Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oriana Fallaci's Madonna

In her review of Cristina De Stefano’s Oriana Fallaci: The Journalist, the Agitator, the Legend (“Agent Provocateur,” The New York Times Book Review, ll/3/17) Nina Burleigh quotes the famed journalist to the effect that Men “seek a mother in every woman, and especially the woman they marry or live with.” But what kind of mother was Fallaci referring to, the earth mother, the giver of unconditional love, the sphinx-like Madonna of da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa," or the Virgin mother impregnated by God in an act of parthenogenesis. And then of course from the point of view of the male child, every mother is ultimately a whore, to the extent that she’s unfaithful to the most important lover in her life. In his autobiographical 8 ½ Fellini portrays the life of promiscuous and glamorous director, but in reality his wife Giulietta Masina, a famous and talented actress in her own right, devoted her life to her husband, even at times sacrificing her own career to take care of him when he was suffering from ill health. This is the kind of mother figure that Fallaci may be referring when she is again quoted in the review as saying “Living together with a man, the man one loves the most, the best of men, is an intolerable torment for the modern woman.” Fallaci, who had many lovers, apparently was running from this kind of entrapment. And it was a case of possessing a sensibility that was ahead of her time. Today, many phallic women demand male or female partners who are stage mothers (Madonna for instance is no Madonna and one wonders what she seeks in a man). Fallaci might have been more at home in a world where she could be mothered by her lovers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.