I bought my copy of THE H WORD on Amazon, I gave one to my gynecologist, and I'm telling my local library to get it. This is a must-read, people!
why were slaves used i dont understand it at all i looked it up so many times but i still dont know the answer
i love Jan Beatty...she is my idol. i love you, Jan!
First encountered Wallace in "Supposedly Fun . . . ". Agree about the sometimes interesting but finally tiresome use of footnotes. Longed to have them simmered down and added to main narrative. That's a talent all on its own. Perhaps he is just that much younger than I to have never encountered footnotes listed at the bottom of the page rather than at end of article. So I don't get that this is in any way like simultaneous thoughts. Since we really can only think of one thing at a time, I think what seem to be concurrent thoughts are extremely brief punctuations on a main line of doing or thinking. Wallace's footnotes go on way too long, to me, to mimic real life intrusive bursts of thought or action. But then, I guess I have been reared on realist thinking!
But otherwise, when Wallace is not too enamored of his (now I sadly see his obsession with) neurosis his analysis and portrayal of episodes in American life are breathtaking! Crisp, fluid, cutting to the chase.
I was stunned to hear about his suicide. After reading all of his works I could, I did feel like I knew him. I too, am a midwesterner, and he pretty much got our portrayal down to our sardonic wit, those of us who "got" college educated! By the way, he is from Champaign-Urbana, another world within the Illinois world, just as Chicago is one apart. He is indeed, just what my farmer father would call "a city boy". Wallace would have loved meeting him, just as did another Urbana -Springfield born "city boy", my brother-in-law, Kevin.
Illinois is a unending, sometimes wearying, source of stories to its expats. Like the author of the "Yearling" said of a rural southern cross roads, "So much happens here!" (And she ment it!)
Wish I could write about it even one iota as involved and involving as Wallace.
The truth about those awful years and a natural mom's suffering is finally brought to light. The horrible degradation of young woman and the loss of our children plagued us throughout our lives.
Thankfully, I found my son when he was 43 years old and was horrified to realize the emotional pain I lived with until then. Finding him was like taking the weight of the world off of my shoulders, I would finally be able to die in peace. Those lost years can never be recovered, but he is back in my life now, I am so lucky.
I do believe that I should have raised him and that both of our lives would have been better; there are scars. Please forward my note to Ann Fessler. I look forward to viewing her film
Mom of Joel
Open adoption is not more humane. In many countries it is not legal for Prospective Adoptive Parents to meet with young mothers-to-be--to get to know and "befriend" the young vulnerable pregnant woman...Why? Because it is recognized that such "open adoption" practices are by their very nature coercive. "Getting to know" the PAPs or having them present at the birth understandably make it far more difficult for the young vulnerable mother to change her mind and choose to parent her child. She may be afraid to disappoint and "hurt" the PAPs. She may believe she "owes" them her child.
Pray tell, how are such common open adoption practices more humane?
Also, in most states open adoption agreements are not legally binding. The surrendering mother has no rights and if the adoptive parents decide "it is in the best interest of "their" child and their family' they can choose to sever contact and leave the natural mother with no recourse, and no contact--just the bitter taste of broken promises. Legally there are no repercussions for the adoptive parents: they hold all the power.
Fessler has done a good job researching the Baby Scoop Era. Perhaps she should expand her research and start talking to mothers from the post Roe v Wade era where "open" adoption has become so fashionable
I experienced the loss of my only baby in '82. Luckily, the maternity homes were in decline at that time, otherwise my judgemental mother would have gladly had me shipped off.
But the rest of my experience was the same...no option for parenting, told I had to give the baby up, forget about it, move on, the family had been shamed.
I never got over it, never will. It is impossible to lose a child (no matter how the loss occurs) and simply "get over it." What kind of cruel system would even suggest such a thing?
And beware of so-called open adoptions, the loss is the same and they are not legally enforceble. The mother may very quickly find herself in an old-fashioned closed adoption.
My "baby", my only child, was torn from my womb and given away to strangers, due to lies, coercion and shame placed on me by Society, my Doctor, the Social Workers. I was not allowed by my Doctor or the Nursing staff to see or hold my Daughter.
We had a wonderful reunion in Holland when my Daughter was 29! The Adopter became jealous and insecure with my Daughter and I's new relationship so she made up stories and lies to cause us to have problems with trust.
My life since my Daughter was born has been a roller coaster of depression, 2 failed marriages and too scarred to have other children.
The only ones that gained were the greedy, heartless, manipulative Adopters who did not give it a minute of thought that my Daughter and I were tragically wounded by their covetness! The Social Worker is happily receiving her Pension and the Doctor is wringing his hands wondering where he shall retire in luxury! My Daughter and I were the losers; then, now and forever!
Joyce, Reunited Mother of Darlene, 1993
Seldom is it "right for the Mother"It is always a great loss to the Mother and her child to be separated from each other.Imagine being afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing and risking the contact being closed by the adoptive parents. The agreements are seldom ever legally binding..Open adoption is a ploy to intice single mothers into believing they will always have some contact with their child.It wasn't that long ago that three Mothers (that I know of) commited suicide when they woke up and realized they had been lied to about open adoption.Open adoption happened due to the adoption industry needing more healthy infants for their paying clients.No longer could they count on Mothers feeling shamed and sent away to the "homes for unwed Mothers".I am one of those "girls who went away" and although some things have improved I worry about lies and promises being made to my young sisters.Our government wants to take away choices so that the only "choice" will be illegal abortion or adoption.In truth they want it to go back to "those good ole days". that frankly was mainly good for wealthy white Men. A good Mother will sacrifice herself for her child ,however, a good Mother will not sacrifice her child.What was not told to us Mothers was that our child would miss us as much as we missed them. And that was just wrong of the those who profited from our pain.
You can interact with Friedman via The Ch 18 Project at his site - he's aksing readers for ideas on the forthcoming expanded edition of Hot, Flat, and Crowded.
Forty one years ago, I met my father for the first time. I was 15 years old. I never met this man before. After our introductions, he told me about what he does. He said he analyzes handwriting, and can take fingerprints. He said he could tell a lot about a person from their penmanship. I was skeptical, as my mother warned me that my father often exaggerated. I wrote a sentence and signed my name on a piece of paper. He looked at the writing for a few minutes, then asked me to come with him. We were going to take a little ride. While we drove around, he told me everything he saw in my hand writing. I was stunned, shocked, and quite amazed at his accuracy. He saw things in my hand writing that no one knew about. He told me things that I thought were my deepest secrets. You wouldn't think a 15 year old could have deep dark secrets, but in the 1960's I sure enough did.
Years later, I bring my wife to meet my father. He analyzed her hand writing, and came up with something that he would only tell her. I left the room, and when I returned, my wife's face was pale, and she had the most shocked look on her face. To this day, I don't know what he told her, but she was utterly amazed that he could know this 'thing' about her.
My father did some work with both Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County Police. He too helped the police solve crimes, and gave investigators a heads up on the character of the suspect.
I don't mean to give a testimonial to graphology. While you may not believe graphology has any merit, you should consider the results. Graphologist have demonstrated many times over that graphology should not be dismissed as a pseudo-science, or some parlor game.
L. Frank Edder
What's amazing about Chabon's adventures as a writer is the multiple routes he's taken. Even in creating fictional hoaxes as in http://www.nplusonemag.com/?q=revenge-regressive-avant-garde there's a note of playful brilliance. And now he's created a site where he writes a story everyday under a different identity: http://fastfictions.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/im-michael-chabon/ Chabon has a writing schedule of ten to four everyday so perhaps his prolific nature should come as no surprise.
I think this is important poetry in so far as it moves away from confessions and nostalgia, explores speech in subtle and unexpected ways, opening a new way of looking at common things within our culture. I am impressed by the comments of the reviewer also, a person who obviously feels poetry.
I appreciate Mr. Garte's polite response to my review. But while he courteously agrees that I stated his views accurately in myreview, I must say that he somewhat misrepresents mine. No doubt this is due at least in part to both my owner writerly shortcomings and to the effort to review a 300-page book in 1,000 words. But three points stick out.
One, it misrepresents my view (as well as history) to say that collapse "follows" technological regression or population loss. (Garte: " ... we know that periods of retrenchment, both in loss of population, and reversal of technological progress, has always led to societal collapse and human misery.") In fact, as Jared Diamond showed so eloquently in his 2006 book "Collapse," it's the other way around: Techo-regression and population loss are the result, not the cause of, societal collapse (which as Diamond shows -- most pertinently, for our purposes here -- often has a large, even determining, component of man-made environmental destruction.)
Second, Garte acknowledges in his response here that: "Everything is all connected, as you state." But a subsequent statement of his leaves some doubt as to how well he understands this point: "I care less for the planet itself, than I do for the welfare of the humans who live in it." One working definition of modern civilization might be: the power to destroy in excess of the power to comprehend what we're destroying. Many, if not most activities of the affluent contemporary human plunder the planet in ways it is impossible for us to immediately perceive. While we might consider these things instrumental to our "welfare," they nonetheless abuse the planet faster than it can heal -- which can't be to the benefit our long-term welfare. My point about Mr. Garte (the one he somewhat misleadingly paraphrases as "I [i.e., Garte] care less for the planet itself, than I do for the welfare of the humans who live in it") was that in his book, Garte considers "environmental health" only in terms of human well-being. It eludes me how you can tote up human health separately from the health of the non-human ecosystems on which we ultimately depend.
Lastly, I don't think that human activity need be "evil." Most of what we do is, undeniably, unsustainable (though I can't find where my review ascribed a moral component to our activities, other than framing them as foolish and ultimately self-destructive). But I do think that whatever future we have subsists in efforts to work with and mimic nature, rather than attempts to conquer it.
I woke up this morning to Bekeley's KPFA's Morning Show and heard Devra Davis interviewed. She struck me as extremely informed, intelligent and experienced... I want to read her book! What stood out for me was the brief info she shared about cell phones and the microwaves that can penetrate into the brain 2 inches. I use a cell phone daily, probably for 2 hours a day, and for the past few months I've been getting headaches, which are rare for me. I noticed the right side of my head, the side I hold my cell phone, has gotten "thicker" around my temple area, and all along the side. Nothing visually obvious, but I can feel it. So, I went to the doctor at Kaiser Permanente and she ordered a CT Scan... which is an xray -- more radiation! I told her I'd rather get an MRI (magnetic not radioactive,) and she dismissed my concerns saying they like to start with this and if anything shows up they order an MRI. So I got a CT Scan last week and called for the results today. The same doc said something showed up in the frontal lobe on the right side, that she doesn't know exactly what it is, other than an area of "hypo-density". She asked if I'd ever had a head injury, but I haven't. So, she oredered an MRI... to be continued...
I believe that thought and intention influence and even control matter, so I'm already working on visualizing my brain healing. Funny thing is, this is the first time in my 48 years that I was a little bit "happy" that I might start getting more attention! I'm ashamed to admit that, but what's underneath is my need for love! For the past ten years I've been a divorced single mom raising two girls, my youngest was born with developmental delays, (Fragile X Syndrome,) and all my love and attention has been poured out to them. They're good girls and really love me, but my eldest has moved out and I'm home with my special needs daughter... a whole different dynamic! This is getting really long... I'd better start journaling!
Anyway, I do look forward to being informed so that I can apply my thoughts, intentions and energy to healing...
I want to thank you for your review of my book, Where We Stand: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet. You and your readers might indeed be surprised at my thanking you for a review that was quite unfavorable to the book. I will explain. First of all, I think your review was fair and comprehensive, and portrayed the major themes of my book with great accuracy. Your frequent use of quotes from the book were not distorted in any way, and I think give the reader a pretty good idea of where I stand.
The fact is that on most of the factual issues, we are in agreement. Our differences lie in emphasis, and most importantly in our world views. As you correctly state, I do believe that through technology and science we can solve the problems we create for ourselves, as we continue our progress toward a better life for all humanity. The evidence of this progress is presented in the book, and is clear to anyone who has read (or lived through) enough history. Your world view, it appears from your review, is that only a regression away from a consumption and technology based society, with a rising population and standard of living will save the planet. I see this as a fallacious argument for exactly the reason you raise. Everything is all connected, as you state. And we know that periods of retrenchment, both in loss of population, and reversal of technological progress, has always led to societal collapse and human misery. And as you correctly state, I care less for the planet itself, than I do for the welfare of the humans who live in it. I make this quite clear in the book, and I am fully aware that many people do not share this view.
I am not trying to change your mind. World views are deeply held, fundamental beliefs, and in fact, I would not recommend my book to readers who adamantly share your world view. But for those who might have a more optimistic attitude or at least a less strongly held belief in the ultimate evil of human activity, the book may have considerable interest.
Again thank you for the review, and all the best for the holiday season.
I remember Storeyville's inception in the Ardmore Apts on Clay Street - what memories.
Hit me up!
If you ever do a vanity search and read this- I'd like you to know that your painting "my third grade halloween costume" hangs above my fireplace. I bought it from you when we were 17/18 years old. I thought it was amazing then and I still think its amazing. Glad to read your story.
Dear Sam Hazo,
Have you heard them in California still whining about Katrina? Unseemly, at best; probably criminal; certainly damning.
I hope you are back. If you still are not, keep writing about us left here to listen to their excuses.
Remember Neruda's The Poet's Obligation?
I take issue with "In the Garden of Love" being "self-indulgent and badly in need of pruning." But that's just me. I wrote it. Reviewers and readers don't look for exactly the same things. I write for readers.
I would like to make one correction. Compressionism is not "devoid of exposition." Exposition certainly has an important part to play in the stories I write. It's simply a small part while it usually plays a much larger part in the fiction of most writers.
But all in all I thought Mr. O'Driscoll's review was very insightful and even handed. I'm still learning my craft. Now I have to go on a beer run and get back to work. Go Panthers! Go Steelers!
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