Escape from Elba

Books => Nonfiction => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:48:51 PM



Title: Nonfiction
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:48:51 PM
Share your thoughts on your favorite works of nonfiction.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: samiinh on April 23, 2007, 04:24:29 PM
I can't possibly pick a favorite non-fiction work, but am currently finishing up Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and wonder if anyone else has read Sacks, and if they experienced a post-reading tendency to find examples of the conditions described in one's fellow creatures, celebrities and figures from the past (artists being a group offering a rich vein to mine--pardon the metaphor). 

I have not read this book.  I recently completed "Internal Combustion" by Edwin Black.  It is basically a history of energy, power, and the advent of the automobile and internal gasoline engines.  It was an interesting history.  Currently, I'm reading, Chris Hedges, The Christian Right, a rather freightening look at the desire of some to change America into a theocracy based on the old testament.  It is a stealth type operation, but there are many involved on the radical fringe of this religion, people like Pat Robertson, James Kennedy, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell et al.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kidcarter8 on April 26, 2007, 11:13:13 AM
BEYOND THE GAME - Gary Smith - highly recommended.

One of the top 5 writers of sport with his BEST OF compilation.  Truly moving, wonderfully selected material.  Even the Yankee piece was OK.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: samiinh on May 09, 2007, 05:12:45 PM
In High Society, Joseph Califano points out that a child who reaches twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so-and chronicles the fearful cost in personal pain and public dollars of our nation's failure to act on this truth.

Califano shows how substance abuse is the culprit in violent and property crime, soaring Medicare and Medicaid costs, family breakup, domestic violence, the spread of AIDS, teen pregnancy, poverty, and low productivity. He takes on alcohol and tobacco interests that buy political protection with campaign contributions and seed a culture of substance abuse among our nation's children and teens. He explains the importance of parent power, proposes revolutionary changes in prevention, treatment, and criminal justice, and calls upon every individual and institution to confront this plague that has maimed and killed more Americans than all our wars, natural catastrophes, and traffic accidents combined.


Has anyone read this one?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Dzimas on May 10, 2007, 09:59:05 AM
I enjoy reading Sacks.  I found his book The Island of the Colorblind to be absolutely fascinating, as he illustrates how recessive genes actually benefited these indigenous people, as being totally colorblind allowed the villagers to better differentiate the tones and textures in the dense jungle in which they lived.  In many of Sacks' case studies, he shows how abnormalities can be beneficial, a form of natural selection.  Of course, Sacks also delves into some nightmarish situations like The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, which I believe has even been made into play.  It would seem like something Beckett would write, if it wasn't so painfully real.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Dzimas on May 11, 2007, 07:55:43 AM
I'm not sure boycotting the IRS will help, only create more problems than its worth, but I can understand Hedges' frustration, especially when the Republicans insist on backing the failed policies of this president.  I guess it will be some time before someone writes a book that sums up W's legacy with a more or less detached eye.  Right now, it is just too emotional!  Probably end up being a book like Dutch.

I've been reading mostly architecture books these days in the way of non-fiction.  I was pleasantly surprised with Alain de Botton's The Architecture of Happiness, which avoided the pratfalls of Tom Wolfe when he tried to poke fun at the modern movement in Bauhaus to Our House.  De Botton looks at the qualities of home in a poetic way.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Dzimas on May 11, 2007, 07:58:29 AM
"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a 1985 book by neurologist Oliver Sacks describing the case histories of some of his patients. The title of the book comes from the case study of a man with visual agnosia. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat became the basis of an opera of the same name by Michael Nyman, which premiered in 1986."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Mistook_His_Wife_for_a_Hat_%28opera%29

This was what I was looking for.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on May 12, 2007, 11:11:28 AM
It is a slow morning on the National forums, so I am exploring. A book I am reading now is not suitable for American History, but I am enjoying it so much, I felt I had to share it.

Microbe Hunters, by Paul De Kruif is a delightful set of biographies of the men who began using microscopes to find "the little beasties" and discover what they did. The book was written in 1938, so does not include the great advances of the later 20th century. The edition I am reading includes a new introduction by F. Gonzalez-Grussi. G-G lets you know that you are in for a true treat in reading, and de Kruiff does not disappoint. He has a wonderful style of writing that would make this book a must for school library shelves and even required reading lists.

Happy Reading!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: samiinh on May 12, 2007, 12:44:12 PM
Now I'm reading Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg.  It is another account of the religious right and its goal to take over this country of ours and make us into a bunch of lunatics like themselves.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Admin on May 29, 2007, 10:25:57 AM
If you guys want, whenever you want to poll for a book to review, shoot me a private message with the books that you are considering and the date that polling should end and I will post a poll so that you can track results.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on June 05, 2007, 11:53:26 AM
Sacks is fascinating, though his more recent memoir (title escapes me at the moment, something like "Uncle Chemistry" but that's not it....) about growing up and developing a fascination with science was not quite as compelling as his neurology tales, and I found myself just dipping in here and there rather than reading it all.

If you like Sacks, I'd recommend the book (or two) by V.S. Ramachandran, the famous neurologist, who also writes for the educated layperson on neurological weirdness.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: tjaxon on June 05, 2007, 10:58:31 PM
In High Society, Joseph Califano points out that a child who reaches twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so-and chronicles the fearful cost in personal pain and public dollars of our nation's failure to act on this truth.

Has anyone read this one?

Not yet, but would like to. Califano has good intentions, but has often resorted to using questionable research. He is also too reliant on the criminal justice system to treat medical issues for my taste. Not surprising, as he seems to think that all abusive behavior is by choice, discounting other factors that lead to them.

I'm currently reading two books that I highly recommend. Blowback - The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson, is an interesting discussion on actions by the US government that have, and likely will continue to have, serious consequences. Those who would like to understand the animosity much of the world has for the US will likely appreciate it.

Religious Literacy by Stephen Prothero is an excellent book detailing the history of religion in the US, and explains the need for understanding the influence of religious belief on our history without pushing any particular ideology, in fact encourages understanding the basics of each of the major religions.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: chauncey.g on June 14, 2007, 05:44:40 AM

I'm currently reading two books that I highly recommend. Blowback - The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson, is an interesting discussion on actions by the US government that have, and likely will continue to have, serious consequences. Those who would like to understand the animosity much of the world has for the US will likely appreciate it.

Religious Literacy by Stephen Prothero is an excellent book detailing the history of religion in the US, and explains the need for understanding the influence of religious belief on our history without pushing any particular ideology, in fact encourages understanding the basics of each of the major religions.

Ever since the first GOP debate, Lew Rockwell has been promoting a reading list for Rudy G. (and anybody interested in the current state of affairs, i reckon) and the Chalmers Johnson book has made the list.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/reading-list3.html


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: cincy--man on June 14, 2007, 11:29:44 AM
I just finished and greatly enjoyed 40 Days and 40 Nights by Matthew Chapman..an account on the recent trial in Dover Pa. about teaching of Intelligent Design as science in public schools. 

http://amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-1836052-2131349?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=40+DAYS+AND+40+NIGHTS&Go.x=8&Go.y=10


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: cincy--man on June 14, 2007, 11:35:25 AM
A highly recommended and very readable book about the debacle in Iraq:
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who covered Iraq for several years for the Washington Post.

http://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Life-Emerald-City-Inside/dp/1400044871/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-1836052-2131349?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181835180&sr=1-1


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on June 28, 2007, 03:38:15 PM
I'm a fan of Chalmers Johnson.  Those two books mentioned are part of a triolgy.  The newest one--don't ask me the name--is out and Johnson has been seen on Cspan2 talking about it.

I'm starting Georgina Howell's biography, "Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations" which shows Bell tramping around with the likes of Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence.  She was one of the architects of the Iraq borders we see today.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: tjaxon on July 01, 2007, 09:18:40 AM
I'm a fan of Chalmers Johnson.  Those two books mentioned are part of a triolgy.  The newest one--don't ask me the name--is out and Johnson has been seen on Cspan2 talking about it.

The name is 'Nemesis; The Last Days of the American Empire'.  I'm about halfway through it, and very impressed.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on July 01, 2007, 11:08:17 AM
Tjaxson, the name of that middle book by Chalmers Johnson is The Sorrows of Empire.  Thanks for the title of his newest book in the trilogy.  His writing is so clear, even though it is in depth, I am grateful when he tackles a subject I'm interested in.  Even Bernard Lewis, whom I also like a great deal, cannot write so well about a thing.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: tjaxon on July 01, 2007, 11:10:23 AM
Actually, I screwed up. It should read Last Days of the American Republic, not Empire. It really details the CIA involvement in the decline of the Republic.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on July 18, 2007, 09:00:36 AM
I'm beginning Chalmers Johnson's Nemisis: The Last Days of the American Republic.  This book is the last of a trilogy beginning with Blowback and then The Sorrows of Empire.

Anyone want to start discussing these three books?  Or just one of the three?  Or whatever?  Our Democracy is is serious trouble, folks.  These books make clear what has happened and why, and if it's not already too late, what we might do now.

We read history and note all the Empires and governing systems that began, rose, then failed.  We think it can't happen here?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: tjaxon on July 21, 2007, 08:56:10 AM
I'm beginning Chalmers Johnson's Nemisis: The Last Days of the American Republic.  This book is the last of a trilogy beginning with Blowback and then The Sorrows of Empire.

Anyone want to start discussing these three books?  Or just one of the three?  Or whatever?  Our Democracy is is serious trouble, folks.  These books make clear what has happened and why, and if it's not already too late, what we might do now.

We read history and note all the Empires and governing systems that began, rose, then failed.  We think it can't happen here?

You might want to look at the Iraq in Transition thread. There is a Bush clone there who is leading the discussion in that direction.

Another book you may enjoy is Imperial Hubris. It was published as anonymous, but after the author retired after 22 years with the CIA, it was listed as by Richard Scheur (sp).


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on July 21, 2007, 10:49:46 AM
Tjaxon, I do more lurking than not (I have been lurking in Iraq in Transistion) but thanks for the heads up.  As for Bush clones, those we have in abundance.  Alas.  It is bandied about that the 2004 election shows that the majority of the U.S. voting populace agrees with the doctorine of Bush The Younger.  Not so.  A whole bunch of those Bush votes were really for Right to Life, Gay marriage, and immigration issues and Bush just came with the package.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on July 25, 2007, 07:33:00 PM
DOES ANYBODY KNOW, whether we should consider --Peeling the Onion, by Gunter Grass as non-fiction of as novelistic fiction? Weezo just asked and I guess you can see the problem since somebody said dibs on the Fiction forum for Faulkner or some such.  Although he,Grass, writes of his true life experience in youth during the Third Reich, which could be considered non-fiction, he is after all a litterateur accompli, so I don't know what to tell her?

I merely passed a review to teddy, after which suddenly martinbeck3 said I vote for that, but that doesn't at all qualify it as Latin American Literature by a long shot even if we use our imagination and accept possibilities for what they are.

As one who never had a book of my vote selected in four years or more, my odds of figuring what the correct protocol would be are rather slim.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on July 25, 2007, 07:42:40 PM
Don't know that anyone can call "dibs"....that's the idea of a vote.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on July 30, 2007, 01:38:38 PM
I watched the "debate" last night, and glad I watched it a second time with real sound to catch some of the less audible thought process candidly torture, as O'Hagan interviewed, Grass and then Mailer, and then a third hour, together, at the New York Public Library for the Paris Review. 

Mailer now refers to, Peeling the Onion, as Gunter's "book", likewise --
The Castle and the Forest as his own "book"

Well, as long as people do their own work on their own reading selections but often they don't have that much in the way of literary knowledge to bring to it.  I almost always avoid picking up writing styles that will be a hindrance at this late date in history.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: fleete on July 30, 2007, 09:26:51 PM
Greetings all---at last I found you.  I spent some time yesterday fruitlessly googling 'NYT exiles', but a posting on the old website today (donotremove's??) mentioned 'escape from Elba', and those were the key words I needed.

I am reading "Two Years Before the Mast".   For those who did not read it along with Robinson Crusoe during their teen years,  it is not too late, and is a rivetting good read.  It is an autobiographical account of a young man's voyage from "America" (the eastern seaboard) around the Cape to California and back, 1835-ish.  Wonderful.  I wish it were three volumes, possibly "Five years Behind the Mast".  I imagine that Patrick O'Brian must have read this one a hundred times, and mined it for every nuance and detail for his Aubrey and Maturin series.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on July 31, 2007, 11:11:48 AM
Welcome, Fleete.  I put that notice in a post (at the old NYT Reader's Group pick) whenever I see folks dropping by that might not know about Melba (Elba).  Every time I do I always worry that Lifeline will try to come here.

I'm reading Chalmers Johnson's trilogy Blowback, Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.  At the same time I'm reading Planet of Slums a very sad report from Mike Davis, a scholar I haven't come across before.  He writes well, but the word in this book is severly depressing and must be taken in measured doses.

Then, Susan Dunn has gathered under one cover the essays, speeches, and letters of the Founding Fathers in, Something That Will Surprise You: The Essential Writings of the Founding Fathers, so I have my plate full.

I'm surprised I have not read Two Years Before the Mast.  Back in my younger days I was enamored of all things "boat" and "ship" since I imagined I might get a 30 footer (or so) and sail a bit--off shore, as I already knew I wasn't brave enough to cross oceans.  :)

What was your handle over at the old NYT Forums?  I kept the same one but lots of folks changed theirs.  It's like going to a masked ball 24/7.  Chartres29 changed hers to Furphy, which nearly spun my head 360°.

Not too many people stop by here.  Lots more fiction readers.  Always has been.  I read very little fiction--just finished Martin Cruz Smith's Stalin's Ghost, another Arkady Renko novel (Gorky Park) and he is such a good writer I couldn't put it down.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: lulu on July 31, 2007, 03:32:05 PM
tjaxon:

I just have to say I'm in love with that dog.  Is s/he yours?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: fleete on July 31, 2007, 05:04:08 PM
Donotremove,

My old name on the NYT forums was fleate, but being the mad impetuous fool that I am, I changed it to fleete for this forum.  Funny, I don't feel any different.

I wasn't participating much on the NYT book forums during the last year or two, due to the fact I was too lazy, I was sometimes overseas, I was too busy reading old TinTin comics, and I had to wash my hair. Well, I actually did manage to make my way through Patrick O'Brian's series which I savoured greatly, although I must admit that I am primarily an armchair sailor.  I spent the first three weeks of this month aboard a sailboat, and don't care if I never set foot aboard one again--at least not as crew.  I have very little confidence in a Captian who would be willing to have someone like me as a crew member.  However, I would be willing to go on a large sailboat as a passenger, and spend the time reading about the sailing exploits of others.

Two Years Before the Mast was written by R.H. Dana, and has been described as "one of the classic sea stories of all time".


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: fleate on July 31, 2007, 05:27:17 PM
I changed back to fleate.  Couldn't cope with the new identity.

Who set up this website?  Who do we thank for this place of refuge? 

I must go and explore the other branches of Elba, and see if the Lamp Post still Blooms.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on July 31, 2007, 09:29:04 PM
Is this group interested in my making a poll to select a reading choice? Or do you all read and discuss the same books?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: fleate on August 01, 2007, 12:21:30 AM
weezo,

I just arrived yesterday, so I don't know what is going on here yet.  I haven't even read all the posts here in non-fiction, so I'm unsure if anything has been suggested in the way of a book for discussion.

Anyone else out there interested in voting on a non-fiction book to read and discuss?

Of course, as I just finished Two year Before the Mast, something along those lines would appeal to me.

("along those lines"---now would that have a nautical origin, or would that refer to lines of print?)



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 01, 2007, 12:35:28 AM
Where are we to vote for poetry? .> I suppose,I should take a look and see if there is a poll, or was it to be in Myth and Ancient Lit.  I heard it distinctly  tossed around that Ted Hughes Metamorphosis by Ovid would be discussed.  Of course, again it is "non-fiction" but it isn't, since it is poetry. A conundrum.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: tjaxon on August 01, 2007, 07:33:52 AM
tjaxon:

I just have to say I'm in love with that dog.  Is s/he yours?

Actually, Lulu, I think I belong to him. He is quite a bit bigger now, but still a goofy, lovable klutz. Rascal is his name.

(http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k310/tjaxon/Raspig.jpg)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on August 01, 2007, 09:45:30 AM
Maddie,

I can do a poll for any book board, so if the folks on poetry want a poll, I will go there today and see what books they have suggested. Same with the Myth board.

I need to take down the Fiction poll today, I was going to do it last night, but we had a bad thunderstorm and I had to unplug my modem. I've lost a number of modems to lightening strikes over the years, and although the modems are cheap now, the habit persists.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on August 01, 2007, 11:22:09 AM
Fleate, have you ever read Joe Coomer's Sailing in a Teaspoon of water: A Man, A Family, and a Vintage Boat?  Right up an armchair sailor's alley (to mix metaphors).  And, if you've got any carpenter in you, his On Building a House By a Pond is a delight, too.  Coomer is one of those "Southern" writers (so called) and his fiction is so well done you have a surge of joy when you find he's come out with another book. "Sailing" and "Pond" are both non fiction.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: fleate on August 01, 2007, 11:35:59 AM
Donotremove,

I have read neither Sailing nor Pond, but will watch out for them.  Thanks for the tip.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 10, 2007, 12:53:12 AM
swap you one.
 War, Wine, and Taxes
The Political Economy of Anglo-French Trade, 1689-1900
John V. C. Nye

To read the entire book description or a sample chapter, please visit: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8444.html

In War, Wine, and Taxes, John Nye debunks the myth that Britain was a free-trade nation during and after the industrial revolution, by revealing how the British used tariffs--notably on French wine--as a mercantilist tool to politically weaken France and to respond to pressure from local brewers and others. The book reveals that Britain did not transform smoothly from a mercantilist state in the eighteenth century to a bastion of free trade in the late nineteenth.

Cloth | $29.95 / £17.95 | ISBN: 978-0-691-12917-4
 
   

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Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on August 15, 2007, 01:53:57 PM
Just wanted to stop in and mention to those of you who have read Remains of the Day (one of my favorite novels) that I purchased Ian Kershaw's Making Friends with Hitler, which is a book about the real English nobleman (the Marquess of Londonderry) who flirted with the Nazis and actually hosted von Ribbentrop at his manor in England.  It's a really good read so far, with an in-depth study as to what the prevailing attitudes toward Hitler were in England at that time and many other interesting topics.  Kershaw is such a great historian - I've always felt that Alan Bullock was at the pinacle of English historians in general and historians of the Nazi period in particular, but at this juncture, Kershaw is starting to outpace even him.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 15, 2007, 04:22:34 PM
great, desdemona, glad you posted that.   Have you read the Mitfords? I always mean to and then get side-tracked with somebody like Pamela Harriman Churchill (last story I heard was a douzy, about becoming mistress to one of the Rothschilds for an extensive period of time, and then at a banquet, one of the guests --similar to the Remains of the Day-- asks the lady seated next to him if she happens to know who the lucky fellow is? To which she replied, "My husband, I should think. He's right over there..."), our former ambassador to Paris because of Clinton.

I had reason to take a second interest in Remains of the Day when I learned more about the father of the actor playing the visitor from America who is the foil opposite Lord Londonderry. I feel our current government gives us visitors like Oswald Mosey's black-shirts. One the other day called me on the account of the actor's response to Ariel Dorfman, in the forums, it was then that I realized to what degree we have informants by internet, since it is international or foreign interactive computation, who are overly interested in our views on "literature".  For in truth I was rather more interested in the man who was a poet, before, during, and after divorcing the mother of the actor.

I made a list of the archived nytimes.com. book discussions by the month but alas, due to party you alluded to was unable to access any of the discussions that occurred. Still working on it.  I think he's been down for some time. He claimed to have become a book editor? during the review period on Nadine Gordimer's Biography when I called him on not giving due back up on her husband's family in the much touted reference method that the nytimes.com installed.   Her husband fled to South Africa during the European crisis and never saw his homeland again; the majority of his family were wiped out by the Nazis. Huge family across Europe in the arts,publishing,you name it.  I mentioned to donotremove that I was very affronted by the attitude in an e-mail reply from our moderator that there was only one person in the family who was important to him.  This dropped him right in the category of  Tom Friedman and David Brooks on staff as columnists who just remained so slow to catch on what this is all about. Bunch of sell-outs.  Got to go....


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on August 15, 2007, 04:45:17 PM
No, haven't read much on the English aristocracy (in modern times) at all, although I am an English history buff and could tell you all about Warwick the Kingmaker, the Angevins, Leicester, etc. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 16, 2007, 03:18:46 AM
My goodness, lulu said more or less the very same thing.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on August 16, 2007, 11:15:28 AM
The decline of the aristocracy in the 20th century is an interesting topic, particularly in England.  Kershaw goes into great detail about the wealth they enjoyed at the turn of the century.  After the WWI, the decline began, but they were still ridiculously wealthy.  Not only did they have the most incredible estates imaginable, they also made huge profits from the industrial revolution.  The Marquess of Londonderry had two estates, one in Ireland, the other in England, that were over 20K acres EACH, and then his wife brought him several more including a huge estate in Wales.  Another thing I thought was interesting is the fact that Kershaw referred to one of the aristocrats he mentioned as a magnate.  I've never seen the term "magnate" used in the context of modern times, since historically they were individuals with such vast estates that they could call up their own armies and were in a sense the rulers of their domains quite indepently from the royal family.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 18, 2007, 07:09:08 PM
desdemona  re:#248

"they also made huge profits from the industrial revolution". That kind of goes along with, "Another thing I thought was interesting is the fact that Kershaw referred to one of the aristocrats he mentioned as a magnate.  I've never seen the term "magnate" used in the context of modern times.

Americans generally referred to these "Industrial magnates" as in, "He was an industrial magnate".

Of course, we are really seeing it today as an enlargement of rights for corporations. Locally for instance, I was just told that the consensus of opinion, in a Republican predominance within the state-community, is that "residents"  are getting a lower electric rate at the expense of local corporations (you may ask who decided this because it wasn't voted upon, I have had no announcement in the mail or e-mail from my state's legislature)so, the local corporates   are taking it back again and the residents will have to adjust their budget upward to include an increase.  This is of course the promise that was made by the Bush administration via Cheney's energy conference "In the Beginning...", so the favor most insistently will be collected upon while they still have the opportunity and anything like a change of administration take place.

Back to the past,though. I always found that reading the novels of D.H. Lawrence in their progression was definitely quite a bit more than the tensions between the main characters as his characters derived from some gradual history covering an era in each one of the novels; and you had a quite nervous but worthwhile look at each phase of the historical development of modern England.  Then when you want more, you pick up with Thomas Hardy who does much the same thing although more dourly; in some cases Hardy covers areas of place and time prior to Lawrence and he wishes to be rather romantic about it if he wasn't so depressed by it all.   

Hardy's, Tess of the D'urbervilles exemplifies the transition to the Industrial Revolution, because you find the heroine involved in the estate harvest, a way of life that brought into existence small villages of peasants who worked an estate although they were not in domestic employment in the household of the gentry.  In order for investment in the new "mechanized" production  of industry, it was necessary to clear land and, although one might have thought that this development would employ quite an amount of people who had been working the land for the roof over their head, some rations  -- you'll notice it immediately begins to sound like "a company town", although it had been in effect  among "villeins" who were not even vassals at this point in time -- it ended up with people wandering around the countryside "homeless as tinkers", looking for work, or trying to find their way to London.  Which then throws you smack dab into Charles Dickens.

D.H. Lawrence indicates the effects upon a somewhat later date, in his novel, Women in Love, which has a friendship between someone awfully like Lawrence himself and one of those "magnates" of industry and their relationships to two young women.  This presented some insight into who was who in literature(and dare I say it, "Philosophy") at this period.  In fact it piqued my curiousity so much that I began cross-referencing his characters and reading their works because they were a fabulously affected bunch of real writers who partied together for the weekend at Lady Ottoline Morrell's; and, of course, the upside of finding out how Lawrence managed to rub shoulders with Bloomsbury, as T.S. Eliot arrives and is sometimes quite snubbed although he will go to work at Faber & Faber eventually instead of a bank, is learning novel by novel from among the bunch of them, what they were saying about each other.  They left an interesting literary record of their times.    Sometimes, it is outright a reminiscience  that seems familiar to the conduct around the forums.

I'm pretty sure that I took the course in British literature in the late Sixties and did a British History course for the same period, from Thomas Hardy, Gissing,etc., the Women's Suffragette movment  forming an alliance with Labour,  into the impending outbreak of WW 1 and how Bloomsbury reacted,Virginia Woolf's sister, Vanessa Bell, in particular; but I learned more about them at the end of the Eighties because there was a good collection of all the inter-related Bloomsbury circle at the local borough library in Princeton that I accidentally discovered by hiding in the stacks one day.  I just read right through the summer after that. Students aren't in town, it is much too hot. I'd walk down the shady backstreet (Hamilton) to Witherspoon and carry another pile of books home from the stacks. I had a perfect reading spot at ground level on a raised area where the windows went from that -- about a yard wide window ledge(probably meant for plants)-- and up to the ceiling of the room. If, at first, I had just plunked my books there behind the headboard of my bed, which had a built in book-shelf anyway, I soon just stepped from the bed and up on to this window area  and sat there reading in the afternoon light.

Which reminds me, I ought to be doing some of that now.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: elportenito1 on August 26, 2007, 08:39:17 AM
madupont:

"Of course, we are really seeing it today as an enlargement of rights for corporations."



"Free speech? Not while we're on sheep's back
Date: August 23 2007


David Marr

No price is too high to pay to protect the Aussie woolgrower. With marked contempt for the effect it would have on freewheeling public debate, Peter Costello has introduced a little bill to clobber campaigners against the bloody business of mulesing sheep. But not only them: his strategy will snare anyone calling for customer boycotts.

So if you're asking Australians not to buy lipstick tested on caged rabbits, rugs woven by Pakistani slaves or suits made with mulesed wool, then pray your boycott calls don't succeed, for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is about to be given the power to sue you out of the water if they do.

Gagging public debate with such threats has been an old ambition of the Howard Government.

Not that Canberra talks in such terms. Introducing the Trade Practices Amendment (Small Business Protection) Bill 2007 last week, Costello reaffirmed his Government's "commitment to stand up for small business against thuggery and intimidation. It is vital, both for our economy and our way of life."

But Costello's bill is designed to protect businesses of any size - all the way up to BHP Billiton - not by outlawing intimidation, but by punishing persuasion.

Hurt a business simply by arguing that it's ethically repugnant to buy its products and the commission will be able to step in and sue to recover the company's lost profits. It's quite a service.

No free-speech defence is immediately available. You won't be able to go to court to plead the pros and cons of open-range chooks or gentler methods than mulesing to save sheep from fly strike.

The new law will catch lone campaigners, community groups, NGOs, lobby groups and even the media - anyone whose campaign for what the law calls a "secondary boycott" actually hits the mark and causes financial pain.

"Secondary boycotts can have a significant impact on our economy," Costello told Parliament. "They disrupt trade, they reduce output and they inhibit competition. It is important that we provide a strong disincentive for those people who would target, intimidate and bully small business by applying a secondary boycott to that business."

Costello put the proposal back on the table in February this year as the big-business woolgrowers of Australia faced a $10 million debacle. Their efforts to sue the mighty American star-backed anti-mulesing lobby People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were coming badly unstuck. The Treasurer was signalling that next time the ACCC would pick up the tab.

And the effect on free speech? None at all, Costello assured journalists in February.

"Martina Navratilova and Pink will still be able to attack Australian wool as they do, ignorantly … There is no law that is going to stop ignorant commentary, but there will be a law which will allow the ACCC to stand up for Australian farmers where they suffer from a boycott."

That the woolgrowers' case collapsed largely because they couldn't prove PETA had done them any financial harm didn't deter the Treasurer. And perhaps the legal advisers for Navratilova and Pink might caution their clients before travelling to Australia if their anti-mulesing efforts ever prove successful…

The growers walked away from the PETA case in July - though they have still to settle with the penniless Animal Liberation NSW - and Costello produced the legislation a few weeks later. Labor is considering its position on the bill. The Greens' Bob Brown sees it as a direct attack on free speech: "They've found a mechanism for curbing debate they don't like."

The commission doesn't give the impression it's hot to trot once the bill becomes law. The commission has never used the power it already has to prosecute groups who agitate for customer boycotts. That section of the Trade Practices Act has been largely dormant - not least because the fines are small by the ACCC's standards: up to $500,000 for individuals and $750,000 for companies.

But the financial pain to be inflicted by Costello's amendments will theoretically be endless - as much as a business can prove it has lost because of a customer boycott. And only two kinds of campaigns are exempted: those "substantially related" to environmental protection or consumer protection. Everything else is caught.

Graeme McEwen, chairman of the 90-member Barristers Animal Welfare Panel of the Victorian Bar, says: "The bill will unquestionably curtail free speech for indigenous groups, women's rights groups, and plainly animal welfare groups, which are the particular target of the bill. Why would such a public interest body wish to face the ACCC with all the power and financial clout of the state in a costly proceeding in the Federal Court?"

The Melbourne barristers are considering a High Court appeal to test the new law. The tug of war between secondary boycotts and rights of free speech was settled in the US by the Supreme Court 25 years ago, observed McEwen. "They decided in favour of free speech."


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: elportenito1 on August 26, 2007, 08:41:35 AM
Australia is not the USA, and Ned Kelly wasn't exactly Abraham Lincoln, You know.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 26, 2007, 10:45:29 AM
You know what, elportenito, I have to admit you are getting short-changed in the current venue. I went and looked just to be sure but in the current listing, you certainly were short-changed, a continent was overlooked completely in spite of being designated "our valiant ally". If that is part of our exile plan, maybe the admin on board would forum a spot named Australia?

But I suppose, this is, as Nonfiction, the place where politics suddenly becomes nonfictional. I did it myself, by mentioning the Cassirers were more than one person.

I am now ready to discuss one person who had to remind everybody else that no one gets excused politically for considering themselves an individual. So, I will probably return to examining that "Norman Rockwell" era in my childhood that you mentioned, since some books stir up memories of exactly what that was about. Here forthwith is one of them, by a writer who shows you how that is done by, Peeling the Onion.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 26, 2007, 12:02:45 PM
It certainly was not too many pages in, when I could begin to identify with Gunter Grass in childhood.  As I said elsewhere, he would have been the older neighbor kid in the neighborhood where I first came to consciousness of being part of the whole onion. We were just on opposite sides of the ocean. My brother (who would just about have been born by the time that Gunter gets to pg.7), having been to Berlin, would have to agree with the writer, as he told me so in the few short years before his death, just as Grass says, memory is like peeling an onion, it gets more pungent as the dry layer is removed, and sharpens at the core.

Gunter had begun to talk about collecting "cards" that came with tobacco, cigarettes by the end of the 1930s, the way boys collect things. Girls did too, we collected playing cards, by hook or by crook and called them "trading cards" bound together in  thick packs by rubber bands.
But being in Europe, Gunter accumulated his deck made up of reproductions of what our Metropolitan Museum of Art refers to as,"European Paintings"; but you can check any of these out if you are curious by going to the Mets web-site.

I quickly realized that was another aspect which we shared in common, besides the pack-rat tendency to collect something, his formative aesthetic was conveniently arranged in boxes (consider this "Joseph Cornell, Early Medieval"), whereas I could page through a huge volume, almost too heavy for my size to handle, my mother had acquired somewhere of these renowned paintings on suitable heavy printing stock with each print protected by a sheet of vellum. I think that I know why now, that she had acquired it.  You will find the answer for yourself about Frau Grass, somewhere about --

pg.7
"Even as a ten-year-old I was able to tell Hans Baldung, called Grien, from Matthias Grunewald; Frans Hals from Rembrandt; and Filippo Lippi from Cimabue -- all at first glance.
...I was an A student -- at least in art. From my first year at the gymnasium I was utterly hopeless when it came to mathematics..."

pg.10
"This Kashubian side of the family...seemed to have been swallowed up. By whom?"

As for myself, I noticed as soon as I saw the photo of his parents in The New Yorker, that they looked so familiar to people seen in my childhood.  But Grass goes on to speak of one in particular, an uncle, Franz Krause. born Franciszek Krauze, who was executed for resisting while on his job at the Polish Post Office.

I realize after ten pages, yes, The New Yorker version with photos was an excerpt invisibly edited to cover the important first main points of Peeling the Onion.

When you first begin to peel the layers from your life, you remember a memory of the last time you remembered that memory but the very process will begin to reveal to you things you have forgotten about the very beginning of your life and from thereon.

My hometown had a quite a large community of Kashubians who had come to the new world and lived on what was quaintly called "the Polish South side".  One would have had to go look for them, to inspect a Kashubian. As in their homeland, they preferred to live as close to the water as possible, I was going to say,"on the water" but was afraid you might misunderstand. Yes, as on the Baltic, as Grass has often written about, in The Flounder, perhaps, you get the description of the earliest Baltic culture, and in my hometown, they sometimes did live right on out over the water on stilts, docks actually.

In 1870 they lived at Jones Island, USA,"The village, whose population peaked at nearly 1,600 was a picturesque jumble of homes,saloons,fish sheds,and net reels...The Kashubians never obtained a land title and were evicted from the area in 1925."(this is not a quote from Gunther Grass but I just wanted to give the comparison, including the date, so that you could see how things are, were,and remain often the same. The predominant population of the over all City was German. This was a tiny area that now no longer exists but has been renovated, renewed, with vistas I was told would come true).

So, Gunter Grass' mother was a Kashubian and her brother was executed for resisting Nazi proceedure. Sometime I will tell you about a place where I went in Christmas season with my mother, and her friends and their children, over here. As the years went by, I met more and more people who had lived on the Baltic in childhood.

Gunter Grass decides to go back and reintroduce himself to his mother's family, because there was no contact during the years of the Third Reich when they relocated in poverty and they were never talked about or mentioned by either his parents or himself following the execution. At pg.11, he says, "...but then she took me to see her potato field..."

 I laughed a little in recognition, before he described it is now under an airfield runway. Yes, even here, in the US, we grew potatoes across the street, behind the first and only row of houses opposite, in suburbia; and, how I hated digging potatoes, the feel of the dry dirt under the finger nails as you felt around to be sure you had removed all the potatoes. Or going out in the summer night, like the air raid warden did, so did we, walking in file to the potato patch, but in those days there was no stealth and taking of other peoples' crop as there is in community gardens in contemporary times.  I detested the slugs that slipped into my sandals as we walked through the wet grass in the dark. It was lights out. Mr. Martin, the man who invented the International Harvester blue enamel silo, was our air-raid warden.

Anybody who also lived through this time and wants to compare notes with those of Gunter Grass,wilkommen; or if you just want to read the book or have, this is the place to discuss his memoir which is a Nonfiction book.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: martinbeck3 on August 26, 2007, 01:15:55 PM
I read Dog Years and back then I thought it was his childhood he was describing.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 27, 2007, 12:05:12 AM
In one sense; part of the Trilogy.  I prefer The Flounder. Was too busy with other things in my life back then when his novels began to appear(such as having a boy to raise who is now a ridiculous age).  But I did read his F.A.Z. comments  periodically before they recently turned on him. I particularly liked his small novel -- Crabwalk.

The controversy, such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung separating from their long relationship with Grass, arises because he is considered one of the Flakhelfers' Generation  toward the end of WW2; you know, the little schoolboys whom Hitler went around and shook hands with while they manned the anti-aircraft guns, because the grown men were all at the front(s).   It was in this period when the troops on the Eastern Front were ordered back because the Allies were landing at Normandy, that I picked up the story.  At the very end of the war,Grass was now older, I knew that Pope Benedict XVI was one of the Flakhelfers; and several years ago when this topic came up in Western European forum with several Germans,Austrian,Swiss on board, I considered it silly to criticise those who had been essentially indoctrinated children during the war years.  Grass was less fortunate, because he was not taken into service at an earlier period (at the time they thought he was obviously too small), when the last push arrived, they inducted him into the Waffen SS.

Peeling the Onion, is the story of what he learned in training, how he survived,and then goes on from there to prison camp experience, his eventually going to Art schools in Vienna and Berlin, his marriage, his memories, his response to the rabid criticism which was to compose a volume of poems just to work through the anger.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on August 27, 2007, 06:04:09 PM
Correction, reference to pg.10 The relative was not an uncle on his mother's side of the family but her cousin.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 03, 2007, 08:06:21 PM
As mentioned in Meander and in reference to some discussion in Amer. History about discussion in possible offshoot forum or in here, I've begun rereading Ten Days That Shook The World instead of the Bertram Wolfe book, mostly because my edition of the Wolfe book may have been superseded. My edition of Reed's book has an intro by Wolfe that may stimulate me to go back to Three at some point.  It's unlikely the upcoming anniversary of the 1917 Revolution will be observed in any major way, or perhaps at all, but I do hope others who expressed an interest in such a discussion will find their way here (or wherever) come October.   

Most definitely!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 03, 2007, 11:42:55 PM
recap:Reply #56

Just as  Gunter Grass collection of cards in childhood was a fascinating way of going over paintings that he knew and directed him to a future as an art student, I recalled, well, yes, there were some kind of cards that the nuns used to issue to us to pass through the rows to the kid seated behind you until every child had one.  They were not "Holy Cards" but somewhat larger color reproductions of very similar subjects: Millet's,Angelus, was one of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Millet_%28II%29_001.jpg

This became a very controversial and contested painting; you might say, a bone of contention.  This painted the same year would not have been questioned.  We did have brighter color reproduction however.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Millet_Gleaners.jpg

The name of his mother's cousin, Franz Kraus, immediately threw me. Down the block from my first home above Oscar's Austrian bakery,lived the Krause family. I had always known Margie(diminutive of Margaretta  but not pronounced with the soft "sh"sound of soft g. It was always pronounced with the harder but glottal sound in German), who was always  to take care of us children when our parents went to the farm. As I began to walk about places on my own, I would be able to walk to the Krause household and meet the rest of the Krause family. They were my father's patients. Her father who had an accident while working on the railroad. Her mother and her brother are very vague in my memory, no clarity, more withdrawn people. As was her sister Ruthie whose bedroom was in the attic but she was a secretary someplace; she worked outside the home. I remember that her hair was blond and rolled but dishwater dull. Our Margie was not considered attractive, she was an old-maid which meant that she was with us, on and off, for many years, coming and going  by bus or Dad would drop her off at her parents on the way to the downtown hospitals in later years. They pronounced their family name exactly as the name of Grass' mother's cousin in the East, Franciszek Krauze, who was executed by the Nazis.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 03, 2007, 11:59:41 PM
 In, Peeling the Onion, Gunter Grass says that he was very thankful his mother sent him around with the slips from the account book of her small store, to collect the debts from people who bought on credit. It was not only that he was persistent, going knocking on doors on Friday nights and Sundays as well. He was thankful  because his mother taught him the value of money

By the time that my mother sat me down with flash cards to multiply and divide as well as add and subtract, the boy who had been sent out because his mother could not very well go running around the street after dark, putting her foot in the door, Gunther had already been to the Eastern front and told to remove his insignia as the Russians advanced.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 04, 2007, 12:01:25 AM
You knew a Kraus, Gunter knew a Kraus; you played with cards, Gunter played with cards.  It's almost like symbiosis!


Wasn't there also a Kraus on Hogan's Heroes?"  Or am I thinking of some other German guy?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 04, 2007, 01:41:37 AM
I love Alison Krauss.  I have her last two albums.  And a CD with Robert Plant sounds too good to be true.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 04, 2007, 02:33:52 AM
Excuse me, but I asked the administrator for permission to take up the Gunter Grass memoirs, Peeling the Onion.  He asked if there was any difficulty to report?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 04, 2007, 02:41:55 AM
Quote
Most definitely!

Whew, so glad it wasn't just wishful thinking on my part.  Was Bob another potential reader or was it reader?

As for Kraus, with another "s" there's always Alison Krauss of the lovely voice, who is making or has just made an album---OK, OK, a CD--with Robert Plant of Led Zep fame.  Go figure! Or go listen (I will).!

[/quote]


I also discussed the timing on this with Bob in the Amer.Hist. forum so that he could fit the schedule of whatever they vote. He said something about being ready to start in October for your selection or his selection.

But this is the selection that was misrepresented in the Fiction Forum. I never received a reply as to how weezo was categorizing, although I clarified that it was decided in the O'Hagan televised interview of both Gunter Grass and Norman Mailer that this isn't Fiction.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 05, 2007, 12:47:50 PM
The Pertinence of -- Peeling the Onion

thoughts on:
Pgs.35 and 36

 on Beginning to write for Hilf mit; if he had succeeded, Grass would have been branded a young Nazi.
He says that he, nevertheless, was...

"I kept pace in the rank and file...That is how I see myself in my rearview
mirror.

...But the onion might say timidly,...you've got a clean record.

...You didn't denounce anyone."

I don't know why it did not occur to me earlier that praise from Norman Mailer (Armies of the Night) would have implied something that I at first missed. When Gunter Grass writes of his own experience, and the publication takes place in English, he has written for us who laugh now and later discover we will be held accountable for the hype that went down, and our behavior  in the years from 2000 through now, and until it is over and some occupying authority  wants to Democratize you for being banal. (or, perhaps just hypocrits?)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 05, 2007, 01:19:03 PM
Excuse me, but I asked the administrator for permission to take up the Gunter Grass memoirs, Peeling the Onion.  He asked if there was any difficulty to report?

Well, Mad, it seems that you and I are the only ones reading this book.  I assume the administrator thought there would be a discussion of Peeling the Onion, rather than a monologue....that doesn't seem to be the case.  I very much doubt that he gave you permission to decide who may and who may not post post in this forum. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 06, 2007, 02:44:25 PM
"One dateless day--was I fourteen by then or still twelve?--in the attic of the Labesweg apartment building, where we occupied one of nineteen units, I was on the way to my favorite reading place, the threadbare armchair under the hinged skylight, when in one of the storage areas alloted to each of the units and partitioned off by slats I found a suitcase bound by string....

There are other,mutually interchangeable possibilities: according to air-raid regulations promulgated in mid-1942, all attics had to be cleared; the suitcase had turned up during the process and was opened by her[Mother],me, or a third party?"

These are the belongings of her three brothers who died in WW1. "The eldest brother, Arthur,...her favorite, saw himself--until a shot in the belly finished him off--as a poet crowned for glory.... ...a local Danzig paper occasionally published verses of multiple stanzas under his name,...and these clippings I found collected in the suitcase---in my momentous discovery,as Mother was later to call it.

Her son too was tempted to see it as momentous and, in the mid-sixties, when having suffered enough under the burden of lengthy novel manuscripts, he found himself producing short stories, he decided to sign them with the name of his mother's favorite brother and published them in a series of pamphlets put out by the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, a pleasure I indulged in partly to shield them from the malice of capricious critics, partly to illuminate the brief life of Arthur Knoff with a bit of posthumous glory.

Knoff's debut ----apart from poetic juvenilia, which owed much of its coloring to Eichendorff---was quite well received. Despite his recognizable similarity to a well-known author of the day, critics believed he was gifted and had a future. An Italian publisher felt it was too early to think of translating the stories, but she hoped they could expect something more monumental from him soon, something along the lines of a family chronicle. It was clear, people said,his talent was more conducive to the novel.

The stories of Arthur Knoff were in print for more than two decades, holding their own under the pseudonym until Klaus Roehler, who when sober was a rather fussy editor with Luchterhand-Verlag, unmasked my literary uncle one day when he was plastered."


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 09, 2007, 10:41:28 PM
I'm watching the James Gondolfini interviews : Alive Day, Home from Iraq, on HBO east.  I didn't even know it was on tonight. If you are not ready for looking at amputees of the Iraq war, be forewarned.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 10, 2007, 06:19:01 PM
"I was drawn again and again to my hiding place.  The hinged skylight gave me an unobstructed view of the back courtyards,the chestnut trees, the tarred roof of the candy factory, the postage-stamp gardens, the half-covered sheds,the carpet-beating frames, the rabbit warrens, all the way to the houses on Luisenstrasse, Herthastrasse, and Marienstrasse, which bordered the spacious square. But I saw further than that... I followed a flight pattern into the somewhere, just as now on my flight back, I am trying to land in a place where no relics, no worn-out armchair, nothing I can touch or lay my hands on awaits me.

Oh, if only there were a suitcase, or at least a cardboard box, full of my earliest scribblings. But not a fragment from my first poems, not a page from the Kashubian novel remains; not one of the muddled fantasies or fastidiously detailed moss-covered bricks  I drew or painted has survived. Neither the rhymed verse in Sutterlin script nor the black-and-white hatched drawings found a place in the luggage my parents packed for our escape. Nor is there an exercise book of school compositions that earned "good" or "very good" despite my execrable spelling. There is no record whatsoever of my beginnings.

Or, should I tell myself, "How good not a scrap has remained!"?

For how embarrassing it would be if the preadolescent's gushings included a poem, dated April 20, influenced by the panegyric style of such Hitler Youth bards as Menzel, Baumann, or von Schirach and celebrating the Fuhrer  in  hymn-like terms reflecting the  young poet's unbending faith.  Rhymes like
Ehre gebare ("may honor give birth to"), Blut und Glut ("blood and ardor"), Fanfaren und Gefahren (Fanfares and dangers"), would have been awful to face later on. Of if some racist claptrap had found its way into a passage in my first novel at the expense of the poor Kashubians: A long-faced knight beheads round-faced Slavs by the dozen.  And suchlike products of the delusions that come of brainwashing.

At best, I can be certain that should a stack of drawings be found, if not in the attic then in the basement, not one of them would depict a highly decorated war hero like Lieutenant Captain Prien or Galland the fighter pilot, though I thought of them both as idols.

What if? The speculations induced by the contents of lost suitcases are as futile as they are inevitable.

What treacherous whispers might go on in a detergent box that the mother used to pack her son's belongings when the family was forced to flee and that she overlooked in the rush to depart?

What else would it take to expose a man needy of a fig leaf?

Having grown up in a family that was expelled from house and home, in contrast to writers of my generation who grew up in one place---on Lake Constance, in Nuremberg, in the North German lowlands-----and are therefore in full possession of their school records and juvenilia, and having ipso facto no concrete evidence of my early years, I can call only the most questionable of witnesses to the stand: Lady Memory, a capricious creature prone to migraines and reputed to smile at the highest bidder.


So what we need here are other means, helpful in other ways.  Objects round or angular waiting on the shelf above the stand-up desk. Found objects, which,when invoked with sufficient intensity, will begin to reveal their mysteries.

No, not coins or clay shards. They are honey-colored and translucent,their hues ate autumn's red and gold. Fragments the size of cherries, and this one, large as a duck's egg.

The gold from my Baltic pond: amber. Found on Baltic beaches or bought a year ago now in a Lithuanian town once called Memel from a dealer hawking his wares on the street. The standard tourist fare, polished and buffed----amber chains and bracelets, amber paperweights and boxes---- but some of it uncut or only partially smoothed pieces."

Would you believe that Gunter Grass makes the description of the amber, which preserves the biological life of the past, his intro to his own sexuality?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 15, 2007, 07:59:14 PM
His Name Was Wedontdothat

What are lacking are the links in a process no one stopped,...in the case of the fatal step of the fifteen-year-old-schoolboy in uniform. It is clear: I volunteered for active duty. When? Why?

...It happened while I was serving as a Luftwaffe auxiliary---which was not voluntary, though we experienced it as a liberation from our school routine and accepted its not very taxing drills.
...The Kaiserhafen battery became our second home.  ...At first there were attempts to keep school going, but as classes were too often interrupted by field exercises, the mostly frail, elderly teachers refused to travel the wearisome dirt road to our battery.

...But massive raids----the kind known as firestorms that Cologne, Hamburg,Berlin, and the Ruhr Basin cities suffered, and that we knew of only through rumors...

...As a rule, however, service in the Luftwaffe auxiliary was dreary, though dreary in a different way from school.  We were especially turned off by nightly guard duty and ballistic classes, which dragged on forever in the musty classroom barracks.  When bored, we feel back into childlike behavior, or regaled one another with made-up sexual exploits.

(Grass is unable to  pinpoint the why of what happened next, other than the being away from the family home motivated him to want to be  independent. It does not take a lot of perception to recognise this motivation continues to promise much to today's recruits. More obvious today are the rationalized patriotic motives indoctrinated very quickly; they cover up the goofy adolescent ideas for  becoming independent on an offer of college tuition, so that you quickly forget your quirky willfulness.)

...I racked my brain for flight routes. They all ran in one directions: the front, one of the many fronts, as quickly as possible.  ...After Stalingrad, however, the front situation went down-hill...the moviegoer had seen over and over when his heroes returned home triumphant. No scenes of the boats that had gone down with every last man.

No, it wasn;t the papers that fed my hero worship. ...It was the newsreels: I was a pushover for the prettified black-and-white "truth" they served up.

They would come before the feature film.   In the Langfuhr Cinema or the Old Town's Elizabethkirchengasse Ufa Palace I would see Germany surrounded by enemies, valiantly fighting what had been defensive battles abroad --- on Russia's endless steppes , in the burning sands of the Libyan desert, along the protective Atlantic Wall, at the bottom of the sea----and on the home front I would see women turning out grenades, men assembling tanks: a bulwark against the Red Tide. The German Folk in a life and death struggle. Fortress Europe standing up to Anglo-American imperialism at great cost.

...I may have been an egotistical loner, but I was no stereotypical world-weary adolescent. Maybe just dumb?

There are no data available about what goes on in the head of a fifteen-year-old who longs to enter a fray in which --- he might well presume, as he knew from his books --- death takes its toll. But there are any number of speculations: Is the pressure of emotions with no outlet, the desire to be totally independent, the will to grow up overnight, to be a man among men?



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 15, 2007, 08:00:33 PM
It must have been possible for a Luftwaffe auxiliary to trade a weekend leave for a Wednesday of Thursday off.  In any case, one thing is clear: after one long day's march I took the tram and the train via Langfuhr and Zoppot to Gotenhafen, a city that in my childhood was Gdingen in German and Gdynia in Polish,...ran all the way down to the harbor, where quays and moles faced the open sea. It was there that navy recruits were trained to handle submarines..

It took all of an hour to reach the goal of my dreams of heroism. ...probably raining, the hrbor misted over. The former Strength Through-Joy ship  Wilhelm Gustloff was moored and at anchor at the Oxhoft Quay: I'd heard it was being used as a floating barracks by a submarine training division, though I didn't know for sure, the harbor and shipyard being off-limits to us.

Sixty years later, a human lifetime away, I was finally able to write a novella, Crabwalk about that ship, about its much-heralded launching, its much-loved peacetime  cruises, and its wartime conversion into a quayside barracks, about its one last voyage, with a human cargo of a thousand recruits and several thousand refugees, and abouts it sinking on January 30, 1945, off the Stolpebank. I knew the catastrophe's every detail, the temperature that day (twenty degrees below zero), the number of torpedoes(three)...

Since I was reporting a swatch of rime-compressed action, yet simultaneously writing fiction, I imagined myself into one of the submarine recruits on board the sinking Gustloff. I thus imagined what those seventeen-year-olds doomed to an early death in the icy Baltic must have had in their Sailor-capped heads: first, girls promising instant bliss, then, heroic deeds to come. Like me, they believed in a miracle; the final victory.

The sergeant and seaman first class I spoke to rejected me out of hand: I was too young; my age group hadn't come up yet; it would soon enough; no reason for excessive haste. ...

Was the Luftwaffe auxiliary in uniform or in mufti? Short trousers and kneesocks, perhaps?...I was told there was no need for submarine volunteers at present: they had stopped accepting applications. And then they said, as we all know, the war was not being fought entirely under water, and they would make a note of my name and pass it on to other branches of the military.   ...But first came Labor Service, after all. Not even enlisted men could get out of Labor Service.

....Time passed. We boys grew accustomed to barracks life, to bunk beds, to a summer without Baltic beaches and bathing. The Heideggerian turns of phrase of a corporal who claimed to have studied philosophy threaded their way through our school slang, "You forgetful-of-being dogs, you!" he would scream at us. "We'll knock the essentiality out of you yet!"  The sight of us put him in mind of "the facticity of a pile of shit."

...And we ate God knows what.

[More later about the Hiwis (which is what we called the Ukrainians---it was short for Hilfwillige,"volunteer laborer")]           


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 16, 2007, 12:59:35 PM
In the chapter of Peeling the Onion where Gunter Grass was describing his favourite boyhood reading material, he mentions this author known to most German-Americans, as having been very popular in Germany.

About four days ago, The New York Times  did a short article that told me a lot more about Karl May than I had ever known before. For instance, I had not realized that, to the Germans, there was more than one way of reading Karl May and that it could have drastically different effects upon their thinking; it was not just a matter of a fascination with Old Western stories but had also to do with their own background and that they might be projecting into or reading into May's writing what they cared to think of Native Americans.   (I was soon able to identify numerous times, and numerous characteristics, when I'd observed this but had not been alert to making the connection.)

But it also clarifies for me how American's are projecting attitudes into Gunter Grass, about the nature of being German, that prevent them from reading him.   They presume that he was a Nazi because today's Germans say so when purging themselves of collective guilt; and secondly, they don't like him, whether they are German  or American because  his origins were East German and, in the language of today's America, he is too "Left" minded for Americans or Germans on the Right. 

They are apparently not alone, in that it was revelatory to me to discover Timothy Garton Ash behaving as if Gunter Grass was an intellectual competitor to someone with a British mind who ought defend themselves quickly against an old enemy.

Here forthwith is just plain old,ludicrous, Shatterhand, Karl May               


Karl May (1842-1912)

"A few months ago the director of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Tex., told me in passing how his museum was frequently overrun by visiting Germans, so the curious German obsession with the Wild West — which newly arrived Americans repeatedly discover to predictable eye-rolling from Germans, for whom it’s hardly news" ...

"... Karl May wrote dozens of tall-tale books that have sold more than 100 million copies, maybe twice that many if you count translations from the German. Kaiser Wilhelm II, like May a fantasist who loved to dress up in exotic costumes, adored May’s books. So did Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, Kafka and Fritz Lang. Hitler did too."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/arts/design/12karl.html?

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/09/12/arts/20070912_KARL_SLIDESHOW_index.html


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 16, 2007, 01:14:31 PM
Quote
But it also clarifies for me how American's are projecting attitudes into Gunter Grass....


This is one thing that I find troubling about the bestseller A Thousand Splendid Suns.  Yes, the author is Afghan, but the book seems to be built around an American sensibility (a man who knows his readers?).  Americans read the book and think they have some inside track on the mentality of the Arab world. 

Of course, it's possible that Americans are not the only ones who do this.  The only tool we are given for interpretation is our own experience.  Being well-read helps to overcome this, but I think the majority of books that reach Number One on the NYT Bestseller List are not being picked up by the well-read.  Most of these books are bought by sheep who check out the lists to see what everyone else is reading.  (How else to explain the popularity of Mitch Album and the Oprah Book Club?)

While it's true that many people don't read Grass because of his politics, others don't read him because he is difficult.  And the European cultural experience of that time was quite different than the American experience.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 16, 2007, 03:34:12 PM
For once we agree about something, I've always felt that way about NYT, as an adult; after accepting them at their word  when I was what is called,
"a young adult" because, why, they were posted in every library when you went to withdraw a book. I suppose they are now in bookstores as well.

"Of course, it's possible that Americans are not the only ones who do this.  The only tool we are given for interpretation is our own experience.  Being well-read helps to overcome this, but I think the majority of books that reach Number One on the NYT Bestseller List are not being picked up by the well-read.  Most of these books are bought by sheep who check out the lists to see what everyone else is reading."  quote from lhoffman

I'm afraid, I probably confuse, A Thousand Splendid Suns, with The Kite Runner, by Hosseini, which donotremove mentioned reading.

I have frankly avoided reading fiction since 9/11 of "the famous writer or authority on Arabic or Muslim writing" category, although I will read historic pre:9/11 because when a "book seems to be built around an American sensibility ",  it probably is.   

I watched CSPAN-2 long enough to figure that out, after programming was revised because of the tax-based nature of public broadcasting which left a loop-hole for demand of ideological equity in the programming, I got so expert at dividing the sources that I just skipped watching their programming entirely.  It was the same top down directive from the administration that dropped Bill Moyers from the loop and buried one of his first post-9/11 programs that had real Muslim scholars in the US, with pages upon pages of research materials for the tv audience who cared to pursue resources on their own, somewhere in the archives.  It was one of those incidents of censorship "in denial".

Kitty Kelly, who had gone to great lengths to verify every claim made in her book about the Bush family, revealed at a press conference held at the Washington Press Club where journalists and reporters were almost in tears awaiting explanations (as they sat on the edge of their chairs) that, yes, Barbara Bush had been appointed the duty of tracking down objectionable books and either removing them from circulation or bowdlerizing them in some way, so that ordinary readers would never suspect they were reading censored copy from which facts had been removed.

It was, at the time, very important to them as a family to have people accept the rationales for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by the "Decider" who was the mouth-piece for these statements of policy. Since then, the ACLU has pretty much blown that line for them.


On the other point, re: Grass, I've never found him difficult to read, but generally an amusing writer, somewhat comedic, for instance compare his story of Ewa  on the origins of human civilization from the German point of view, at least along the shores of the Baltic, or the early culture of domestication, in his novel, The Flounder, with that of the King James',Eve.

But I found myself less interested in some of the later novels, from the reviews and descriptions of the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung but, I can see now, that I will probably get around to them.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 16, 2007, 03:45:35 PM
Ps.

"And the European cultural experience of that time was quite different than the American experience."   How so; I'd be interested in the differentiation as you see it?  From my own experience, it wasn't; for German-Americans.  Bob(from American History forum and now World History forum and I discussed this at some length,possibly before you joined the nytimes book forums, since we came from those areas,  and this came up in the discussion of Philip Roth's, The Plot Against America (which was the second of Roth's books, we discussed in the nytimes book forums following 9/11).


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 16, 2007, 06:13:53 PM
I should have said "cultural education."  American education relies solely on readers for far longer than European, and from what I gather, this has been so since the introduction of reading systems.  Readers often don't incorporate ancient works, mythology, bible, fables, fairy tales.  Many reading curriculums don't expose students to "real" literature until ninth grade.  This is when many are introduced to the works of Shakespeare. 

This impacts the cultural atmosphere because students who aren't exposed to Ovid, Aristophanes, Orestes, The Bible and the like have no frame of reference for interpreting works of art.

Part of the reason why Americans are such lazy readers. 

The other reason Americans are sheeplike in their reading habits: discount chains.  In some European countries....Germany and France among them....it is illegal to discount books.  (Although, I think Amazon EU has found a way around this.)  For this reason, there are many more independent booksellers in Europe than in the US.  Perhaps when a reader walks into a bookstore that is lacking the "Our Staff Recommends...." display, that reader is just as likely to purchase Proust or Plato as he is to purchase Danielle Steele.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 16, 2007, 10:16:56 PM
Laurie,

I've never seen/noticed any such sign in a book store. And, I have never purchased Proust, Plato nor Danielle Steel. I always enjoyed fairy tales, and did enjoy mythology in high school. But, as to reading Plato or Socrates, nah. I did read Machievelli when I was in college. That sorta stuck with me, especially judging politicians and corporate executives.

But we disagree on children reading "ancient" literature before high school Children need to read "good" children's literature, including modern literature. They do not need to read adult literature until they are old enough to understand it fully. High school or college is well suited to studying the classics, if one is so inclined. And, I do not feel that ALL children should read what adults consider to be "good" literature. They will develop good reading skills by reading what interests them more so than reading what someone says they "should" read.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 16, 2007, 11:48:53 PM
Anne....I don't think we have that much of a disagreement.  I think children should read good modern authors, but think this should be combined with traditional fairy tales, folk tales, poetry.   Middle schoolers can certainly appreciate Shakespeare and some of the Greek plays.

Most of the bookstores near me are Barnes & Noble and Borders....both chains in my area always display the "recommended by staff" books near the entrance.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 17, 2007, 12:54:44 PM
Laurie,

I have to go all the way to Colonial Heights for a book store. There is one in the mall, can't remember the name. Display no signs, but the always put the best-sellers near the door, and I always walk right by them on my way to whatever I am looking for. There is also a Books-A-Million in Colonial Heights, with a very nice coffee bar enclosed. I sometimes buy computer books in book stores, but since I can't drive like I could, I've been spending  my book money on Amazon. I collect interesting titles on the two history forums, and make selections from there, sometimes buying something recommeded as similar by Amazon.

Middle school kids tend to be very action-oriented. They could learn more about Shakespeare and the Greek plays, by acting them out rather than just reading them.

It was subbing in the middle school where I used my piece from a fairy tale to explain why I wasn't falling for the "sending one kid to retrieve another" gambit that some classes tried to pull on me. I told them I wasn't sending one cheese down the hill after the one that got away. I had to tell the whole story, and one boy was so fascinated that whenever I was in a class he was in, he wanted me to retell the story. I don't know that it inspired him to read fairy tales, but it really caught his attention that there was a tale out there that perfectly matched what the kids thought was a neat game to play on teachers!

I note that when the publisher chose four stories from those I wrote to include in her first offering for publication, that "The Talent Contest", my Cinderella story, was one chosen, along with the Dragon of Ultrecht, which is also based on a folk tale, from the Netherlands. Perhaps on my next book order, I should invest in a set of fairy tale books and revisit a good source of stories! One of the arguers on immigration once said his aunt wrote a book of Mexican tales, and I got a copy, but so far none of the stories fit themselves into the schemes I use for my stories. I also have a copy of Irish folk tales - perhaps I should read that and hope to get a story or two from it.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 17, 2007, 05:01:17 PM
I would like to recommend that the above four posts are off topic and should be discussed in the Education forum as they do not apply to the Non-fiction Biography of Gunter Grass which is the topic I informed admin (back in August) was open to discussion.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 17, 2007, 08:05:43 PM
sorry my dear, but post 78 is most certainly NOT off topic.  You asked me for clarification.  And even if it were off topic....I'm fairly certain you do not have the right to determine what gets posted over here.  I doubt the administrator gave you carte blanche to post a month long monologue.....write a book or get a journal.  Forums are for discussions.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: bosox18d on September 17, 2007, 10:38:38 PM
I just got around to the Sunday book review tonight outside by a fire on a beautiful fall like eve in L.A.  and I see our old friend Mick Sussman did the non-fiction chronicle.What exactly is producer of the home page for the NYTimes on the web.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 18, 2007, 12:11:23 AM
Maddie,

You are the LAST person who should complain about others getting off topic. So far, I haven't seen anyone else reading the Grass book except you. The extensive quotes you post from the book certainly do not recomment it. Awhile back you recommended the same book on the fiction list. Then, you decided it wasn't fiction. Now, you've decided it's the book to discuss on this forum. Give it a break, Maddie. If you are enjoying the book, that is fine. But don't let it rule. 

















Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 01:18:27 AM
lhoffman and weezo

re: your above posts

Here's your line, which I inquired about,"And the European cultural experience of that time was quite different than the American experience." 

Here's what you reply: "I should have said "cultural education." 

and then you continue  on right off the embankment.  Although  you do go on at length, compared to your previous disruption, at posts #62,with another respondent,and #64, on Sept.4th.

But at present, you continue:"write a book or get a journal.  Forums are for discussions."


Precisely,and if you are not reading Peeling the Onion, by Gunter Grass, you are not in the discussion.

Desdemona expressed an interest in obtaining this biography (which weezo should note is the reason why it is not fiction. I requested a response from you, weezo, and not leeway to make an arbitrary decision about something by a writer whom you have not read. As someone else remarked up stream (but that is all history now), he had not realized you were appointed poobah of the vote).

And that is exactly why I had to make a formal request of the administrator, to offer a reading of this book for discussion to those who actually read it.  It seems to be if you  have not quite done A.A. or finished Raintree County some thirty plus years after it was written, nor comprehended John Reed, before treating nonfiction forum like another Meander, than I can only fulfill the administrator's request that I notify him if there is any disruption. Which I have done, after sufficient suggestion that you take extraneous remarks elsewhere. For all you know, you are presently being observed, as you can be by any unidentified "guest" who chooses to drop in and observe how these forums are conducted.

This book is sufficiently important at this point considering where we are at as Americans who overlooked what our reputation would be if we indulged in the conduct of our former enemy of the 1940s; or, you Reap what you Sow.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on September 18, 2007, 01:52:27 AM
Bo, I looked at the NYT Sunday Book Review and I didn't see Mick's name anywhere.  Are you refering to the podcast thing?  I'm on dial up and can't do the podcast/MP-3 stuff (I'm going DSL in October) or Youtube. Otherwise, where did you see Sussman's piece?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 01:54:46 AM
I just got around to the Sunday book review tonight outside by a fire on a beautiful fall like eve in L.A.  and I see our old friend Mick Sussman did the non-fiction chronicle.What exactly is producer of the home page for the NYTimes on the web.


I have to guess that means, because I caught his aside --yikes! about a year ago, that he was an "editor" now rather than a moderator; of what? I thought.

So I e-mailed down the street a block or so to  an on-line periodical known as Publisher & Editor (or, vice versa; it's been awhile) and told them
"my story", unedifying as it was. The editor e-mailed me right back and said,Great! I think that I'd like to publish that on Friday.

In a short while, he explained to me the answer to what you have asked. By clarifying to me that this is his position for his periodical; he produces the on-line edition of it for those who care to subscribe (which is sort of what I am trying to communicate to a couple of conversationalists; they don't even have to send a check. Just read the book before making nonsequitur comments.) And here was the catch, as such, he simply loathes Mick Sussman as an example of his own personal profession. It gives the profession a bad name, is one way of putting it. The way he usually put it, I caught in several of his editorials in which he put Sussman on as to why not try doing forums re: Books, appended off the Sunday Book Review as you mentioned, by cutting out paper-dolls and posting them dressed up as lead characters in the books you are allowing posters to describe.  In something like five and a half years, I seldom heard or rather read any poster describe the characters, the plot or give a review of what they chose to read randomly or agreed to read for discussion that came anywhere near what most people of my generation had to write in high school and then back up in oral interogation by the teacher to whom we had presented our "outside reading".  This is pretty disheartening to an adult.

Anyway, what's his name over at Publisher & Editor or vice-versa, down the street, enjoyed writing these little balloon puncturing  published editorials weekly in his on-line production, as long as Mick Sussman was still up the street going from moderator (which was kind of best sellers book suggester of the month) to editor, to producer (which I think he may have always been although, his favourite word, under "probation"). It was just that the other cat didn't like the way Mick made it sound like a rise in the world, if not a raise. He himself was on-line production manager of the periodical that reviews and judges the quality of all other news organizations periodical, day by day,week by week, month by month. Seriously, as the review board; while down in the bowels of Nat.Sec. somewhere, little strangers arrived who talked about The Old Gray Lady ( by which they meant The New York Times, whom they made sound like the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe) and ye gads, I was afraid they were talking about me!

I figured, Mick was riding for a promotion  to David Brooks, and if he could achieve that, no stopping him, he'd soon be Tom Friedman.  It's just that I don't hate to say it, he will never reach Paul Krugman status in the world of columns and commentary.  And if that's it, for having his bachelor's in literature from some college among several in the literary state of Ohio, then what is there left for the rest of us over-achievers who name drop because we have been there/done that, simply because we were born a generation before the menopausal although we are not their mothers or why they resent just about everything we do and have done, is my guess? Good Golly, Miss Molly, shut up! This is Mrs. Penniman,ya,hear.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 10:59:23 AM
I must inform you, Madupont, that your last post is off-topic.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with Grass.  May I take this as a signal that your monologue has come to end?  or that you feel it's okay for your personal friends to interupt as they please.  This is not Junior High, sweetheart.  For all you know the administrator is watching.....


 :D :D :D :D

(If Desdemona expressed a wish to discuss the book with you, perhaps it would be better to wait until she has the book, and until you both have read it.....(and from your comments, it is clear that, unlike myself, you have not actually finished Peeling the Onion yet.  How does one discuss a book they haven't read?) 







Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 11:41:56 AM
I was on topic in reply to bosox just as I have replied to you. And you may choose not to believe it but you were observed and discussed.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 11:42:55 AM
http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56091?PHPSESSID=2n7qgfcqff6c4cqrl3a2g90o54

http://tinyurl.com/32xku7

 For those less than familiar with the former policy of the Germany entity of governance and where did all those party members go, I thought it would be worth it to post this in-house documentation of present day concerns for the use of that former Constitution as the model now.

I think this accounts for the popular suppression tendency or offers an explanation of why so many Germans are willing to scape-goat Gunter Grass in place of themselves who having bought the farm back in the day wish for him instead to carry the collective guilt and take the blame for the very things they want to keep intact about themselves.

Having lived in a community where many of these former party members found solace and continued to influence local government in the US, where it became normal for the chief of police to serve a thirty year tenure in office(even as he wished an option for a life-time guarantee of his job, and it became customary for the more democratically inclined in the community to refer to his police forces as so and so's "storm troopers" for their persecution of racial minority groups and their supposedly secret surveillance of people different than themselves conducted in such a way as to intimidate the subjects of their surveillance) and the effect of this precedent that the mayor also felt he should be allowed without democratic vote to remain in his office for lifetime tenure, and how between them they could officially license the demonstration of the American-Nazi party in full regalia to frighten the seniors in the Jewish Community who had witnessed such events in Europe previously, as the party staged full march demonstrations past the Jewish Community Center, or held rallies licensed in  the public parks* with recruited unemployed German-American youth to act as thugs armed with baseball bats to participate in melees which risked public endangerment, I commiserate with the position of Gunter Grass.

Ps. that asterisk again, in case you didn't know that the current policy of the present US administration also issues their permits for the same Nationalist Socialist Parties of America the use of the Federal Parks  to conduct their march rallies at places like Valley Forge and Gettysburg, and who often hold as many as five major rallies on American Holiday weekends in as many American cities. I recall the circumstance of one poster, quite young I would guess, who misinterpreted the name, which includes the word "Socialist", to mean these were "left-wingers" which the current Republican administration has spun into existence.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 11:59:09 AM
I was on topic in reply to bosox just as I have replied to you. And you may choose not to believe it but you were observed and discussed. So can it.

Your reply to bosox had nothing to do with Gunter Grass.  And, I doubt the administrator knows you haven't even read the book you are "discussing." 

And as to monopolizing an entire forum with your monologue....all you have to do is put Peeling the Onion in your subject line, and anyone (if such exist....doubtful) who is following along can find it quite easily. 


Title: Peeling the Onion
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 11:59:46 AM
See?  Look how easy.


Title: Ten Days That Shook the World
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 12:01:36 PM
And, when the discussion begins on the Reed....


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on September 18, 2007, 12:23:22 PM
Hoffman, Weezo, Dzimas and other readers

I hope I'm not "off-topic" but when does the
next Nonfiction book finally begin?

There are many very interesting Nonfiction
books out there just waiting for a nice
discussion.

Thanks.


Title: Ten Days that Shook the World
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 07:47:20 PM
I hope we will soon discussing John Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World.  This is from the inside cover of my Penguin Edition:

John Reed was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1887.  After college he entered journalism and soon became the most highly paid ace reporter in America.  He was a correspondent in the Mexican War of 1916 to 1917 and a reporter in the First World War, a job which took him to Russia--he was in Petrograd in 1917.  He became personally involved in the Labour movement in the States in 1913 when he helped organize a silk-workers' strike in Paterson, New Jersey; and when he returned from Russia he toured the country speaking on the October Revolution (of 1917) and reporting for the Liberator, a very left-wing journal.  In 1919 he chaired the meeting which founded the Communist-Labour Party, later the Communist Part of the U.S.A.

Perhaps not the most unbiased reportage, but could be the basis for a good discussion.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 08:55:42 PM
And you may choose not to believe it but you were observed and discussed. So can it.

This has been nagging at me all day.  At first, it had a sort of Orwellian feel about it, then it finally hit me....this could have been taken directly out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...Sort of reminds me of Nurse Ratchet.

Mad, have you been reading Ken Kesey?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nnyhav on September 18, 2007, 09:54:36 PM
I hereby declare this entire topic off-topic. No nonfiction here, not a bit o' truth to it, not one word, not even and or the, their lips are movin', nosirreebobsyeruncle. Don't say a thing, don't even think it, not another word, hush up, quit while yer behind already. Nothin' to see here, move along ...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 10:08:17 PM
As he continues the chapter that he named after "We don't do that", which was one of the most moving vignettes excerpted in The New Yorker to introduce the book to the public, a story that reveals the school-to- military discipline of their culture and the punishment that ensues for going against it, particularly for religious or moral reason inculcated at home( the very reason that the Hitler Jugend was designed to separate the child's loyalty from the family)--one of the shockers to me about transferring from kindergarten and the primary grades of a public school  to those of a Catholic education, here in America, was an incident that happened one day that most school kids call "Show and Tell".

I'll give this to weezo, with her interesting question about didn't you ever put hair-clips on the nuns' veils? Not only would we not have dreamt of it but whether or not this small scenario makes clear why is another matter. One of our classmates, arrived in the classroom that particular day, in uniform, the short pants that Gunter Grass mentions he probably was wearing the day that he reported for duty, they were very fashionable at the time, worn with knee-socks and oxfords, the shirt and neckerchief, but this was uniform in color complete with the Sam Browne belt across the chest.  No sooner had the uniformed misfortunate come through the door and taken his seat in the rows of desks, then 'the nun' grabbed him by his ear and marched him back out the door to the office of the Sister in charge of the school which was a very Northern Italian renaissance cloister with dungeon; the works.   It was obvious that our teacher was incredibly angry,even if we did not know why.

Looking back from a later vantage point, one reflects that many of these  nuns were local German-American girls who grew into womanhood in the convent; the others were Irish-Americans. For their pupils in the classroom, the two world's were completely different. Whether or not occasionally nuns had arrived here more recently from Germany,one would not know. Our Pastor was a Bavarian. His assistant priests at the rectory also had German-names of the most stereotypical kind.

By about page 78, Gunter Grass wants to indicate how he had reached an age where his taste in reading had advanced. He now reads Heinrich Kleist, and the story of Kohlhaas. http://www.v-kleist.com/
http://www.kleist-museum.de/            (go down the page under the link on the left. About the fourth line down
                                                        it says: About us, click on this link)

                                           http://www.kleist-museum.de/virtuelle_tour/virtuelle_tour.html

The background on who was Michael Kohlhaas may be found at wikipedia

He also reads Holderlin's, Hyperion; and that is really advanced."Hyperion, oder der Eremit in Griechenland."
"letters from Hyperion to his friends Bellarmin and the writer Diotima*. It is set in Greece and deals with invisible forces, conflicts, beauty and hope."                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susette_Borkenstein_Gontard*


The  lyric poet Eichendorff has been mentioned previously by Gunter Grass.

Lenau is an Austrian poet whom he read at this time; his poetry changed as the result of emigrating to Ohio,arriving  through the port at Baltimore, and eventually going back to Europe with a distaste for Americans. More about this later.

Grass points out in this chapter how many times he did reveal his war-time service in his plays: Call of the Toad (adapted from his novel), and in his novels: Cat and Mouse, an early novella.  Although, of course, he is accused of having hidden this.

"...I received official notification that I had been inducted into the Reich's Labor Service.

     I was not the only one who received that piece of certified mail. It all went like clockwork, according to age group. Length of service: three months. I was to report in Late April or early May. A whole group of us were discharged from our Luftwaffe auxiliary unit, which was immediately replenished by an influx of Danzig schoolboys, and suddenly I was back in short trousers and kneesocks.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 18, 2007, 10:10:24 PM
Quote
This is from the inside cover of my Penguin Edition:

Hmmm, I'm reading the Vintage Russian Library edition of 1960 with foreword by Lenin, edited w/intro & notes by Bertram Wolfe.  Which of these does the Penguin have?  What year is your edition and do you have *ed notes at the bottom of pages and numbered notes at the end of each chapter?  (Not that any of these is necessary, but I'm finding them quite interesting even if I don't read all the way through the speeches, etc. -- unless by my own idol, Trotsky, of course.)

After helping my kid through The Communist Manifesto for part of her summer reading, it took some effort to refrain from overloading her with all kinds of info entirely extraneous to how it and the companion book Animal Farm will be treated in her honor World Lit class.  So what are they reading in there now?  The new version Epic of Gilgamesh (hot stuff, I gather)!  Go figure!   

I really like that new translation of Gilgamesh.  But, as to the Reed, yours looks a bit better than mine.  I have this:

http://www.amazon.com/Shook-World-Penguin-Twentieth-Century-Classics/dp/0140182934

Nyhav....so are you in on the Reed?  or not your cup of tea?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 18, 2007, 10:14:22 PM
One would get the impression that you freakin smart alecs never saw the production of Warren Beatty's, Reds.  No skin off my teeth but wasn't your arrangement to read with Bob in World History, or the reason that the administrator added that thread. As I said no problem my great-grandfather and my grandfather shared with Marx, one home town in common, founded by the Romans on the Barbarian frontier: Altrier.

Like Lenau, they emigrated but they stayed.




Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 18, 2007, 11:19:48 PM
Maddie,

I saw the reference to one of our tricks on the nuns, but failed to see what it had to do with the rest of your post. Perhaps you could elucidate.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on September 19, 2007, 11:56:23 AM


After helping my kid through The Communist Manifesto for part of her summer reading, it took some effort to refrain from overloading her with all kinds of info entirely extraneous to how it and the companion book Animal Farm will be treated in her honors World Lit class.  So what are they reading in there now?  The new version Epic of Gilgamesh (hot stuff, I gather)!  Go figure!   
[/quote]

So are they using the Norton Anthology in her class?  Good to know she is getting a good education and is reading seminal works so early.  My kids' English classes consisted of WATCHING THE MOVIE.  I about flipped my wig!

Maddie -

I haven't been able to order Peeling the Onion yet, sorry.   Broke, you know? 

BTW, this forum is not monitored and the administrator does not mediate confrontations or anything like that.  The guy who created this website, liquidsilver, was just nice enough to do this for us when the NYT went kerplunk.  He has no intention of trying to mediate quarrels or make decisions about book discussions. 

Having said that, I do wish more people would consider reading and discussing the Grass book - it is a very important work and should make for an interesting discussion in either the nonfiction or the history forums.  Plenty of forums here to make room for discussions, that is for sure.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 19, 2007, 03:13:17 PM


After helping my kid through The Communist Manifesto for part of her summer reading, it took some effort to refrain from overloading her with all kinds of info entirely extraneous to how it and the companion book Animal Farm will be treated in her honors World Lit class.  So what are they reading in there now?  The new version Epic of Gilgamesh (hot stuff, I gather)!  Go figure!   

So are they using the Norton Anthology in her class?  Good to know she is getting a good education and is reading seminal works so early.  My kids' English classes consisted of WATCHING THE MOVIE.  I about flipped my wig!

Maddie -

I haven't been able to order Peeling the Onion yet, sorry.   Broke, you know? 

BTW, this forum is not monitored and the administrator does not mediate confrontations or anything like that.  The guy who created this website, liquidsilver, was just nice enough to do this for us when the NYT went kerplunk.  He has no intention of trying to mediate quarrels or make decisions about book discussions. 

Having said that, I do wish more people would consider reading and discussing the Grass book - it is a very important work and should make for an interesting discussion in either the nonfiction or the history forums.  Plenty of forums here to make room for discussions, that is for sure.
[/quote]

Thank you, dear.  I think so too about the book and the issue that brought it about; for two reasons, not only have we been repeating the political mistakes which more currently have made the German public transfer any twinge of guilt (since at present they are comfortably well off and self-centered) to a convenient old scapegoat --  I wonder from where they suppose that he personally took his characters  in his novels,etc.?-- but we also have picked up a technique politically of recreating the convenient lie between candidates or possible candidates for office, as well as their debating supporters, to the utter confusion of the ordinary voters who are citizens that are never told what the lie is really about.

But on the former matter, I now have an interesting exchange of correspondence from the administrator who began with that premise but has since monitored all over the place to mediate some "radical change" in areas that are not about quarrels but how they sound or rather look to those "guests" we sometimes notice at the top of the page. Nor did it have to do with decisions on book discussions because I contacted him in August to indicate that the Grass book was never intended to be voted on against fiction votes as it is Gunter Grass' memoire in a short biographical form and I was interested in proceeding to lay it out  open to comment and discussion.  It was more recently that he saw the invaluable addition of a second line  in regard to History forums.

Just counting identities that have regrouped, as Exiles from Elba, would almost lead me to believe  this isn't the first attempt (when I did a search on it) and that also indicated to me that there is a strong possibility he(administrator,liquidsilver) and I  have shared something in common with each other as to back-ground.
But maybe not?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 19, 2007, 03:18:12 PM
Wonder why that color enclosure of quote didn't take(twice)?

nytempsperdu, re: #104

"a friend studying in"/  I had a similar experience as I mentioned to Dzimas; a friend introduced himself to me in Wisconsin at the height of the McCarthy era. He was an agronomist from the Soviet Union at the university (obviously before the Future Mr. and Mrs. Chaney showed up for the Vietnam protests). Eugen had been raised in the Soviet Union, after the Red Army, on their way to liberate Berlin, liberated him first where he had been born in a box-car on a siding in Linz,Austria.  So there are always these contradictions with one part of our government furthering foreign exchange, and another part busily fighting communism from the Federal buildings of major American cities because it will please the Senator who was by then drunk and could have cared less.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on September 19, 2007, 03:33:53 PM
I think there's a broken tag in there now - used to work.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 19, 2007, 03:56:10 PM
Maddie,

I saw the reference to one of our tricks on the nuns, but failed to see what it had to do with the rest of your post. Perhaps you could elucidate.


Well, obviously when you asked if I'd never, you were referring to when you were in high-school which had to have been about thirty plus years after I was in a Catholic primary school; or, you were born about ten years after I began high-school (non-Catholic)? Oh, nuts, guestimations in arithmetic; to simplify, I think you were born about the time that I got married and are possibly a year older than my son?

But that's only a possibility.  Which means  hair-clips attached to nun's veils in one era are different than how the nuns were related to in an earlier era. In fact, basically, the 'veils' had changed. The entire habit? Basically, the full regalia of a German Franciscan nun or an Irish nun for that matter at the time of WW2 was not like a later era. Nor were the clothes that we wore to school. So when one of these nuns encountered a kid coming through the door of her classroom dressed in the official dress parade uniform for the Hitler jugend, there was a firm response on her part. Try as I might to remember the name of the nun, which nun it was, I was new at their school and it wasn't sister Noreen, and it wasn't sister Terence, but who exactly I don't know. Part of the hub-bub was that besides Irish-Catholic youngsters in the same parish with German-American Catholic class-mates who came from culturally different homes(or, the meaning of "catholic"), the nun would have in a flash realized we had many classmates who were "new Catholics" and had no idea that besides being German that they were German Jews  who had yet to find out about it when somebody in the family felt they were ready to know; along about 1960 something or other.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 19, 2007, 05:45:48 PM
Maddie,

Maybe you think me younger than I am. I was born within weeks after the end of WWII. Yes, the nuns still wore the traditional "habits" of their order when I was in high school. No, it was not a convent school. And, yes, we were disrespectful, and it was tolerated. And, yes, it helped me tolerate a lot of the mischief of high school students as a teacher. On the other hand, hubby is younger than me, and went to a catholic elementary school in another part of the country, and he was physically and sexually abused because he was dyslexic, and although public schools were beginning to recognize such facts, the clergy refused to allow it was anything but devil possession. Same happened to my baby sister during her first years in school nuns who refused to understand dyslexia.

What is sad is that the typical catholic school still does not accommodate special students well.

Oh, and, shame on us, Maddie. We are discussing an education issue on the Nonfiction forum again!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 20, 2007, 12:39:46 PM
weezo, that's uncanny, May 8,1945, would have been about the time we went out for our usual playground parade known as Rogation Day, a solemn procession traditionally done to pray for rain. And I guess that I could have been in Sr. Noreen's classroom(although she was not the nun who stopped the boy in uniform from attending her class dressed as he was; she was probably making the point that he was to be sent home from school until dressed appropriately for an American school).

Of course, since my two sisters attended a Catholic high-school built on the same compound of land( as the primary school which I had attended) but many years later and Dominican run, I do know the difference between that and a convent school where the chaplain had been my grandfather's brother.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 20, 2007, 11:51:12 PM
Maddie,

The end of WWII that I was thinking of was in September 1945, not May. My father served in the Pacific, so that was the important end of the war in our household.

Never heard of Rogation Day. We had an annual procession on May 1st. We prayed for world freedom from communism.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 21, 2007, 01:10:01 PM
Yes, my uncle Joseph served in New Guinea and, when he came home with malaria, he stayed with us, while my mother took care of his treatment.

Under the circumstances, I didn't pay much attention to the dates of things at my age in elementary school, until retrospect.

Yes, I sometimes recall how the church began to have their developed awareness of "godless communism", that was the main thing of course; at which point they had speakers/lecturers come in to the classrooms and tell us about jeeps with red stars, whatever.  And it seemed that "g.c." was equated with paganism because we knotted a lot of black string rosaries, although whether that was an art project or a Cathechism project, who knows(?),with the intention as the nuns told us,"to save pagan babies".

Nevertheless one of my cousins,another of Joe's nieces, married one of her local home-town guys who taught school and was a football coach but whose field was petrology and he later went to the PRC to help in the work of surveying for oil.  As a result my cousin Marianne (or, Mary Ann)if she is still alive, lives with a daughter's family in Austin,Texas.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 23, 2007, 12:54:41 PM
weezo,re:#113

I've been trying since I mentioned Rogation Day (or days,plural, really, they happen at various times of the liturgical year), to rememember the name of a classmate of mine who with another of several "altar boys", as attendants walked with the priest leading the procession. One would have carried the cross aloft that heads the orderly lines repeating a litany,another would have been swinging the incense censer, yet another ringing a small bell.  This was usually done when carrying the sacrament to a parishioner, in the manner as it would have been done in Europe in earlier eras.  It is also similar to the entrance for a high mass, where the priest casts the sacramental "holy water" on the congregation as he  proceeds down the central aisle from the back of the church to the high altar while the choir sings the "Asperges me" .

That classmate was Gerald Meyers or, Maiers;or, Meiers or even Myers.

Who died suddenly. One day, he was there. The next he was gone. He died between one day and the next, if you can imagine a 3rd,or 4th,or 5th grader dying overnight from one day in class to another absent.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 23, 2007, 02:01:55 PM
Maddie,

It happened later in school to us, a classmate in the class ahead of us died overnight of pneumonia as a complication of diabetes. She was an only child and her parents grieved heavily. It was when I was a junior and she was a senior. Her parents were presented with her high school diploma at the graduation ceremony.


Title: Ten Days That Shook the World
Post by: Lhoffman on September 24, 2007, 10:19:32 PM
NYTemps....I haven't seen Reds, but it should be easy to rent.  I do have the Eisenstein film that is based on Reed.  He does a tremendous job of capturing the chaos that Reed relates.  A bit jarring though, is the Shostakovich score.  The movie was made in 1928, so Shostakovich must have approved, but it is a marked constrast to the image portrayed in the movie Testament.  Perhaps Shostakovich didn't become disenchanted with the new regime until Stalin came into power.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 25, 2007, 12:30:14 AM
nytempsperdu 

The difference between Reed's account in writing and the film Reds, which includes a lot of their interactive social milieu here in the US, has little acknowledgement of peasants but more of the party interaction  both in Moscow and New York which is why I've said I was quite charmed with Paul Sorvino's performance as an average American worker(although one can be as interested following the wrathful arguments of Jerzy Kosinski as Zinoviev).

I did get to see quite a lot of the Eisenstein films but that would have been in the Fifties, somewhat later than already performing the role of a peasant but in a new stratification as a party clerical as seen framed in the context of the Bolshevik trials in Moscow, for the play, Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler.

In fact in regard to Reds,Maureen Stapleton does an Emma Goldman back at home in Russia, although in Exile, who finds the post-Revolutionary conditions dreadful as she converses with Louise Bryant upon her arrival in search of Reed. We did a discussion group on Emma several years ago in American History forum. caclarke most interesting,thanatopsy, and I delving into some of Emma Goldman's more unusual relationships such as her close friendship with Peggy Guggenheim, and then I gave a thorough account,quote/unquote of the founding of the California Socialists and what their social life was like at this time, as lhoffman relates a film from '28, so that these events are contemporaneous although Bob may have been a trifle shockingly in recognition suddenly that the Rexroth being discussed was IWW as were the other poets of the West Coast in that generation; which is probably why KR found it just dandy working with fellow faculty member Herbert Marcuse at a much later date nearly forty years later down the road.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 25, 2007, 09:22:54 AM
nytempsperdu,

Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: elportenito1 on September 25, 2007, 09:26:49 AM
se what I mean?....Lady Di in an island surrounded by water, Marx?, in the middle of a bloody park, I bet people play soccer on his grave.

No respect for the heros of the working class!!!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 25, 2007, 09:34:55 AM
elportenito 1

I had to correct that and not leave it stand as I knew something looked off when I posted that. Although I can see the place which is moody and scary that couldn't be Hyde Park although that has a history  all its own for all the partisan "soap-box" speakers of several eras.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on September 25, 2007, 10:05:32 AM
I must have missed it the members of this forum decided to discuss Ten Days.  Could someone please tell me the author and the subject matter?  When is the discussion set to start?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 25, 2007, 12:43:20 PM
John Reed's, Ten Days that Shook the World, desdemona.  I wanted to find a local copy because it takes too long for deliveries through the usual sources.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 25, 2007, 12:47:11 PM
A CRITIC AT LARGE
WAR AND REMEMBRANCE
by Ian Buruma 
Sept.18,2006
“Peeling the Onion,” like Grass’s best novels, is filled with striking poetic imagery: the glass eye gleaming on a plate of potatoes while its owner goes off to the lavatory; the discomforting secrets “nesting like lice in pubic hair.” Grass writes of gross physical details in a German that is exquisitely earthy. Many critics credit him with having rescued his national language from the pall of linguistic abuse by the Nazis—an endeavor he has described as the “duty to take the goose step out of German.” He is also, in his fiction as in this memoir, rarely didactic, or polemical. The memoir, like “The Tin Drum,” is a coming-of-age story, a bildungsroman. Grass starts off as a naïve, dreamy boy, with no political sense and with an underdeveloped capacity for skepticism. The shame of his Nazi childhood, in his own view, was his inability “to ask why.” He unthinkingly accepted the Hitler Youth propaganda and Hitler’s grandiose promises. When teachers suddenly disappeared from school, or synagogues were torched, he simply observed. He was a believer. The main lesson he learned, as a P.O.W., as a German during the Nuremberg trials, as a young man gaining political awareness, was not to be a believer any longer, to walk “the long route, paved with doubts,” to abjure certainty and see only “many gray tones, between black and white.”

There is much to be commended in Grass’s public stands. The decent Social Democratic politics that the West German chancellor Willy Brandt represented in the early nineteen-seventies—especially his courageous and necessary gestures of atonement toward the Poles and the Jews—owed a lot to Grass, who wrote many of Brandt’s speeches.

 

...Just as unequivocal was his declaration, in 1989, that Germany should remain divided, the unified state having “laid the foundations for Auschwitz.” And his criticisms of the United States show precious few shades of gray. The stationing of U.S. Pershing missiles on German soil, in the eighties, was likened to the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews.

...And why is there such a discrepancy between the subtlety of his best narrative writing and the fierceness of his public scoldings? This chasm is not unique to Grass. The same could be said about other great writers: Céline, Harold Pinter, and José Saramago, to mention a few. But Grass is so proud of his post-Nazi identity as a doubter, as “a tireless supporter of the eternal on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand,” that something begs to be explained.

“The German does not think politically, but tragically, mythically, heroically,” Thomas Mann wrote. He was describing the Germans of Günter Grass’s childhood and before. Years of authoritarian politics, overblown romanticism, and pompous militarism had encouraged among educated Germans a distaste for the messy compromises of liberal politics and the materialism of commercial enterprise. They celebrated, instead, a passion for spirituality and deep culture. German nationalism, even before the Third Reich, was often marked by a kind of religious exultation; liberal democracy and capitalism, especially of the American kind (Amerikanismus), were scorned both on the left and on the right.

... Grass’s repudiation of Nazi Germany needs no underscoring. But there is an element of contempt here—toward commercial culture and capitalism—that hints at some of Grass’s earlier attitudes. It explains his hostility to America, and, even more, to German conservatives of his own generation.

The tensions between Günter Grass and the historian Joachim Fest are not simply political, even though Grass is a loyal Social Democrat and Fest is a conservative. They have something to do with social class, and are anchored in the early postwar period, when Konrad Adenauer, a conservative Catholic who had been opposed to the Nazis, was chancellor. Fest, from an anti-Nazi Catholic middle-class background rather like Adenauer’s, has always tried to salvage German pride by depicting Hitler as a vulgar freak, who managed to seduce many Germans but not all. A core of educated, well-bred Germans resisted the Nazi temptation and, the thinking went, should be the bedrock of postwar German democracy.

In fact, many educated, well-bred Germans did not resist the temptation. But Adenauer believed that the transformation of Nazi Germany into a democratic republic could not succeed without the support of the solid German bourgeoisie: the bureaucrats, diplomats, and university professors; the doctors, lawyers, and industrialists, many of whom were far more tainted by the recent past than a relatively blameless youngster like Günter Grass. The United States, which needed West Germany as a dependable ally in the Cold War, was with Adenauer. This meant not only that the Nuremberg trials were swiftly wrapped up but that Adenauer refused to ratify the verdicts. Many prominent Nazis were released from prison. Attempts to weed out former Nazis from public office were either stopped or turned into a farce. The documents testifying, often falsely, to a person’s innocence were named for a well-known washing detergent called Persil.

4.

It was an unedifying, morally disturbing compromise. But it worked. The Federal Republic of Germany did become democratic, pro-American, and embedded in the liberal Western order. Nazi revanchists were marginalized. There was no “stab in the back” legend, such as crippled the Weimar Republic in the nineteen-twenties. Yet Grass, from a petit-bourgeois background, a convert to democracy, ashamed of his own youthful moral obtuseness, viewed Adenauer’s Germany as an outrageous betrayal. Hence his hounding of such politicians as Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a postwar chancellor who had been a Nazi bureaucrat, and Karl Carstens, a President of the Federal Republic who had joined the Nazi Party in 1940 to further his career as a lawyer.

Grass’s fury was stoked by his own shame, no doubt, but also by class resentment. While “block leaders, petty officers, and small shopkeepers” fell victim to de-Nazification, he wrote in 1967, people like Kiesinger were, “because of their superior powers and responsibilities,” left unscathed. With the requisite Persil documents, “not a few people, covered in brown shit, came to the white West.” Even now, looking back on those early days, Grass loses all his vaunted feeling for the gray tones. Every word is filled with rage: “Chancellor Adenauer was like a mask, hiding everything I loathed: the pseudo-Christian hypocrisy, the disgusting, lying professions of innocence, and the ostentatious bourgeois respectability of a criminal gang in disguise.”

This is harsh, but in the context of the early postwar decades Grass’s voice was a necessary moral correction to Adenauer’s pragmatism. To call Grass an arrogant, hypocritical huckster, as some do, is to forget how important his presence was when most Germans were too busy benefitting from the “economic miracle” to reflect on what had happened just a short time before. His compatriots needed to have their consciences pricked in the nineteen-fifties and sixties; and Grass, much to his credit, boosted social democracy when it needed boosting. The problem is that he hasn’t been able to let go. The Nazi ghosts have continued to haunt him, and any kind of hypocrisy, material greed, or use of military force provokes hysterical denunciations. U.S. military force, especially, arouses his rage, for it reminds him of the compromises made by Adenauer’s Germany to join the Cold War. Like Harold Pinter, whose anti-American rants Grass quotes with approval, he sometimes talks as if the United States were the Third Reich’s successor. But, even when he does, there are hints of earlier enthusiasms, of a possibly unconscious nostalgia for more heroic, more mythical, more tragic times.

At a PEN conference in New York in 1986, Saul Bellow made a point about America that incurred Grass’s anger. Bellow observed that American society did not pretend to lay great store by high culture but sought only to provide its citizens with “shelter, protection and a certain amount of security against injustice.” Grass, shaking with indignation, referred to the poverty he had observed in the South Bronx and the consequent lack of freedom of its citizens. Poverty in the South Bronx was no doubt shocking, and there is plenty to criticize about American society, but Grass’s rage remained puzzling. Perhaps it had something to do with precisely what Bellow hailed about his country: its unheroic materialism, its lack of a tragic sense, its indifference to high culture—all the things that Grass hated about the Adenauer years, and that many European intellectuals, on the right and the left, still find contemptible. They detest America because its popular culture, sweeping the world, threatens to make intellectuals marginal, and that is one thing Grass never wanted to be.

How much does it really matter what Grass said to Bellow, or what his critics say about Grass, or what Grass says about the “white West”? In the long run, not a great deal. Grass’s intemperate pronouncements in the past few decades have scarcely driven German public opinion or foreign policy, and his best works—such as “The Tin Drum,” “Cat and Mouse,” “Dog Years,” and probably his memoir, too—will be read long after the political polemics, not to mention the current storm over his belated confession, have been forgotten. But there’s a connection between his polemical and literary work. Günter Grass is one of the last examples of a German tradition that puts poets and thinkers on a high pedestal, from which they deliver, like prophets, their verdicts on the world. There are times, certainly, when the writer can use his moral authority to good effect: Thomas Mann during the war, Grass after the war. At other times, the very things that make a man such as Grass a great novelist—the capacity to turn experience into myth, for example—can be obstacles to cogent political analysis. Grass’s role as a moralist and a scold came from the same imagination that created the fictions. But there are certain aspects of the past that should be precisely remembered, as Grass was always the first to point out, in anger, and now, one should hope, in sorrow.





Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 26, 2007, 11:13:30 PM
"I wonder what we might say about the family pictures of the chief engineer at the Agent Orange plant. He too, petted a dog, loved his children and taught Sunday school. But his day job was to facilitate destruction unimaginable to most Americans. His “gas” was less particular. It merely exterminated the ecological basis that connected everything: the plants, the animals, the insects and the human beings… a lot of death.

We do not discuss this. We do not see, in ourselves and in our neighbors, what we see in these Germans."

[32] Posted by: W. Waller, Madison WI — 24 September 2007 9:06 am

http://blogs.iht.com/tribtalk/opinion/passages/?p=24


Title: Ten Days that Shook the World
Post by: Lhoffman on September 27, 2007, 12:50:34 AM
lhoffman: Yes, I imagine Stalin was the rock on which any number of revolutionary ships foundered...

I hve only seen Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible but imdb.com informs that there was a film called October (won't attempt to render the Russian) based on Ten Days. I just bet there's a film archive somewhere that has it, but whether ordinary proles like me could gain access is another matter....

(Something reminds me of my attempt to get into the British Museum Reading Room where Marx worked--I didn't have scholar's credentials so no go, and trip was too short to hunt up the grave...
there go my pretensions)

The other weird thing about the Shostakovich score is that it doesn't seem in keeping with the way artists were being treated at that time.  The movie is based on Reed's book and is clearly celebratory.  It is dated 1928.  Shostakovich had written his Second Symphony the year before, subtitled "To October."  There is quite a bit of dissent in the music history community about what Shostakovich's intent was with this symphony.  At that time, there was the idea of eliminating art that was representative of the bourgeoise.  (Although Lenin wasn't big on avant garde).  The upshoot of this was that music was being written that celebrated the working man....lots of bells, factory whistles, and the like.  So Shostakovich writes a symphony "honoring" Lenin.  For the climax of the thing, he incorporates a factory whistle and a massed chorus (proletarian, one suspects).    Was it a protest, sarcasm, adaptation to the artistic climate of the day?  As I said, much dissent.....and then the very next year, here is Shostakovich's score providing the sole music for Eisenstein. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 27, 2007, 07:30:41 AM
Laurie,

Can you turn me on to some titles of that music honoring the working man? And, if you know them, some links to hear them or the score to play them? They would be nice to use when I create stories about the different jobs.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on September 27, 2007, 09:59:56 AM
Hi desdemona,  I think the impetus to read Reed's Ten Days That Shook The World began may have begin in the History thread before there was World History as well as  American History there, but a couple or few of us are reading it in prep for discussion in October (or Nov., depending on which style calendar one follows), 90th Anniv. of Russian Revolution.   It's rather romantical sort of stuff, if one has tendencies in that direction.  Check it out, comrade...




Well that sounds like a cool project!  We could make a little project of it if anyone is interested.  I was looking at the Reed book online yesterday and thought it looked really interesting.  I'll order it tomorrow and get busy.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on September 27, 2007, 11:33:19 AM
lhoffman,re:#130

"As I said, much dissent.....and then the very next year, here is Shostakovich's score providing the sole music for Eisenstein."

If I recall, Eisenstein was on the outs as a Soviet film-maker at a certain point, for not conforming, but I've forgotten the details; you might check with Dzimas, who is a close watcher on the political details as well as the film arts. 

This would be easier then looking up the writings of Anderson Cooper's mother who was married to Shostakovich; Gloria VanderBilt who was a close friend of Oona O'Neil and Carole Matthau.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 27, 2007, 11:44:09 AM
Laurie,

Can you turn me on to some titles of that music honoring the working man? And, if you know them, some links to hear them or the score to play them? They would be nice to use when I create stories about the different jobs.


Here is an interesting place to start as far as the Russians go.

http://www.hymn.ru/index-en.html

There is also the Internationale.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 27, 2007, 11:51:45 AM
lhoffman,re:#130

"As I said, much dissent.....and then the very next year, here is Shostakovich's score providing the sole music for Eisenstein."

If I recall, Eisenstein was on the outs as a Soviet film-maker at a certain point, for not conforming, but I've forgotten the details; you might check with Dzimas, who is a close watcher on the political details as well as the film arts. 



There was a time when Eisenstein fell out of favor, but October was before this.  The movie was made as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of the October Revolution.  Eisenstein drew heavily on Ten Days That Shook the World....quite approved by Lenin.  (Stalin didn't care for the movie, as he also didn't care for the book.)

After making the movie, Eisenstein was chastised by the state and forced to defend his work.  His technique was considered a bit too artistic....Art was not to exist for art's sake, but for the people.   


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 27, 2007, 12:18:55 PM
Anne...you might also look into American Folk Songs.  The Jack Songs, John Henry, I've Been Working on the Railroad, Erie Canal are a few that come to mind. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 27, 2007, 08:07:21 PM
Thanks, Laurie,

I put the Russian Anthem link into my music favorites, and will look under the folks songs. I liked the idea of the factory whistle in a piece of music. Of course, hubby has lots of favorites and links to sounds of train whistles!



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nnyhav on September 27, 2007, 10:51:44 PM
http://crookedtimber.org/2007/09/26/all-power-to-the-second-life-soviets


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 29, 2007, 10:31:10 PM
Here is the complete text of Ten Days That Shook The World on-line at Project Gutenberg.

http://www.oxfordamericanmag.com/content.cfm?ArticleID=81&Entry=Extrascom/


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 29, 2007, 10:47:13 PM
Laurie,

I think you uploaded the wrong link. The one you posted went to a page about Louis Armstrong. Very interesting, but not Ten Days That Shook The World.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on September 30, 2007, 06:14:27 AM
NY Temps,

I downloaded the book and will read it later today. I will let you know what I think of the chapter on education. Sounds like an interesting read.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 30, 2007, 09:37:58 AM
LOL...sorry about that.  The Armstrong must have been stuck in my "paste" from earlier.  I'm glad you were able to find it. 


Title: Ten Days that Shook the World
Post by: Lhoffman on September 30, 2007, 10:36:13 AM
On the note on popular education...sounds good on paper, but we know that those teachers who had "their own ideas, their own emotions, their own ways of approaching the problems of personality and society..." were to be quite firmly discouraged, as were the artists who had their own vision. 

The question was who was more to be feared, artists or teachers?  There is a line in there that speaks of art as suffering "radical changes with every far-reaching class upheaval."  I think what Lunacharsky overlooks here is that the very essence of art is radical, and its ideas for change, its portrayal of a less than utopian world, doesn't lag behind history, but always precedes it.  The Communists were right to be afraid of art.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 30, 2007, 03:18:10 PM
Of course, in the new regime, illiteracy was virtually stamped out.  The people were repressed before the revolution and repressed after, but at least after the revolution, they could read.

The other positive was the it pulled Russia into the twentieth century as regards an industrial economy vs an agrarian one.

Question on the insurance, though.  The notes to chapter that NYTemps mentions also outlines insurance for the populace.  The employer pays.  But who is the employer in a state where the workers own and run the factories?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 30, 2007, 06:21:48 PM
I think I would agree with you NYTems, and correct the idea that communists were right to fear art to "those in power" ought to fear art, or at least to pay attention.  Art has a way of exposing truths that many in power would rather remain hidden.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on September 30, 2007, 08:21:19 PM
Thanks for the link to the online text, Lhoffman.  Work should be slow this week, so maybe I can get started.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on September 30, 2007, 11:07:51 PM
Nice, Desdemona...maybe Weezo/Anne will join too?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 01, 2007, 07:12:18 AM
Laurie,

I plan to read the e-book and join in. At present my head is filled with stuff to do on my website, and I am working at it until my arms ache. I am trying to fix up some maps of the continents for children to color. Some came out well, but others are a total mess. I also want to make printable coins for learning about money for the little ones, and want to make models of atoms so that kids can use paper and glue to make models of molecules. There are nice plastic ones to use, but they are so costly that lots of classrooms have to just skip it and let the kids just look at pictures. I want the kids to get their hands in it. I think I can make paper models, with spaces marked to hole punch them for the free electrons, and the kids can use yarn to tie them together and make molecules. I'm studying on the idea for a few days. Maybe I'll also show the stable electrons in the models and enrich the activity beyond what the plastic models do.

I may have to print out the book from the e-book, since my main reading time seems to be that last hour of the evening when I jump into bed and read until I get sleepy. But it is in my to-do list.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 02, 2007, 01:37:06 PM
"What an undertaking, to construct from recent Tsarist/Orthodox society a modern secular state encompassing a hugely diverse population spread over a vast territory after suffering the devastation of WWI... The construct would eventually break down, but not as quickly as that in China, which also arose after a World War."

Nytempsperdu,re:#151

The construct in the Soviet Union broked down from the 1950s on when the economic competition   in the arms race wore the Soviets down, they could not provide a stable economy.

Whereas the PRC, which went through an unfortunate grab by the USSR, that was correctly analyzed by Mao, was then countered by tried and true methods that had seen the Chinese through the War of Imperialist Agression(Sino-Japanese field of war). The Japanese had previously been at war with Russia.  At present, China(PRC) has a very healthy economy, doing business in most parts of the world, and more or less owns ours whether we like it or not; it wasn't a citizen's decision in the US, a major political party continuing a program  for extended long term administration made that economic mistake all on its own because it did not correctly analyze the nature of Communism.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 02, 2007, 10:14:59 PM
Almost nothing better than the sound of happy teen-agers....

But the whole Reed story was ironic in another way, too.  Lenin and his party ignored the election results that didn't go their way; a bit later, Reed won the election to the board of the Socialist party (?) in America....a result that was soundly ignored.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 02, 2007, 10:18:13 PM
I liked the end notes as well as the book itself.  Reed's passion shows through in his writing, but the end notes tell the story of what was really going on there.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 04, 2007, 12:30:14 PM
"A big Red Guard, whose name was Vladimir Nicolaievich, plied me with questions about America.  'Why did America come into the war? Are the American workers ready to throw over the capitalists?  What is the situation in the Mooney case now?  Will they extradite Berkman to San Francisco?' and others, very difficult to answer, all delivered in a shout above the roaring of the truck, while we held on to each other and danced amid the caroming bombs."

This passage just floored me.  Very difficult to answer indeed!  How many Americans, soldiers or otherwise, of the period would have been able to answer, or even know what was being referred to? 


Even more interesting...with the high rate of illiteracy in Russia at that time, it's quite possible that big Red Guard couldn't even read.  The Russians apparently were more culturally literate than were the literate Americans.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 05, 2007, 02:10:10 AM
I have to wonder whether Lenin really believed his revolution would succeed.  He seems to have made more plans for the revolution than for the state that would follow.  This is the reason Zinoviev and Kamenev wanted to postpone the revolution. 

Also wonder why Z and K supported Lenin in the end...wanted to be part of the collective, good communists all, or the suspicion that dissent would not be welcome in the new way of things.  Both rose to positions of power in the new state.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 05, 2007, 01:03:27 PM
I thought that was what you guys would be discussing.  Would you like a copy of the Communist Manifesto for hints?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 05, 2007, 04:18:33 PM
No thanks, I brought my own.


(http://www.post-gazette.com/images4/20060709vwhcCarp0709_230.jpg)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 06, 2007, 08:16:40 AM

"My daughter glanced at the screen and couldn't figure out
the critter in your pic--I said fish but have no idea what."



I do believe that’s a “carp”—defined as

carp (kärp)
intransitive verb
"to complain or find fault in a petty or nagging way"
Etymology: ME carpen < ON karpa, to brag; meaning
infl. by L carpere
   :)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 07, 2007, 11:45:02 AM
I understood that Lenin acted when he did because of the horrors of the war, and also he wanted to act before the convention met and voted.  But there is a feeling of disconnect there for me.  Example:  Look at Lenin's Proclamation to the Peoples and Governments of all the Belligerent Nations.  Here is Lenin, rumored to have been smuggled into Russia by the enemy German government (one of the belligerents he is addressing, I suppose) and who is he really addressing?  Are the government of these countries going to give credence to the proclamations of a usurper?  And in those days, pre-mass communication, would the peoples of those countries have the opportunity to hear the text of his proclamation without heavy editing?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 08, 2007, 01:42:26 PM
Domestic consumption:  Reed makes a point of writing that Lenin was just sort of ordinary in looks and in speech.  But I suspect he must have been quite charismatic.  Times were desperate and people were grasping at straws, but there were so many straws to grasp at.  If Lenin was ordinary....why grasp his?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 22, 2007, 12:16:38 PM
Noted have  also brought up the connection of Jack Reed and Louise Bryant at Movie Club in regard to their relationship to Eugene O'Neill whose work is being compared by Dzimas (at my suggestion)  to Frank Wedekind, the German playwright who provided G.W. Pabst the idea of films Erdgeist, and Pandora's Buchse, the Lulu silent movies starring Louise Brooks.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 22, 2007, 12:34:26 PM
Ps. a point made in an article at the website which Dzimas posted were comments by many film reviewers at the time of the release of, Reds, who praised the performance as Eugene O'Neill by Jack Nicholson;and that the way the role was played by Nicholson was to emphasis his disdain for the milieu around the Provincetown Players (who would gather for the summer next to the ocean)and their unabated enthusiasm for the Revolution in Russia.  Something I am sure was kept alive by the relationship of Emma Goldman and Jack Reed feeding off each other; at least, we discussed much of this in our reading in the American History forum several years ago re: the background of Emma Goldman as a Russian immigrant, her life in New York, her speaking tour of the U.S., her unusual friends like Peggy Guggenheim, the art dealer heiress, and Emma's lover imprisoned for his assassination attempt on Frick employed as office manager by Andrew Carnegie in Pittsburgh.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 25, 2007, 10:25:01 PM
NyTemps...Do you think our idea of Russians standing in line comes from news reels we've seen over the years?  As to the French, the media often gives the impression that being French is only something the rest of the world can aspire to.

Quote
Hordes of the female intelligentsia went to hear lectures on Art, Literature and the Easy Philosophies. [meaning what, I wonder: not German maybe??] It was a particularly active season for Theosophists.  And the Salvation Army, admitted to Russia for the first time in history, plastered the walls with announcements of gospel meetings, which amused and astounded Russian audiences..."  (p. 13 of my Vintage paperback)  I'm trying to picture a Russian production of Major Barbara--or how about Guys and Dolls!?!?!

Sort of gives the impression that he viewed these females as dilettantes, eh? 

As to the Gospel services, the Russians would have been hard pressed to take these seriously.  The more familiar religion would have been Orthodoxy, which is quite liturgically complex and ornate.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 27, 2007, 03:01:14 PM
"....the media often gives the impression that being French is only something the rest of the world can aspire" but cannot attain for the simple reason that the French have made it a point, exactement to retain their intransigeance, hauteur, and several other attitudes mentioned in the very (vrai) words over at the History Forums in the last 24 hours, no matter where they colonize.  It all started with Juliette Binoche yesterday in the Movies Forum as mentioned by Peloux with whom I 'ave been duking it out as to which sex gets down.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 27, 2007, 08:22:26 PM
Do Not,

Hmmmm. This awakening interest in Russia .... when did this happen? Is this something that happened before the communist revolution, or as a result of it? (Sorry, I don't read this forum as regularly as I did at the beginning).


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 27, 2007, 09:55:20 PM
NYTemps...I was sort of caught up in the romance of that comment...everyone reading, reading, desperate for knowledge.  But how else would they get information at this time?  When something big happens in our society, we can read about it, but we can also turn to the television, the radio, internet.  If we didn't have these things, printers would be turning out information like mad and the public would be grabbing it off the streets as fast as they could put it out there. 

The very interesting thing for me was that Lenin wanted the peasants to be educated, to learn to read.  But at the same time, he wanted to dictate to them exactly what they could read.  The idea of opening their minds to a very limited unlimited potential.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 27, 2007, 10:16:32 PM
LHoffman,

Reading and education was a goal of the early Americans as well, although they were a bit stingy with it towards the Natives and, into the flowering of slavery, towards their slaves, but I tend to believe that the establishment of reading and education as the hallmarks of our early nation were what kept us from falling into a dictatorship as happened to, for example the French, after their revolution.

A revolution that enables the once-downtrodden to learn to read and acquire an education can't be all bad. I note that both Casto and the current Chavez in Venezuela, put education within reach of those who had been passed over in the past. To me, this mitigates their faults in embracing communism. They are doing the most good for the most people, even if some of the mighty have fallen in the process.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 28, 2007, 10:31:18 AM
Anne...I don't think I would go that far.  Sure Lenin got the people reading, but he also had historians, teachers, poets, philosophers shot.  You see, he wanted to them read, but didn't want them to think. 

As to Castro, I'm sure you remember the pictures of Cuban refugees from the 60's, 70's, 80's into the Mariel Boatlift.  What does it say that people were willing to risk their lives to get out of this country?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 28, 2007, 12:48:36 PM
Laurie,

And those historians, philosopher, and teachers were replaced by others who were of the same mind as Lenin, and they continued to teach, write, and philosophize. In this country, we do not easily tolerate teachers, in particular, with unpopular views. While they do not get shot, usually, the do get pummeled, and fired. I am thinking of the teachers, not only those who teach unpopular views in science and history, but also those who hold views contrary to their communities in other areas, such as family incest, etc. Even the teacher who was fired locally for his off-duty art, and another teacher who was fired because it was found out that she had once posed for nude pictures. How many were jailed as "communist sympathizers" during the McCarthy regime? We are not as tolerant as we pretend to be. And, while we don't shoot disserters (except at Ruby Ridge), we do make their lives miserable and distroy their careers.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 28, 2007, 01:41:50 PM
Perhaps, but that doesn't address the fact that people were willing to die to escape Russia and Cuba.  No country is perfect because countries are made up of people and people are flawed.  There will always be problems that need to be addressed.  But Americans are free to address these issues.  Look at the last election.  Even though the sitting president is Republican, republicans were thrown out of the legislature in masses.  No government overthrow, no guns, no violence.  People going to their neighborhood polling place....given a voice.

The interesting thing is that immigrants are willing to risk their lives, give up their possessions, give up their life's work, to come to our country.  Meanwhile, rich movie stars who can afford to live anywhere in the world openly criticize America and threaten to move to another country.  In the end, we find it's only talk.  Why?  Because they can talk.  We are allowed to talk, criticize, analyze, promote change.  And that's not true in many other countries.

Talk to immigrants.  Ask them why they have chosen to come to America.  I very much doubt the answer will be that they ran out of money before reaching Canada.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 29, 2007, 01:10:36 AM
Laurie,

Many immigrants came here in spite of odds that they would die trying. Many did die trying. Most, if not all, come here because they want a better life than what they had where they came from. The specifics on how much ristk, and what the reasons were that impelled them to come probably have as much in common as difference from one age to another. Of course, those who came as refugees have more compelling stories than those who only came to "make their fortune".


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 29, 2007, 11:14:23 AM

Anne...I don't think I would go that far.  Sure Lenin got the people reading, but he also had historians, teachers, poets, philosophers shot.  You see, he wanted to them read, but didn't want them to think. 

As to Castro, I'm sure you remember the pictures of Cuban refugees from the 60's, 70's, 80's into the Mariel Boatlift.  What does it say that people were willing to risk their lives to get out of this country?


"Do you mean Mariel Boatlift?" No 60's, perhaps you are thinking of Bay of Pigs
and need to see, The Good Shepherd (with Angolina Jolie; and, Matt Damon). I was writing about it in terms of the CIA,over at the nytimes before being told to come over here.

The Boatlift was arranged by Pres.Carter in 1977, and went further than Florida because from there they were lifted by air to many of our homestates and housed in military installations until processed.  The depiction of their coming for their freedom is a spin-job put on it ever since they joined the Republican party which was a big mistake on the part of Jimmy Carter now wasn't it?

Castro was so pissed in our continuing interference with the democratic process after our Imperialist underpricing of the Cuban resources by co-option of the sugar trade ( as you probably know many of the 1960s Yippies and Hippies before the Seventies went to Cuba without passport to help bring in the sugarcane harvest to keep the Cuban economy afloat but notice, they did not show up until invited and after Castro had eliminated the American Mafia culture which had been pervasive in Cuba as a recreation spot for Floridians like Mayer Lansky who had profits to make out of the Havana casinos), that he topped off the processing for Carter with an extra helping of sweetner in the form of opening the prisons of an anti-freedom fighter element, likewise in the insane asylums.

Post-WW2 America has generally absorbed political enemies outright as a consequence  of false-flag military invasion such as the current Iraq debacle for which we are then responsible as tokenists charitable toward "humanity". We always get the best element for our purposes that any country has to give us, as a result of our interference in their internal affairs.  The war on drugs brought us an extra helping from the southern hemisphere that were carefully absorbed to be employed for nefarious political activities, quite frankly since the Bush administration, within countries where they would not stand out like a sore thumb during extra-legal operations in the Caribbean for instance.

Essentially, what you are touting in your second paragraph of your above post is how well Castro arranged the deportation of criminals he did not intend to burden the budget while the US continued an economic trade blockage of Cuba.  Carter merely adjusted the statistical gauge of a back-firing "humanist oriented policy" with a  criminally-insane percentage listed at 2%

As to your first paragraph, last sentence, perhaps reading without discernment during the Bush administration colors your thinking process because that is the current administrative intention.  I noticed this right off when you stepped up to the plate on the Reynaldo Arenas portfolio kept at Princeton, immediately after I reported that as the location of the repository  of his oeuvre. I suppose you think that those people who assisted Arenas in his self-education were Communist trade-unionists of the proletariat rather than the class which they actually were whom I had for neighbors when I lived down the street from the original John McPhee manse.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 29, 2007, 11:42:29 AM

Yada yada yada...the boatlift took place in 1980.  I am not "touting" anything in my second paragraph, other than to say that people were willing to risk their lives to get out of Cuba and Russia.  And as to my first paragraph, last sentence, it has nothing to do with the Bush administration, but is a historical statement of fact.  If you doubt that Lenin had people shot, so be it.

As to whether or not I ought to watch "The Good Shepherd," perhaps you ought to watch less movies and read less books....get out of the house and talk to people.  Do you actually know any real people?    It is apparent that you have begun to confuse the things you view on screen and page with things that have occurred in your own life.

Know-it-alls who are right most the time are annoying, know-it-alls (you) who haven't got a clue are simply pathetic.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 29, 2007, 12:00:05 PM

Know-it-alls who are right most the time are annoying,
know-it-alls (you) who haven't got a clue are simply pathetic.


 :) :) :)

Something tells me, Hoffman, that Fiction and Movies are coming up next...

I'm biting my fingernails in anticipation and worry...

This should be very interesting...


 ::) ::) ::)





Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 29, 2007, 12:13:39 PM

"...when I lived down the street from the original John McPhee manse."


I love it... such exquisite name-dropping...

Wish I could do that... but I'm just a lowly fag writer...

like Reynaldo Arenas...


 ;D ;D ;D



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 29, 2007, 12:15:04 PM
I think I need a new philosophy....who was it said, "The ignore function is your friend"?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 29, 2007, 12:31:37 PM

"...when I lived down the street from the original John McPhee manse."


I love it... such exquisite name-dropping...

Wish I could do that... but I'm just a lowly fag writer...

like Reynaldo Arenas...


 ;D ;D ;D



Even better than name-dropping, the implication of the type of house she was able to afford.....Whose "manse" do you think was furnished more tastefully?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 29, 2007, 12:39:04 PM
I can't ignore you since you are so gratuitously insulting about things you know nothing about, you take me to task on things you have no reading knowledge of yourself or misread: "It is apparent that you have begun to confuse the things you view on screen and page with things that have occurred in your own life." You mean as when you put Johnr (whatever his number) in place by flashing a page and claiming your husband was a physicist?


Ps.Pug   Yes, I did live there, as mentioned of all things in the Food forum but then if you don't read McPhee so what? if I had said this material is in the repository at Princeton Firestone Library several blocks from  my neighbours who were  the  Cuban-European refugees from Cuba because they were landowners,never mind little minds but, you would have then fastened on my saying that I lived in Princeton instead of which neighborhood, as you have several times before when you can't present a valid point. Instead you chose to self-reference  by self-outing your personal choice of sexual orientation. What's new? Nothing.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 29, 2007, 12:41:19 PM


"...when I lived down the street from the original John McPhee manse."


I love it... such exquisite name-dropping...

Wish I could do that... but I'm just a lowly fag writer...

like Reynaldo Arenas...


 ;D ;D ;D



Even better than name-dropping, the implication of the type of house she was able to afford.....Whose "manse" do you think was furnished more tastefully?
[/quote]

Perfect example, "manse" was the word of choice to convey that was the house in which he was born, not where he presently lives.  God, you are petty people.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 29, 2007, 12:44:19 PM
The problem with your posts, Madam Mad, is that they give me a headache.  I can never quite make out what you are playing at.  Are you the sad little intellectual, female, product of a time when women were cast weeping from the doors of the Ivies?  Are you the daring artiste, travelling the country performing Latvian folk dance and filling in the spare hours with dazzling displays of Bachean virtuosity?  Are you the bohemian, spending hours crying in her beer with her drunken poet friends?  


Who is Madupont?  Dabble Dabble Dabble.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 29, 2007, 12:52:14 PM
Maybe the question should be who is lhoffman?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Lhoffman on October 29, 2007, 12:54:07 PM
LOL....BRILLIANT comeback....exactly what I'd expect from a dilettante.  As I said, "Dabble Dabble Dabble."


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 29, 2007, 01:07:58 PM
"Manse"

“Since leaving at least some level of cultivated civilization in Princeton, New Jersey, I have known my own miserable share of just such mean old men who will ruin as much of whatever you are doing as they can possibly afflict on you.”

—Madupont, The New York Times, October 29, 2007

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/why-not-let-scooter-off-the-hook/

 :D :D :D


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on October 29, 2007, 01:30:20 PM
Does anyone have a non-fiction work they are currently reading to discuss?  I am currently finishing a re-read of PD James' The Maul and the Pear Tree, an account of the most notorious murders known to London prior to the Jack the Ripper killings.  It's a great cultural study of  East-end London of the time, as well as an interesting search into the police system, or rather the lack of a police system. 

I'm also reading a new Alison Weir book called Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley.  Alison Weir is such a great biographer - I've read five or six of her books and every one of them is so elegantly presented and well-researched.  She is a great narrative historian.

On order:  The March of Folly and How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of how WesternEurope's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 29, 2007, 02:17:56 PM
Des, I'm reading The Prince of the Marshes by Rory Stewart.  At the same time I'm reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (I can only read just so much of this book before having to put it aside to get control of my anger).  I have bookmarks in The Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron, and Tropical Classical (essays) by Pico Iyer.  In the "stack" I have Passionate Nomad: The life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse, Complete Short Stories by Graham Greene, and another biography of Gertrude Bell by Janet Wallach.

Lots of good writing but not a "fun" book amongst them.  :)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 29, 2007, 04:21:04 PM
Donotremove, has anybody ever asked you what book you'd like to read? You've been patient with the rest of us over the years...and the greedy dash we've all made to get our various books centerstage. What "fun" book would you like to read Donnie? We all get sucked into book-politics it seems... as if it's a life and death matter. As if we (including me) forget the "fun" of reading...the sheer enjoyment of good story or writer. Pick a fun book...now while the window is open... You may be surprised by who joins you... I could maybe use a fun book about right now myself... and tall cool one. Dontchaknow? Just a polite thought...    :)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on October 29, 2007, 04:34:16 PM
Donot -

Glad to know that someone over here is reading non-fiction - quite refreshing.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: weezo on October 29, 2007, 07:14:14 PM
Dessie,

I rarely read fiction anymore, and am concentrating mostly on history, and mostly colonial times or just before. I'm reading the second version/translation of Cabezo de Vaca, whose expedition is being examined as the first time Europeans brought African slaves to the North American continent.

I am also reding "A Cross of Iron" about Harry Truman, "Paul Revere - His Life and Times", "The Basque History of the World", and "How The Indians Lost Their Land". Unstared, I've a small stack of books including one on the Revolutionary War, and two on the lives and "discoveries" of seamen.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 30, 2007, 02:44:51 AM
Oh, I don't know, Puge.  The most "satisfied" reading I do is when I run across a good travel book or memoir (NOT any of the rich and famous).  Several years back I read about these two guys that bought 20 acres in Louisiana with the intent of returning the land to its original state (wild). Hot damn, these two city guys out in the woods, building a bare-bones house, dealing with neighbors totally unlike themselves. I never wanted it to end. Wish I could give you the title--the book is somewhere around here. Anyway, that, to me, was a "fun" read.

Another house building account, House By A Pond by Joe Coomer was "fun."  I felt "good" the whole time I was reading Salt by Kurlansky (Of course, the history of salt is not everybody's first choice for an evening with a book).

Mainly, I seldom see what I read reflected in these (or the old NYT) forums.  But that's okay.  I enjoy reading the comments of whatever it is you all are reading.  But thanks for asking.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 30, 2007, 06:04:59 AM
Dream House: On Building a House by a Pond
by Joe Coomer 

From Library Journal

"Three-time novelist Coomer has written a work of nonfiction describing the building of his new house. One part Tracy Kidder's House ( LJ 8/85), one part John Jerome's Stone Work ( LJ 5/1/89), and one part Coomer's utterly unique and compelling East Texas voice, this lyrical work embodies a coming of age--an acknowledgement that "marriage" and "house" requires a very personal commitment. Coomer in turn interprets many of his former and current relationships in terms of that commitment. Many people, both living and dead, contribute to the house's construction, and Coomer assumes his "place" in his own family line. He creates a "bleacher" section where historical figures, among them Thoreau, Darwin, and Don Quixote, watch and "comment" on his planning and progress. Coomer's use of language is exquisite, and his dry, effective wit strikes home again and again. Dream House brings the "house-home" conundrum to another generation. Highly recommended."


Tell me a little more about Coomer. I noticed he's written some other books too. I like the idea of a "bleacher" section to comment on his home-building progress. Kinda like the "home forum"?  :)

I like the idea. Maybe we could interest some others in reading this book. Nonfiction... with a little bit of imaginative fiction flair thrown in too. Sounds kind of like the way I write too.  ;D



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 30, 2007, 02:35:20 PM
Puge, Joe Coomer is a "Southern" writer in the sense that Clyde Edgerton or Larry McMurtry are.  I tend to identify with writers like this--male or female (think The Bookmaker's Daughter by Shirley "?") because they "speak" in a Southern voice however much the themes are universal.  He lives in near Azle, Texas and spends part of the year in Maine.  He and his wife have family in both places.  He started out writing part time while working in the family antiques business in Azle.  His fiction is deliciously done (IMO) and I look forward to any new book he writes.  An amateur sailor, he has redone a boat and wrote a book about it, Sailing In A Teaspoon of Water.  Not afraid to poke fun at himself, his non fiction is full of humor.  His fictional humor arises totally out of the characters themselves (read Apologizing To Dogs).   


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 30, 2007, 03:02:07 PM
Not afraid to poke fun at himself, his non fiction is full of humor.  His fictional humor arises totally out of the characters themselves (read Apologizing To Dogs).   

I'm ready when you are. Where would you like to begin? Apologizing to Dogs?

As you know, Becky and I went to LSU in Baton Rouge. I worked in the gulf summers to get thru school. Union Oil roustabout... can you imagine that? I butched it up tho and they liked me. At least I could cook and drive a boat... We flew out of Houma deep into the Gulf. Huge sunsets and zebra fish. Porpoise schools... garfish gumbo. Cajun captains took me under their wing... My voice is still Southern I think... I guess that's why I've dawdled around in Fiction for so long... boring everybody with my imitations of Faulkner that Mississippi man. Seattle is a long way off from Louisiana and Baton Rouge and New Orleans... I remember that country well... There is such a thing as "Light in August" down there... I'd like to read some Joe Coomer... he reminds me of you...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 30, 2007, 04:47:43 PM
Puge, Apologizing To Dogs is fiction.  Coomer has ever only written non fiction about houses and boats.  Let's see if anyone takes this up.  If not, then I'd say it's not on.

Today's NYT has an article about the Castro section of San Francisco.  The Halloween parade has been canceled.  The article posits whether "gay neighborhoods" and "indentification housing" hasn't become passe.  Oak Lawn here in Dallas is the primere location for middle and upper class gays, but now spreading throughout the city in neighborhoods ripe for "gentrification".


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on October 30, 2007, 10:09:25 PM
(http://images.google.com/url?q=http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/027019/f1/nlc010069-v6.jpg&usg=AFQjCNGjFjH4iE1zuSHCKfxAScHwxKcSvw)

Well, shucks...

Here I thought I had a real live Texas man on the hook...

I know... a lot of Ladies would like to get to know you better, Donnie...

I have this weakness for mellow tall lanky Texas cowboy types...

But that's okay... after all I wrote The Oklahoma Kid...

I fell for Harry Lime... and so did she...

puget




Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 31, 2007, 03:37:50 AM
Nytemps, there is a movie out of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina but after having read the book I've never wanted to watch it.  The descriptions in the book were horrible enough.  I never have watched Silence of the Lambs for that same reason (or any of the Hannibal films).  I'm a real wuz in my old age.  Horror and unnecessary violence makes me grab for the remote.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 31, 2007, 09:52:39 AM
You see, that's what I like about him, a sensible man.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on October 31, 2007, 01:02:02 PM
Nytemps, whoops.  Sorry.  I replied to Puge about your post--the Dorothy Aliison book.  If you check again you'll see that I've modified the post.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on October 31, 2007, 05:32:37 PM
I have to agree with nytempsperdu. Bastard Out of Carolina, showing up as advertised on tv, looked and sounded appalling. I never wanted to get next to it. However, I didn't get sufficient warning with Silence of the Lambs, even asking a friend coming back from the Coast, and very tentatively at that, by explanation that I never got over how Anthony Hopkins had done another role when he was younger; as a ventriloquist in,Magic.  Spooked me.

So, my friend assurred me in her charming English way. 

Yes, it was a good film, particularly in his Maryland scenes with "Clarice" but all in all there are some dark areas that I wouldn't want to relive.

On the other hand, he has done marvelous roles. Like playing  Bruno Hauptman, of Lindbergh Kidnapping infamy, as an innocent man.

Or, The Human Stain, where off-handedly speaking of spooks apparently spooked everybody so that nobody liked the movie; and I brought it home to watch  and was impressed with how well made it was in keeping with the book and all the material that I'd since read like,Kafka was the rage:a Greenwich Village Memoir, by Anatole Broyard, which included scenes described in the book written years before they were included in the movie.

So maybe it was just Jonathan Demme, director, that I did not like at the time?  I saw later sequels of SoL with Hopkins and enjoyed them by realizing the comedic element that he put into his role to soften the macabre.  He was no less threatening when provided an opening but by now I saw the humor in it.

So later my friendly neighbor (notice how she has been demoted in my estimation by now?) says, she never really liked Jonathan Demme as a person.

Now, she tells me.

I also liked Hopkins in,Proof (as the very picture of a mathematician); as well as in, Shadowlands, as C.S. Lewis.

Then of course there is also his Dracula film, where he plays von Helsing, I guess they called that one, Bram Stoker's,Dracula.... you know the one, where Gary Oldman makes all the girls hearts flutter and go pitter-pat.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on November 11, 2007, 09:56:48 AM
BEPPO and Rmdig
in case you missed this opportunity, provided again today

http://www.theparisreview.org/page.php/prmID/66

The interview of Mailer and Grass, beautifully done.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: rmdig on November 13, 2007, 07:21:46 AM
Thanks for that link!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Beppo on November 14, 2007, 08:00:46 AM
Ditto!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on November 16, 2007, 11:10:21 AM
Always been more nonfiction reader than fiction.  Though not a Mailer fan per se, I remember being blown away by the power and scope and just terrific writing of The Executioner's Song.  It seemed to me that Mailer was one of those few people who are just born to write large, i.e. novels (true life or not). 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on November 16, 2007, 03:44:27 PM
Oh, I think that they were true life, Barton, in most cases. He did an infinite amount of research about anything he hadn't experienced himself, which was possibly why he founded The Village Voice; which was better back then than it is now. He had a journalist's interest.

I had been looking everywhere for a remark from Harlot's Ghost about the CIA to remind another poster where the messiness came from that Robert De Niro tried to clairify in his film,The Good Shepherd.  Not from G.W.Bush, himself but from the senior Bush who once had become head of the CIA following his adventures presiding over the Senate. This is where the Neo-cons came into being; they wanted to please GHW Bush and so they behave like the old CIA operatives. I went to see Chris Cooper and--was it Ryan Gosling, in   Breach, almost immediately after TGS because it made the characteristics so apparent of what kind of personality disorder was involved in their "fictional worlds" and how the increasingly higher cost of living made them criminal opportunists in order to have the standard of living of the old order from Skull and Bones.  They were a new strata of society who felt their alma mater was every bit as good as Bush Ivy.  John Perkins tells it pretty well in, Confessions of an Economic Hitman; but Mailer took it pretty personally along about Oswald's Tale.

Anything fictional about Mailer's, Marilyn, I think can be attributed to his earlier pieces in The Village Voice, and one I think was published in Esquire, The Time of Her Time, because I also think that "macho" became a word in the New York vocabulary just about then. He was out to be the Alpha male of the New York writing establishment when they weren't very except for maybe James Jones in his peer group.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on November 20, 2007, 03:12:24 PM
[
Thanks for that link!

Ditto!


People often think that in Nazi Germany that while the Third Reich was busy making Lebensraum by invading enemy nations(in other words like the Bush administration is doing) that it wasn't economically harming its own "Aryan" population.  I had hoped to point that out and clarify that with my planned Reading/Discussion of -- Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass.

How much did you pick up on that in the opening chapters describing his home life before he ever witnessed violence against civilian populations either on the front or at home?  I am curious if it is as obvious to readers in a younger generation than myself who recall the end of the Depression "at home 'sacrifices' or economies " among the German-American "lower-middle class"; and that was before the veterans of the Wehrmacht arrived in our neighborhood POW camps  to be absorbed into our population.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on December 14, 2007, 08:47:22 PM
BTW Mosca will he joining us soon here at Elba—giving some much needed life to the “dead” Nonfiction Forum…

And making life interesting for some former NYTimes posters like the infamous “Manasguano” and some others…


 ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on December 15, 2007, 02:26:40 PM
Non fiction doesn't seem dead to me.  As usual, even at the NYT forums, it has trouble picking a book, with so much polarization and all.  Mosca will be welcome, a sight for sore eyes, but he is way to the right and at odds with most of the folks that come here, unless some of the Immigration and Bush Administration bunch start showing up.

I wish to Christ that all this pettiness, from whoever it flows, would one day (soon) just disappear, and folks could just express disagreement without feeling the necessity of adding a Portnoy and shitting on the coffee table.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on December 15, 2007, 05:44:23 PM

Donotremove—

Maybe if you finally committed yourself to a book—any book—like I’ve tried to get you to do, then perhaps your calm rational presence could soothe the troubled waters of our literary discontent…

But as long as you insist on lurking in the background and not entering the Discussion—then what can I say? You want things folksy and friendly but you surely ought to know by now that’s not how things work in the Real World.

In the poetry forum you said your son and I have something in common. The difference is that I’m not going too wait until I’m dead for people to say nice things about me.

I call it creative resistance.…  it’s truly publish or perish. 




Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on December 15, 2007, 06:43:56 PM
Puge, you insist that I stop being myself?  I've been coming to the NYT Forums since 2003, Melba since it started.  I am the same about the discussions then and now.  I have changed my mind about some things over time, and have ponied up about it, if I thought anyone cared or the subject came up.  But I mostly don't comment.

I read non fiction almost exclusively.  From time to time I post lists of what I'm reading.  The other shoe hardly ever drops, and almost never to the extent that a group reading comes out of it.  The last time one did was 1421.  The discussion was not fruitful.

Right now I am reading Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse.  My interest was tweaked about Stark after having read the life of Gertrude Bell and Isabella Byrd.  Then there's Colin Thubron's book about his recent retracing of one of the routes (most folks, including me, don't/didn't realize there was not just ONE Silk Road route.  It was a convergence (from China) of many routes flowing like tributaries into a Westerly direction that ended in Turkey on the Mediterranean. Before that I read Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (which made me ill with anger.)

I could go on, but all of these have been mentioned by me, before.  I read every day.  I visit Melba at least twice a day.  I post when something comes up I know something about. And I'll be happy to join in reading a book that interests me.  Anyone interested in one about two guys (so different that they don't really like each other very much) taking a river trip in Siberia, where their survival depends on teamwork?  Or Rory Stewart's two books on Afghanistan and Southern Iraq? 

Meanwhile, I can't demand it but I can request (and fervantly hope) that posters be civil even when they disagree (and bury longterm grudges in a deep hole in the back yard and never rise to the bait again.)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on December 15, 2007, 08:34:16 PM

Donotremove—I’m not questioning your literacy.

Unlike many so-called readers here in Melba and the late great New York Times Book Forum—you actually read books.

Whether you enter into the adversarial Universe of making Literature relevant to important issues like the War or Immigration or the Election—that’s up to you…

I’m not asking you to commit yourself to any issue.

However, my commitment to GLBT rights is a 30-year-old literary push so far—and I must respectfully decline your sincere request to be silent and not to be “fag-baited” by the Peanut Gallery.

“Fag-baiting” after all has a long honorable American tradition—forcing me and my kind inexorably and relentlessly toward “the back of the bus”—like African-Americans before the Civil Rights movement—in terms of gay marriage and other perks that you Straights take for granted as God-given Judeo-Christian rights.

You, rmdig and others have witnessed the fag-baiting aimed at me  here at Melba and the NYTimes. Just the other day one of my most fervent admirers called me “pungenthopeless” in the Gay Rights forum—I’ve been called worse. 

http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,49.msg53606.html#msg53606

I don’t consider it shameful or uncouth to resist such homophobic characterizations of me or my gay brothers and sisters.

The “don’t ask don’t tell” mindset is a last-ditch gag-order desperate attempt to silence gay Americans. I sincerely doubt the coming Election is going to change things much either. But that’s my problem—not yours.   

I’m a gay activist—and you ain’t.


 :D :D :D



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on December 15, 2007, 11:52:15 PM
Puge, I would never ask you to stop being an activist, using rheteric, poetry, grand standing in the park, letters to God, whatever it takes.  I want you to WIN.  It's just that, for the most part, no one here is "against" you--hold on let me finish--although there ARE some.  Those bottom feeders are obvious to everyone here at Melba.  I think that most of us have sounded out about these people.

Let's just use the example of you and Maddy (in fact, it's the only contention I've got).  You both hate each other.  Why this is so goes way back and turns mostly on misread (or partially misread posts) way back, 2004?, at the NYT.  I remember thinking, seeing the postings back and forth esculate and get meaner and meaner, "Geez, this is all a mistake.  This shouldn't be happening".  But you've both got memory banks like elephants.  Jesus Christ, and you both keep records.  No, Maddy is not fair.  Yes, Maddy is an excellent internet researcher and resource locator, with the annoying habit of wandering through all of the memories she associates with whatever information she was looking up.  AND, she's always right, even if she isn't.

Maddy has lived a full and person filled life and her memory is excellent.  Name a year and she can give you the "flavor" of wherever she or any of her extended family and their friends and their friends friends were living--what they wore, ate, did for entertainment, work, and all the social mores of that time.

Yes, she should apologize for being and asshole to you, but you are not entirely innocent, yourself.  Remember when a gang of posters started calling Maddy crazy and a liar and a word thief?  Holy shit, Maddy doesn't need to steal words.  She can go two hours on any subject you'd care to name and be working strictly from personal memories.

Here's the irony.  Maddy is the very last person here that would be a gay basher.  She attacks you because she feels you attack her (there are a couple of women posters that Maddy will never forget have "wronged" her, where they have misread Maddy's posts and then things escalated--Maddy is just as guilty of misreading posts as anyone.  I've never be able to convince her of that fact, and I'm Maddy's friend).  I just wish I didn't have to cringe everytime I see your two names posting where I'd like to read posts.

Anyway, sorry I brought it up.  I've probably made things worse.  Which is as good a reason as any for lurking.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on December 16, 2007, 12:39:59 PM
(http://www.longitudebooks.com/images/book_large/MDE28.jpg)

“But Stark’s indomitable spirit was forged by contradictions, her high-profile wanderings often masking deep insecurities. A child of privilege, she grew up in near poverty; she longed for love, but consistently focused on the wrong men. This is a brilliant and balanced biography — filled with sheikhs, diplomats, nomad warriors and chieftains, generals, would be lovers, and luminaries. Author Jane Geniesse digs beneath the mythology to uncover a complex, quixotic, and controversial woman.”

http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=17-9780375757464-1

I’ve gotta read that book—sounds like the story of my Life… 


 :D :D :D



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Beppo on December 16, 2007, 06:44:49 PM
[
Thanks for that link!

Ditto!


People often think that in Nazi Germany that while the Third Reich was busy making Lebensraum by invading enemy nations(in other words like the Bush administration is doing) that it wasn't economically harming its own "Aryan" population.  I had hoped to point that out and clarify that with my planned Reading/Discussion of -- Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass.

How much did you pick up on that in the opening chapters describing his home life before he ever witnessed violence against civilian populations either on the front or at home?  I am curious if it is as obvious to readers in a younger generation than myself who recall the end of the Depression "at home 'sacrifices' or economies " among the German-American "lower-middle class"; and that was before the veterans of the Wehrmacht arrived in our neighborhood POW camps  to be absorbed into our population.

Apologies madupont - I hadn't noticed this post before now. I recall something but I'll need to check out the book again and get back to you...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on December 17, 2007, 11:23:13 AM
donot -

I was sincerely worried when I didn't see your posts for a couple of weeks (or anyway it seemed you weren't posting) recently.  Almost wrote you last week to see if you're okay.

You're right about the fact that the nonfiction forum has never been able to attract a large number of people who hold the same interest, plus the fact that it leans toward politically-charged books, which I'm not that fond of.  If you think about it, it's way too broad a topic:  nonfiction can encompass history, political science, psychology, self-help, biography, philosophy, and what-have-you.  I've joined in a couple of the readings we did while I was on the NYT forums, and I have to confess that I didn't enjoy any of the books selected at all. 

Don't stop posting! 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on December 17, 2007, 11:54:51 AM
Not to worry, Des, I was waylaid by not being smart enough to get my DSL with AT&T Yahoo up and running (from dial up where I'd been).  Computer guts everywhere.  My 35 yr old grandson (the one who still plays video games and plays drums and guitar to some sort of thingy going on on the TV screen.  Chrissy, his 3 1/2 yr old daughter--my great grandchild--thinks he's pretty neat  :) ) figured out the problem.  My, already in there, ethernet capability was disabled.  While he was at it, using some no-longer-in-use stuff he's got out the wazoo, he slipped in two "speed sticks" and boosted me from 200 to 333 Mhtz. Whoa, big horse.  Talk about fly like the wind . . . .

Anyway, when I got back, whew the junk e-mail . . . computer  housekeeping was a nightmare there for a while.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: elportenito1 on December 25, 2007, 09:05:16 AM
Probably madupont and florianopolis' arguments keep the public away from this room.

We all need an ego, but for some it would be good to have a hangar to keep it at night as well.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: liquidsilver on December 26, 2007, 10:56:36 AM
Just started reading "Under the Banner of Heaven" - about Mormonism and Mormon Fundamentalism.  Might make a good read with the upcoming primaries involving Romney


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 11:44:09 AM
It sure was/is. If I can locate them, will post a link to you for the coverage it was originally given in NYRB.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:08:34 PM
Volume 52, Number 18 · November 17, 2005
Angel in America
By Larry McMurtry
Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
by Richard Lyman Bushman
Knopf, 740 pp., $35.00

OTHER BOOKS DRAWN ON FOR THIS ESSAY

No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith
by Fawn M. Brodie
Vintage (second edition, revised and enlarged), 576 pp., $18.00 (paper)

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
by Jon Krakauer
Doubleday, 372 pp., $26.00; $14.95 (paper)

Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism
by Richard L. Bushman
University of Illinois Press,272 pp., $29.95; $16.95 (paper)

Reconsidering No Man Knows My History: Fawn M. Brodie and Joseph Smith in Retrospect
edited by Newell G. Bringhurst
Utah State University Press, 192 pp., $19.95 (paper)

1.
"I, Nephi...," the first words of the Book of Mormon—to some twelve million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, a holy book—reminds me of a similarly brisk summons to attention: "Call me Ishmael," the famous first words of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. In the Book of Mormon, the biblical Ishmael, son of Abraham, soon appears and helps the questing Nephi out of a spot of trouble with the locals—just the kind of trouble, with just the same kind of locals, that real Mormons, in the 1830s and 1840s, constantly found themselves in.

Joseph Smith, who, at age twenty-three, dictated (or, if you prefer, translated) the Book of Mormon to his wife, Emma, and other willing scribes, went on to make many famous utterances, of which the following is perhaps the best known:

You don't know me; you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it; I shall never undertake it. I don't blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself.
Those famous words are from a funeral sermon delivered by Joseph Smith—who had by then become the Mormon Prophet—to an audience of ten thousand people in the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, on April 7, 1844. The historian Fawn M. Brodie quotes them in the first paragraph of No Man Knows My History, her controversial biography of Joseph Smith, first published in 1945.[1] Richard Lyman Bushman, a believing Mormon and an assured historian, quotes a shorter version of the same claim to unknowability from an entry in Joseph Smith's journal, made on the same day, April 7, 1844.

About three weeks later (April 27, 1844), Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were gunned down by vigilantes in their jail cells in Carthage, Illinois, where they were held mainly for being Mormons. Joseph had intended to flee across the nearby Mississippi River into the west, but Hyrum thought they might be able to work things out with the local militia in Illinois. The Prophet, who seldom welcomed advice from anyone, took some from his brother, although he knew it probably meant death, producing yet another enigma in a life that was rich in enigma.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To be continued...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:09:48 PM
continuation:
Perhaps in 1844 no man did know Joseph Smith's history, but since then at least eighteen biographers and commentators of various weights in their hundreds have probed that history.

Whether anyone ever knew his heart is harder to judge. Certainly Emma, his devoted and intelligent wife, believed she did until, after sticking by him through much hardship, the Prophet hurt her terribly by proclaiming and practicing plural marriage. He insisted (what prophet wouldn't?) that his plural marriages were neither adulterous nor bigamous. He, the Prophet Joseph Smith, was directly ordered by God to take to wife certain women, even though (as was often the case) the woman was already married to another man.

Emma Smith hated this. She threw out a couple of wives, held her tongue in public, and even bore Joseph a final son, born some months after the Prophet's death. But when, some years later, Emma remarried, it was not to a Mormon.

How many of these ordered-by-God wives Joseph Smith married is constantly being recalibrated. Fawn Brodie, in an appendix to No Man Knows My History, lists forty-eight wives, many of which have since been discounted. In the book's second edition (1971) she suggests that the number may be as high as eighty-four. Professor Bushman considers that extravagant. He thinks a modest count of between twenty-eight and thirty-three is more like it. To a bachelor such as myself, that still seems like quite a lot of wives.

In 1946 Fawn Brodie was excommunicated for heresy from the Mormon Church. Richard Bushman suggests that she was on her way out of Mormonism when she published No Man Knows My History. This may be true; but both her father and her uncle held high positions in the church, so her exit was probably not all that easy. On the day she was to have faced her judges she went, instead, to a hospital and gave birth to a son.

2.
It is given to very few men to found a successful religion. Joseph Smith was one who did. I had just unpacked Professor Bushman's large book and was staring at it dubiously when—as if by special arrangement with the US mails—two nice Mormon missionaries knocked on my door. Was there anyone in the neighborhood who might need help? they asked. In a world thick with sinners I hardly knew where to point them.

The Mormon missionary project is global; their genealogical research center, ably described by Alex Shoumatoff in The Mountain of Names,[2] is unrivaled in the world; their inter-mountain empire flourishes; and their capital, Salt Lake City, is beautifully laid out. (Both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, his successor, were excellent city planners.)

There are areas of darkness in Mormonism, of course. The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, in which Mormons were implicated in the slaughter of 120 passengers of a wagon train in southwestern Utah, and in its cover-up, is a bloody, terrible story.[3] The power of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona is horrifying, producing, among many tragedies, the plight of the "lost boys"—teenage males expelled from the community and usually just taken away and dumped in small groups on the highway, thereby making more teenage females available to the elders of the faith. The fate of the teenage females is, of course, the other half of the tragedy. There the hard-core polygamists are still in command; see Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, a recent and vivid account of life in that barren place. The Mormon Church denies all connection to the FLDS, although it was Joseph Smith, its first prophet, who made plural marriage a part of doctrine.

Once, long ago, I dined in the fine restaurant atop the Hotel Utah. Beyond the spires of the Tabernacle I saw the sun setting over the Great Salt Lake. At the table next to mine, in a wheelchair, sat an obviously dying capo, rolling his bread into little balls and dipping them in a bowl of milk, while two dark-suited goodfellas took his hoarse instruction.

The world's great faiths all have their areas of darkness. Benedict XVI could no doubt tell us about some. But how do we get from young Joseph Smith, a poor, nearly illiterate New England farm boy, to the faith that now has some twelve million members—a faith that, improbably, his confusing teachings made?

tbc...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:11:08 PM
continuation:
The Smiths were Yankee farmers, trying to wrest a living out of the stony Vermont soil; when this proved to be impossible they moved to more promising acreage near Manchester, New York, in the western part of the state, where they did but little better.

In his mid-teens Joseph Smith became morbidly depressed by the evident sinfulness of mankind. The religious world of the early nineteenth century, filled as it was by nearly innumerable sects, cults, communes, schismatics, and weird preachers of every description, was clearly losing ground to sin. Fortunately, when he was about fifteen years old, Joseph Smith was given help by the best helper of all, God:

And the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness. And while in the attitude of calling upon the Lord in the 16th year of my age a pillar of light above the brightness of the sun at noon day came down from above and rested upon me, and I was filled with the spirit of God, and the Lord opened the heavens upon me, and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying, "Joseph my son, thy sins are forgiven thee. Go thy way, walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments...."
Later, Joseph remembered that Jesus Christ, too, had happened to appear with his Father. In time Joseph Smith came to believe that he was the direct mouthpiece of God. In his years as leader of the Mormon Church he often claimed to receive revelations directly from God. He sometimes described himself as the "revelator."

Welcome as God's help was, Joseph Smith still had a living to get—he was also still a teenager and might have wanted a bit of fun now and then; and it just so happened that one of the most fun things to do in his part of the country was to search for buried treasure. The Mormons very much didn't want their first prophet to have been a mere treasure-hunter, even though, in that time and place, virtually everyone tried their hand at treasure-hunting. Here's what the august New Encyclopedia of the American West has to say about the matter:

During the early 1820s, Joseph Smith and his father also engaged in folk-magic practices that were common among Americans of var-ious social and educational backgrounds during that time. This included using a divining rod as a means of mystical revelation and various implements of the treasure-quest: seer stones ("peep" stones), ...parchments ("lamans") inscribed with magic incantations....[4]
This seems harmless enough, but young Joseph was soon to leave mere treasure-hunting behind. On September 21, 1823, an angel appeared to him; the angel wore "robes of most exquisite whiteness" and introduced himself as Moroni; he was the son of Mormon, a hero figure in the Book of Mormon. The angel informed Joseph that he had been chosen to translate a holy book written on golden plates; the book was about some of the earlier inhabitants of the continent, i.e., the Native Americans possibly?

The angel took Joseph several times to a hill now called Cumorah. (Professor Bushman says the hill Cumorah is just off the road between Palmyra and Canandaigua, New York.) In time Joseph was shown the tablets; the angel made it clear that the Lord expected Joseph to get busy and translate them.

tbc...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:12:28 PM
continuation:

Somehow, by about 1827, these plates, covered with diverse and curious characters, were transported to the Smith household, where they seem to have been kept either in a box or under the table or plunked on the table and covered with a cloth. Joseph Smith was very loath to let anyone, including his wife, Emma, see the plates. Nearly a dozen men, some of them Joseph's scribes, claimed to have seen the plates, but their claims inspire no confidence. It's not really clear that anyone except Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni really saw the plates, if there were plates—a big if.

The principal scribes who took Joseph's dictation were Emma Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris; what occurred at the Smith table was surely one of the most peculiar acts of translation in the annals of language. Joseph Smith, let us remember, had at most two years of schooling. His wife Emma considered him something of an ignoramus; he could not, she admitted, write a coherent letter. The figures on the plates, according to a linguist named Charles Anthon, then of Columbia College, contained traces of Egyptian, Chaldean, Assyriac, Greek, and Arabic, with perhaps a figure or two from the Mayan zodiac. Anthon, of course, was not allowed to see the plates, only copies of the various characters supplied by Joseph Smith. When informed by Martin Harris that an angel had revealed the plates, Anthon tore up the description he had prepared. (More recently, Harold Bloom, too, balked at the angel, though a survey taken this very month in a Mormon charter school in Tucson, Arizona, finds that 80 percent of the high school students happily believe that angels are somewhere about.)

Joseph Smith possessed two seer stories or peep stones (crystals?), Urim and Thummin; these he placed in his hat, which sat on the table in front of him. Peering through these peep stones (and the hat) he poured out rapid dictation, welding most of the languages of the ancient world into a quasi-biblical English. By this odd method the Book of Mormon got written—not the least of its problems is that the locution "And it came to pass," with variants, is used more than a thousand times, giving the whole text a stuttery feel. Was the young prophet channeling, à la Shirley MacLaine and Guru Ma, or was he pouring out fiction at the speed of Jack Kerouac?


tbc...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:14:09 PM
continuation:

The history of early Mormonism clearly has two phases, the Establishing phase and the Exodus phase. In the former, it is when we come to the rather baroque business of the golden plates and their translation that the fact that Professor Bushman is a believing Mormon becomes a shoe that begins to pinch a little. This is the second of his books to deal with early Mormonism—the first, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, was published in 1984. What is difficult to determine is where biography ends and apologetics begins. Where does this scrupulous scholar stand on the main points, which he knows must seem incredible to most readers? Does he believe in the angel? Does he think the golden plates were real? Does he read the Book of Mormon as literature or as revelation? At one point he says, "Incredible as the plates are, hunting for deception can be a distraction."

A distraction? The golden plates? Surely their existence and Joseph Smith's ability to translate them must be one of the central elements of Mormon belief. Either Joseph Smith was the mouthpiece of God or he was just a clever young man who babbled out a kind of trance-written novel.

Fawn Brodie does take a clear stand on this issue: she reads the Book of Mormon as a work of literature:

Scholars of American literary history have remained persistently uninterested in the Book of Mormon. Their indifference is the more surprising since the book is one of the earliest examples of frontier fiction, the first long Yankee narrative that owes nothing to English literary fashions. Except for the borrowings from the King James Bible, its sources are absolutely American.
And, again,

The book can best be explained, not by Joseph's ignorance nor by his delusions, but by his responsiveness to the provincial opinions of his time.
She then quotes from a smart contemporary review by Alexander Campbell, founder of the Disciples of Christ:

This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his Book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decided all the great controversies:—infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement,...and even the question of free masonry, republican government and the rights of man.... But he is better skilled in the controversies in New York than in the geography or history of Judea. He makes John baptize in the village of Bethabara and says Jesus was born in Jerusalem.
There is in fact a distinct genre very popular in the nineteenth century into which the Book of Mormon fits perfectly, and this is the Utopian or lost race novel. The lost races described in these weird books may be under the sea (Atlantis) or in the Arctic or anywhere. A bookseller I know spent some decades researching and locating these books. The collection, now for sale, numbers some 1,650 books, as dotty an array of fiction as could be imagined. Many of them are written in the same quasi-biblical language of the Book of Mormon, the lost race in this case being, most authorities think, the Native American peoples.

tbc...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:15:42 PM
Not all mysteries concerning the Book of Mormon have been solved. The first 116 pages of the translation were hard going for the scribes, but were finally done. Martin Harris took the precious manuscript home, only to have it disappear, a huge calamity. Very probably his wife Lucy, who despised Joseph Smith and was openly scornful of the whole enterprise, simply destroyed them. To what extent these lost pages were reconstituted is hard to say, but the beginning of the Book of Mormon, as it now stands, reads effectively.

But when it came to the golden tablets Joseph Smith proved quick on his feet. Once the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, he merely told the many supplicants who showed up hoping to see the wondrous tablets that the angel came back and took the plates to heaven—which explains why there are no golden tablets in the great vault in Salt Lake City.

Soon after the publication of the Book of Mormon, the church itself was organized, though harmony among the elders was not always achieved. Oliver Cowdery and one or two others saw no reason why they shouldn't receive small revelations themselves. The Prophet quickly scotched this errant notion: that was just not how Mormonism worked. He was the revelator—all commandments from God came through him, the Prophet and the Prophet only.

3.
It's possible that, at first, Joseph Smith didn't take his own prattle about an angel all that seriously; but, hey! people not only believed it, they lapped it up. The ability to be convinced by one's own statements is probably essential to prophets, and Joseph Smith had this ability. Very soon he had a congregation to think about—an expanding congregation to boot—but the awkward fact was that the people of western New York didn't like these Mormons. Once suspicions of plural marriage began to leak out they liked them even less.

Joseph moved to Kirtland, Ohio, where he built his first temple, though he already had his sights set on Missouri; but the unfortunate fact was that Missourians absolutely hated the Mormons who began to show up in their midst. They beat them, whipped them, shot them, and burned them out of whatever settlements they tried to develop. They were seen, in Fawn Brodie's words, as "land-hungry communistic millenarians...." Many pioneer settlers were just as land-hungry—the problem was that, in many cases, the locals and the Mormons were hungry for the same land.

Joseph Smith moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, and started building a second temple, which he did not live to see completed. It had by then become quite evident that the Mississippi Valley was not going to become the Zion he had hoped it would be. Violent anti-Mormon raids occurred up and down the river, culminating in the one in Nauvoo that cost the Prophet his life.

Fortunately for Mormonism, Smith's successor, Brigham Young, was a strong and energetic leader—he fathered fifty-seven children on twenty wives—who saw that there was no future for the Mormons in the Midwest as it then was. In 1846 he began to take his people across the prairies to the valley of the Great Salt Lake, which became, under his energetic leadership, the kingdom of Deseret, or the Promised Land. Deseret was to be the name of a vast intermountain Mormon-controlled state, but the US government wasn't buying this notion and it did not come to pass.

Professor Bushman deals ably and fully with the approach to the Exodus. Scholarship has added much detail to what Fawn Brodie had available, and Bushman gives the story a fair and smooth telling. Nonetheless, the establishing part of the story is the stronger. Many wars of religion have been fought, some not dissimilar to what the Mormons experienced in their westward travels.

But the story of Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni, and the golden tablets, through the conversions of Time itself, mutated out of religion into folklore. It was certainly not Joseph Smith's intention to become a folk hero, and yet he has done so. How many twenty-three-year-olds with no education can peer through two rocks and a hat and pour out a tale that founds a faith?

Notes
[1] To Mormons the passage of sixty years has not made the book any less outrageous, since it suggests that their prophet was a fraud.

[2] The Mountain of Names: A History of the Human Family (Simon and Schuster, 1985).

[3] Caroline Fraser contributed a powerful study of Mountain Meadows in these pages ("The Mormon Murder Case," November 21, 2002) and I myself have written about it, in a book that will appear later this year.

[4] The New Encyclopedia of the American West, edited by Howard R. Lamar (Yale University Press, 1998), p. 1059

tbc...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:16:49 PM
Volume 53, Number 5 · March 23, 2006
'Angel in America'
By Larry McMurtry
In response to Angel in America (November 17, 2005)

To the Editors:

In my recent review of Professor Richard Bushman's new biography of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith ["Angel in America," NYR, November 17, 2005] I made two errors: I confused the biblical Ishmael with another Ishmael who didn't show up until 600 BC; and I also confused the Mormon Tabernacle, in Salt Lake City, with the Mormon Temple, same place.

I also probably should have made it clear that the dying capo who was dipping his bread in milk was not a Mormon elder: he was simply a mobster, plying his trade in Mormon country.

But I resent and reject the charge, leveled by some readers, that I didn't really read Professor Bushman's biography: I read every word of it and I found it admirable, if bland and rather cautious.

If you sift through all the commentary the review provoked, the root charge seems to be that I say too much good about Fawn Brodie (No Man Knows My History) and not enough good about Professor Bushman. That charge is true—I do. She's the better writer by far. Professor Bushman has a lot more information but a lot less kick, and kick was what was needed in the case of Mormonism. Fawn Brodie's book is still the single best book about Mormonism. She saw the fraud at the heart of Mormonism and she describes it. Professor Bushman pitty-pats around it.

I have recently published a book, Oh What a Slaughter, which contains a long chapter on the Mountain Meadows Massacre; Mormon leaders have been lying about this massacre for 150 years and are still lying, a fact that was exposed more than half a century ago by the brave Mormon scholar Juanita Brooks.
  • Should the Mormon leadership ever work up to admitting the truth about Mountain Meadows, then Mormonism might be considered an ethical faith: but not before.

Larry McMurtry
Tucson, Arizona

Notes
  • Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre (Stanford University Press, 1950).


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:26:43 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Meadows-Massacre-Juanita-Brooks/dp/0806123184/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198689837&sr=1-1

This is the book cited in McMurtry's letter to the editors. You will find readers' reviews when you scroll down to the bottom of the amazon site copy.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 26, 2007, 12:31:43 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Oh-What-Slaughter-Massacres-1846-1890/dp/074325077X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198690039&sr=1-1

Not yet out in paperback but this site contains review remarks on the chapter for the Mountain Meadows Massacre, by McMurtry


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on December 26, 2007, 12:54:19 PM
Just started reading "Under the Banner of Heaven" - about Mormonism and Mormon Fundamentalism.  Might make a good read with the upcoming primaries involving Romney
That is the most horrifyingly fascinating book I've ever read, liquid.  I highly recommend it. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: pugetopolis on December 26, 2007, 09:42:40 PM
Just started reading "Under the Banner of Heaven" -
about Mormonism and Mormon Fundamentalism. 
Might make a good read with the upcoming
primaries involving Romney

Krakauer asks: "if Ron Lafferty were deemed mentally ill because he obeyed the voice of God, isn't everyone who believes in God and seeks guidance through prayer mentally ill as well?" [p. 297] Given the nature of, and motive for, the murders of Brenda Lafferty and her child, should Ron Lafferty be considered mentally ill? If so, should all others who "talk to God" or receive revelations—a central tenant of Mormonism—also be considered mentally ill? What would the legal ramifications be of such a shift in thought?



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on December 27, 2007, 07:21:56 PM
 Please submit your questions, comments, and policy suggestions for Governor Romney via our website, http://www.mittromney.com/CommentForm.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Team Mitt

[this is one of those "Out of Office" memos; no pun intended. It was received when  along with other Working Assets mail listees, I asked if he was going to support  the limitation of tailpipe emissions.  America is lagging in this behind the other countries of the world who attended  a conference on the environment. They are going for improvements in a number of categories before the end of 2008  where there have been serious pollutions and damage to the environment by industria nations and therefore were critical of Mr.Bush opting to do better by 2020.

This particular concern was however in the hands of Mr.Cheney the Energy Czar who would like things to remain pretty much the same as it has since he came into office.]

However, I posted now because if you want to ask Mr. Romney what he thinks about the legal ramifications of that particular outcome of a central tenet of Mormonism, here now is the opportunity.

We already know that Ron Lafferty is mentally ill; he committed the murders of a woman and child. This was  the condition which also existed when Mormons felt justified in massacre of arriving pioneers headed in their direction; the motive for the killings was the desire not to share the opportunity of homesteading, with others who would thereby lessen the Mormon advantages of having been there first. Or, in another words, the very same attribute for which Mormons have been otherwise praised for being go-getters and therefore would assuredly get ahead.

Something tells me that Lafferty was lucky not to have gone to trial in Texas.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: caclark on January 03, 2008, 12:33:18 PM
Long before Joseph Smith came along, Moses had a stimulating conversation with a burning bush, the prophet Mohammed heard bells clanging in the middle of the night, and Jesus went into the wilderness on a forty day fast before announcing to listeners that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Strange things seem to happen to people who spend too much time alone out in the desert. Maybe that was also true on the edge of the American frontier in the Jacksonian America from which Mormonism emerged in the 1830s.

"Should the Mormon leadership ever work up to admitting the truth about Mountain Meadows, then Mormonism might be considered an ethical faith: but not before."  – Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry was doing well up to that point when he let his guard down just long enough to allow his anti-Mormon bias to show. By his standard, Judaism can’t be considered an ethical faith until it owns up to the slaughter of 32,000 Midianites by Moses and Joshua’s conquest of the land of Canaan in which entire cities were conquered and every living thing put to the sword.

The prophet Mohammed too had more than a little blood on his hands when he climbed into the saddle and rode up into heaven on the back of his horse.

Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling is the book I am reading now. I’m about half-way through it and so far it hasn’t read like an apologetic for Mormonism even though Bushman himself is a practicing Mormon.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on January 03, 2008, 02:15:19 PM
It is relative isn't it? Three examples given took place millenia ago with the possible exception of the Islamic Prophet. The foundation of Mormonism takes place within the short span since the founding of the Nation during a phase when territories could be designated eventually as States, so it is a example more relevant to the practice of Democracy than are the other samples with the noted exception of Jesus whose message does seem to promote democracy; and I almost hate to say that because of the current Fundamentalist record on the misuse in practice.

The event that we are talking about, in terms of violent prevention of competing pioneer arrivals, indicates instead how misguided,territorial imperative, deluded about the approval of the Divine plan, commits murder in its own interests not in accord with any Mosaic Law or Christian doctrine(and from experience in the past with people who live in newly confounded European communities of various cultures clashing with the arrival of large masses of Muslim, I shall leave any further comment as a side issue which raises other topics at the juncture we are today).

I found while reading Kevin Phillips,American Theocracy (Viking Press) more than a year and a half ago, while carefully outlining the growth rate of the Mormon community and its effect  upon politics by outnumbering other political constituents at the time raises some interesting points because they are a religious community which has put an extremely high value upon something that they are very good at doing,succeeding in Business and making it flourish for their community needs; but it does prefer to support the Corporate administration of Government as it stands at present in the US.   I quite frankly do not.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on January 18, 2008, 03:43:40 PM
harrie -

Regarding Richard III, I think reading Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower before the Hicks book is a good idea because it helps with the basics Hicks presumes his readers know.

I know the Edwards are confusing:  Edward the IV was a Yorkist usurper, and then there's his son, Edward V who was never coronated since his Uncle Rich decided to kill him.  To add to the confusion, there was a Lancastrian heir to the throne at the time, also named Edward, who was the son of Henry VI, the king Edward IV stole the throne from, with the help of Warwick the Kingmaker, also named Richard.

I started reading Hicks' Warwick the Kingmaker while I was reading Richard III.  Talk about confusing!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: harrie on January 19, 2008, 12:25:54 AM
 
Quote
Edward the IV was a Yorkist usurper, and then there's his son, Edward V who was never coronated since his Uncle Rich decided to kill him.  To add to the confusion, there was a Lancastrian heir to the throne at the time, also named Edward, who was the son of Henry VI, the king Edward IV stole the throne from, with the help of Warwick the Kingmaker, also named Richard

Hold on, let me get out the organizational chart....I just happen to have a book store gift card burning a hole in the old pocket, so I may pick up the Weir book in the next couple of days.  Thanks for the tip.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on January 19, 2008, 12:17:31 PM
Weir's The Wars of the Roses is also outstanding and gives you lots of basics about both the Lancastrians and the Yorkists.

Take your time - I have plenty to read.  I like to stroll through books at a leisurely pace and I get sidetracked occasionally.  Got a long weekend so I plan to do some catching up on my reading and housework.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on February 20, 2008, 02:02:33 PM
For any of you who want to jump ahead, I just posted Movies with the opening of: The Other Sister.   the Boleyn Sisters, adapted from Philippa Gregory. There is a video that I could not hear as clearly and is rushed in clips but it gives you a fair idea of how they "play" this movie. The reviewers refer to it as old fashioned Hollywood costume "picture".


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 01, 2008, 12:14:51 AM
Did anyone check out The Tudors on Showtime this last weekend?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 10, 2008, 12:34:30 PM
Until recently, I thought Jon Krakauer was a guy who wrote books and did PBS documentaries about mountain climbing.  I just read him for the first time, his Into the Wild, and was impressed by his writing and by his sheer doggedness in tracking down just about everyone who was involved with the footloose young man who ends up dead by starvation on the edge of Denali park.   One of those books of which it may be accurately said, I couldn't put it down.   

In a way, I detest McCandless for his hubris, his spoiled rich kid roots, and his basic lack of common sense respect for nature -- in some ways, he shows the same lack of humility as the people who think humans can do anything they want with the earth and go out and despoil and damage it in massive projects arrogantly undertaken in the name of Progress and Profit.  But the book helps me to also find qualities of character in McCandless that makes me think I would have liked him in spite of myself.  I can almost imagine him a little older, a little more common sense and humility, heading out into the Alaskan bush with proper gear, heavier rations, a real game rifle (instead of the pea-shooter he had), some USGS quad maps, some flares, a field medic kit and all the other things you need to be somewhere where nature would gladly kill you in a minute. 

By the end, I'm left wondering if such an alternate scenario was in the cards for McCandless --  for all of Krakauer's suggestions that he wasn't suicidal, I have to wonder if some kind of death wish wasn't running his brain.  We'll never know, but the book offers much to think about, not just about this particular tragedy, but about what goes on with young men and those periods that some go through of iconoclasm and rage and mad restlessness.                 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: Donotremove on April 10, 2008, 03:57:46 PM
Thoughtful post, Barton.  Didn't Krakhauer also write The Perfect Storm?  I've got it here somehwere.  Can't find it right now.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nytempsperdu on April 11, 2008, 12:09:23 AM
The Perfect Storm--book, was by Sebastian Junger.

A question: Into the Wild book was a C'mas present as yet unread & movie has just come on On Demand.  Any recommendations re which, or which first?  TIA if so.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 11, 2008, 07:56:18 AM
   

  nytempsperdu ~~

It's a good, quick read so, as I've generally discovered (with a few exceptions for me, in particular --The English Patient  -- which I loved -- yet was disappointed with the film) more enjoyment seeing character(s) fleshed out after experiencing/reading the "original".

Although, the movie is so equal to the original with "Wild" it would be hard to be disappointed either way...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: ponderosa on April 11, 2008, 09:05:31 AM
... movie has just come on On Demand.

Is On Demand HBO? I rented the DVD and the extra disc has some interesting interviews.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 11, 2008, 10:01:11 AM
I love Jon Krakauer's work.  (And btw, barton, great you were able to get a thread started in this forum!  I've tried and failed, due mostly to my somewhat arcane interests.)  Anyway, Into the Wild is wonderful, but Krakauer's crowning achievement, IMHO, is Under the Banner of Heaven, about the Morman Fundamentalist sect that has been in the news so much lately.  It was written when Warren Jeffs' father, Rulon "Uncle Rulon" Jeff was chief prophet of the sect, or whatever they call them.  I've read it twice.  It's a grisly story of the murder of a woman and her baby because one of these nuts thought he had been instructed by God to kill them.  It also features an in-depth biography of the Church of the LDS and the Mormon fundamentalist sect.  A well-written, bizarre, well written saga.

I felt much the same way you did after reading Into the Wild, barton.  I really just didn't know what to think of this rich kid who squandered his expensive education at Emory to basically become a bum. I understand the urge to explore the world around you, but his mindset was really beyond me.  He felt it was being "lazy" NOT to lead life like that - shows you his thinking was a bit skewed at best, and I remember wondering what on earth got into him with that trip to Alaska, too.

WHY would someone want to live like that, half starving to death and having to scrounge and work yourself to death just to get something to eat?  Must be a man thing?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 11, 2008, 10:58:11 AM
I understand the scrounge and struggle in the wild part -- it might be a guy thing, you're right.   I relied on pack rations and fishing, which in my experience is the most reliable source of protein in most of the western U.S. wilds.  Fishing tackle is light weight and there's nothing to jam or be damaged by moisture, and the catch is much easier to turn into dinner.  The main consideration -- and I suspect a lot of people will tell you this -- is warm dry socks and boots.  In the book, when Jim Gallien (who played himself in the film) drops Chris at the Denali trail and he has no waterproof boots, that's when I really knew he was out of his mind.   The boots that Gallien loans him are two sizes too big, which would mean Blister City, but they probably saved him from a much earlier demise.

   


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 11, 2008, 11:10:10 AM
I was also (more ranting)

horrified when, in the film based on the book,  McCandless shot and then tried to dress a moose, clearly in the middle of Alaskan summer, and tries to save the meat from fly eggs by burying it in peat moss.  Any goddamn idiot (getting into the tone of the irate letters to "Outdoor" magazine, in which the original Krakauer piece ran) knows that when you have that quantity of meat you have to hang it up over a smoky fire right away.  You put three poles together to form a tripod and then hang quarters of meat from that over your smoke-fire.   The summer bugs in that kind of muskeg area are such that most other methods are futile.  And game is rare in low-lying areas anyway, because the mosquitos are so bad that most game animals tend to wander onto uplands where the winds keep them off.  If he'd stuck with fishing, he might have made it.   


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 11, 2008, 11:22:48 AM



Was it hubris or naivete?   Unfortunately, an acquaintance*, a sweet, intelligent, extremely fit at the time, Derek Tinkham had a tragic end that though more abrupt was not too dissimilar...

*He and I were lifeguards together for a short time...

He simply felt he could handle just about anything...


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 11, 2008, 11:40:33 AM
I've kinda been wanting to see the film.  Sounds like they did a fair job.

Kids that age are awfully stupid (even though they have a good mind) sometimes - I know I was, and I didn't listen to anyone, either.

barton - interesting that you went "Into the Wild" - were you a very young man when you did this?  Did you just wander about or what?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 11, 2008, 11:42:01 AM
kit -

People tried continuously to tell this kid that going to Alaska without the proper equipment (which he did anyway) would surely kill him. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 11, 2008, 11:43:40 AM
Also, I thought the way he treated his family was reprehensible.  I was alienated from my family at his age, but I would never have put them through the torture of not hearing from me for months on end, let alone just setting off for parts unknown - they would have had a stroke.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 11, 2008, 01:36:34 PM
"barton - interesting that you went "Into the Wild" - were you a very young man when you did this?  Did you just wander about or what?"

Yes, a little ways into a barren area of canyons and rock formations in NW Nebraska.  Hiked around.  I don't like freezing my ass off (at 5/10 and 140 lb. that's easy to do -- laws of physics and all), so this and other jaunts were in the summer.  Which means careful attention to the water situation.  The western third of Nebraska is mostly semi-desert, i.e. traditional western landscape. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 12, 2008, 10:05:15 AM
kitinkaboodle
   

  nytempsperdu ~~

It's a good, quick read so, as I've generally discovered (with a few exceptions for me, in particular --The English Patient  -- which I loved -- yet was disappointed with the film) more enjoyment seeing character(s) fleshed out after experiencing/reading the "original".

Although, the movie is so equal to the original with "Wild" it would be hard to be disappointed either way...


I completely disagree about Ondaatje  vs. Minghella's,(or maybe, I should have said Sol Zantz') The English Patient.

Since Minghella just died, I can hardly fault him for the beauty of his film, an extraordinarily complete film on what was in reality happening in North Africa, with brilliant character studies, lovely people to look at, and perhaps should not say that about Raf Fiennes, whose acting I really love , because it put him into experimenting with regalia such as Laurence Olivier used to do--to put himself in the appropriate mood. Once Fiennes had disguised himself, in this way, conforming to the necessities of the plot, danged if he didn't show up in a Harry Potter film just to overdo it!


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 12, 2008, 10:35:44 AM
Part two of the disagreement -

But, on the strength of this beautiful movie, I dashed to my local library two blocks down the street at the time the film came out, and took out a copy of  Ondaatje's original, The English Patient.  What a mind blower that was. Big Film, little book. I patiently read it but in truth it is just the suggestion of the movie it came to be; not that Ondaatje should mind  how beautifully it turned out, particularly for him. But they were two entirely different stories.

Spoiler alert
TEP is a tiny book whose story is told from the point of view of the Canadian nurse, whose character is played extremely well by Juliet Binoche.  The capper is that Sikh sapper who comes to a different conclusion than the sweet person we see on screen. In the book, he is finished with Explosives and Englishmen or Anglo-Saxon WASPs in general because as his war ends, Kim discovers The Bomb has just been dropped -- on Asians.

ALERT Off, again.

So unless you bought a paperback released to accompany the film release; we may be talking about two different horses of another color film.

Ondaatje is hard to read.  I had read his poetry.  He is a case-hardened realist. I have not yet read his Anil's Ghost and I would have loved to have access to the discussion that took place in the  Book Forums of The New York Times but when the tsunami hit that was but the first blow of a spiteful "staffer" removing me from the premises.  You see, Ondaatje is "another Obama" in this world, with the exception that being half Dutch East Indian in Sri Lanka, he drinks. It was the method in Ceylon of dealing with being given half-caste status, which is the story of many of the characters in The English Patient. Where the British go, they bring their customs with them to be adopted by their seconds.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 13, 2008, 09:20:19 AM
   

  Disagreement?  Not necessarily...

Loved the book -- did not totally dislike the film at all -- but disappointed?  Yes.   How could a film capture the element of mystery that Ondaatje so poetically creates with his uniquely stylistic use of language, exquisite pacing, hauntingly melancholic imagery?  The novel is one of discovery, on many levels -- nearly impossible to capture on film.

Cinematically Minghella's take was beautiful (and not untrue to the book) and out of practicality the focus on Fiennes and KS Thomas story was necessary to create something worth watching at all. Not sure how anything else would have succeeded, but I'd love to see it attempted again.

The film and book compose a wonderful complement together, but if I had to choose one over the other to lose myself in the desert with  I'll take the book.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 13, 2008, 01:19:21 PM
There are few movies I despise, but The English Patient is one of them.  If the book is dissimilar to the film, that would be a point in its favor for me.  Perhaps I'll read it and report back here.  I usually prefer the book version of anything because it allows me to direct and cast my own movie and select the running time that's perfect for me.  And books always respect the bladder.  And that's important.





Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 14, 2008, 10:17:21 AM
barton -

Watched Into the Wild this weekend - I noticed that McCandless was trying to smoke the moose UNDERNEATH the peat moss - there was a little smoke coming out of the hole through the peat moss.  The movie was REALLY slow-paced.

All that stuff about his family had me shouting throughout the movie - "The book doesn't say anything about physical abuse or the bastard thing!"  Then I noticed an acknowledgement in the credit role thanking the McCandless family for their courage in helping to make the film, so I'm thinking they must have fessed up to their family's dirty laundry, which I can't imagine.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 14, 2008, 10:21:11 AM
I really hated The English Patient, too.   

Schindler's List is the only book I can ever recall disliking compared to the movie - the book is insufferably boring.

Anyone read A Beautiful Mind or maybe doing a group reading of it?  The book is amazing - I like to re-read it occasionally.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 14, 2008, 11:09:13 AM
Des -- yeah, the whole abuse thing in the movie surprised me, too.  In the book, McC's reasons for hating his dad seemed kind of insufficient, and Krakauer notes that Chris has this thing about not getting past the usual parental hypocrisy (i.e. he's kind of stuck in adolescence).  But the film changes the picture (npi) and makes more sense of his familial break.

Haven't read ABM.  I will have to calculate the advantage vs. disadvantage of reading it, using a second order differential equation.




   


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 14, 2008, 12:22:23 PM
As a "science" guy, barton, I can almost guarantee you'd love it.  VERY intriguing and much better than the movie.  Lot of stuff about math and schizophrenia!  ;D


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 14, 2008, 02:46:22 PM
Just out of curiosity, Des and Barton, what in particular did you dislike about the film? Whatever it was, I'd chalk up to Sol the producer who is known for his more eccentric indeed pornographic moments.

And, yet, on the other hand, I find nothing admirable but the end of the short little book The English Patient. (Not to give the wrong impression,for it is the end that differs entirely from the film and gives you another affirmation of Kim the very pleasant Sikh who just the same does on occasion in the film voice some anti-British convictions.) The rest of the book also differs entirely from the film and there is none of  "his uniquely stylistic use of language, exquisite pacing, hauntingly melancholic imagery?  The novel is one of discovery, on many levels ...".

Yes, you discover that it is the story of one person, a nurse living in Canada who had several strange experiences during the liberation of Italy, not much of what is actually indicated much less with uniquely stylist use of language, exquisite pacing, hauntingly melancholic imagery which is highly notable in the film.  But then, even Ondaatje's poetry has something missing. He is too emotional to get the emotion on to the page because he becomes incapacitated  rather than bring it up.

Hauntingly melancholic imagery abounds in Minghella's film(he also did the screenwriting). The opening sequence of the desert as seen from above from an aeroplane compares to the landscape of a woman's body; I later found a review on exactly that topic when discussing this film, again with the oft mentioned German archivist, because he could answer questions about the actual ongoing war, Rommel's Afrika Korps which was taking place in a different geographic area, which is why the activities of Fiennes' character were so remarkable.  Of course, here we are in a forum talking about fiction when the forum is non-fiction. Ondaatje is writing a fiction about at least one non-fictional character.{correction: at least three, the Claytons are real. Possibly one of the spies that Almasy took across enemy lines, portrayed by Willem Defoe. And there's that nurse, whom I suspect was someone he knew, admired, and on whom he developed a crush.]

It was Dzimas who reminded me that Herodatus is the book that Almasy took into the desert --http://lazarus.elte.hu/~zoltorok/almasy/almasyen.htm

Count Lazlo Almasy not only discovered the Cave of the Swimmers as depicted in the film but after years of North African exploration descended into the Sudan.

A more thorough account of his actual pursuits is given at wikipedia but I can't readily quote that without being berated for it at least a year, so I took a pass but I think you would enjoy the details about his real explorations which account for another scene of great imagery where his car with him and Mrs Clayton beginning to get buried alive in one kind of sandstorm while Almasy accounts all the different terms locally used.

I seem to recall his going into this again in a hotel bath which he shares with Mrs. Clayton and sings romantically; at which she asks if it is something native to the area,very "Oriental"?, and he laughs and said his Hungarian nursemaid sang it to him as a lullaby.

Her tragic death is again the melancholic scene on film, in which he carries her from the crashed plane, puts her into the cave, and then leaves on foot to get help.  In actuality, Mrs. Clayton died in the crash.

Take notice, Donotremove:
there are lots of book recommendations* given at both sites(mentioned)as to his African explorations, including the discovering of the Nubian tribe whom he conjectured were descended from the Hungarian mercenaries of a former Turkic sultan.

Other than that he sold Porsches to rich Egyptian princes.

Since it is a known that Mr. Clayton fired Almasy, perhaps the Fiennes character actually did have an affair with Mrs. Clayton?

The interesting thing is that would account for the writing-in of an actual badly burned "the English Patient" for Ondaatje's Canadian nurse to care for in a place likely to be bombed by the Germans at any moment as they managed to wipe out just about everything civilized in the Italian landscape around Monte Cassino including the Abbey itself which was rebuilt by the Italian State after the war.

Of course the most brilliant scene is when Kim takes  the nurse to investigate the beautiful murals of a local church by using flares to illuminate them as he swings her from place to place on the ropes which reveal her absolute trust in him.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 14, 2008, 03:19:19 PM
I just found the film to be stultifyingly slow-paced and BORING, plus it was SOOOOOO depressing.  The cinematography was very nice, but it didn't make up for the excessive length of the thing - if they had cut way back on the length of the film, I suppose I could possibly liked it more. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 15, 2008, 12:15:51 PM
I find it hard to articulate what I disliked about TEP -- though Desde's first sentence is pretty close.  It just felt like self-indulgent filmmaking that somehow didn't respect the characters.  Plus I hated Fiennes in that role and his whole throwing-a-hissy-fit thing.  I feel in my bones that the author handled all that much better in the book.





Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 16, 2008, 11:03:07 AM
   

  Recently finished (quick read) Jeanette Walls The Glass Castle and back to the theme(s) re: Into the Wild I suppose it could be said that she succeeded/survived coming "out of the wild". 
  And, it's another story that is being considered (possibly already in production?) as a film...     


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 16, 2008, 11:10:27 AM
Never heard of her, kit.  More details?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 16, 2008, 11:19:43 AM
     Wells was a journalist/contributer with MSNBC -- I personally can't picture her -- but apparently she was on regularly.  Now is "just" writing, though I haven't found anything else if hers as yet.  Also, just googled to see about that "film" and it was made, but can't find much more about it....


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 16, 2008, 12:56:04 PM
Just checked the book out on Barnes and Noble's website - looks like the type of book I'd enjoy.  I loved Angela's Ashes


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on April 16, 2008, 01:52:25 PM
   There are more differences than similarities between the two -- but I don't want to spoil anything for you  -- fairly certain that you'll find it an intriguing read nonetheless.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 20, 2008, 12:04:52 PM
kitinkaboodle,

Thought I would include this example of " small poetry" by Ondaatje which showed up this morning because the publisher considers this Poetry Month.  Father/child poems are fairly the same emotion and I can't date the poem, so was this way back when he came to Canada from Sri Lanka (or, after returning? As he is now back in Canada, in these days of "serial marriage", I don't have a frame of reference, unless I take up a full onslaught review and catch up with the more recent poems of his older years. He's always been quite "grizzled" like a Ceylonese holy man(saddhu) wandering this earth. By the way, I owe you a correction, his Sikh character from TEP is named Kip and not Kim; I knew it was throw back to British Empire, by suggestion,Rudyard Kipling or his Kim.)


BEARHUG


Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I’m doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son’s room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.
Why do I give my emotion an animal’s name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks me like a magnet of blood.
How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?








Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 21, 2008, 11:32:19 AM
The following link provides some interesting information about the polygamist group in Texas (I will refer to the group as the FLDS - Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints - from now on).

http://www.slate.com/id/2189275/?GT1=38001

This article only hints at the full story behind this sect, which is graphically revealed in Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, which harrie and I plan to read and discuss in the near future over here.  If anyone else would like to join us, just holler.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to get a bit of a discussion going on the book itself in an attempt to interest more people in it, and to just talk about what's going on in Texas.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 21, 2008, 11:39:04 AM
Here's what nytempsperdu said regarding the activities in Texas in the World History forum:

Quote
Re LDS history, my abstract questions about children not being harmed certainly did not apply to those in the compound in Texas, about which I do wonder. Now that the lawbreaking men are separated from their victims, why must the victims--mothers and children--be separated from each other by the state and presumably put into foster homes?  That is a question for another forum, apologies for digressing.

Here is a brief review of Under the Banner of Heaven - this book is a great reference source for those who want to better understand what is driving the authorities in Texas:

I recently moved to Ogden, Utah and am seeking a better understanding of a culture driven by the LDS church. While this book recounts the events of a brutal double murder in southern Utah, at its heart is a story of the development of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 'LDS'. Krakauer carefully distinguishes the FLDS 'Fundamentalist' from the mainstream church. At the same time, FLDS does emerge from an LDS tradition and history. Krakauer carefully explores the history of the church from Joseph Smith, through Brigham Young, to contemporary 'prophets' to explain how FLDS grew out of a dimension of the early church, now spurned by contemporary LDS members. At times I found myself agitated by some of the tendencies of the Mormon tradition. I have always been uncomfortable with what I perceive to be an irresponsible attitude favoring prolific reproduction. I am uncomfortable with the secrecy and lack of transparency with the church. I am uncomfortable with the clear patriarchal dimensions of their practices. Still, I respect many things I find here in Utah - among the people, their treatment of others outside the church, and what can be an incredibly generous attitude toward others. Krakauer's book has helped add dimension to my understanding of and even sympathy for what is a tumultuous history.

Also recommended: 'Refuge' by Terry Tempest Williams 'Beyond the Hundredth Meridian' by Wallace Stegner


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 21, 2008, 11:39:56 AM
Also, if you go here:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Under+the+Banner+of+Heaven

You can read excerpts from the book.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 21, 2008, 11:47:17 AM
So, nytemps, I believe the rationale for separating the children from both parents is the fact that the mothers have been reared since birth to approve of such practices, so they are seen as accomplices to the sexual abuse practices the sect is accused of.  I also suspect that the children are regularly beaten as a matter of course.

It's really hard to emphasize just how docile and compliant the women in this group are, and just how ruthless the men are when it comes to marrying several women, regardless of their young age.  One thing that has not come out in the press is the fact that the FDLS sect teaches that it is MANDATORY for the men to have many wives.  In many instances, women with children have remarried men only to have the man lay claim to their teenage daughters as well - this isn't uncommon at all.  The women are pretty much captives since they assume the role of homebodies, don't get good educations, and eschew anything going on in the outside world.

I do have sympathy for the all the children who were rounded up and for the women - it seems very harsh to just round all of the kids up on a wholesale basis based on a single complaint they haven't verified yet.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 21, 2008, 01:10:50 PM
Des, another reason,

for separating the children from the mothers who continue to indoctrinate them before the whole lot are brought to hearings to give evidence.  You simply have to hear from the children without the coaching of a brain-washed parent.(which they are, as the tv documentary made obvious; they tended to get up tight when they couldn't reach for another believable explanation for why they practice polygamy as women, then they would become visibly but silently angry trying to find words: which is difficult because the older women have been living this way all of their lives. One thing the supposedly fictionalized series in good humor,Big Love, managed to point out,is that they have no place to go when they are turned out of the polygamous marriage. Thus like many other women, they have that acceptance syndrome which I think my mother usually referred to as "If Life hands you lemons, what do you do? You make lemonade." I know she was not aware of the other side of the humor to this witticism because it takes somebody like Mary Kay Place, who played the Prophet's wife and "one and only record keeper" under her  own administration in her little office as first secretary.  Fact of the matter is that if you have been taught since day one to defer to men in the family then you continue to do so; and your entire culture --"from sea to shining sea" will exhibit men institutionally taking advantage of it as "the Norm".

I view the male legal forces interviewed, as being just short of hysterical themselves, people in the common social environment who were exposed to the reality of a colorful part of their civil historic culture and, claiming to understand it, attempt to do something about it.  But, it is an outside programmer or psychiatrist's field day).

Sometime in about 2005 -2006, we discussed the play of religion in American History, for which Bob had suggested the text by Kevin Phillips titled, American Theocracy: the Perils and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century.

I started outlining it in a notebook as soon as I began to compare the population statistics in the years when the Mormon church of Latter Day Saints took an upsweep in past centuries.  Their larger proportion of population allows them to politically take over an area by the vote.

Much has been made recently off the Bush administration having set aside their original use of Fundamentalst affiliations now pooh-poohed but that is not entirely the truth. During these two terms the well-rewarded strict denominational churches as well as the Fundies have made considerable profits from kick backs, for having participated in the "faith based initiative". They now have much larger facilites as the result of the perqs received, and here in a less Roman Catholic part of  Pennsylvania they have politically got their fingers in the pie of where the chads fall. There are people in the local voting registry administration who thought this Heavenly situation would go on forever and they are freaking out in fear. You see, we still "go to Church" as our polling-place in which to vote because the Republican party made these facilities the largest best able to handle a crowd, kind of like Mary Kay Place.
(and,yes, I am looking forward to the production on HBO titled: Recount, starring Kevin Spacey,Tom Wilkinson,etc. on May 25th.)

I will see if I can locate the lengthy excerpts in these forums and, if not, will go back to the archives at NYRB; problem their policy needs to e-mail archival material.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 21, 2008, 01:36:17 PM
Interesting, maddie.

One aspect to the history of the LDS church that I found really amusing is the fact that Joseph Smith was a convicted con-artist.  In his youth, he claimed to be able to divine water - he used "peep stones" to find all kinds of things, supposedly.  You place a peep stone in your hat and then put your face, downwardly oriented, into the hat and the peep stone "shows you the way".  This is how he received the tablets from Moroni - the peep stone led him to the right place.   ::)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: barton on April 22, 2008, 10:46:15 AM
Several attempts were made with marshmallow peeps, but the diviners kept eating them while their faces were down in the hat, so they switched to pebbles.



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 22, 2008, 11:27:46 AM
LOL - isn't that bizarre, though?  Peep stone - right.  My question is, if you're walking around with your face in a hat, looking down toward the ground, how the hell do you keep from stepping into an abandoned mine shaft or something?  Oh well, there's risk in everything.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: harrie on April 22, 2008, 11:47:37 AM
I attended a Jehovah's Witness funeral and was stunned at some of the beliefs spoken of during the service.  The part that made me go "huh?" was where after the second or third round of Armageddon (IIRC, it's been a couple years), certain of the (deceased at the time) JH faithful will pop up and enjoy the cleansed earth, aka Paradise. Having been raised with no religious education, I just looked at the hubby like "People really buy this?"  Hope I didn't offend anyone, I just don't get religion in general.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 22, 2008, 12:45:06 PM
harrie,

there was something equally ridiculous in the info about Church of Latter Day Saints.  Something to do with not only was everybody going go arise and then be raptured to the above but, dig this, the Native Americans who were "displaced" by the Mormons when they settled Utah,etc. would also pop-up and massacre all the "baddies" who don't like Mormons and the sinful Mormons who are not repturing upward.

Now to me this was a dead, no pun intended give away on the topic that Desdemona will be discussing, although she is probably on the issue of the current killing because some Mormon or two "justified it" as "a just or righteous murder", this is in the modern period among our contemporaries in the US. But, the material that I'm looking for has to do with that original trek Westward, when other people began to arrive by wagon train, the Mormons took umbrage at having to share an area regionally that they felt was given to them by God, so they decked themselves out as Indians (no Boston tea-party this) in a similar situation  that was fictionalized on an earlier season of HBO's, Deadwood, where a little girl survives one of these massacres in the foothills of the Dakotas, attributed to Sioux Indians but, you got it, these were actually white men in masquerade because they had "gold in them thar hills", the basis of the story for Deadwood.

Thus, I was rather taken by a modern day explanation of a prophet in chains held by federal authorities describing what will happen on the Last Day, when the Native Americans will come forth and scalp the wicked, metaphysically or metaphorically because everybody is already dead anyway.

How do you like that story?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 22, 2008, 01:29:15 PM
desdemona222b, Reviews on Krakauer,et al from NYRB

Starts with Liquid Silver at post #198 Nonfiction forum. You are at #209. (and then we continue discussing opinions on Larry McMurty's critique until, #214 Desdemona on Alison Weir, The Princes in the Tower.
                                                                   January 18, 2008, 03:43:40 PM ).

Just click backwards on this forum to mid-page,[14]

I would have made such an annoying Librarian.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 22, 2008, 01:50:36 PM
Another little-known fact - Joseph Smith was murdered in a shoot-out.  People who weren't LDS tired of him and his peep stones and tablets, to say the least.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nytempsperdu on April 27, 2008, 05:21:43 PM
Thanks for carrying on over here re the separation issue.  I suppose I was coming at it from a point of view of the psychological effects of the sudden dislocation of children from both parents at once to have them go into foster homes with strangers, likely with little or no understanding of their way of life or needs or resources to cope with same. Then, too, I don't know what the foster care system in TX is like, but in CA some of those children would be in greater danger of actual physical or sexual abuse in foster care than if left with their mothers, however indoctrinated.  Maybe the intense media scrutiny will help safeguard them.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: bosox18d on April 28, 2008, 01:27:34 AM
I grew up in Rochester and Palmyra, NY where Joesph Smith found the tablets is a wee bit east of Rochester.In July there is a  Hill Cumorah show that is quite spectacular on the early days of Joesph Smith and finding the tablets on the hill.It runs for a few weeks.At one time you just pulled your car up like a drive in but I'm pretty sure that's changed.In high school we went a few times and with some good weed the light show was awesome.It was really big show and it's gotten a lot bigger.That whole area east and south of Rochester through the finger lakes was part of the burned over district where many odd religions,sects and utopias came and went during that period.Nearby Seneca Falls was also a hotbed of the early Women's Rights movement.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 28, 2008, 12:07:28 PM
Thanks for carrying on over here re the separation issue.  I suppose I was coming at it from a point of view of the psychological effects of the sudden dislocation of children from both parents at once to have them go into foster homes with strangers, likely with little or no understanding of their way of life or needs or resources to cope with same. Then, too, I don't know what the foster care system in TX is like, but in CA some of those children would be in greater danger of actual physical or sexual abuse in foster care than if left with their mothers, however indoctrinated.  Maybe the intense media scrutiny will help safeguard them.

I have very mixed feeling about what they did in Texas, too, nyt.  Very mixed feelings.  I can't see just taking all the children away on a wholesale basis based on one call or a few pregnant teens.  It's hard to fathom what the kids are going through, let alone their mothers, who I view as victims, too.  They're never known any other life.  I did read the other day that the authorities are being very careful about placing the children in foster facilities where they will not be required to dress differently and they will be in facilities that do not care for any other children.  The classic temporary fix, I wonder what will ultimately happen to them.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 28, 2008, 12:08:30 PM
I grew up in Rochester and Palmyra, NY where Joesph Smith found the tablets is a wee bit east of Rochester.In July there is a  Hill Cumorah show that is quite spectacular on the early days of Joesph Smith and finding the tablets on the hill.It runs for a few weeks.At one time you just pulled your car up like a drive in but I'm pretty sure that's changed.In high school we went a few times and with some good weed the light show was awesome.It was really big show and it's gotten a lot bigger.That whole area east and south of Rochester through the finger lakes was part of the burned over district where many odd religions,sects and utopias came and went during that period.Nearby Seneca Falls was also a hotbed of the early Women's Rights movement.

Doubt they were looking to please the local stoners, bosox, but I whole-heartedly approve.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 28, 2008, 02:33:18 PM
Are you familiar with the character in Austria who fathered six children by his daughter; and the neighbors never thought anything odd was taking place as those were his grandchildren. (two of whom never got to leave the cellar)

Perhaps, he was reading Nietzsche?

It is in most of the news media over the weekend.

" It's hard to fathom what the kids are going through, let alone their mothers, who I view as victims, too.  They're never known any other life. "  This is of course exactly why they are being put in foster care because, if the mothers have never known any other life, how are they going to explain correctly to the children what is taking place, separate from the gobbledygook all have been taught is "Religion" repeated by which ever prophet designates himself.

If they are not in separate custody, the mothers can tell them just about anything as well and the situation will never be corrected starting from the point when testimony has to be given in court -- by then they will all be brainwashed as ever; and the half-dozen ever how many underaged girls impregnated by god knows who will have their deliveries yet ahead of them the hard way.  One can have a fairly "easy" that is "quick" labor and still expect delivery with spinal anesthesia and episiotomy; or in some facilities for the cut-rate effect, guaranteed C-section because it is cost effective. As wards of the state, if they had met the "accepted" Religious code of the State, then they'd have "no problem". Being a teen-age mother is no snap. Ask their mothers.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 28, 2008, 04:08:16 PM
Just read about that, madupont.  Just as I was thinking I had heard it all when it comes to the depths of depravity a person can reach. 


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on April 29, 2008, 03:06:13 PM
desdemona222b

It does get worse, here's the headlines today:

http://news.aol.com/story/_a/31-of-53-sect-girls-have-been-pregnant/20080428171009990001


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nytempsperdu on April 29, 2008, 09:29:58 PM
Quote
It's hard to fathom what the kids are going through, let alone their mothers, who I view as victims, too

Absolutely, desdemona.  I did hear one interview on NPR with a man who runs an emergency shelter where about 20 kids were taken.  He said shelter workers were mostly involved with caring for them as with any kids taken in during an emergency.  It seems the emphasis is more on observing, trying to establish rapport in low-key activities (get out the art materials) than any kind of questioning, etc.  When they ask about their parents, they are told the parents are glad they are in a good place until they can see them again.  (I was a little queasy about this, but don't really know what alternative is better.) I feel for them and for the mothers--it seems law enforcement types can't see themselves as other than rescuers.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on April 30, 2008, 03:24:33 PM
There's also the issue of the caller, who they believe was not a member of the sect, but some woman who has mental health issues.  Apparently the state is trying to say that's irrelevant at this point because so many of the women and girls in the cult got pregnant while they were minors.  Now they're saying lots of the kids have had broken bones.  I'm wondering if they've spotted spiral fractures in their arms and that sort of thing.

Not much has been made in the past about disciplinary practices in the FLDS, but you have to wonder.  Also read this morning that the mothers had instructed the kids not to answer any questions and the moms themselves were uncooperative.

Really difficult to decide what I think of the whole mess.  One thing for sure, this will be in the courts for a long time, I think.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on May 13, 2008, 10:20:29 AM
kit -

I picked up The Glass Castle yesterday and started it last night.  Great memoir.  Wow.  Hard to imagine growing up like that.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: kitinkaboodle on May 13, 2008, 12:05:42 PM
   


  Glad that you're finding it a good read!  Having shared it with a number of buds who found it quite the story, one friend who found it just a bit much  -- but she's a really harsh critic -- plus her own childhood (probably) would make an equally interesting story.... ::)


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on May 13, 2008, 01:36:44 PM
Well you were completely right about how skillfully written it is - it's so hard to write a memoir about something that awful without sounding self-pitying or judgemental.  I was hooked by the time I had read the first page - my gosh, her parents!  And I thought Frank McCourt's were bad!



Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: nytempsperdu on May 17, 2008, 02:56:38 PM
Was it in here that the "rescue" of the kids in the FLDS compound in TX was being discussed?  I saw in the paper this a.m. that some of the rescued "kids" are really adults (one is 22!) but the law enf. guys were fooled by their no-makeup healthy young looks and demure dress.  HEE.  Not so "hee" is the fact that some of their birth certificates, driver's licenses and even SSNs were not accepted as proof of their age!!! (Sometimes there's just no talking to a stubborn sheriiff's deputy...)


Title: Re: VINDICATION!
Post by: nytempsperdu on May 23, 2008, 12:10:21 AM
Glad to see the court thought about the issue as I did: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/22/AR2008052200548.html?hpid=topnews


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: desdemona222b on May 23, 2008, 09:53:46 AM
I knew you'd be over here to talk about that, nytemps.  I knew the authorities in Texas were overstepping their bounds as well, rounding all those kids up wholesale like a bunch of cattle and placing them in foster care.  I used to be a social worker, so I knew they had no authority to take the children away without going to court first.

Now I'm waiting for the law suits to roll in.  Sheesh - what an ordeal for these people.  Wonder when they're going to let these people have their kids back?


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on May 23, 2008, 01:56:16 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/23/us/23raid.html?th&emc=th
Court Says Texas Illegally Seized Sect's Children
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
The ruling said that the state had failed to show immediate
danger of abuse.


Title: Re: VINDICATION!
Post by: madupont on May 23, 2008, 02:20:39 PM
Glad to see the court thought about the issue as I did: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/22/AR2008052200548.html?hpid=topnews


I love this term, though: "wrongdoers"

"It could be that you have wrongdoers somewhere in there. But the thing you have to do is identify them," he said. [Lawyer]

Wonder where he got that expression? Is it local usage?  Now, if only Bush before going into Iraq had identified the precise "wrongdoers", since the first sentence sounds so much like something he said at the time, it might not have cost us as much in the long run as the oil is going to cost us now. Not to mention that the innocents, we were going to save from the "wrongdoers"  by allowing them a vote for democracy, would still be alive today.

I ran into an interesting blog poll last night with posters complaining of  how the higher cost to them is all the airlines fault. I think that I read all 160 of their posts because none of them got the political connections of why they intended to stop flying.  There were about three posters who advised we would be returning to and have a lifestyle, much like Yearning for Zion, unless we allowed ourselves to be destroyed living in cities without transportation, where we would slowly go hungry as the cost of living kept up with the cost of of oil. They thought the government was going to take care of all this for them.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: madupont on May 23, 2008, 02:31:25 PM
Ps. numerous examples of airline service closing, also nytimes.com, told me of a sad fact. The runway extensions that were made for corporate jets, that were done recently in time for Pres.Bush to arrive  more quickly from Washington,D.C, than a campaign bus, for the season leading up to the 2004 elections, will stop service by Sept.30th. in Lancaster, where the bagmen came down from Harrisburg to attend Sunday services at the Mega-chuches to collect Pennsylvania Republican fund-raising contributions from the people "who cling to religion" along with their guns and pictures of them having shots of whiskey with Hillary.


Title: Re: Nonfiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on April 11, 2018, 11:29:41 PM
Princess Charlotte Casiraghi helped to write a book on Philosophy, I want to read the book...

https://www.hellomonaco.com/news/charlotte-casiraghi-publishes-philosophy-book-with-robert-maggiori/

Salute,

Tony V.


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================================
Novelty Alabama ID Novelty Alaska ID Novelty Alberta ID Novelty Arizona ID Novelty Arkansas ID Novelty Australian Capital ID Novelty British Columbia ID Novelty California ID Novelty Colorado ID Novelty Connecticut ID Novelty Delaware ID Novelty Florida ID Novelty Georgia ID Novelty Hawaii ID Novelty Queensland ID Novelty Rhode Island ID


Title: Buy fake diplomatic UK passports online/USA false id card for sell/Brazilian real passport order
Post by: LotbrockG on April 16, 2018, 06:04:39 AM
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents.
We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like:
USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full.
 
To get the additional information and place the order just visit our website:
 
 
 
http://www.buysellfakepassport.cc www. buysellfakepassport.cc
 
 
>> Contact e-mails:
 
 
General support: [email protected]
 
 
Technical support: [email protected]
 
 
-----------------------------
Keywords:
 
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================================
Novelty Alabama ID Novelty Alaska ID Novelty Alberta ID Novelty Arizona ID Novelty Arkansas ID Novelty Australian Capital ID Novelty British Columbia ID Novelty California ID Novelty Colorado ID Novelty Connecticut ID Novelty Delaware ID Novelty Florida ID Novelty Georgia ID Novelty Hawaii ID Novelty Queensland ID Novelty Rhode Island ID


Title: Buy fake diplomatic UK passports online/USA false id card for sell/Brazilian real passport order
Post by: LotbrockG on April 16, 2018, 06:05:59 AM
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents.
We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like:
USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full.
 
To get the additional information and place the order just visit our website:
 
 
 
http://www.buysellfakepassport.cc www. buysellfakepassport.cc
 
 
>> Contact e-mails:
 
 
General support: [email protected]
 
 
Technical support: [email protected]
 
 
-----------------------------
Keywords:
 
sale false/fake passports of Afghanistan
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================================
Novelty Alabama ID Novelty Alaska ID Novelty Alberta ID Novelty Arizona ID Novelty Arkansas ID Novelty Australian Capital ID Novelty British Columbia ID Novelty California ID Novelty Colorado ID Novelty Connecticut ID Novelty Delaware ID Novelty Florida ID Novelty Georgia ID Novelty Hawaii ID Novelty Queensland ID Novelty Rhode Island ID


Title: Buy fake diplomatic UK passports online/USA false id card for sell/Brazilian real passport order
Post by: GoromW on April 16, 2018, 08:50:32 AM
Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents.
We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like:
USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full.
 
To get the additional information and place the order just visit our website:
 
 
 
http://www.buysellfakepassport.cc www. buysellfakepassport.cc
 
 
>> Contact e-mails:
 
 
General support: [email protected]
 
 
Technical support: [email protected]
 
 
-----------------------------
Keywords:
 
sale false/fake passports of Afghanistan
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================================
Novelty Alabama ID Novelty Alaska ID Novelty Alberta ID Novelty Arizona ID Novelty Arkansas ID Novelty Australian Capital ID Novelty British Columbia ID Novelty California ID Novelty Colorado ID Novelty Connecticut ID Novelty Delaware ID Novelty Florida ID Novelty Georgia ID Novelty Hawaii ID Novelty Queensland ID Novelty Rhode Island ID