Don’t

Jenny Diski

  • Sex by Madonna
    Secker, 128 pp, £25.00, October 1992, ISBN 0 436 27084 6
  • Sex and Sensibility by Julie Burchill
    Grafton, 269 pp, £5.99, October 1992, ISBN 0 00 637858 7
  • Too hot to handle by Fiona Pitt-Kethley
    Peter Owen, 134 pp, £15.50, November 1992, ISBN 0 7206 0875 9

There are really only two things people want to keep from public scrutiny: their real, private self; or the fact that they have no private self of any particular interest. Now, my instinctive guess is that everyone is nursing the fear that the real them doesn’t amount to very much worth knowing. The famous fear it most, but everyone, I think, suspects that they might not really exist in any interesting way beyond their public and superficial selves. Still, some part of me rebels at this thought, if only because it’s so dull. Surely, there might be some individuals whose exterior and apparent love of themselves and all their works is genuine adoration for what they find in the privacy of their own self-regard. It’s not my experience of how human beings are, but I might have missed something. I look, therefore, with great interest, at self-revelation and where its limits lie.

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