Sunday, July 25, 2004

From the Chicago Tribune (free registration required):

Too often, women's voices -- especially the voices of women whose lives were associated with domestic tasks -- went unheard, as Olsen noted. Edith Wharton made the point beautifully in her short story "The Fullness of Love" (1893), about an intelligent woman saddled with a dull, unappreciative husband: "But I have sometimes thought that a woman's nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes going in and out; the drawing room, where one receives visitors . . . but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps one never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes." Until the 20th Century, when women's lives were unshackled and their imaginations sought creative expression, the world missed many treasures because no one bothered to look.

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