Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Regrets

This semester, I taught Jane Gallop's FEMINIST ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, which is a very provocative book on many different levels, but I won't go into that now. After reading the book, I emailed Gallop & asked if she'd be willing to field some questions from my students later in the semester. She graciously accepted. So that's the back story.

One of the questions the students asked was, "If you could change one thing about your memoir, what would it be?" Gallop responded, "Honestly there hasn’t been one thing I’ve thought of changing. I’m not that kind of writer. I go on and write new books, but I don’t think about doing over those I’ve published. Which doesn’t mean I think they’re perfect, but that I think nothing is perfect. I think every book is a document of its moment in time, with the perspective of that moment."

Whereas this response received mixed responses in class, as a writer, I am quite honestly in awe of her point of view because I am "that kind of writer." I wish I could rewrite most of PARABOLA and delete a great portion of CHANGING. And they were only published within this last year! I can't even imagine what I'll think in a few years. Or a decade. Whereas these books are documents of their moment in time--my time--and I can appreciate that, it's for precisely that reason that I am most regretful for their existence.

I think it's brilliant that Gallop can think this way. I am humbled by her confidence and wise perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Weird! I just finished reading a collection of Lingua Franca essays, one of which focused on the Jane Gallop scandal. So, did Gallop respond to your class in an e-mail exchange? That is so wonderful of her to interact with your students!!