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L. Timmel Duchamp
Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 12:43 pm:   

I've posted on my website <> a new essay discussing how my witnessing as well as participating in civil disobedience in 1989 & 1990 blew my imagination wide open: "The Prick of Political Imagination: on Writing The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding). It has struck me for some time that US writers tend to be uncomfortable about admitting that there might be a relationship between their political views & ideological formation on the one hand & their fiction on the other. British writers seem to have less difficulty with the link. Even an author like Tanith Lee, whom no one identifies as writing "political" novels, speaks frankly about it. In Mavis Haut's "An Interview with Tanith Lee" in The Hidden Library of Tanith Lee, Lee says:


The personal outrage I mentioned earlier runs rife in a number of books. Day by Night, for example, inflamed by all sorts of oppressions, the Vis novels likewise... And Elephantas, fairly obviously, is a prolonged howl against gender and racial injustice and the mindless, thoughtless misues of animals. One is always reacting against everyday issues, but, working in the medium of fantasy and SF, one tackles them in a parallel format. On the other hand, the Scarabae books-- also curtailed before their conclusion-- have pounced headlong on so many contemporary shadows, it almost makes me laugh. For there is, as ever, so much of this dark and nasty material to cut into shapes.

In the case of Red Rose, the creativity of revolt rather than outrage drove my imagination. Not that I lacked cause for outrage, as the documents in the hyperlinks can attest; but in the midst of horror & rage, I found joy and hope, & it was that joy and hope that pricked my imagination & gave me the political rebel Sarah Minnivitch, as human as she is extraordinary.


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