Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Yesterday, one of the student workers handed me a book and said "he doesn't seem to have a barcode." At first I laughed, but then she and I got to discussing whether books have a gender.  I always found it amusing that other languages have those gendered articles...le, la, les, un una, des.... Can individual books have a certain property about them that indicates gender?  The volume in question was a play from the 60's I really knew nothing bout....but what about other books? Is the sex of an author a factor.? Now I would say most definitely that Moby Dick is male, while all of Jane Austens novels are female. I've determined the following books/authors to be female despite who wrote them:  anything by Chekhov, Henry James, EM Forster, Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Thedore Dreiser.  Dostoevsky is certainly male, as are Milton, Poe, Dickens, Hemingway, and Updike. All the contemporary poetry on my shelves at home are female, with the exception of the Bukowski, while all my reference books are male except for Grave's White Goddess, which of course, has to be a woman.

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