GOING TOO FAR: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist by Robin Morgan

GOING TOO FAR: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist

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At 35, Robin Morgan is one of the ""oldies"" of the Women's Movement who by her own light has triumphed over the Sixties' schisms which split gay from straight, New Left activist from middle-class housewife. This anthology of her writings-confessionals, polemics, position papers--spans ten years from earliest ""prepolitical"" dejection at personal failures and marital shortcomings, to the ""catchy sloganeering and Harpo-Marxist joie de vivre"" of her days as leader of the Radical Feminists, to thoughtful attempts to separate the style and strategy of feminist politics from the ""male-Left captivity"" of the Movement. A generous, affirming spirit marks her writing even when she is merely exuding conventional ideas, and it would be nice-very nice--to say that her most recent work shows deepening wisdom. Alas, though one can applaud ""the imperative of going beyond the confessional style to the analytical, beyond the philosophical to the poetic, beyond the aesthetic to the ecstatic""--the actual results are muzzy or ""mythic"" to the point of incomprehensibility. A parable on paranoia as a system of perception, another on the politics of sado-masochistic fantasies, a one-act playlet featuring the muses speaking on art and feminism-none of it is likely to register with the sister suspended over an ironing board. Still, there are many good things in this collection and it is pleasant to know that she can acknowledge a loving marriage, that the ""civil-rights front"" (read NOW) is no longer reviled for selling out, that--heaven help us--even Lynda Johnson Robb and Margaret Trudeau are not to be excluded. Morgan stoutly maintains that none of this is to be construed as ""retrenchment."" No, this is a celebratory testimonial to ""maturing"" by a plucky veteran still battling to expand the perimeters of consciousness.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1977
Publisher: Random House