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In the 1920s, the novelist, critic, and scion of the Bloomsbury school, David Garnett, produced two extraordinary novellas. Here his self-conscious, literary inheritance achieved a perfect balance with the wildness of his childhood, spent roaming free in the silence of the woods. Snitow’s descriptions of these stories, written in 1986, were meant to counter more harsh depictions of male and female sexuality arising in the feminist anti-pornography movement active at that time. In the first, the wife turns into a fox, but the husband loves his wild vixen anyway. Finally, though, she is too wild for him and he has to let her go. In the second, it’s the husband who is too wild for his lady-like fiancée. He is a beast, she says, because he dislikes prissy English social life. So he moves to the Zoo. Ultimately though, it is this passionate, unsociable creature that she wants.

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