[Ed. note: Following up on our discussion of "My Ántonia" over here, Kevin e-mailed me some further thoughts on the novel. He's agreed to let me use them as a guest post. --GRD]
One of the interesting things about "My Ántonia," to me, is that it was written by a woman, yet the story is told by a man, reminiscing. So the question comes up, does it sound like something a man would think and write? I think it does, although admittedly it's a somewhat sensitive and reflective man. And yet, I've read it several times, and each time I do there's one phrase I encounter where I think, "A man would not write that"; however, I can never recall what the phrase is until I reread it.
For me, among its charms is its depiction of a male-female friendship, which is to me a very precious thing. I remember once having a discussion with various friends, some married and some single, about whether among Christians there could be a genuine and healthy male-female friendship. As I recall (it was 14 years ago, I think!), all of the married people said it was not possible, while the singles had more variety in their responses.
This is an intriguing question to ask here on the blog, since there is a mix of singles and married people here.
Having said this, I will say that a friendship between a single person and a married person of the opposite sex must necessarily have severe constraints, and must always be conducted in the sight of the spouse (figuratively, if not always literally). This to me is self-evident.
Kevin Peetis a guest blogger at the BreakPoint Blog. He provides administrative support at a national scientific laboratory, and is a member of a medium-sized church near Berkeley. He rides a sportbike and tries to play jazz on the guitar.