An anthology of snakebites: on women, love and philosophy
Like eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between two very different women, Reydams-Schils brilliantly constructs these thirty-six vignettes to evoke imagined discussion of two women about motherhood, intellectual aspirations, philosophy, and emotional and spiritual life. Often humorous, each passage is deliberately fragmented to contain portions of texts from antiquity to the present day, dialogue between the two women, their reflections, or their diary entries. The classical philosophical tradition typically portrays women as choosing between personal, intimate relationships and intellectual, spiritual aspirations. Antiquity has bequeathed us more images of virgins and widows joining wise men, than of spouses and mothers. Reydams-Schils' goal is to explore the question of whether we want to continue to attach these dichotomies to our idea of the intellectual. Struggling for a positive understanding of marriage and parenthood that can overcome the oppression of women, the book ultimately moves toward reconciliation between women and men.
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