An interesting find this week was an essay about writers as adjectives. ‘Audenesque, Beckettian, Chekhovian, Dickensian, Eliotian, Freudian, Gravesian, Homeric, Ionescian, Joycean…Zolaesque’…do you see a pattern running there? Yes, they are all writers. One more thing?
They are all men. There are, it turns out, hardly any women who have made it to the adjectival slot.
“The reasons for this current deficit are not hard to fathom: male critics who have historically tended to ignore or condescend to “lady writers” or “authoresses”, the usual sorry story. The near-monopoly of these male authors also reflects the way they are, or were, expected to be authoritative, to make a lasting impact on the world as innovators, discoverers, trail-blazers, the founders and leaders of schools. This same deficit can be found in many other fields of human endeavour.”
Read more here: Authors as adjectives: what’s in a name? by David Collard.
Which woman writer do you want to see as an adjective?