The Two of Them

The Two of Them Irene a rebellious product of an American s upbringing has fled from a repressive and sexist society into a life of apparent equality and adventure as part of the elite Trans Temporal Authority

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  • Title: The Two of Them
  • Author: Joanna Russ
  • ISBN: 9780819567604
  • Page: 495
  • Format: Paperback
  • Irene, a rebellious product of an American 1950s upbringing, has fled from a repressive and sexist society into a life of apparent equality and adventure as part of the elite Trans Temporal Authority s cadre of travelers Under the tutelage of Ernst, a friend lover and teacher father, Irene has achieved status and dignity Irene and Ernst are assigned to a Muslim world wheIrene, a rebellious product of an American 1950s upbringing, has fled from a repressive and sexist society into a life of apparent equality and adventure as part of the elite Trans Temporal Authority s cadre of travelers Under the tutelage of Ernst, a friend lover and teacher father, Irene has achieved status and dignity Irene and Ernst are assigned to a Muslim world where they meet Zubedeyeh, a young girl whose creativity is being transformed into madness by the male chauvinistic society in which she lives Vowing to rescue her, Irene unleashes a destructive cycle of violence Originally published in 1978, The Two of Them is a powerful portrait of a future sexist society This modern classic conveys its politics with rigor and complexity, in a story filled with suspense and unforgettable characters.

    One thought on “The Two of Them”

    1. Returning to the urgency of The Female Man, Joanna Russ here takes a slightly more linear path (though she's still deliriously disorienting where it suits her and her purposes!) through a fairly subtle frustration with contemporary gender politics. By the mid-70s, feminism was making serious headway, but then, as now, sexism finds reservoirs in the coded behaviors of even the well-meaning and ostensibly progressive elements of society. It all comes back to always-relevant questions about why rev [...]

    2. I read The Two Of Them by Joanna Russ. I identified strongly with the female characters, which is good. Morally complex, no polemics here, although as a militantly feminist author she gets portrayed that way be people. The protagonist is flawed, angry Russ is willing to show how women can be victimized by their own anger, that there is a fine line between righteous anger and anger that destructively feeds on itself. The protagonist's self-doubt: "It occurs to her that they may even be right, tha [...]

    3. This is hard to review (and was in a way hard to read!) because I think I am not in the target audience. This is deeply feminist SF, about the experience of oppression; it takes the feelings and mental structures of the oppressed (or at least this author's take on them) as a starting point. As someone privileged in pretty much every category, I don't have the experience it would take strongly identify. Or I could just be thick. :)Which isn't to say that I didn't appreciate it at all; it feels ge [...]

    4. I've been a big fan of Joanna Russ for years and years, both her fiction and non-fiction work, but I only recently was able to read "The Two of Them" in this particular volume.I was deeply disappointed.Russ often writes in a mult-view fashion, that skips around in time and space, but this was really cranked up in this book when frankly there were no reason for it given that there is really only one main character whose life we should have been able to follow. Odd ways of not tagging dialogue or [...]

    5. -Belleza, complejidad y extrañeza.-Género. Ciencia-Ficción.Lo que nos cuenta. Irene Waskiewicz, que en algunos momentos fue Irene Adler para “protegerse”, trabaja para una organización conocida como La Banda, de la que en un principio no se dan demasiados datos, y está en misión en un planeta de cultura islámica junto a su compañero y antiguo tutor Ernst Neumann. Irene recuerda, mientras prepara su acción en Kahabah, su pasado, evocado por algunas situaciones de las que es testigo. [...]

    6. I wish I’d pulled The Female Man off the shelf instead, because apparently it’s the Russ to read, and I have no intention of reading more Russ. It’s pessimistic nonlinear feminist sci-fi with no likable characters and no conversations that make any sort of sense. Her writing is solid and she makes valid points, but I can be pessimistic all by myself; I don’t need the moral of any story to be “The future is going to be shit. Especially for women.” I want to reread Shine just to get th [...]

    7. While open to accusations of white saviour complex, this sci fi trip between the feminine mystique of 1950s America, a reconstructed Ottoman era hareem on a distant planet, and an ostensibly egalitarian intergalactic centre (with a distinct lack of women in positions of power) paints the ubiquity of masculine domination, makes the (woman?) reader maddeningly aware of the similitude of the emotional architecture of patriarchy whether you’re an aproned housewife, a veiled woman, or a gal who’s [...]

    8. It's been a long time since I read a book that from page one tossed me into a world and a story line so unlike my own that I felt I had to keep reading just to figure out what was going on. It was refreshing. I also enjoyed how this was almost entirely a character drama with a select few moments of real action. Very thought-provoking and an interesting interpretation of Islamic traditions/practices/culture in an alien world. I'm looking forward to Readercon 26 on July 9-12 in Burlington, MA, USA [...]

    9. The Two of Them (1978) shivers generically between telling the realistic story of the oppression and escape or rather rescue by an agent of a version of Trans Temp (Alyx) of a young woman brought up in an Underground planetary colony whose Religion is reminiscent of Islam and deconstructing this generic material as the novel closes into the embittered dreams of a woman trapped on an equally oppressive society on Earth.

    10. I did not hate it. I am probably focusing on the wrong parts, but it really felt like the first 100 pages could have been cut. All set up and little action, with the whole thing feeling more like the bizarre thoughts brought forth from drifting off to sleep when trying to focus on a story than an actual plot. I'm pretty sure it isn't part of a series or multi book setting, but if it is it would make sense.

    11. i actually didn't read much of this book -- it was strange; the writing was hard to understand (eg, men were he and she, and vice versa, etc). I don't have the time to try to figure it out!

    12. I read this book because I enjoy Joanna Russ's nonfiction so I thought I might like her fiction too. No dice. The quest for compatible fiction continues.

    13. I like that this book explores complicated problems, not white-washing some of the issues associated with trying to 'save' someone from their culture. But I really didn't like the book much.

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