characterizes her as a pompous and self-absorbed aesthete who once told you, for instance, “how a Yugoslav woman she had taken shelter with had asked her for her autograph, even as bombs fell around them.”

We were in Palo Alto, and she proceeded to demonstrate how one evades sniper fire by running down the street toward Baskin-Robbins. She asked me if I had ever had to evade sniper fire, and I said, “Unfortunately not.”

That’s funny.

When I said “Unfortunately not,” she didn’t pick up on it.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue