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Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir

Erica Jong

Top 10 Best Quotes

“That is what you love a friend for: the ability to change your angle of vision, bring back your best self when you feel worst. And speak the truth -- but without malice. Loving candour is the secret of friendship.”

“How did I get to be a grown-up? At times, I find myself still sitting on the hillside, plotting revenge against the adult world.”

“A DOZEN PHALLACIES WOMEN BUY Phallacy 1. If he love me, he'll be faithful forever. Truth His loving you has nothing to do with his being faithful. Some men are monogamous. Most aren't. The sexy ones usually aren't. Monogamy lasts three, days, three weeks, three months, or at best three years with most men. Often it lasts just about long enough to get you pregnant. Nature has a reason for this. Men are programmed to spread their seed as widely as possible and women to raise live, healthy babies. Human babies take a long time to grow up to self-sufficiency.... Some few paragons of maleness are faithful. Most others cheat. The question is: can you stand it? If the cheating is not blatant and disrespectful and you get a lot out of the relationship in other ways (a friend, a lover, a father to your kids, an economic partner), then consider these alternatives: you can accept his cheating gracefully, and at the same time extract emotional and financial benefits from his guilt. You can cheat discreetly yourself -- if (and only if) you enjoy it (not for spite). You can realize it has nothing to do with you. He does it for his manhood, not against your womanhood.”

“We also fought about everything -- like real sisters. We fought about money, bedrooms, whose car to take. Everyone of these fights was actually about something else -- usually abandonment. I wanted to be first on her list and she wanted to be first on mine. I wanted all her attention, all her love, all her care. I wanted her to be my mommy, my daddy, my sister. She wanted the same from me. She wanted to be fed, cared for, nurtured without limit. She wanted backrubs, poems, pastas, and to be left alone when she needed to be left alone. She wanted to come before my writing, my child, my man. And I wanted no less from her. She was sick at first, so I took care of her. Then I was jealous of the attention and she took care of me. We had gone down into the primal cave of our friendship. we had felt loved enough to rage and fight, to show the inside of our naked throats and our bared fags, and the friendship took another leap toward intimacy. Without rage, intimacy can't be.”

“And what is laughter anyway? Changing the angle of vision.”

“You're afraid of criticism,' she says. 'But criticism is a sign of life! You know who doesn't get criticized? Nonentities! Only the dead escape criticism.”

“Whatwe fear we also desire, and what we desire we fear.”

“That's what a writer is -- a conqueror of fears.”

“No wonder the word 'feminism' was feared. It had been much too narrowly defined. I define a feminist as a self-empowering woman who wishes the same for her sisters. I do not think the term implies a certain sexual orientation, a certain style of dress or membership in a certain political party. A feminist is merely a woman who refuses to accept the notion that women's power must come through men.”

“...affirm my life every morning and let myself have a good day, free myself each night to dream the necessary dreams, find pleasure in serving those I love, give up guilt at refusing to when they demand my self-annihilation, find joy in teaching, joy in talking to loving readers..., give my self time every day to walk or go to a museum, be generous because it reminds me how much abundance I have been given, be loving because it reminds me not to feel jealous of those who only seem to have more, seize my life, release my anger, bless the known and the unknown world.... If, every day, I dare to remember that I am here on loan, that this house, this hillside, these minutes are all leased to me, not given, I will never despair. Despair is for those who expect to live for ever. I no longer do.”

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Book Keywords:

definition-of-feminism, phallacies, friendship, growing-up, criticism, writers-are, intimacy, laughter

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