I liked this essay by Amanda Craig. Very up my street.
Some quotes “Virginia Woolf mocked this standpoint: “This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing room.”
“The domestic novel may no longer seem relevant. And yet, where else do most of us live? Where do most of the dramas, traumas and triumphs of our private lives take place? The home, and the family, is where we lead a great deal of our lives, particularly if we are women, and have children. ”
“Virginia Woolf imagined at the end of her great essay, A Room of One’s Own, asking an ordinary old woman what she remembered of her life, and said that apart from great national events, “she would remember nothing. “For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie” because, said Woolf, “those infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded.” ”
“They show what happens after the wedding bells are rung, and before adultery, divorce or bereavement. They seem to me to be taking any number of risks in holding up what they do, and in making up stories that are passionate, funny, stylish and sad. Furthermore, they shed light on an almost unnoticed tribe in the human race. For it is not only home-makers who get written out of the approved, masculine view of what are suitable subjects for literature. It is children. To me, the real tragedy of Anna Karenina’s life is not her loss of Vronsky or her suicide. It is her abandonment of her child. Dorothy Canfield Fisher was quite right to describe The Home-Maker as “a whoop not for â€˜womens’ rights’ but for â€˜children’s rights.” If you deny the domestic novel its place as serious literature, you deny not only the experience of women but that of children within the adult consciousness.”