Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Essay: "Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying." Adrienne Rich. 1977.

One-Minute Review: Using the technique of Pascal's Pensees and Eric Hoffer's The True Believer, the author jots down random thoughts on the phenomenon of women and lying, which most often occurs in order to survive in a male-dominated world.

Truth is complex. The effort to learn the truth means that we must delve into greater complexity. Relationship is founded on the desire to understand the truth of each other. We lie by projecting an image we want the other to believe. The possibilities of a truthful relationship.


“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”

“The liar lives in fear of losing control.”

“The liar has many friends and leads an existence of great loneliness.”

“Truth…is an increasing complexity.”

“Lies are usually attempts to make everything simple—for the liar—than it really is or ought to be.”

“We [women] have been expected to lie with our bodies: to bleach, redden, unkink or curl our hair, pluck eye brows, shave armpits, wear padding in various places or lace ourselves, take little steps, glaze fingers and toenails, wear clothes that emphasized our helplessness.”

“The lie is the ‘happy marriage,’ of domesticity….”

“There is a danger run by all powerless people: that we forget we are lying….”

“…a culture which validates only male experience.”

“…lying…becomes an easy way to avoid conflict or complications….”

“We take so much of the universe on trust….”

“I also have faith…that you do not conceal facts from me in an effort to spare me, or yourself, pain.”

“Or, at the very least, that you will say, ‘There are things I am not telling you.”

“Truthfulness…has to be created between people.”

“Truthfulness …means heightened complexity.”

“The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people…are the most interesting things in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of those possibilities.”

“That we both know we are trying, all the time, to extend the possibilities of truth between us. The possibility of life between us.”

Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000.

No comments:

Post a Comment