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Archive for December, 2007

We recently received a note from Tamara Harchanko asking for help finding a passage from Adrienne Rich. I did some searching. I found several references to this passage:

An honorable human relationship–that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love”–is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying for both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

It was written by Adrienne Rich and is attributed to several sources that include:

  • “Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying,” spoken by Adrienne Rich at the Hartwick Women Writer’s Workshop, 1975;
  • Published as a pamphlet by Motheroot Press, Pittsburgh,1977
  • Published in Heresies: A Feminist Magazine of Art and Politics, vol. 1, no. 1, 1979
  • Published in French by the Québecois feminist press, Les Editions du Remue-Ménage, 1979
  • Published in On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1979

The last reference appeared most often in my searches, but I could not find the entire essay in full online. Only one source referred this passage as a poem, which it said is entitled On Love. You can see that here.

I was not able to find any reference to the ensuing line “the question is not what to tell or how much to tell.” But, then, I didn’t read the passage from the original essay. So it may very well be addional text.

 I hope that helps.

P.S. I did have Adrienne’s name misspelled in my categories list. I’ve corrected that.

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