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This review is from: Heartbreak : The Political Memoir Of A Feminist Militant (Hardcover)
It's difficult to take this memoir seriously. It simmers and sometimes boils with anger at a world that appears not to have accepted Andrea Dworkin as the intellectual and moral genius she's confident she is. Although Ms. Dworkin assures us in passing that she doesn't care whether or not she's understood by others, she clearly does want to be understood. More precisely, she wants to be admired and adulated As a consequence, practically every scenario of her life that she writes about in this rather painful book paints her in the role of either self-sacrificing rebel or bloodied victim. Her high school teachers try to ruin her because she's an independent thinker (as do her professors at Bennington--who, by the way, regularly procure coeds, she says, for visiting dignitaries), Allen Ginsberg mistreats her because she has the courage to condemn his sexual preferences, men attack her because of her crusade against their penchant for pornography and rape, and turncoat women disagree with her because they've sold out to the establishment by becoming "compromisers." But Ms. Dworkin--she manages through sheer force of will to remain pure in the midst of all this corruption. And lest we be tempted to conclude that her claims to righteousness are self-indulgent back-patting, she assures us that what might be taken for obnoxious self-righteousness in fact is a life-long "spartan" habit of courageous truth-telling--which has earned her (you guessed it!)the enmity of less truthful compromisers.
Oh dear. What's genuinely "heartbreaking" about this book is its unintended Dorian Grey transparency. In reading it we catch a terrible vision of how a lifetime of hatred, anger, and old-fashioned pique ultimately corrode a person's relationship with the world.