Friday, November 23, 2012
Her many essays and reviews in the best of the progressive and mainstream newspapers and magazines in both Great Britain and the United States made West famous, highly respected, and very, very rich before she was thirty. In fact, she was only twenty-four when George Bernard Shaw said of her, "Rebecca West could handle a pen as brilliantly as ever I could -- and much more savagely."
A complicated and thoughtful intellectual, West was anti-communist, but also anti-fascist. She owned a Rolls Royce and supported Margaret Thatcher's stance against the unions, but voted for the Labor Party. And she believed that women should be "feminine," but is quoted as saying, "I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute." In-your-face women defy categories. Yay!