Monique Wittig Sally Beauman - Essay

Sally Beauman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Les Guérillères"] is perhaps the first epic celebration of women ever written. And yet it seems natural, not bizarre.

Of course, "Les Guérillères" treads a path between serious epic celebration and satire of the entire form—but, so deftly is the novel written, this ambiguity does nothing to diminish its impact. One of its strengths, indeed, is that—like "The Opoponax"—it contrives to work on several levels. It is a satiric commentary on man's constant use of literary forms for self aggrandizement; and on current Women's Liberation arguments in which men feature as the imperialists and women as the colonized natives. Yet it is also a hymn of praise to women of astonishing conviction, a...

(The entire section is 435 words.)