Bechdel Testing

“[T]his melancholy feeling of forever-deferred clarity and calm… is often confusingly yoked to a kind of determination, the idea that with just a bit more effort, just the right tweaks this way or that, a sense of integration – …”bliss” or “oneness” or “transcendence” – will arrive. The cyclical nature of these two feelings – in which a person feels alternately broken and fixed, in a loop that never ends – constitutes the American religion of ‘self-improvement’.”

From a NYRB review of Alison Bechdel’s Secret to Superhuman Strength, which I did not think I wanted to read, as it has been billed as being all about Bechdel’s extreme commitment to physical fitness, and I cannot relate at all to people who want to work out all the time. But the review makes me think I might try it.

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