"Women if you want to realize yourselves-you are on the eve of a devastating psychological upheaval-all your pet illusions must be unmasked—the lies of centuries have got to go—are you prepared for the Wrench–? There is no half-measure—NO scratching on the surface of the rubbish heap of tradition, will bring about Reform, the only method is Absolute Demolition
Cease to place your confidence in economic legislation, vise-crusades & uniform education-you are glossing over Reality.
Professional & commercial careers are opening up for you—
Is that all you want?
And if you honestly desire to find your level without prejudice—be Brave & deny at the outset—that pathetic clap-trap war cry Woman is the equal of man-
She is NOT
The man who lives a life in which his activities conform to a social code which is protectorate of the feminine element—–is no longer masculine
The women who adapt themselves to a theoretical valuation of their sex as a relative impersonality, are not yet Feminine
Leave off looking to men to find out what you are not —–seek within yourselves to find out what you are”
John Updike - A&P
Or the art of the opening line. Read the entire short story here:
At the beginning of the story the main character, Anders, - a bitter and cynical book reviewer - is shot during a bank robbery. Before he dies he recalls this one single long-forgotten memory.
"… This is what he remembered. Heat. A baseball field. Yellow grass, the whirr of insects, himself leaning against a tree as the boys of the neighborhood gather for a pickup game. The captains, precociously large boys named Burns and Darsch, argue the relative genius of Mantle and Mays. They have been worrying this subject all summer, and it has become tedious to Anders; an oppression like the heat.
Then the last two boys arrive, Coyle and a cousin of his from Mississippi. Anders has never met Coyle’s cousin before and will never see him again. He says hi with the rest but takes no further notice of him until they’ve chosen sides and Darsch asks the cousin what position he wants to play. “Shortstop,” the boy says. “Short’s the best position they is.” Anders turns and looks at him. He wants to hear Coyle’s cousin repeat what he’s just said, but he knows better than to ask. The others will think he’s being a jerk, ragging the kid for his grammar. But that isn’t it, not at all - it’s that Anders is strangely roused, elated, by those final two words, their pure unexpectedness and their music. He takes the field in a trance, repeating them to himself.
The bullet is already in the brain; it won’t be outrun forever or charmed to a halt. In the end, it will do its work and leave the troubled skull behind, dragging its comet’s tail of memory and hope and talent and love into the marble hall of commerce. That can’t be helped. But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is.”
Read the entire short story here: