The Return of Andrea Dworkin’s Radical Vision

Moira Donegan at Bookforum:

Last Days at Hot Slit, a collection of Dworkin’s writing edited by Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholder, is an invitation “to consider what was lost in the fray,” as Fateman writes in her moving introduction. Hot Slit contains excerpts from all of Dworkin’s major books as well as previously unpublished material, including letters to her parents, university lectures, and a portion of an unfinished end-of-life autobiographical manuscript called My Suicide. The style is strident, enraged, and the conclusions are often stark, bluntly phrased, and difficult to read. Dworkin had reason to be angry: Her life was marked by the kind of male violence that is disturbingly common yet consistently goes unacknowledged. In 1965, when she was eighteen and a student at Bennington College, Dworkin took part in an anti-war demonstration in Manhattan and was arrested. In jail, she was subjected to a violent gynecological exam that I have no word for other than rape. Her decision to write and testify about it caused enormous distress for her parents, who were upset not only at what had happened to their daughter, but by her choice, incomprehensible to them, to talk about it publicly.

more here.