Thursday, 2 June 2011

Take the sex test

VS Naipaul (not a writer I particularly rate) has made some headlines claiming to be able to spot a writer's sex immediately. He also claimed that there are no female writers at all up to his standard.

So try this Guardian quiz. I got 7 out of 10 right. How will you do?

What gives it away? I'm not sure. Many women writers don't dwell on female bodies in the drooling way a certain group of male ones do. I can tell the difference between Austen and Amis, for example, but a lot of it is period, class and subject matter. On similar grounds and generations, it's more difficult. There is linguistic research into gendered language use, but it's not my field at all.


Ewarwoowar said...

2 out of 10.

Knew I should have studied History.

The Plashing Vole said...

Ewar has just graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing.

The Red Witch said...

I got 4 out of 10 and it told me that I need to read more books by men. I read plenty just not from authors who have been alive in the last 100 years. Or the last 300 really.

Ewarwoowar said...

I wouldn't say that Voley, but it is true I've had to peruse a book or two over the past few years.

Going back to the point, I think Naipaul is chatting shit here. I do not know his work, or its standard, but saying that no female writer has ever reached his standard seems a bit mental to me.

Have you ever read any of Catherine O'Flynn's stuff Voley? Admittedly she's no Ian McEwen but I think she's one cool cat.

The Plashing Vole said...

I really like Catherine O'Flynn's stuff. In the course of my rock and roll lifestyle, I had to decline the opportunity to attend her latest book launch.

Naipaul's an embarrassing reactionary moron, quite frankly.
My favourite female authors: Atwood, Gwyneth Jones, Alison Lurie, Austen, Radcliffe, Tepper, Kate Roberts (should be world famous), Helen Walsh, Dorothy Edwards, Katherine Mansfield, George Eliot… I could go on.

Ewarwoowar said...

Oh Voley, how you mock me! I appreciate I'm not the most learned person when it comes to literature, but trying to claim that George Eliot was a woman?!

Hoho. I wasnt born yesterday you know!