“The late John Gardner once said that there are only two plots in all of literature. You go on a journey or a stranger comes to town. Since women, for so many years, were denied the journey, they were left with only one plot in their lives — to await the stranger. Indeed, there is essentially no picaresque tradition among women novelists. While the latter part of the 20th century has seen a change of tendency, women’s literature from Austen to Woolf is by and large a literature about waiting, usually for love…
From Penelope to the present, women have waited — for a phone call, a proposal, or the return of the prodigal man from sea or war or a business trip. To wait like patients for a doctor, commuters for buses, prisoners for parole, is in a sense to be powerless. But both plots can be available to women [today]. If we grow weary of waiting, we can go on a journey. We can be the stranger who comes to town.”
— Mary Morris, Introduction to The Illustrated Virago Book of Women Travellers”
yes. Yes. YES.
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