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This book is like a time capsule. It reveals a certain era & cultural sensibility, parts of which haven't aged well.Ex: the introduction.Though it's deeply gratifying that Greer has the ability to see the Calabrian peasant society in which she lived as something to learn from and valuable instead of uncivilized and less than, her impressions reveal a gender essentialism no longer acceptable. Her patronizing dexlaration of 'love and respect, admiration indeed, of poor women, women's women' (p. Xx...
I read a fair bit of feminist theory and history in my early 20s. Greer was a favorite.
Some pieces are about a personal discovery of a fortunate nature, if only everyone were so fortunate - the remote village in Italy where children do not cry and need not toys, for one. Some are rather a rap on the knuckles, and for good reason - the westerners who travel and live around the world with poor people, sharing their lives, with a subconscious secure knowledge that they can escape any time, and go back to a life of more, while those that shared their own precious little food with them...
This book started off really slowly for me. The early essays involved a lot of music/art references that I only vaguely caught and the language of counterculture sort of grated on my nerves. However, as the essays went on, I found them more and more interesting, particularly the ones that cover her time overseas in Cuba and Ethiopia. Some of what she said resonated with me even today, particularly a line about the right to employment. Worth reading, if not the most fun I've ever had.
Another interesting rant by Germaine - always an interesting point of view whether you agree with her or not.