There’s this box with flashing lights and pretty pictures that most of you fine people seem to watch

Sex and the City’s literary antecedents include not only Austen but a whole tradition of young girls’ literature, from Little Women to Anne of Green Gables. These books, like the first five seasons of Sex, are about that liminal moment in bourgeois female life when anything is possible, before our choices have narrowed down to binary options: Big or Alek? Pregnancy or adoption? Marriage or singlehood? In the world of the girls’ book, wit, pluck, and resourcefulness—the ability to get oneself into and out of as many “scrapes” as possible on the way to the inevitable happy ending—are what set the heroine apart from the drab market of heterosexual commerce that surrounds her and allow young female readers to identify with her. Like us, she doesn’t quite know if she wants a Prince Charming, and when she gets one, we’re somehow bummed, if only because it means the story is over. Carrie Bradshaw is clearly Sex and the City‘s Jo March, its tomboy-writer-klutz, and I wanted to see her stomp back to New York alone and become a real writer. (Sure, that once-a-week column may pay well enough to keep her in Oscar De La Renta couture—though God knows mine doesn’t—but couldn’t she use the intellectual challenge of a novel?)

(Via Lizzie, who does not bear the slightest resemblance to a buffalo.)


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