In the past day, I have read two wonderful interviews: one in Vanity Fair with the secretive Italian author Elena Ferrante, on the occasion of the release of her novel The Story of the Lost Child; the other in Dazed & Confused with America’s sweetheart Greta Gerwig, on the occasion of the release of her latest movie, Mistress America. Two quotes really stuck out to me:
Yes, I hold that male colonization of our imaginations—a calamity while ever we were unable to give shape to our difference—is, today, a strength. We know everything about the male symbol system; they, for the most part, know nothing about ours, above all about how it has been restructured by the blows the world has dealt us. What’s more, they are not even curious, indeed they recognize us only from within their system.
I’m not just interested in female friendships, I’m just interested in all of the configurations of the ways women relate to each other […] Peer to peer, older to younger, mothers and daughters, sisters, groups of women, professionally … In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf talks about how men can’t write about what women do alone because they’re not there. Men don’t know what they’re doing when they’re not around. They can extrapolate, but to me it feels like a secret world. That’s the world that I feel some ability to report back on.
The first is Ferrante, and the second is Gerwig. The idea that women have a secret language, secret experiences that men cannot know and only women can tell is becoming mainstream – one of the foremost Literary authors of our time, and an actress on the edge of mainstream stardom agree. Sometimes, things just come together at the right time. So, can Ferrante and Gerwig work together on something now please.