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I want to embrace this in some ways absurd oxymoron: the feminist picaresque. I’ll drop common associations that don’t serve my purpose, but some of those naughty, rejected meanings of picaresque may linger on as irony. In my travels with feminism, I have been neither a rogue nor a maker of mischief — at least not by design. But sometimes I have been bumbling, wandering, disconnected, with no expectation — or intention — of being accepted. I’ll drop the phallic image of the picaro, the sexual miscreant, traveling from place to place with a lance, but I will hold onto the more general description of one who is restless, willing to live for a time without any settled context, a sojourner who’s always leaving.

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