Germaine Greer Interview

Elizabeth Renzetti of "The Globe and Mail" interviewed Germaine Greer about her new book, Shakespeare's Wife.

"Someone will say to me, 'Do you know how much you frighten people?' " she says, settling into a wooden bench in the farmhouse's shade. "The only thing I can say is, 'Not enough. Nowhere near enough.' "

This brings us to Shakespeare's Wife, which is in many ways the continuation of a feminist recipe that began simmering with The Female Eunuch, reached a rolling boil in Sex and Destiny, and blew its menopausal lid with The Change. The new book is Greer's attempt to stitch together a portrait of Hathaway from history's crumbling threads, to challenge the "Shakespeare wallahs," who seemed to think that "wife is a four-letter word."

Not surprisingly, she has a theory about why great men's wives are vilified or ignored through history, and it has to do with the keepers of the great men's flames: "They want to believe that wives are menial and don't occupy the psychic space of their subject because they're jealous, I think. "They want to think that if they'd been around drinking in the Mermaid Tavern, Shakespeare would have found them very interesting and then they would have been best buddies. But Shakespeare was tough on sycophants. He would have disliked them to a man."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 9, 2008 12:24 PM.

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