Naomi Wolf and the Phenomenology of Angelina Jolie
Naomi Wolf's Harper's Bazaar essay on Angelina Jolie has attracted contemptuous comment. "An absurd, overwrought, swooning love letter," Willa Paskin called it on DoubleX. Paskin's disgust recalls Ron Rosenbaum's condemnation of Tom Junod's 2007 Esquire profile of the actress, which worked a strained and inappropriate post-9/11 angle.
Unlike Paskin, I do not regard Wolf as "a serious feminist and thinker." She's a feminist, certainly, but neither serious nor a thinker. She is an emoter, whose work typically generalizes from her narcissistic neediness to "the female experience." It is usually an intellectually frivolous approach.
But this time it works brilliantly, though not in the way Wolf intends.
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