12 thoughts on “That unsurpassable hatred that a man deficient in virility feels for a woman who is a better man (Rebecca West)

  1. ian – It’s just a photo post.

    Now and then I like to combine an aphorism with a photo and leave it at that. I think of it as a kind of flickr-age cartoon. It’s a fun thing to do, but I don’t know what it’s like for the reader. What do you think?

  2. ian – You’re in for a treat. ‘Black lamb and grey falcon’ is an account of her visits to Yugoslavia. It’s an unlikely subject to grab me, but it did. She also wrote an account of the Nuremburg trials ‘The meaning of treason’ which I haven’t read.

    Several things about her writing appeal to me:
    1. Her ability to write as a strong woman.
    2. Her ability to construct sentence.
    3. Her sense of conviction.
    Here’s a bit I marked:

    Mutual understanding between the sexes has never been the strong point of the sexes – an opinion it would be advisable to check by reference to the work of women imaginative writers. The restriction is necessary, for non-fiction always tends to become fiction; only the dream compels honesty….After a course in study in Contemporary Women Novelists it is as if one heard a massed female choir singing, “Early one morning, just as the sun was rising, I heard a maid sing in the valley below, ‘Oh, don’t deceive me, oh, never leave me, how could you use a poor maiden so?'”

  3. Well, now I’m quite intrigued. I did some superficial research and came upon this:

    First and foremost she was, in the intransitive sense, a writer – of rhythmic, majestic, epiphanic, occasionally narcissistic prose.

    (emphasis mine)

    Given that the narcissist perceives any slight directed against them – no matter how slight – to be hatred, I now understand better the title of your post.

  4. ian – Rebecca West, narcissistic…interesting.

    She was certainly her own woman.

    Following your comment I found quotes from her on brainyquote and was struck by how many are concerned with our inability to understand each other:
    “Writing has nothing to do with communication between person and person, only with communication between different parts of a person’s mind.”

  5. Shoot!! I have been the victim of a man who hates my intelligence and abilities – and masquerading them as LOVE to get into my spirit and shred me.


  6. barbara – Oy, indeed.

    The psychoanalysts have a great concept – envy. This is the kind of dog-in-the-manger attitude of: If I can’t have it, I’m going to make damn sure that you can’t have it either!

  7. Dr. Steve

    Would you include in this “envy” (tho the P doesn’t ever see it as envy!) smear campaigns? The narcissistic rage that ensues once you expose or unmask them?

  8. barbara – Excellent example. A smear campaign might be classified as pure envy if the smearer is actually no better off because of it – he or she does it simply to destroy the other.

    In his book ‘Envy’ Helmut Schoek cites a saying: “The envious man thinks that if his neighbour breaks a leg, he will be able to walk better himself”. Envy is a much darker emotion than greed or jealousy because it includes this destructive desire/impulse.

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