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Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying (1973)

by Erica Jong

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (57)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This was about many things, but some of the more interesting parts were those that referenced what it is to be a writer. The character Isadora frequently refers to writers and considers their continuing failure to tell the truth- not for lack of effort but because it is impossible to present an objective truth that is separate from an author's personal perspective. Many of the authors Isadora reads are men who are noted for presenting masculine perspectives of femininity, which really was not helpful to her. She particularly mentions D.H. Lawrence, who produced a great deal of writing that I did not care for specifically because of what I view as warped presentations of women. This leads to examination of how Isadora created her view of individual feminine identity and how easy it was to lose her core self when in relations with men.

Psychoanalysis is discussed frequently as well. It was not positively portrayed here, seeming instead to be a waste of resources in most of this book and really not useful for Isadora. The men she interacts with are also definitely unappealing (and also quite unwashed). They seem to be self-focused, patronizing, and in general just really annoying. These components of this book didn't quite feel realistic to me. They describe situations that are realistic, but their actual portrayal felt false.

One aspect of what Isadora learned stood out as important beyond this novel: "You do not have to apologize for wanting your own soul. Your soul belonged to you- for better or worse. When all was said and done, it was all you had." This seems the greatest point of the book and is part of her thought process as she loses her fear.

Although definitely worth reading, this was not exactly enjoyable. There was a sexual component that seemed to be a focus, but that part of the book wasn't particularly interesting. Instead it served as background for the more interesting topic of how to construct a positive and individual feminine identity. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 7, 2015 |
I was amazed that a book written an era ago would still hold such poignant truths about women, sexuality and personal power. Erica's thoughtful plot line and boundary pushing sexuality combine to create a powerful message with well constructed writing and thought provoking analogies. ( )
  GingerSegreti | Jul 12, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Books about women finding themselves are a favorite of mine, and this book is one of the modern day originals on the subject. Through her emotional struggles to figure out what she truly wants, Isadora’s exploits and sometimes-spontaneous decisions are described in a very entertaining manner. This was one of the original books showing that women can become independent and strong within themselves, and it was a good one that every woman (and man) should read.
  BedOfRoses | Jun 3, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I can't believe that I never read the classic Fear of Flying back in my younger days, but have enjoyed now - better late than never, I guess.
It interests me in a different way now than it would then, but is still worth reading if only for the fact that it influenced a number of women back in it's day. ( )
  patmil | Nov 8, 2014 |
This is one of the best feminist (probably erotica?) book I've read! Every woman should read this and be free of any expectations, obligations! I love love Erica Jong! ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Aug 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erica Jongprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, JenniferIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bigamy is having one husband too many. Monogamy is the same.
—Anonymous (a woman)
Alas! The love of women! It is known
To be a lovely and a fearful thing;
For all of theirs upon that die is thrown,
And if 'tis lost, life hath no more to bring
To them but mockeries of the past alone,
And their revenge is as the tiger's spring,
Deadly, and quick, and crushing; yet, as real
Torture is theirs — what they inflict they feel.

They are right; for man, to man so oft unjust,
is always so to women; one sole bond
Awaits them — treachery is all their trust;
Taught to conceal, their bursting hearts despond
Over their idol, till some wealthier lust
Buys them in marriage — and what rests beyond?
A thankless husband — next, a faithless lover —
Then dressing, nursing, praying — and all's over.

Some take a lover, some take drams or prayers,
Some mind their household, others dissipation,
Some run away, and but exchange their cares,
Losing the advantage of a virtuous station;
Few changes e'er can better their affairs,
Theirs being an unnatural situation,
From the dull palace to the dirty hovel :
Some play the devil, and then write a novel.
         — Lord Byron (from Don Juan)
Grace Darling Griffin
And for my grandfather
Samuel Mirsky
Thanks to my intrepid editors:
Aaron Asher and Jennifer Josephy
And thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for a grant which helped.
And thanks to Betty Anne Clark, Anita Gross, Ruth Sullivan, Mimi Bailin, and Linda Bogin
First words
There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I'd been treated by at least six of them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Isadora Wing was afraid of flying.

She was also afraid of her own beauty, brains, physical appetites, intellectual and sexual curiosity. 
Then while on a trip to Vienna with her brilliant, handsome psychiatrist husband, Isadora met the man who embodied her most erotic fantasies - and who offered her a chance to conquer all her fears.
What happened to Isadora then was a mad, adulterous bolt across Europe in the wildest, most uninhibited sexual extravaganza that is no longer for men only.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451209435, Paperback)

The 30th Anniversary special!

Originally published in 1973, the ground-breaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation—and sold more than twelve million copies. Now, after thirty years, the iconic novel still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:42 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Originally published in 1973, the groundbreaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation. It fueled fantasies, ignited debates, and even introduced a notorious new phrase to the English language. In The New York Times, Henry Miller compared it to his own classic Tropic of Cancer and predicted that "this book will make literary history, that because of it women are going to find their own voice and give us great sagas of sex, life, joy, and adventure." And it went on to sell more than twelve million copies, on the way to becoming a genuine cultural icon. Now the revolutionary novel known as Fear of Flying still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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