Sunday, July 30, 2006

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

That’s the line everyone remembers from “A Room of One's Own,” but it is very far from the whole story.

“For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.”

And that is what Woolfcamp is about. Bringing people together to think, talk, share: creating community by linking people who blog.

My first visit to Woolfcamp was a rescue mission; when my friend Debbie’s car wouldn’t start, Alan and I drove to Santa Cruz to get her. (It was a wonderful drive through the dark, over hilly roads.) Woolfcamp was over, but I had a chance to talk to some people, and I knew I wanted to participate more.

My second visit coincides with my purchase of a new truck. (New to me, at any rate.) One of the advantages of community is that people with complementary needs can connect. Liz,who is hosting today’s Woolfcamp, needed to sell her 1993 Mazda B2200. I needed an inexpensive vehicle, preferably a truck. We can meet each other’s needs. Moreover, while I was here looking at the truck, I glanced through Helene Cixous’s “Coming to Writing” and Other Essays, which I hadn’t read since grad school. I instantly realized this was what I needed now:

Women must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their own bodies for the same reasons by the same law, with the same fatal goal. Women must put herself into the text as into the world and into history by her own movement.

I’m all in favor of both privacy and financial independence. having my own space, an autonomous life, and as much financial independence as I can achieve by working for it, as opposed to inherited wealth. But for me, that life must be sustained and supported by participation in community.

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