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by Germaine Greer

eBook The Madwoman's Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings download ISBN: 0871133083
Author: Germaine Greer
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; Reprint edition (January 10, 1994)
Language: English
Pages: 336
ePub: 1990 kb
Fb2: 1537 kb
Rating: 4.2
Other formats: txt lit lrf doc
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History and Criticism

From the start, Greer’s has been a memorable voice - direct, passionate, un-repentant –– and this collection of her writings is witness to the tenacity of her personal vision.

From the start, Greer’s has been a memorable voice - direct, passionate, un-repentant –– and this collection of her writings is witness to the tenacity of her personal vision.

The Madwoman's Underclothes book.

The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings. Bright Book of Life: American Storytellers from Hemingway to Mailer. Boston: Little Brown, 1973.

Germaine Greer on marijuana, the women’s movement, women’s sexuality, erotica .

GERMAINE GREER-an Australian-born writer, broadcaster, and retired . The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings.

THE MADWOMAN'S UNDERCLOTHES Essays and Occasional Writings. 305 pp. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press. GERMAINE GREER has never truly been a writer

Always strong and fearless, Germaine Greer strikes right at the heart of the matter—be it John F. Kennedy and vaginal deodorants, rape and artificial insemination, cosmetic surgery, the death of Jimi Hendrix, or the famine in Ethiopia. This collection represents a mosaic of essays, long and short, some of which are appearing for the first time in print and all of which chafe the conventional and are bristling with argument.From the youthful liveliness of her sixties pieces, which “got up everybody’s nose,” to the depth and complexity of her later work, The Madwoman’s Underclothes is a reflection both of an era and of the changing ideas and styles of Germaine Greer: “The essays on Brazil, Cuba, and Ethiopia represent my coming of age. Something like a coherent system of values is beginning to emerge after my years of wandering, although I have certainly not arrived at a set of articles of faith, and never will, I hope.”Greer’s opinions on social, political, and sexual trends and mores are tendered in her unique fashion—outspoken, with rapier wit and no tolerance for narrow-mindedness. But as explosive, angry, and often funny as these essays are, they also reveal tenderness and sadness and that emotion that underlies all of Greer’s work—passionate commitment.
Comments: (6)
I bought this just to read her 1971 "Suck Magazine" submission. It is a worthwhile read. However, her prose is a bit disjointed, and certainly does not flow smoothly. I also found some of the language difficult to understand. I'm not sure whether this was because she wrote in the vernacular, or a British dialect.

This collection would be especially useful for anyone who wants some context for a tumultuous era.
If you have ever wondered why people make much of Germaine Greer (I often did) this book shows her writing at its best. I think that essays suit Greer better than books. The discipline of a short length doesn't allow her to wander off on tangents and self-indulgence (as much).

The earlier essays are the most appealing being often witty, trenchent, and incisive. I occasionally remember one and laugh. They are of course sometimes dated, and often marred by a certain transcendent smugness. Greer may call for wide-open revolution and anarchy, but she is sometimes appalled by the results. The problem with urging people to be authentic and make decisions for themselves without reference to society and its standards is that they will often make decisions one doesn't approve of.

The later essays take on more serious topics, but they are far less stylish and frequently no more clearly thought out.

Valuable, even essential, for people interested in Greer, but not necessarily recommended for a broad audience.
`Her own side' might be the best answer, but it is still liable to create the wrong impression. On the one hand Germaine Greer is impossible to pigeonhole in any established camp or movement, even as a `radical' whatever that is. On the other hand it still seems to me that even as a solo voice she eludes classification too. I don't hear her as trying to establish for herself some individual and distinctive niche as, say, Anne Coulter might be thought to do. Nor do I really believe that she is setting out to shock for the sake of shocking. She is a kind of strident voice of rationality, and that is actually no kind of paradox or oxymoron. She must carry a load of emotional and psychological baggage from her upbringing and her background just as we all do, but she carries it lightly, or seems to. She will ignore conventions blithely, but not just for the sake of ignoring them; and when she seeks attention (which is what any writer is doing) she seeks it for her ideas and arguments. Even the stridency needs some qualification. Her prose is shapely and clear, and although she can turn out some memorable statements the style is all at the service of the thoughts and not driven by a gift or urge for phrasemaking as such, something that could be said of either Muggeridge or her friend Clive James.

What gives people problems with Germaine Greer, it seems to me, is her sheer phenomenal articulacy. She can cover more ideas per square paragraph than probably any other journalist I know, but she never seems to lose her thread or lose focus. As we toil along in her wake it's easy to become irritated and frustrated, and that, on top of people's emotional blocks, is no doubt why she arouses resentment. Another notion that I feel is not applicable to her is `extreme'. Indeed she is off orthodoxy's radar at times, but that is not what `extreme' means. I have to come back to it - if her opinions annoy you, try refuting them for themselves without appeals to majorities, silent dumbstruck or other, and see how you get on. It is a perfectly valid answer to many a drastic insight that public opinion will just not wear such a concept, but it is an answer rooted in prudence and practicality, not an intellectual answer. However even prudence should not prevent any of us, as thinking individuals if not as political agents, from seeing clearly when conventional wisdom is talking rubbish and Dr Greer is talking sense, as in her ironic comments on the views of Dr Rhodes Boyson in the matter of adoption of children by same-sex couples in A Modest Proposal.

This collection of writings is also a pleasant reminder of a couple of eras, for those of us who are old enough. If you want to get an idea of just how Germaine Greer really related to `The Underground' and other such soi-disant radical movements there are some highly readable essays here and some trenchant assessments of some of the publicity-minded figures linked with these movements, such as Richard Neville. In particular, there is a brilliant demolition in the essay starting on p51 of this edition of a wretched and snivelling piece of pampered and posturing self-pity by one fun revolutionary of a kind drearily familiar in the early 70's. I do not give the title here because it is not actually Germaine Greer's title but one she quotes from the organisers of the festival in question.

Not all the pieces here were published previously, although all were intended for publication. The selection seems to me to show the author at her multi-talented best, and I expect that has been her intention as well. The period covered is 1968-1985, and it is very interesting to try to work out how many right horses and how many three-legged mokes Germaine Greer has backed. Right at the end there is a lengthy and highly serious piece on the resettlement programme in Ethiopia, a programme widely attacked in the western media. What comes over loud and clear is the sheer irresponsible laziness of a great deal of this comment, and the feeble-minded reliance on conventional anti-communist platitudes that she found being trotted out under the disguise of informed reporting. Do not jump to conclusions, either from that or from her sympathetic coverage of a conference in Cuba, that she is anything that can be termed `left-wing', or if you are tempted to do so please note her withering remarks on the behaviour of the Soviet personnel. If there is anything `extreme' about Germaine Greer it is her extreme mental honesty. Extreme also is this book's sheer readability and entertainment value so far as I am concerned. Not all reviews that I have noticed seem to me to have captured the flavour of the writing. Some other reviews quoted in extracts on the back of the book hit that nail on the head better, I'd say, but of course this is only my own viewpoint and you have to find the book first to see what these latter reviews have to say. If the period covered holds any interest for you, if you find exhilaration in mental alertness, mental honesty and a truly remarkable communicative ability I think you will enjoy this collection. If you are not too sure how you may react, try the book anyway and assess yourself on a stuffiness-scale from 1 to 10.
Germaine Greer's sharp mind and strong opinions blaze through these essays like a rampaging fire, sometimes smoking and smoldering, sometimes leaping from the page. Her views on world social and political scenes from the 1950s through the '80s are brutally witty, perceptive and emotional.
Essays about drug and rock scenes re-published from Rolling Stone, Oz and other avant-garde publications explore unconventionality, but her frantic tone and obvious attempt to shock for the sake of shocking weaken her voice. In these early writings, Greer is the Chicken Little of her generation, racing around shouting, "The sky is falling."
Thirty years later, Greer is still racing but her more mature writings show development of a unique set of values and a complexity of spirit. These contemporary essays, like one on women in Cuba and another on resettlement in Ethiopia show passion and an underlying sadness. The adult Greer is still unaware of her own narrowmindedness, a condition that she unhesitatingly condemns in others.
MADWOMAN is definitely worth your consideration. In it Greer is trashy, hysterical, angry and she's also articulate, funny and sagacious. And never dull.
I love this book. I have read and reread. I think she writes very clearly, is sharp and has great in sight
A collection of the most valuable insight and veracity from one of the most influential and human people in western society. Greers collection of work shows not only how her genuis has developed but shows the diversity and extent of her cause.