November 11, 2011


A friend recently put a new author’s work in my hand… that is to say new to me though the writer, C. L. Moore was born in 1911 and died a victim of Alzheimer’s in 1987.  C.L. stands for Catherine Lucille and she was the first American woman to write in the science fiction genre, selling her initial short story, “Shambleau” to “Weird Tales” for the sum of $100.

What I’ve read so far, presents a truly a male view of the world. It is a violent place where women are seen and treated as objects, desirable, but objects nonetheless. Given the time and place of the author’s history, I won’t complain that as a woman writer she failed to break new ground. One could argue she is to be congratulated for beating the men at their own genre and with their own rules.  

What interested me most about her book were her comments in the “Afterward.”  There she talks of the role of the unconscious in her art and her passive willingness to let it have its way with her. 

          “…with no conscious mental processes whatever I surrendered myself to it {Shambleau} and the typewriter. (This is among life’s most luxurious moments – giving the story its head and just keep (sic) your fingers moving.  They know where they are going.”  (The Best of C.L. Moore, Nelson Doubleday)

Here, at least, she expresses the feminine aspect of herself: a willingness to trust her intuition and to be carried by the story rather than wrestle it to the ground. At such moments, when the unconscious is loosed all things are possible and new laws revealed. I have mentioned this fact before (blog 8/12/11). There is in each of us a creative being waiting to touch the stars. It takes great courage to let go.  When we do, we will be amazed. That is the feminine aspect in all of us.