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The Routes Of Myth
by Rikki Ducornet

I AM writing in response to Anne Denoon's review of The Fountains of Neptune (AugustSeptember). I have written A book about misogyny; this does not make me, or the book, misogynist. (My previous novel Entering Fire, was narrated by an anti?Semite; clearly my reputation is in grave danger!)

The Fountains of Neptune explores the roots of myth., and the stories of the sailors ? my characters ?reflect their visions of the multiple faces of the ogress. It is not until the novel's end that the trauma of the misogynist storyteller's childhood is revealed, and his own obsession with evil women explained. Yet it is evident that Toujour?LA's horrible mother was herself a victim of ignorance and poverty, just as Nini's mother, Odille, was the victim of her own blindness, beauty, and famishment. Rose is no ogress but a simple soul, and Venus Kaiserstiege a constant voice of clarity and love.

Because my hero was haunted throughout childhood by ogresses mostly imagined, it seemed to me inevitable that his construct of Eden should be undone by hags, and hell, it's funny too. Feminists, let us not forget our sense of humour; if anything is divine, it is laughter!

All my novels investigate the problem of evil, which I see as a problem of power. And I am convinced that if our species is to survive, it must break trauma's vicious circle of humiliation and terror. We must all confront the bitter truth: evil is an existential problem that concerns both sexes; women are as responsible as men for violence done to children.

I would be grateful if Anne Denoon would consider this: I am no misogynist but rather, a humanist.

Rikki Ducornet Denver, Colorado


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