Something of a product of its times, in places — it might help to know a little about the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s — but not much dated for all of that, and rather grimly funny throughout. No trivia or quizzes yet. Really made me think about language and how it can expand or limit your thinking. Men cannot be farmers because h This book was probably truly cutting edge when it was first published late 70s and the basic premise is still intriguing but it is a bit heavy handed.
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I remember reading an article in the late 70s where political correctness was spoken about for the first time. The language of the 70s was not all that refined and polished. It was often in-your-face and that was intentional.
They were breaking down the known to experiment with something new. The choppiness I found in this book was mostly in the chronology. Suddenly you figured out that several years had passed. If the transitions were smoother, this book would have been brilliant. Scary, but brilliantly constructed. As it is, hats off to the author for changing the language as she did. I read this in Danish, which I think would be close to the Norwegian.
Now I really want to find out how it reads in English because what she did was masterful. She took every reference, however slight, to female and male terms in a word and reversed it. On occasion, she made up words to replace what looked like a sexually biased word. There is a word "kvindemenneske" that is slightly derogatory about women.
I cannot think of an English equivalent. Well, menneske has a hint of man in it, so that is changed to "kvindeske". Sorry, I think is lost in translation, but I think it is well done. She is basically using the language to the utmost to make you work so you realise how much inherent bias there is in words.
If mister is herre, then the diminutive must be The word "herken" looks a lot like the word for neither: hverken. Therefore, every time I read "herken Uglemose, the teacher", I read "neither Uglemose, the teacher"! Why am I going on about this? Because the language really is integral to her satire.
Just as feminists played with the language in the 70s, Brantenberg also plays with the language to shove it in our face and wake us up to how we use it or abuse it to suit our various needs. But that is part of the entire reading process. The author is leaving no stone unturned in this satire! As for the story, it is quite amusing at first.
Things get awkward at what I can only call the mating rituals. Kind of like debutante balls, but where you get to try the goods and shop around The main character is Petronius, a young boy when the book opens. As his story unfolds, the author attacks the sexism in "our world" through the language and behaviour in his society. Some things become creepy when you realise what situations she is juxtaposing in a particular episode - like sexual harassment or worse.
I had images of the s running through my head in certain parts - the man as the head of the household with the wife happily ironing at home and being the happy homemaker. Only here the woman is the head of the household and the husband was happy in the background ironing and taking care of the children.
Women take on male characteristics completely in this story. Nothing about a more balanced viewpoint. No, they are women who are rough and tumble and hard-hitting. They like their cigars in their men-free clubs and they like pornography with men who have very large, fat tummies and very tiny I did see one reviewer comment on how the book made her angry. What could make me very angry is how some of the attitudes that are being mocked in this satire still exist in our society today.
That is not so great for a book that is 35 years old. There was an ad for a cigarette aimed at women back in the s. Unfortunately, when you stop and think about some of the issues in this book, you can see that we still have a way to go in some areas. Next, you can read it for the interesting experiment it is: what happens when you turn things upside down.
You might think some things are missing. For example, there are really only two genders here. I think that might be a practical simplification. I think satire works best when it is fairly simple, so too many factors might have cluttered the message and made it harder to write the book. Just a passing mention of that. It added a bit to the flavour of the time, however.
Las hijas de Egalia
LAS HIJAS DE EGALIA