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The Standing Rabbit

The Obstacle Race by Germaine Greer

The Obstacle Race by Germaine Greer

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The Obstacle Race by Germaine Greer is a 373-page cloth-bound hardcover published in 1979 by Farrar Straus Giroux.  The dust jacket shows age and handling.  Inside, the book is in good condition.  Light foxing to the outside edges.

Book Summary

Germaine Greer's The Female Eunich was a landmark of modern feminist writing. Witty, vigorous, incisive comment erudite, it spoke out for women no longer willing to accept the cramped stereotyped role in a masculine world. Now she spends the argument, focusing on the world of women painters to show how the imposition of traditional social constraints has robbed women in particular, and the world at large, of the chance of excellence. It is an answer to the question: if men and women are equally capable of genius, why has there been no female Leonardo, no Titan, no Poussin?

Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster, Angelica Kauffmann, Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun, Rosa Bonheur, Natalia Goncharova these women are all acknowledged figures in the history of Western painting. But why are there so few of the first rank what of the many hundreds of women artists of the last five centuries who recognized in their own times but are now forgotten? some where close relatives of the famous Joshua Reynolds sister Francis, Anthony van Dyck's daughter Justina, the Van Eyck's sister Margareth-- but this protected them no more than others from the barriers thrown up by the demands of family and child, the effects of female submissiveness and erotic entanglement with adored male masters, the distortions of patronizing over praise, the humiliations of sexual innuendo, the limitations of working on a small, domestic scale, and the oblivion of neglect and misattribution.

During the past decade Germaine Greer traveled throughout Europe and the United States collecting material for The Obstacle Race, to the point of searching Museum cellars and store rooms for the ignored and abandoned works of important or interesting women painters. Now, with the same blend of wit, passion, and insight that turn The Female Eunuch into an international bestseller, she describes the barriers and frustrations that for so long block the way to the acceptance of women painters as artists in their own right both by the mail world and by themselves.

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