Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Fiction  (Read 25281 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2007, 02:39:08 PM »

whisqe,

I was speaking of the "genre" not Matthiesson, whom I am familiar is on Peltier's support; my stand also as I lived closer in territory where this was the course of events.  There is another writer of the Crazy Horse oral tradition but I can not remember his name at the moment. He writes what he was told by his parents and grandparents and talks with great authority when reading passages of it to audiences which are albeit small; an authority that reminds me of my observations in childhood.
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madupont
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« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2007, 03:07:08 PM »

weezo,re:#78

Well, you know, this was a Dustin Hoffman tour de force in which he knows he is playing farce much along the same lines as he did in drag, to upset a smitten Charles Durning; he is in fact, in Little Big Man, a "Hollywood" cliche, somewhat on the order of "gawking at Kathy Bates" who made an art-form of it from then on like any actress who ever had to suppress a desire to be a performing "Exotique Artiste".

I COULD NOT RESIST THE PLAY ON WORDS!,against the reality of the opposing view points.

But what I am actually talking about is the concept of birth control among Women's Societies .  That sort of knowledge becomes "traditionally" accepted by men in practice as time goes by but was important where there were too many mouths to feed.  Beresford in filming a history that interests him, in the same tribal area in actuality, can not resist getting a shot in of a raid on a longhouse of an invasive warrior assaulting and raping a woman in a distinctly non-missionary-position.  It is as if he posits that the Black Robes could not bring about a change in the morality of these people in New France.

Dustin Hoffman on the other hand introduced movie-goers to a favourite fantasy that other films with Native American cast members or stories reveal as a good way to keep warm in winter, and why a man might as well have several wives; during the proverbial shot of shaking off the snow from the buffalo robe (inside the tipi), when someone in the family emerges, up in the Dakotas.  Hoffman is a ground breaker in his way, enjoying comedy shtick but making it possible to include this scene in the scripts of many another made for tv movie.

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madupont
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« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2007, 03:13:53 PM »

weezo,

Ps. I knew you were going to ask:

The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History

by Joseph Marshall,III
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« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2007, 04:13:02 PM »

Kitinkaboodle, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a very good book.  By that I mean everything about "making a readable book" is in place.  The tale is about two women living their lives in Afghanistan from the (I hope i remember this right) middle 70s to the near present (after 9/11).  After you read the story the renewed fighting in Kabul and other of the larger "cities" of Afghanistan will "catch your eye" and make you wince. Hosseini gathers in pre Afghan history along with the history of the present moments in time in which the women's tale is unfolding in a more or less seamless manner.  And Afghans have endured a lot of suffering at the hands of their leaders, not to mention outside forces.  But then, Afghans make each other suffer also.  And who gets the worst of all the different forms of sufferring from all the directions from which it comes?  The women. 

But is "A Thousand . . ." a better book than "Kite Runner"?  I'd say no.  Hosseini trained as a doctor and writing is something he fell into, at first.  "Suns . . . " is his first deliberate book.  I hope there are more.  Then we'll see.  Meantime, Hosseini is a very good writer.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #64 on: June 22, 2007, 11:38:57 PM »

Re: voices in Poisonwood Bible....a more interesting observation might be made about who doesn't have a voice.
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weezo
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« Reply #65 on: June 23, 2007, 07:16:43 AM »

Laurie,

An interesting observation. Nathan has no voice, and is almost a piece of furniture taxing one's bottom when you try to sit on it. His death is so fitting considering the life he has lived. It does not engender any sympathy from the reader. That's why I felt the book would appeal more to women for the beautiful and in depth protrayals of their insights and lives.

I especially enjoyed the Leah chapters as she "stuck by her man" through the political turmoils of the African colonies emerging into unique nations and going from brief democracy straight into American-encouraged dictatorships with even more poverty than they had during the colonial eras.  I vaguely remember those days when the American press dutifully told us that each of the popular leaders who arose were "communist sympathizers" and they quickly went down replaced by US friendly dictators whose lives were were never privileged to know about.

I do have to wonder where the money came from for Leah and hubby to come to the states to get their educations, and then return their sons for same. Was this taken from monies donated to help the children of missionaries? Or did Oleanna raise the money herself from her meager earnings from the missionary board? How did the missionary board who refused to support Nathan and family initially on their missionary adventure, come around to providing such support to Oleanna and her girls?
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madupont
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« Reply #66 on: June 23, 2007, 10:36:11 AM »

weezo,

I think you hit upon it in your second paragraph. The actual source of the money.  It comes from our tax dollars but it has to go through "the proper channels" governmentally relabeled to reach those promising dictators.

It was like something that came up in Immigration the other day but I let it pass, a vaguely put question about the financial resources, world bank or something, and I almost said to the poster, "Haven't you read, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"? (in which Perkins explained how the CIA sets up an economic entity with somebody like Wolfewitz, who was just in the news recently, in charge of distribution; and then the salesmen go out from headquarters and talk dictators into borrowing scads of money "to help their country", then when they stop like Bush at end of term, the citizens owe the money to the bank. Is everyone ready for that?).  I mean, only a banking connected  family that went into politics, could think about something like that. There's always a profit to be made.
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Donotremove
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« Reply #67 on: June 23, 2007, 12:14:59 PM »

Weezo, I have only one up front experience with missionaries and their lives.  My cousin and his wife and four children.  They have been Baptist missionaries in the same places in Mexico for more than 20 years.  They have started and maintained several "missions" in towns in an "area" in central Mexico (way West of Mexico City).  Their home and vehicles are provided by mission funds and all four of their children were educated (home schooled by the wife, K-12) up and thru bachelor and master degrees in colleges here in the U.S.  They are due to retire this year and I have no idea what sort of retirement they can look forward to or how it will be financed.  He and the children are fluent in Spanish/Mexican.  She has never really learned the language.  In fact, in their visits with me over the years I have not heard her say more than a few words in any language.  I will say this, she has extraordinary bladder control, good posture, and a sweet smile.  They have one son who will follow them into Baptist missionary work.  Africa.  After the boy finds a wife.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2007, 01:06:43 PM »

Do you know, NYtemps...I always thought chick lit was about women breaking sexual barriers....behaving in the sort of piggish manner that feminists refer to when they refer to men as "male chauvenist pigs."  (BTW, anyone seen that pig/condom commercial?  I found it entertaining...but is it offensive to men?)



I have a suggestion.  I'm guessing that many are not finished with the PB and we planned on discussing it starting July 1.  It would be good, if we put out any details about the book's ending or the fate of the characters before that date, if we would use spoiler warnings.  I'm of two minds about spoilers after the discussion starts.  It seems that if you want to discuss a book, you ought to finish by the start date.  But I know that there are often reasons why people who are interested in discussing might not be able to finish on time.  What does anyone else think about this issue?
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weezo
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« Reply #69 on: June 23, 2007, 01:15:00 PM »

Laurie,

I will follow your suggestion on the spoiler alert. I am so itching to discuss this book which I read as soon as I got it, which is not almost a month ago. I am having to look back in the book to find favorite passages. There was one point in the book that was a real emotional point for me, and I want to talk about it so badly. But I will forbear.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2007, 01:18:16 PM »

Anne...it's hard when you are used to discussing history, where everyone knows what will happen  Wink
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weezo
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« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2007, 01:21:03 PM »

Gee, I though chick lit was that wholly too graphic "Romantic novels" that I had a hankering for many years ago for a season or two, until I realized that they all repeated the same plots, and all broke at the same point for a view of the ceiling of the room. The only book I remember reading about a ballsy chick was "Atlas Shrugged", and I really found far too many holes in the plot to have enjoyed the book. The author was recommended to me, I sampled what was said to be her best book, and found her far too politically strident to be either believable or entertaining.
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madupont
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2007, 02:18:31 PM »

weezo,

Gadzooks, I once told an editor what I thought of the "genre"; Romance novels or chic-lit as the case may be. Like many writers  in that field who have no idea why they happen to be writing  this particular thing, a young writer's work was publicized  by a house which regularly fills my e-mail in-box like so many other publishers.

The story felt so f... familiar  that it was spooky, so I thought if I wrote the publisher then I might find out how to contact the author. That thought  actually spooked the publisher's person in charge of the incoming mail who passed it along to somebody else who passed it along until I learned that the young writer had a web-site.  Why, of course, she does. After I read through literally pages of that, I knew that I had nothing to say to her.

But I did go back to the editor because  people like us, out here, are in demand to review their publications, even though we do it anyway for free in discussion groups on line.  We do it way after the fact, they are looking for people who will help them sell so-so books; in return they give you a free book of your choice but a very limited choice. You just have to remind yourself that you are helping them sell  non-literary trash.

So I happened to say to the editor that,after sampling the writer's prose, I got it now and the genre was similar in intent to the "Penny dreadful" of my grandmother's generation although that was usually sold in serial form in newspapers or in a series which would be closer to the work of the romance writer  of chic lit (does that sound like chewing gum?). She was horrified, the editor that is, and I knew she had to be about in her early thirties; but I suddenly had the flash, that of course she had also to have read a lot of this stuff in order to qualify for the job of editing, and possibly had been a manuscript reader prior to that.   The name on the publishing company was fairly well known for quite a long time however, and I understand how things had gone down hill in the economy, but this young woman would never get a chance to be an editor of an important book building a career in the publishing industry and fulfilling her dream of knowing exciting writers, although she thinks of this job as a stepping stone to another more promising position.  I left it at that.

Meanwhile "her writer" will go on for years churning out fulfilling romance fantasies to occupy  her time; until, perhaps at some writers' conference in Topeka, she will get a spark of inspiration and write the  next,"Gone with the Wind", when she is  59 and 1/2 years old.

Does this give anybody any insight into where this writing comes from and what it is about? I hope so.


Ps. Don't ask me why I wanted to read their books. As I said,they are one of many publishers who send e-mail to those who may have bought a book from one of their affiliated houses and I had no idea what they published until I took a closer look at their books' individual descriptions or a synopsis.  Perhaps the only more evil writer-reviewer-editor  does those for the on-line e-books of some unfamiliar publisher and you don't find out their quality until you have paid to read it.
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« Reply #73 on: June 25, 2007, 01:13:08 PM »

Well, I'm at page 317 in a paperback version of PB that goes to 543 pages.  And I am swamped with misery.  Yes, I will finish the book, but I'm not going to be happy about it.  I understand that Kingsolver has no provision in her writer's contract with the reader to "keep him happy," that her only obligation to the reader is to tell the tale as well as she can.  And she is certainly doing that.  Was "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and Jonathan Edwards' congregation's 14 year travail before they finally threw him out, partially on Kingsolver's mind?  Mental and physical abuse of women certainly was, and the Nathan ring master monster she's created is beyond the pale.  I can't get past feeling guilty about how I feel about Oleanda, who has succombed and let her daughters be snared also.  What is happening to everyone in this book is just awful.  Unremittingly awful.  I can hardly breathe.

It's not July 1st yet.  Don't tell me the end.
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« Reply #74 on: June 25, 2007, 02:06:23 PM »

Too late, Blingle.  I can't put the book down for more than a little while.
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