10 March 2013

Sunday is for horizons: Martha Gellhorn

This is stuff for serious #Sundays.
We present you Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), novelist, journalist, travel writer and a renowned war correspondent. And for us, snoops, the best thing is that both her professional and private life are depicted in her books (you don't go to interpretations of others, which in case of important female personalities seem to be a very slippery slope towards sensationalism and looking for weirdness).

Martha mostly wrote about people and places, not herself explicitly. But she is a reporter, so we see the places and the people through her eyes and experiences. She is a woman in 20th century going the most unwelcoming places of her time and getting to know war, misery, poverty and human suffering around the globe the old way - by seeing it herself and talking to people. And that hurts, even more than lack of running water and the eminent danger of falling bombs does.

And for the interest in emancipation and feministing, she is known for A) by choice prioritizing her professional vocation over family life and B) trying the achieve the maximal level of objectivity, knowing that her work was under more scrutiny than that of her colleagues. Also, her writings are good. If we don't convince you, read this.

In case you want a cinematographic teaser before you read her work, here you have the rather mediocre Hemingway and Gellhorn (2012, Philip Kaufman). See it but then go get her books, they are worth it.

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