28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Intercourse (Paperback)
After Betty Friedan, Andrea Dworkin seems to top the list as one of the most referenced feminists. Her popularity did not prepare me in the least for what exactly her book de jour is. That is, Intercourse, the book coined as "saying" "all sex is rape," is actually an intriguing literary criticism with a brief peppering of art history. Any quotes I previously listed by Dworkin were taken out of context in that it would only make sense that after Dworkin is read a conversation must occur on art's ability (and lack of) to reflect and represent life.
Dworkin's book begins at Tolstoy and moves through biographies of he and his wife and his literary work The Kreutzer Sonata. The book provides a feminist and specific sexual critique on how sexuality is represented throughout classical, fictional pieces ranging from Tennessee Williams to James Baldwin to Bram Stoker to the Bible and how these works reflect the reality of the culture they were produced in. This bundle of information is presented to the reader and then weaved together in a luxurious manner to critique present views on sexuality. (Absolutely fascinating to me as this is what I did for my late modern art assignment last semester.)
Similar to Reading Lolita in Tehran, it is not necessary that you've actually read any of these works. However, as with any literary criticism it's a bit difficult to rebut or disagree with it without reading the actual texts the critique is based on. Overall, it's a brilliant piece of feminist literature that is blunt and honest and thought provoking. Whether or not you agree with everything (or anything) that Dworkin says, it's a thought stimulating book that consistently questions the reader.