Lori's Book Nook

“But O how I relish my victuals!”

Posted on: July 28, 2006

We’ve all got one, right? A quote we carry around in our heads, or on a slip of paper in our wallets. At least one. It’s your email signature maybe, or just something you repeat to yourself to keep from exploding.

One has haunted me for awhile…and I lost the slip of paper, and I haven’t seen the book in eons…From the Female Man by Joanna Russ, an icon in Feminist SF from the mid-70s:

In my other incarnation I live out such a plethora
of conflict that you wouldn’t think I’d survive,
would you, but I do; I wake up enraged, go to sleep
in numbed despair, face what I know perfectly well
is condescension and abstract contempt, get into
quarrels, shout, fret about people I don’t even
know, live as if I were the only woman in the world
trying to buck it all, work like a pig, strew my
whole apartment with notes, articles, books, get
frowsy, don’t care, become stridently contentious,
sometimes laugh and weep within five minutes
together out of pure frustration. It takes me two
hours to get to sleep and an hour to get up. I
dream at my desk. I dream all over the place. I’m
very badly dressed.  But O how I relish my
victuals! And O how I fuck!

It must be read aloud to appreciate the headlong downhill sprint of the words — they flow.

And it still is a clarion call to women to eschew expected, ‘correct’ behaviour.

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2 Responses to "“But O how I relish my victuals!”"

The quote is amazing. I wonder though, how did it ever fit in your wallet? My favorite is ‘Still around the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate’ by none other than JRR Tolkien..

What an adventure-laden quote! Of course, note the source…

The Russ quote is quite…rich fare to sit quietly in a wallet, true.

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