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review
Graywacke
No Name in the Street | James Baldwin
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Pickpick

While not Baldwin‘s best essay collection(see The Fire Next Time), this is a favorite for me. It‘s melancholy, an end of an era book. Baldwin writes about the assassinated (Medgar Evers, MLK, Malcom X), the incarcerated (Huey Newton, etc), and about his failed attempt to make a movie on Malcolm X (his script was the basis of the 1990‘s movie). By 1971 the beaded hippie era has faded, and their failure reflects in other American failures.

👇👇

Graywacke Baldwin had met and spoken with all these lost heroes of the Civil Right era and sees it all as a failure and as both a national and personal loss. America is still sick and in denial. Trump would not surprise him. It‘s a slow, single essay mulling on this, with an intense and powerful conclusion. Glad to have read it. (edited) 7h
BarbaraBB Great review. Well spoken. (edited) 3h
Graywacke @BarbaraBB thanks, b. ☺️ 3h
43 likes3 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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Starting and immediately into this - a 1973 translation by Mark Musa.

“...she turned her eyes to where I was standing faint-hearted and, with that indescribable graciousness for which she is rewarded in the eternal life, she greeted me so miraculously that I seemed at that moment to behold the entire range of possible bliss. ... I became so ecstatic that, like a drunken man, I turned away from everyone ...”

readordierachel Wow. That packs quite a punch. 3h
Graywacke @readordierachel yeah. I was expecting boring, but it has a lot of energy in the text, a lot going on in the few pages I‘ve read. 3h
35 likes2 comments
blurb
Graywacke
A Lost Lady | Willa Cather
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A little prompt for our upcoming #catherbuddyread ... and an actual schedule. (I‘ll post another reminder next week.)

November 9 - Part 1 : 1-5
November 16 - Part 1 : 6-9 & Part 2 : 1-3
November 23 - Part 2 : 4-9

@Lcsmcat @CarolynM @batsy @jewright @crazeedi @Tanisha_A @Caterina @Louise

Lcsmcat Yay! I‘ve missed our Cather discussions. 15h
batsy Thanks! Can't wait. 14h
See All 7 Comments
Tamra I‘m sorry to miss it! Will be reading posts though. 14h
Louise Looking forward to it! 14h
Tanisha_A Yay! 🙂 12h
CarolynM I'm all set. Looking forward to it. 49m
31 likes7 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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❤️ Houston tx - area
🧡 46
💛 interpreting salt on seismic data
💚 married
💙 him
💜 the main rock type from my master‘s thesis

#gettingtoknowyou

merelybookish Oh, born in 1973? Me too. 🙂 1d
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cathipink That sounds like a fascinating job! 1d
Tanisha_A Are you a geologist? 24h
Graywacke @cathipink the geology is really fascinating, and the geophysics. The job has its good and bad aspects, of course. 24h
Graywacke @Tanisha_A Yes, more or less. Geology-geophysics - a little of both. My degree is geology, but my life with a salary has been with geophysical companies. 24h
julesG One of my dream jobs. I'm still angry with myself for not pursuing this career. Somehow I was afraid of the physics that might come up and decided to study something totally different, I ended up getting an MA/MSc in physical chemistry and two other subjects. 23h
Graywacke @julesG that‘s really interesting. Physical chemistry sounds impressive and not a field for someone worried about physics. I don‘t have a geophysics education, so I‘m always struggling with it, intimidated by my missing fundamentals. 😬🙄 23h
julesG Strangely enough, physics is one of the most logical of the natural sciences. So, filling my educational gaps wasn't as tough as learning about organic chemistry. 22h
ValerieAndBooks My BIL has a PhD in geophysics and is a seismologist! 18h
Graywacke @julesG i like the implication that organic chemistry is not logical. I never had a class in that, just know it was all the engineers and pre-meds most challenging class. 16h
Graywacke @ValerieAndBooks 👍 that‘s cool. 16h
julesG Organic chemistry is just torture. It might be logical, but I hated those two semesters I had to spend in the lab destilling strange concoctions. 15h
62 likes14 comments
blurb
Graywacke
No Name in the Street | James Baldwin
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A little free time when work sends me to maybe not the most beautiful place in Mexico. Baldwin is mulling over the lives and meanings of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, both of whom he knew. And he‘s continuing his attacks on the the lunacy of American conservatives, the American south, Hollywood and, especially, the inauthenticity of American liberals (his main readers?). Huh - that‘s practically a review...

GingerAntics That actually sounds really interesting. I agree with all of that. 3d
Graywacke @GingerAntics Baldwin was a special and perceptive essay writer. He‘ll get you thinking. 2d
45 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Mehso-so

More Dante prep, easier reading this time. 🙂

(It‘s kind of like schmoop with illustrations)

review
Graywacke
The Tempest | William Shakespeare
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Pickpick

The way it ends, like those almost satisfying chips you just keep eating, it left me just almost and yet not and yet.

I maybe could have reviewed this if I hadn‘t read the afterward (by Bloom) which added yet more contradictory angles. There‘s just so much to think about, little 🧠 can‘t decide on a direction. The language, anyway, felt perfect. Elegant, propelling - but toward what, I don‘t know right now.

batsy I know what you mean! It's hard to write the reviews when we're not done thinking about a book yet...but I think it's a good sign where the book/work of art is concerned. (I'm thinking about Will here, and also Willa :) 7d
Graywacke @batsy. Right, definitely a good sign, expanding the little brain cells demanding them to relook at and rethink things again. Nature of art in that thought process somewhere, maybe. I‘ll have another go at working out and gathering my thoughts in this, for LT and GR. Just a mental snapshot here. 7d
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Gezemice @Graywacke I have not reviewed some of the books that most affected me. I just couldn‘t figure what to say - what can you add? Two of those are The Blind Asassin and The Sympathizer. 5d
Graywacke @Gezemice oh, reviews of my favorite books are all so inadequate. Sometimes you can only say, “I liked it and you‘ll have to read it to understand” (or, worse, “and you‘ll have to read it like I did.”) Doesn‘t exactly apply here, as this wasn‘t really an attempt. But...completely understand. ( I really liked The Blind Assassin too! ) (edited) 3d
Gezemice @Graywacke Yes! I am glad to hear you liked The Blind Assassin, too. I figure one day I re-read it and maybe I can write a review... BTW I saw you managed a very nice review, after all :) 2h
54 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
Dante: A Life in Works | Robert Hollander
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Pickpick

Not exactly fun reading, but my first look at Dante as I approach Divine Comedy, and my first look at Hollander, who edited his wife‘s, Jean Hollander, translation - the one I plan to read. Robert‘s presentation is clean, slim, thorough, balanced and documents everything. A decent readable intro, even if you don‘t follow his advice and read DC first. He covers all Dante‘s work about evenly, so only a small part is dedicated to DC.

Graywacke Two things I‘ll do because of this: 1. I might read more (but probably not all) of Dante‘s work. And 2. I‘m going to slow down my plans and set aside more time before and while reading to read about this work. 1w
Tamra As you read the Divine Comedy, I highly recommend perusing Gustav Dore‘s engravings as an accompaniment. I have a copy of the 1948 Lawrence White edition and the engravings add so much to the reading atmosphere and experience. They are remarkable pieces of art that bring the text to life. (edited) 1w
Graywacke @Tamra Doré was terrific. Noting. !! 1w
Hooked_on_books 🐶💙 1w
56 likes5 comments
quote
Graywacke
Dante: A Life in Works | Robert Hollander

“ It is Dante‘s book, and we are allowed to share it only on condition that we become his willing collaborators, not merely choosing to understand that a given narrated event is “impossible,” but learning to comprehend why the author is asking us to grant its “truthfulness.” “

——

Has me thinking specifically of Salman Rushdie‘s Quichotte, but applies to most fiction is some way.

blurb
Graywacke
The Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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Ok, started listening today. Might need to do that audio-walk thingy...

sprainedbrain Audiowalks are the best! 2w
46 likes1 comment
quote
Graywacke
The Tempest | William Shakespeare
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Ferdinand: I warrant you, sir,
The white cold virgin snow upon my heart
Abates the ardor of my liver.

Prospero: Well.

————-

(Sorry....just....”well” just kinda says it all. 😐🙂)
#shakespearereadalong

Lcsmcat That and “Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition Worthily purchased take my daughter” 😱 2w
See All 34 Comments
Graywacke @Lcsmcat prospero mightt struggle a bit in our world. 😂 Can you imagine what a teenage daughter would say to him today after that line? 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke @Lcsmcat Something among the lines of “I hate you” or “you‘re a freak” I‘d guess. Most daughters, I‘d hope, would go off on their father for something like that, but some would see it as proper. I‘m continually stunned by how backward people still are in places. 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke “You‘re not the boss of me!” 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics I like to think most daughters would disown their fathers at that point - outside the crazy sects. But... (edited) 2w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat lol @Graywacke here‘s hoping. Then again, you‘d think the mother would immediately file for divorce citing irreconcilable differences in that he tried to sell our daughter/her virginity!!! 2w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat or that 2w
batsy 😂 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics poor Miranda has no mother (or any normal person around). Wonder what changes if mom on there. 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke I was kind of wondering where her mother was. She certainly would have had a different (more stable?) life if her mother had been around. 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics i was trying to remember what we knew of her mother and finally googled it and found several articles about her missing and essentially unmentioned mother and expanding on that. (There is one line on her, as being virtuous) Interesting. 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke and we all know what that‘s code for. lol 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics There‘s that! 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics here‘s the line: PROSPERO
Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father
Was Duke of Milan; and thou his only heir
And princess no worse issued.
2w
GingerAntics A piece of virtue... like piece of property. God I wish Prospero died at the end. He‘s such a jerk! 🤦🏼‍♀️ I wonder if she died in the ship wreck that landed them on that island? 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics Ha! A piece of...I didn‘t pick up on that. Crazy morality or whatever that is. 2w
GingerAntics It does seem so odd. When did someone decide that half the population was property or that one think about them held their entire value as beings? I just don‘t get it. 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics humanity hasn‘t traditionally been very humane 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke at least not since the rise of the agrarian society. Hunter gatherers had/have their problems, but they are amazingly democratic and beautifully equal. 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics didn‘t know that. 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke neither did I. I was reading a book about education and that was a large part of it. Apparently their societies aren‘t violent. They don‘t have formal laws, but they do have group rules that everyone has voted on (including the children), and if someone acts outside of those rules they are warned and then kicked out of the group, so people generally don‘t. It happens occasionally, but a lot less than you‘d think in comparison. 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke women can be hunters. Men can be gatherers. It‘s more up to natural skills and what a person prefers as opposed to gender. The whole community raises the children so it‘s not like a mother has to stop hunting because she‘s given birth. They generally don‘t hunt while pregnant and not until they feel ready to do it again after, but if they wanted to they could. It‘s really interesting. I wish there were more books on hunter gatherers. 2w
Gezemice @GingerAntics @graywacke Sapiens talks quite a bit of hunter-gatherers, which is Harari‘s pet era. The main reason women were not property back then because there was no property. The group shared everything. They also practiced strict population control since they could only carry so many children with them. But with agriculture, they produced more food and more babies were more workers - so women got tied down raising children. 1w
Graywacke @GingerAntics forgot to get back here. Thanks for all that. Fascinating. 1w
Graywacke @Gezemice @GingerAntics maybe I should have given Sapiens a chance. I listened to 20 minutes and got frustrated with his tone. Hmm. Interesting. (edited) 1w
Gezemice @Graywacke Sapiens is good - I read it though, not listened. He is very opinionated but makes some good points and he knows his history. Thought provoking. Homo Deus on the other hand is all the opinion and zero expertise, I don‘t recommend it at all. 1w
GingerAntics @Gezemice the rise of agriculture also brought with it the great new technologies of child abuse, wife abuse, and thinking that humans are inherently bad. Education became something inflicted on children and something to be endured by children, as opposed to something done naturally and for pleasure. I‘ll take the communal living and not spending my adult life barefoot and pregnant. It‘s not perfect, but we could learn some things from them. 1w
Gezemice @GingerAntics Yeah, Harari argues the same point in Sapiens. And from the food perspective, The Omnivore‘s Dilemma kind of says the same thing. Apparently the hunter-gatherer diet is way healthier than the one sided grain diet - which was one of the advantage the healthy Mongols had over the Europeans. On the other hand, if we did not develop agriculture, we would not have had other technologies, as hunter-gatherers have no time to invent. 1w
Graywacke @Gezemice @GingerAntics I always thought it was the hunter/gatherers who had all the spare time. ?? Hmmm. 1w
GingerAntics @Graywacke they are free to take a day off when they‘re not well or whatever. In reality, I think that‘s just thinking we‘re superior to all of the people who came before us. I think over time they would have found better ways to hunt, gather and so on. Technology might be different, but people have a drive to create. I can‘t help but think it all would have happened eventually anyway, and without the social pressures it may have happened sooner. 1w
GingerAntics @Graywacke @Gezemice and probably no dark ages! I also don‘t think we would have censorship. Society as a whole is more playful and less serious all the time. Hunting was serious, yes, because people could get hurt, but once that was done for the day, they had fun. 1w
45 likes34 comments
review
Graywacke
Quichotte | Salman Rushdie
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Pickpick

My first Rushdie is his take here on Don Quixote (alternately “Quichotte”). Rushdie was having fun, creating characters who create other characters who create other characters to address Oxycontin, the Indian diaspora, American xenophobia, the American landscape and even the fabric of reality. And love, of course, along with spiritual mythology, and obsession. And it actually works. I got really into it while listening on my commutes.

Graywacke The artwork is Don Quichotte by Honoré Daumier, ~1868. And the book is my second on the Booker list. 2w
52 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Graywacke
Dante: A Life in Works | Robert Hollander
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Some prep for my upcoming attempt at The Divine Comedy.

batsy Someday soon I plan to get to Dante 🤞🏽 Also, adorable 🐶 2w
Graywacke @batsy Thanks, our pup is a cutie when she‘s not going bonkers crazy. I‘m intimidated by Dante... but it feels like it‘s time. Trying to get myself mentally ready. (edited) 2w
Texreader It‘s tough. But oh my I decided to try it in middle school. I was a crazy kid. 2w
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Graywacke @Texreader sounds like you were a cool kid. I‘m ready, I think. Collecting titles about it, pillaging my local library. 2w
Texreader @Graywacke Such a great idea. For a good “light” read you might enjoy this one: 2w
Graywacke @Texreader I‘m not a mystery reader (well, I like the idea of mysteries, just haven‘t read many). But that one - I think I‘ll have to read Dante first. 🙂 2w
44 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

I got more and more into this kind of sensitive look at a life from the Harlem streets to fame. It‘s a long slow book, and very intimate. Loneliness takes many forms.

(Picture shows Baldwin in 1968, the year the book was published.)

review
Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

The personal WWI book Cather researched and wrote and then was disappointed to see it called a WWI book. It‘s also about her Nebraska and her storytelling, here slowed down, masterfully. I really loved this one even if it‘s not her best and even if I can‘t fully capture why. #catherbuddyread

Artwork: Paul Nash, The Menin Road, 1919

Graywacke for those who want more, well, see our #catherbuddyread discussions. But also I have a review posted here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2964395296 and here https://www.librarything.com/topic/306026 (add #6931795 to the end of that). 3w
Tanisha_A It's right out annoying when books are tagged as such! 3w
batsy Lovely art and I'm not sure why, but it strikes me as Cather-esque! Perfect. Loved the longer review. It's been awhile since I've read Homer's Odyssey but I'm drawn to the fact that you pick up resonances ... and I think it's time I picked up the Iliad... 3w
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Graywacke @Tanisha_A as war books? Yes. But this IS actually a WWI book. 😂 ... It‘s many other things to. So I understand Cather‘s reaction to that degree. 3w
Graywacke @batsy Maybe the art is Cather-esque. Not exactly my thought, but obviously I thought it fit. I liked how it was beautiful and not at the same time, which parallels the mixed perspective Cather takes. And, I really like it 🙂 3w
Graywacke @batsy Thanks so much for the nice comment on my review. Homer comes in again and again. It‘s interesting to me. I‘m planning to start The Divine Comedy this month. Never read it before. But, of course, Virgil is a guide. It‘s securely on the Homeric trend. (edited) 3w
51 likes3 stack adds6 comments
review
Graywacke
The Handmaid's Tale | MARGARET. ATWOOD
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Pickpick

As I came to near the end, which I had completely forgotten, I had to wonder what Atwood would have done differently, if anything, had she known this would be such a persistently timely classic. And I wondered if she knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote it, or if she was stumbling in the dark trying to figure out how to get there. The language is seems simple, the atmosphere pervasive, and it‘s more disturbing now than when I 1st read it

GingerAntics It really is scary how timely this is now, some 30 years after it was written. I wonder these same things. Did she see the writing on the wall for her neighbours to the south, or did she think this was some wild musing that would never possibly happen? 3w
Graywacke @GingerAntics Not sure. Seems like there have always been oddball religious fundamentalists, and they‘re always misogynist, just a matter of how much power they wield. 3w
KathyWheeler @GingerAntics I remember her saying, when the book first came out that she set it in the US because it felt to her like something like that could plausibly happen here. 3w
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GingerAntics @KathyWheeler I‘ve heard that, too. I‘m still not sure she necessarily expected it to happen, though. Oddly enough, for having a separation of church and state, we‘re oddly controlled by religious fundamentalists. 3w
GingerAntics @Graywacke that is true, it just seems they have more power now than they have at any other time in my life at least. The fact some lawmakers are openly gunning to repeat Roe v Wade is terrifying. That‘s not to say that I would personally get an abortion (I know I couldn‘t mentally handle it, I don‘t think), but I would never deny another woman or harass her for getting one. 3w
KathyWheeler @GingerAntics I thought they had so much power in the 80s. It scared me. It‘s possible though that they may have more power now. 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke She has said that she put nothing in that hadn‘t happened some place at some time. And @GingerAntics while “they” have more power now than I would like, it has been much worse in my own lifetime. It‘s just noisier now. It‘s backlash, which I saw in the 80‘s too. Have you read 3w
Lcsmcat 👆🏻It pissed me off during the Regan years, but it‘s instructive. 3w
Graywacke @KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat ( @GingerAntics ) Maybe I was too young in the 1980's to pick up on that. The way things are now, the denial of reality and the proliferation of easily falsifiable stuff is really disturbing. The “pro-life“ stance of save the fetus, fuck the baby (and mother) only makes sense in that kind of world. But now I've gotten political in our Litsy safe space. 🙁 (edited) 3w
Graywacke (Small edit just above) 3w
CarolynM Your description of the "pro-life" stance would be perfect without the brackets. I hate the apparent assumption that women want to have abortions, that it is some sort of alternative to contraception. The reality is so much more complicated. 3w
GingerAntics @Graywacke that rejection of facts and reality is what scares me the most. @KathyWheeler maybe @Lcsmcat has a point that they are just more vocal now than they were in the 80s. The internet really fuels these folks up in the strangest way. I totally agree this is a backlash. Sadly, I think it‘s a backlash against women, minorities, the poor - you name it. 3w
Graywacke @CarolynM over-simplification of life to control others - that‘s a theme in the book too. (And, the denial of men‘s responsibilities... ) 3w
Graywacke @GingerAntics ( @KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat ) The Internet has become a strange thing where people find what they want to find, and blow off all contradictions as unreliable. In the 1980‘s - well, again, I was kind of young. But it was very different. We had less access to crazy, for one thing. We seemed driven a lot more by whatever the three news channels told us. 3w
GingerAntics @Graywacke I remember those days. So many fewer channels. So much less input. Way less crazy! 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @GingerAntics I‘m by no means saying that we shouldn‘t keep fighting for those who need us. Just that it‘s a three steps forward two steps back proposition. 3w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat agreed on every point. People who have been jerks toward others and are being stopped fight back and manage to get a little acceptance for their behaviours back. Then we just keep fighting and that acceptance goes away again. 3w
KathyWheeler @Graywacke @GingerAntics @Lcsmcat I think the crazy was there but it was so much less visible. What bothers me about now is that there‘s no understanding or acceptance of nuance. Everything gets oversimplified— it‘s either one thing or the other, when in reality, life is so much more complicated. I feel people understood that better back then. 3w
Graywacke @GingerAntics @Lcsmcat I find our history odd. I grew up under the myth of progress. But it‘s not exactly our history. It throws me, like deep down unsettles me, to see young racist, for example. Whereas older ones don‘t phase me much. 3w
Graywacke @KathyWheeler that‘s an interesting observation. Less acceptance of nuance. Hmm. Simplification has bothered me my entire life, from early awareness. But I couldn‘t tell you, from my own senses, whether it‘s changed in the culture around me. 3w
GingerAntics @Graywacke I‘m with you on the young racists. They‘ve grown up in a world where that‘s not acceptable, but somehow they‘ve been radicalised or radicalised themselves. It is disturbing. 3w
GingerAntics @KathyWheeler that‘s for sure. I agree with that 100%. 3w
Lcsmcat @KathyWheeler @Graywacke @GingerAntics Not to oversimplify the problem of lack of nuance (irony intended) but I think the emphasis of education towards STEM and away from the humanities has something to do with it. We aren‘t teaching kids how to think anymore, and less emphasis on literature means less empathetic people. 3w
KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat Agreed. We also, as a society, think the only good education is one that teaches you specific job skills; hence, the glorification of STEM. Arts & Humanities get devalued because, apparently, as a society, we don‘t care if you develop empathy and critical thinking skills. Science teaches some critical thinking, but I think you need a well-rounded education to learn to do it properly. 3w
Graywacke @KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat @GingerAntics as a geologist I hesitate to condemn STEM, but you have me thinking. And I 100% agree kids need more liberal arts, more literature, and more challenges to the assumptions they grow up with. 3w
Graywacke @KathyWheeler @Lcsmcat @GingerAntics @CarolynM Just want to take a moment to thank everyone for this terrific conversation. (edited) 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I‘m not condemning STEM, just the single-minded focus on it. I grew up during the space race, so I get the math science importance. But we threw out the baby with the bath water when we decided that that meant the arts and humanities were “less than.” As @KathyWheeler said, there‘s too much focus on job skills rather than life skills, and a devaluation of a rounded education. See Avenue Q‘s “What do you do with a BA in English.” 😀 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat what most bothers me is the testing obsession, and the teaching to the test. But I hadn‘t considered an overemphasis on stem. When I was a kid there was an under-emphasis on it, at least in my part of the world. But it‘s different now. My oldest is just starting high school. I have a lot to learn. 🙂 3w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat I literally take teaching jobs that avoid the testing craze. The tests don‘t prepare them for college or life. They are absolutely pointless. 3w
GingerAntics @KathyWheeler @Graywacke @Lcsmcat I agree on the STEM as well. I have a masters in history and I get asked all the time why I wasted my time not doing STEM. It certainly has value, but so does the other side. It is all about well rounded education and people. When I took English 101 and 102 in school we wrote maybe 3 papers between the two classes, but we read literature and poems. Now, all they do is write essay after essay. They read NOTHING. (edited) 3w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @GingerAntics @KathyWheeler I think the constant testing is part of the same issue. In a “results oriented“ political atmosphere schools are expected to justify everything they do. Good teaching is as difficult to quantify as good parenting- with both the real results are years away. But politicians hold the purse strings and the power. Thus you get metrics like the UNC system having to provide the net worth ⬇️ 3w
Lcsmcat ⬆️ of graduates in each major, (which skewed heavily to Geography because that was Michael Jordan‘s major.) It shows nothing real, but provides something for politicians to talk about. 3w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat exactly! I love how the teachers are always the scapegoats, too. Unfortunately, we‘ve taken all of the power away from where it should be, in the classroom with the teacher, and given it to people who have never taught a class in their lives and haven‘t been a student in half a century at least. It‘s ridiculous. So teachers are just as frustrated, if not more so, than the parents of their students, while the parents blame them. 3w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat I just found out this summer that in my state, apparently students can come back at any time (even decades later) and sue their teachers if they feel they weren‘t taught properly. Never mind the teacher never had any say in the matter to begin with. 3w
Lcsmcat @GingerAntics OMG! What a nightmare. 3w
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat yup! I think that just cemented the thought that I‘m not an education lifer. We‘re moving in June, and when I start looking for new jobs, I‘m not looking in education. 3w
Graywacke @GingerAntics It‘s very frustrating to see policy made without consulting teachers, and valuing their input. Happens at all levels - department, school, district, statewide, national etc. I‘ve never met a teacher who supports the testing (hmm. Or a parent) As you are a teacher, you have my appreciation. 🙂 (edited) 3w
GingerAntics @Graywacke thanks! lol Sadly, mostly parents don‘t know that they can opt their own children out of the tests and their children can‘t be punished or held back for not having test scores. If more parents opted out, it would no longer be cost effective and they would stop doing the tests. That happened in parts California. 3w
69 likes2 stack adds38 comments
blurb
Graywacke
A Lost Lady | Willa Cather
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Planning the next #catherbuddyread. Looking at reading this 1923 novel in November.

We‘re a small group, but anyone is welcome to join. Leave a comment if you‘re interested.

Lcsmcat Count me in. 😀 3w
batsy Can't wait 🙂 3w
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jewright I‘ll have to order a copy! 3w
Crazeedi I'll have to see if I can find 3w
Louise Perhaps I‘ll join in this time. I haven‘t read this one yet. Thanks for tagging me. 🤓 3w
CarolynM Look forward to it. Thanks🙂 3w
Caterina Thanks for tagging me! Things are crazy right now with school, but it looks very short and it's on #SerialReader, so I think I'm in! 👍 3w
Tanisha_A Yesss, I am in! 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @batsy @jewright @Crazeedi @Louise @CarolynM @Caterina @Tanisha_A 👍 There time to order paper copies, also it‘s $1 on amazon and free in other places. 3w
Graywacke @Louise I love your picture. Is it from Sandra Boynton? (A favorite to read to my kids when they were little ones) 3w
Graywacke @Caterina On Goodreads most editions list around 150 pages or less. I plan to set up a 3 week schedule, which I‘ll post closer to the time we read. 3w
Lcsmcat @Louise My daughter had a Boynton wallpaper border in her room when she was learning to talk. She would lie in bed and say “‘pommus, hippo, bear, ‘pommus” counting the animals around her ceiling. Love Boynton! 3w
Louise Yes, I believe it is one of Boynton‘s. Her pictures have such charm! Re: Cather, I‘ve requested the large print edition from my library. I find the large font so relaxing for the eyes! 🤓 3w
Louise @Lcsmcat Oh, that is so sweet! I hope you let Sandra Boynton know about that via one of her social media pages! She‘d be so pleased. 😊 (edited) 3w
Lcsmcat @Louise I might have to do that. Since that daughter is 27 now, social media wasn‘t a thing at the time. 😀 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Louise - we memorized some of her books. We could “read” them with the lights out. We also made up our own tunes and sang them. 🙂 ❤️ Boynton. Miss those days. 3w
Louise @Lcsmcat @Graywacke Such sweet stories! I hope you both let Sandra Boynton know what wonderful memories her books helped your families to create! 💕 3w
Lcsmcat @Louise @Graywacke Yes! We can still recite “But Not the Hippopotamus!” 3w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat One of our first and favorites!! One HIppo all alone,,, 3w
Graywacke @Louise Honestly, hadn't considered doing that. I should. 3w
Louise @Graywacke @Lcsmcat Well, I suggested it because I‘ve been following her for a while on FB, and she is very friendly in her interactions with people. She takes joy in that, I think. 3w
jewright My paper copy is in the mail! 3w
CarolynM @Louise @Lcsmcat @Graywacke Boynton was a huge favourite in our house too. I can still recite Moo, Baa, La La La by heart 🙂 It's my go to gift for new parents along with a bib. You can never have too many books or bibs😂 3w
Lcsmcat @CarolynM My kids loved that one too. Now I read them to my granddaughter. 😀 3w
jewright When are we starting this one? My fall is swamped, but I want to read this one with everyone. 1d
Graywacke @jewright I‘m thinking first discussion Nov 9, last Nov 23 (before us Thanksgiving). I was going to announce it two weeks out - next week. Maybe I should post something tomorrow 1d
38 likes28 comments
blurb
Graywacke
The Handmaid's Tale | MARGARET. ATWOOD
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Prepping for The Testaments...

krismlars I just did the same thing, and I started The Testaments last night! 4w
Graywacke @krismlars Was it a reread? Curious if it was a different experience. I‘ll look up your posts. I read this once, in 2003. Seems a long time ago now. 4w
krismlars @Graywacke it was a re-read. I think it was around 2005 when I first read it. The second read was definitely a different experience, because Gilead doesn‘t seem as impossible in 2019 as it did 15 years ago. I believe that the TV show has also enhanced the story-the fear and absurdness is more vivid. 4w
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Graywacke @krismlars true, not as impossible today. A sad commentary on our world. I‘m not a tv person so haven‘t watched the show. But I‘m curious. I am glad I haven‘t tried watching before rereading, because while I remember the atmosphere and main story trend, I had forgotten almost all the details. (edited) 4w
SeaBreezeReader I'm rereading also and am surprised how many details seem unfamiliar to me. 3w
Graywacke @SeaBreezeReader I've finished now and felt exactly the same. I was also intrigued with what I did remember (Moira especially, for one). 3w
62 likes1 stack add6 comments
blurb
Graywacke
Space: A Memoir | Jesse Lee Kercheval
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Day 7: #7days7covers No explanation. 🙂 #covercrush

@arubabookwoman if you‘re interested

Thanks @Liz_M for the original invite!

ephemeralwaltz It sure looks well loved! 1mo
Graywacke @ephemeralwaltz literary canines ?? 1mo
46 likes2 comments
blurb
Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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#cathetbuddyread Book 5 - finishing One of Ours

Ok, I actually shed a tear when I finished. I don‘t do that, but it finished and I just sat there thinking and getting carried away deeper. Alas, silly me. Cather does her own work with WWI, a somehow gentle yet straight-up take on the war experience. The news reporter she once was seems to have taken a part here, maybe. Or maybe just fiction. Thoughts? Does it work? Do NE and WWI tie?

Graywacke (NE is the postal code for Nebraska) 1mo
Tamra I think it ties together in the sense how the war impacted the “every man” that Claude was and their families, even in the expanse of the Great Plains that gets glossed over between coasts. How apt was the ending!? I very much appreciated it and it drove home the cost of war and its lasting damage. Nonetheless, it did feel like two different stories for me, disconnected to a degree. (edited) 1mo
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Tamra I won‘t forget those lonely suicides. 😑 1mo
batsy It's funny to me how distant I felt from Mrs Wheeler in terms of her beliefs and perspectives, but how close I felt to her emotionally. The ending was so moving. Besides Claude of course she's one of the characters I keep thinking about the most. 1mo
Graywacke @Tamra does tie, does disconnect? I kind of feel the same - they go together but have dramatically different feel, tied/divided by a Virgilian/Dante-like odyssey to the underworld in the transport ship. I‘ll challenge the “every man” only a little. Claude came from a well-to-do family. I suspect most volunteers were partially driven by need...?? But Claude is generalized as it turns out, I think. 1mo
Graywacke @Tamra @batsy The ending. His mother, his ghostly presence, the dissolution, the suicides, the list of names, David, etc - She wove in and tied off with a lot of emotional charge, weighted emotional charge. My emotional ocd was fired off - all this just keeps spinning... 1mo
Graywacke @batsy - the repulsion/embrace of his mother - I had that feeling too; in those last paragraphs I felt them both in a really meaningful emotionally charged way. She meant more to then, well now, then ever before that. 1mo
Tamra @Graywacke I‘m thinking “every man” in terms of him being midwestern from a farming family. The underworld odyssey is an interesting reference I‘d hadn‘t thought about! I need to ponder over it. (edited) 1mo
Tamra @Graywacke I agree, she really seems to be the emotional thread that binds up the story. Haunting end. 1mo
Tamra @batsy me too, I didn‘t relate to her until the farewell. Her character seemed mono-dimensional up until then and I was more connected to Mahailey in terms of development. 1mo
Lcsmcat I think the ending would have been particularly powerful when it was written because novelists didn‘t kill off their protagonists so much then. I mean, there is Little Nell, but most of the time no matter what horrific things went on around him, the hero lived. To me, that was a powerful anti war statement. A Brandy Alexander moment. 😀 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I like your point about the voyage over as Odyssey. Very apt. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Tamra @batsy I too felt closer to Mrs. Wheeler at the end. I was angry with her for not standing up for Claude at the beginning, but by the end I felt like she understood how he “needed” the war in order to become his full self. 1mo
Lcsmcat I kept wanting to hear, at the end, what happened with Enid. I know Cather wanted us to feel how completely Claude had freed himself from her, but I would have liked to have heard how she felt about his going to war/dying etc. 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat I agree, she seemed to understand that and I so empathized with her gratitude that he didn‘t come home to suffer (PTSD) & the disconnect he had previously felt. Even if that hadn‘t been the case, you can understand the need for her feeling so. 1mo
Lcsmcat About the war, one quote I highlighted but hadn‘t shared yet is: “That was one of the things about this war; it took a little fellow from a little town, gave him an air and a swagger, a life like a movie-film,—and then a death like the rebel angels.” I think it supports @Tamra ‘s point about “every man.” 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat I have to admit I gave her no thought after she left! It‘s interesting to question how Cather intended for readers to react to Enid. Obviously she wasn‘t happy either and left for what she hoped would be broader horizons, but I got the impression she was judged harshly. Is that because she was a woman and her place was with her husband? I disliked her character, but I have to evaluate whether it‘s fair since neither were in love w/e/o. 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat adding to my reply: Though Claude wanted to be happy and give it go. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Tamra Yes! She was so keen to send him to war, she would have to have some feelings of guilt/responsibility and acknowledging the problems the survivors faced could alleviate that. 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat I too read the novel as an anti-war statement. I haven‘t done any research about her to confirm that however. 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat thanks for pointing that passage out, I didn‘t recall it. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Tamra I agree that Enid was judged harshly. I don‘t think she‘d have agreed to the marriage in a different time period. But, having agreed to it, she should have tried. And it just made me so sad for Claude, that what he thought would be his great happiness ended up being his worst pain. 1mo
Tamra @Lcsmcat it is sad - he was willing to try. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Tamra I thought about Enid a lot, constantly. Her religious obsession annoyed me to no end. But she was fascinating, a clash with her times. But, I mean, she liked Claude. I would have liked to know how she took the news...or if she cared, etc. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat odyssey - I had in mind Aeneas‘s trip to the underworld between Dido and pre-Rome. Odysseus had his own underworld trip. Haven‘t read Dante yet (next month!)...but maybe an odyssey applies more universally to the whole 2nd part of the book. 1mo
CarolynM War disrupts people's lives. In so far as the book is disjointed I think it is reflecting that simple fact. Claude was a real person with a series of life experiences culminating in his going to war. His war experiences (and I think this would be true for every combatant) were unrelated to his old life. But because Cather does such a good job of showing he is the same person he always was I think the book works as a whole. 1mo
CarolynM I agree with @Lcsmcat and @Tamra that the book is anti war. I particularly liked the way she showed what had happened to the ordinary people who were unlucky enough to live on or near the battlefields. Being required to house and feed the officers of whichever army was on their territory while their lands and villages were destroyed. Horrible! And the little girl saying the baby was not her brother "He's a Bosch". Ugh! (edited) 1mo
CarolynM I found David an interesting character too. And I began to wonder about Cather's intentions. Yet another "glamorous" figure Claude became attached to. Was she hinting at some sort of homoeroticism? It may just be my obsession with Sassoon and Owen - I hadn't considered it until the war context. I certainly think it was suggested with the German officer's locket and I can't think why she would have included that for any other reason. 1mo
Tamra @CarolynM oh yes, that was an emotional punch! (edited) 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM David was gay. She couldn‘t say it outright, but she had at least three neon signs, the locket being one. Claude - I don‘t think he was, but then Enid... don‘t know 1mo
Graywacke I mean Claude‘s interest in Enid may have had a homosexual element 1mo
CarolynM @Graywacke I'm glad it wasn't just my imagination. I don't think Claude was gay necessarily but he certainly seemed happiest around men with attributes that were outside his own experience. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM I think Cather was doing something with Claude she wasn‘t telling us about. He dies doing a routine thing, directing men to hold their ground and coordinate. But for him it was higher order event, an ecstasy of sorts. Homosexuality is an explanation. But I suspect she saw this war as boys playing power games, and here Claude, who was never really able to see beyond what was there, even if he saw through falsehoods and fakes, was all in. 1mo
CarolynM @Graywacke I think you've got to the heart of it there. He could never make his own way, he was always tagged on to others. In some ways war was perfect for him because it provided the framework for how he was to be, then he could be in command in his immediate circumstances. 1mo
batsy @CarolynM I was wondering about that element of possible erotic attraction between Claude and David. Not least because Cather's own life played out that way; she was never "out" in the way we use the term now but you know, the energies present in Claude and his unease with fitting in back home could have several layers. I could be overreaching in trying to read an element of Cather in all of her protagonists, though :) 4w
batsy @Lcsmcat @Tamra Yes, so true. I was heartbroken, that maybe she finally understood, but she couldn't convey that understanding to her son because he's gone. I also found it so bittersweet in Part 8 of Book 5 when Claude, despite all that they had endured on the journey on the ship to France, felt that "He was enjoying himself all the while and didn't want to be safe anywhere". That driving force in him to be anywhere else but safe at home. 4w
batsy @Graywacke I thought about Enid a lot, too. She aggravated me as well but I found her so compelling. Their sexual relationship or lack of it aside, she seemed to like and respect him to a degree. Possibly loved him in her own way. I want a book from her perspective! 4w
Graywacke @batsy that book from Enid‘s perspectives - you would need to write it. 4w
batsy @Graywacke Haha, oh dear! #catherbuddyread holds an emergency meeting: "This book is simply unreadable and we cannot continue" ? 4w
Graywacke @CarolynM “in some ways war was perfect for him” - yes! And see Batsy‘s ( @Batsy ) quote four messages up. (edited) 4w
Graywacke @batsy it has potential 4w
Graywacke 🙂 4w
Tamra @batsy I would definitely read her perspective - so intriguing from this era. 4w
Tamra @Graywacke @CarolynM Unfortunately I didn‘t note the chapter, but my mind keeps coming back to the narrator‘s commentary about how in years to come soldiers would reminisce about the war experience, good & bad, but would especially miss the comradeship. It seemed to sum up Claude; how the voids he felt at home were filled with singularity of purpose, common experience, and collective identity. (edited) 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @CarolynM @batsy I agree that Claude was “all in” as Dan puts it. Another quote I highlighted , from Book 5 “He saw that he must be a plane tree for somebody else.” It was when he was lost after taking Fanning to the hospital and he kind of gives up and leans against a plane tree, then spots his men who were also lost and realizes he has to take responsibility. Finally, he‘s in charge of his life, he thinks. The Cather turns around 👇🏻 4w
Lcsmcat and shows us that, in war, no one is in control of what happens to them. 4w
Lcsmcat @batsy If you write it, I‘ll read it! 4w
Lcsmcat @Tamra @Graywacke @batsy @carolynm Any thought about the title? For a character who so didn‘t fit in, One of Ours can‘t be an accident. 4w
CarolynM @Lcsmcat Very good points. Control was something he never had and had no idea how to achieve. I think the title might come from that idea, he was always defined by those around him, he couldn't or wouldn't define himself and become his own person. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM I had misunderstood the title in the beginning. I assumed this was a book about a soldier coming home and clashing with the small town life. Hence, the title as a reminder to the town. That being way way out there and sounding silly now means I‘ve had to rethink it all... 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM So my 2nd thought is along @Tamra ‘s “every man” theme. I think she‘s highlighting _all_ these kids were our kids (now (great?) grandparents) who went over there, which was not ours. We sent ours, so to speak. In this theme all Claude‘s personal oddities are no different from every other soldier‘s oddities. One individual with a full life of personal conflict, adversity, potential, life, for each number. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM all of which sounds really us-centric. And it is, but it can be applied universally. 4w
Graywacke Speaking of US-centric: did anyone else buy into the American idealism of these soldiers - going to fight for against bad Germany in the propaganda, the marines being professional around the French girls, the men being heroes in the same French village where the Germans were vile enemies, the cleanliness, purity of intent and so on? No power trips, rapes, rampant life-is-short destructive behavior and so on? Was Cather accurate or...? 4w
Tamra @Lcsmcat I was thinking along the same lines, that the title reflected Claude finding himself & place among his comrades in arms. But I also like @Graywacke ‘s idea re: one of our sons. That is fitting with the end too. (edited) 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @CarolynM @Tamra I had a similar misconception about the title in the beginning as Dan (like I said earlier, you don‘t expect MC to die in works of this era) but I like Carolyn‘s take. He wasn‘t “his” He was “ours.” But I also like Tamra‘s reading that the “ours” were his fellow soldiers. I wonder if Cather ever explained her title? 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I did not buy into the American idealism and I‘m not sure Cather did either. It would take another closer reading to be sure, but I wonder if there are clues, like the clues to David‘s sexuality. Like that subject, she couldn‘t have spoken directly on the subject without ruining her career. (Pacifism was persecuted. There was an Episcopal bishop who lost his job because he was a pacifist during WWI) 4w
Lcsmcat If clergy can‘t be against war and keep their jobs, writers would have a very difficult time! 4w
Tamra @Lcsmcat I didn‘t know that! 😐 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat ( @Tamra ) Do you think that still applied in 1922? As for Cather‘s clues - begin with the German-Americans in the courtroom. 4w
batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat This is how I thought of the title, too. She would have been largely writing to an American audience & it might have been a "one of ours goes to war & this is what happens to them". 4w
batsy @Graywacke I didn't buy into the American idealism/exceptionalism that was there in the war section. In my review when I mentioned having issues with the book that I still haven't quite sorted out, that was the main thing. And I was wondering if it's written that way because it's coming from Claude's romanticised perspective, and thus maybe can't be attributed to the novel as a whole, but to the character? If that makes sense. 4w
batsy @Lcsmcat 😁 @Tamra Enid is certainly memorable and complex and if I do have some regrets about how the book ended, its that we didn't see her again. (And Bayliss didn't get put in his place!) 4w
Lcsmcat @batsy I wanted updates on Enid and Bayliss too. And not necessarily happy ones. 😈 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I‘m not sure how long it went on, nor how long it was between submittal to a publisher and publication of the book. I‘m just suggesting she might have felt the need to tread lightly. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat ( @batsy ) 😂 unhappy wishes. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat : @batsy called it a gloss in her review, like a gloss of romanticism over the war experience. There are two aspects I‘m thinking of. One is censorship. Admittedly, I‘m not sure how a big a deal that was for an author who published a pro-German work during the war. (Song of the Lark). The other is Cather vs character perspectives. The character can justify the author doing a lot. But which is which? Or, is it really a positive gloss? (edited) 4w
CarolynM @Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat Australia has a similar mythology about our presence in France in WWI (supported, I have to say, by some of the monuments in France) but of course it can't be the whole story. It would have been brave to the point of foolhardiness to directly challenge the myth so soon after the war. I think there were a few oblique challenges - the priest's niece, for example. 4w
Tamra @batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM re: batsy‘s comment about Claude‘s perspective. This was why I felt the powerful ending overshadowed any romanticism/exceptionalism/idealism about war. I didn‘t sense any pride at the close, just loss & loneliness, maybe futility and hopelessness. (edited) 4w
Lcsmcat @Tamra I agree totally that the ending overshadowed any romanticism about the war. It‘s why I think the “glory” aspect was Claude‘s perspective. 4w
Lcsmcat @CarolynM I think we all have that mythology. Survivors try so hard to believe the sacrifices were glorious and necessary. It‘s hard to live with yourself otherwise. Different war, but I had a German exchange student when I taught in UT and we took the kids to hear a holocaust survivor, and he was a teary eyed mess at the end. A 17 year old boy. The losers of a war feel differently. (edited) 4w
batsy @Tamra @Lcsmcat Yes, that the final word belongs to Mrs Wheeler, as such, is significant. And it does work as a poignant and astute counter to the "gloss" I mentioned earlier. 4w
batsy @Graywacke Cather is definitely doing a lot & I feel I sometimes don't give her enough credit for how she works with form and structure. She's playing around a lot with narrative and perspective in subtle ways. Re: censorship and having to uphold or bolster national mythology, or not to go against it so overtly at a critical time in the nation's history, are all very interesting points to consider. 4w
CarolynM @Tamra Yes, absolutely. @Lcsmcat I take your point. I wonder how much our feelings about Vietnam and the way we have treated its veterans stem from the lack of a victory? @batsy Good reminder. Because she's so easy to read I think we can forget that she is such a great literary technician. 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Have you chosen the next book? Not that we need to start right away, I‘m just allowing time to order if it‘s not one I already own. 4w
Tamra Thank you for hosting @Graywacke ! 4w
Tamra @CarolynM isn‘t that the truth re: ease of reading! 4w
Graywacke @Tamra 🙂 Really enjoyed this whole conversation. We might have stretched the limits of a Litsy thread... 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes, just waiting for the thread to wind down. Still waiting. Maybe I‘ll create a new post to check interest. I‘d like to go chronologically. In 1923 she published 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Excellent- I own that one and have been eager to read it. I don‘t know that this thread will wind down anytime soon. There‘s so much to talk about! 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat terrific conversation !! Really enjoyed all this, and it‘s a nice reward - reading a book and getting of this afterwards. 4w
Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat @Tamra @CarolynM - thanks all for a wonderful conversation. Really enjoyed this. I‘ll get a feeler out on A Lost Lady this weekend - see what kind of interest there is. (I have a 3-week schedule in mind. I think it‘s roughly half the size of this one...but not sure.) 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Thank you for shepherding us through this . I‘ve liked Cather for years but only read the “famous” ones before this. And I‘m getting more out of the famous ones too. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM @batsy @Tamra Highly recommended you read the “composition” section here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_of_Ours 4w
Lcsmcat Wow! That‘s really interesting! Thanks for sharing. 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Going back three messages, I meant to say thank you - but got waylaid by Wikipedia. 😊 Thanks! This is all new to me, so I‘m getting a ton out of it. ... regarding the Wikipedia article itself, I agree and you‘re welcome. 🙂 4w
CarolynM @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @batsy @Tamra Thank you all for the stimulating discussion. Looking forward to A Lost Lady. I think it's the other Cather novel I've read but I can't remember for sure. 4w
batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM @Tamra Thank you all for always stimulating discussions. We have some of the most involved discussion threads I've seen :) Dan, thanks for that link! I'd love to join in for A Lost Lady & reading chronologically sounds 👌🏽 I'm trying to get physical copies of her books & local bookshops rarely stock her. I'll order online but is everyone OK with a short breather? International mail can take up to 2-3 weeks 😬 4w
Lcsmcat @batsy @Graywacke @CarolynM @Tamra I‘m fine with that. It‘ll give me time to finish The Testaments. 😀 4w
CarolynM @Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat @Tamra I'll fit in with whatever you decide. 4w
Graywacke @batsy No problem. I‘ll set the start date to later October or early Nov (have to check a calendar) 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i‘ll be listening to The Testaments soon, probably start next week. 🙂 4w
batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM OK, cool! Thank you. 4w
batsy @Lcsmcat This is the part where I confess I've yet to read The Handmaid's Tale. I've been "meaning to" ... for years ? 4w
Lcsmcat @batsy You‘ll read it when the time is right. It‘s earned its place in the canon, so it‘s not going anywhere. 4w
Tamra @batsy I haven‘t either. 😏 even my husband has and that‘s saying something! 4w
Tamra @batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM I won‘t be able to join. 🙁 I‘ll be in the midst of another class and my recreational reading slows. I hope Lost Lady is as rich as this one. I recall loving Death Comes for the Archbishop. 💜 4w
CarolynM @batsy Me neither and I don't really want to. I'm sure it's good but it doesn't have much appeal for me. Sorry you won't be part of the next one @Tamra We'll miss you. 4w
batsy @Tamra @CarolynM Oh, I'm glad I'm not alone! 😆 I find Atwood an enormously interesting writer but the subject matter of this one is extremely distressing which is probably why I've been avoiding it. (And we'll definitely miss you during the next round of Cather, Tamra.) 3w
Tamra @batsy I very much enjoyed Alias Grace & Bljnd Assassin. I don‘t know why I haven‘t gotten around to Handmaid‘s Tale. I think the hype has a lot to do with it. My husband enjoyed the television adaptation too and I‘m tempted to watch it instead of read. I know that‘s sacrilegious. 😮 3w
Graywacke @Tamra @batsy @CarolynM @Lcsmcat I‘m reading The Handmaid‘s Tale right now. 😂 It‘s a reread for me. I have this idea of doing the Booker list in Audio and The Testaments will be next, so I‘m refreshing my (apparently very lost) memory. 3w
Graywacke @Tamra wish you well in your class. I‘ll nudge you a little on the next one, see if that works better and had interest. I‘ve read Death Comes for the Archbishop. It was the book off my shelf that led to this buddy read. Hoping to reread it with the group. 3w
Lcsmcat @Tamra I hope your class goes well, and that you‘ll check in when you have time. 3w
Lcsmcat @batsy @CarolynM Atwood is an amazing and prolific writer, so there‘s something for everyone in her work. If the hype puts you off, don‘t read Handmaid right now. But do read something by her. Poetry, short stories, nonfiction, graphic novels and novels - she has written in all of these genres. 3w
batsy @Tamra @Lcsmcat I loved Blind Assassin and Alias Grace, too! Cat's Eye is probably my favourite of hers and also enjoyed The Robber Bride. @Graywacke Contemplating picking up Hag Seed after our Tempest group read 🙂 3w
Graywacke @batsy I‘m hesitant to read the Shakespeare novelizations - at least the straight-up ones like that. If you do read it, I‘ll be curious of your thoughts. 3w
43 likes107 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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day 6: #7days7covers No explanation. #covercrush

(But how does this book have no post here for three years?)

@Theaelizabet

blurb
Graywacke
Quichotte | Salman Rushdie
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Current audiobook, my second from the Booker lists.

57 likes1 stack add
blurb
Graywacke
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Lcsmcat I love his work! Stacked. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat There‘s a story behind this book, but part of the story is I haven‘t read it yet. If you‘re up for a buddy read sometime... (I‘ve read short fiction by him in anthologies) 1mo
Lcsmcat Sure - just not in October, I‘m overcommitted 😀 I learned of him through the tagged book, which I highly recommend. 1mo
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Graywacke @Lcsmcat pencil this one in for January? 😶😁 (emphasis on the pencil with eraser). This other book sounds terrific. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke January it is. And you should read the other, although it will explode your TBR, because of course they talk about other books in addition to their own. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat 👌 I‘ll check with you again between here and there 1mo
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Graywacke
The Light Fantastic | Terry Pratchett
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Day 4 : #7days7covers No explanation. #covercrush

(No explanation except to note that I missed yesterday. So, day 3 this am and day 4 tonight)

 @LiterRohde

CarolynM These are the Pratchett covers I have. I love them. This one is still my favourite. The idea of Twoflower teaching the four horsemen of the apocalypse to play bridge still makes me giggle. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM i‘m bummed the style was changed to such dull, quiet covers. Love these old crazy covers too (I‘ve forgotten who the artist was) Twoflower was a terrific, awful character and I‘ve always been attached to the Luggage. 1mo
45 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
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Day 3: #7days7covers No explanation. #covercrush

(Difficult to find anyone who hasn‘t been tagged, but of course anyone is welcome to join in.)

BarbaraBB Gorgeous cover 😍 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB 👍 and unexpected because I bought it through a paper catalog that didn‘t show the cover well. 1mo
BarbaraBB I like it so much when that happens! 1mo
51 likes3 comments
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Graywacke
A Murder of Crows | Larry D. Thomas
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Day 2 : #7days7covers No explanation. #covercrush

review
Graywacke
An Orchestra of Minorities | Chigozie Obioma
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Pickpick

First, this really captured me. Beautiful setting. And even though I could see the accidents coming, still they got to me. Even as I learned of Chinonso‘s flaws, still I was taken in by his elegant, if limited, restraint.

The rest is 👇

Graywacke Arguably a contemporary Igbo Odyssey, there is also a lot of Dante (and maybe Virgil?). Chinonso‘s story is told by his Chi, an Igbo guardian spirit of a sort who can see his thoughts, see the world around him, understand things his host, Chinonso, can‘t. But the spirit can only help him so much, mainly he is a witness. This Chi watches him stumble into a beautiful paradise and then watches it all fall apart. Recommended! (edited) 1mo
62 likes1 comment
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Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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One of Ours - Books 2-4. #catherbuddyread

Enid, enlistment and transport - what an experience onboard! Wondering what everyone thinks of Enid and of what Claude witnesses and of Claude himself, the kid in a hell who would rather be there than anywhere else.

The lower image is part of an aerial photo of Hogg Island Shipyard, Philadelphia 1919. The lower a shipyard recruitment poster by Jonas Lie (what better name for a propaganda artist?)

Lcsmcat Oh my God, Enid! Why did either of those two think marrying each other was a good idea?!?!?! 1mo
batsy @Lcsmcat Sums up my thoughts 😂😭 1mo
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batsy Claude is a beautifully-drawn character, & I wasn't sure if his sense of emptiness about his life & marriage & the suddenness with which he enlists alarming or admirable. Maybe both. In this book Cather continues to be deeply skeptical about marriage, I think? The way she depicts how stifling, almost soul-destroying, it can be for the sensitive person who enters into it with minimal knowledge about who their spouse actually is breaks my heart. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @batsy so true - what hell made this match? Wondering what was up with Enid. Religious self-suppression of lesbian leanings? Claude missed a lot of signs, regardless of the cause 1mo
Graywacke @batsy I have to withhold judgment on Claude. He‘s a child of circumstance, does what we can see to do - and he‘s a crappy chess player so maybe not so good a working all the moves out. But, I like how you put it - beautifully draw character. (edited) 1mo
Graywacke @batsy I‘m glad you mentioned Cather‘s feelings on marriage. So much to think about on this - great discussion topic! 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @batsy I can‘t think of a Cather that portrays marriage in a good light. But this one seems to have been predictable. I‘m not sure that Enid was lesbian so much as asexual. There was a quote about Enid wondering why a ceremony could turn something (I.e. sex) that was the worst thing into the best. I‘ll try to find it when I get home. But I think she had no interest in any kind of intimacy, physical or emotional. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke You‘re right about the chess playing and Claude. He never seems to have been able to take control of his own life. If Enid‘s father had been more frank, I‘m not sure he would have believed him. It was like he finally decided to get his own way and couldn‘t see that it was a disaster. So then going into the army was a do-over. His decision, but one he didn‘t have to fight for because local sentiment was behind him. 1mo
CarolynM I've fallen behind with my reading this week. I'll try to catch up and check in then to see what you've all had to say. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM curious on your thoughts too once you catch up (I might have asked too much this week for a group read) 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat you‘re right, he never is in control. Just gets prodded along. Arguably getting worked over by his father was another chess/life strategy fail. He never saw it coming. 1mo
batsy @Graywacke @Lcsmcat Good point about Enid not being keen for intimacy of any kind. A spiritual malaise of sorts. Devoted to the ideals of religion but quite indifferent to actual people. 1mo
Tamra I‘m behind, sorry buddy readers! 1mo
Graywacke @Tamra we can forgive! (Considering my moronic schedule, it‘s only reasonable). 1mo
Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat I know that‘s what we‘re presented with, but yet, personally, I keep looking for more comprehensible explanations. Maybe I‘m over-complicating 1mo
batsy @Graywacke Not at all! Looking for more explanations is what makes us readers 😁 1mo
CarolynM Finally finished Book 4! I'm not sure Cather is skeptic all about marriage as such @batsy - there are plenty of examples of happy marriages in her stories. But she is very critical of the social conventions around relationships between the sexes and particularly the expectations placed on women. I'm going to quote from chapter X of book 3 👇 1mo
CarolynM "Perhaps if older people were a little more honest, and a boy were not taught to idealise in women the very qualities which can make him utterly unhappy" I would add that girls were also taught that these qualities were what they should aspire to. So it must have been very difficult to "flick the switch", as it were, upon marriage. I think Enid probably should have followed her sister into missionary life straight away - it would have suited her. 1mo
CarolynM I find Claude fascinating. I think he is yearning for intellectual and emotional stimulation which is why his friends in Lincoln and then Victor Morse are so appealing to him. His tragedy is that it took a war to make him break away from his family's expectations to do something that would bring him any kind of fulfilment. 1mo
batsy @CarolynM Yes, well put. Character limitations make it hard to say all I want to say sometimes, but she definitely zeroes in on the social conventions and expectations that govern heterosexual relations and marriage. I agree also about that assessment of Enid; clearly marriage was not for her. As a reader it was painful to have a bit of insight into a character and see them fall headlong into a bad decision. 1mo
CarolynM @batsy Those character limits can be really frustrating! Yes to the pain of Claude and Enid's "courtship". I was also pained by Gladys's inability to show her potential romantic interest in Claude - another example of the expectations on women. I also liked the details of the voyage to France - it is staggering how careless the authorities were with the lives of those young men even before they faced the enemy. 1mo
batsy @CarolynM The voyage to France was so vivid! I almost felt faint myself from the nausea and the cold the boys and men were suffering from. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM @batsy @Lcsmcat The transport section really got to me too, the idea of being reduced to something tossed in that cold lonely sea - it‘s really horrifying. And, of course, she lets us know some of these kids (if kids can be in their mid-twenties) before it happens. The scene where he keeps his friends pictures and has the stuff from guys he didn‘t know tossed unexamined hung around a long time. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM @batsy @Lcsmcat skepticism on marriage : This has me wondering about Cather‘s long haul themes (as if all these books were one book). She has a sensitive hand on her criticism of social convention and she doesn‘t apply it universally, but she is aware that these conventions are insufficient. Everyone is in tension with these conventions, and it‘s almost unique in each case - and Cather goes there. Her women are great examples. 👇 (edited) 1mo
Graywacke She‘s not feminist exactly, she doesn‘t do categories. She plays with race/national identity etc, but she has a strong sense that all people are just people. Her women almost always outside convention in some way. Claude‘s mother stultified by marriage, his wife asexual, and then there is the woman fighter pilot shot down by his friend, and suffering an agonizing prolonged death. She‘s a hero in this book, and her theme, on individuality... 👇 1mo
Graywacke On making ways that are outside conventional design. If convention is a series of winding road to follow, to many of her characters these are only rough guidelines. They have some options and they can stumble around off these roads altogether. What‘s central, almost always, is the strength from their rural demanding strengthening foundation. (edited) 1mo
Graywacke (Got a little carried away... ) 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @batsy @CarolynM No, don‘t apologize! This is my favorite buddy read group because we DO get carried away! Re: the journey to France, It was horrible because they were so young and idealistic (and yes, I think 20somethings are kids) and they were dying suddenly, painfully, without their loved ones around them, and for what? They all expected, live or die, the “glory” of war. And they got the flu, and not even a marked grave. 1mo
Lcsmcat Cather shows us in all her books (at least the ones I‘ve read) the dangers of believing the cultural myths and trying to shoehorn ourselves into them. So, yes, she‘s a feminist, because that means believing that women are fully human, and men are so much more than machismo. We all of us are capable of a wide range of being. I‘ve been trying to come up with happy marriage examples from her work. I know there are some. 👇🏻 1mo
Lcsmcat But most of her characters, male & female, main or secondary, are struggling with how they “fit” in some way or another. Whether in their relationships with other people, or the land, or cultural expectations. 1mo
Lcsmcat I do think, however, that Cather does some of her own myth making on the idea of “prairie strength” and the midwestern ethos of individuality. But it just proves she‘s human. 1mo
CarolynM @Graywacke I think you're absolutely right about the individuality of her characters, particularly the women. For me this is one of her greatest strengths. @Lcsmcat I agree with you about her myth making and also about her characters struggling to fit. The happy marriages that come to mind are the music teacher in SotL, Jim's grandparents and ultimately Antonia in MA, Leonard and Susie here. 1mo
CarolynM And I second @Lcsmcat I love that we all have plenty to say about these books and the issues they raise. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM A little irony is that Cather is part of the American myth. She along with a few other prairie writers largely define the conservative resourceful strong American fly-over mythic character. In Cather it‘s really unfair because she is actively undermining it (the myth, not the people) But also she is documenting - this is a huge part of what makes her special, her fleshed record of this time and place (Nebraska around 1900)👇 (edited) 1mo
Graywacke The thing with Cather is she really believes she‘s telling the truth, the whole truth. And that means she reports her generalizations. And her generalizations become her mythologies, they‘re over-simplified truths. So, yes, she is absolutely creating mythology, despite herself. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke She is indeed part of the mythology- like Laura Ingalls Wilder. But unlike Wilder she faces ugly truths head on. I‘m reading Thomas Wolfe now too, and he puts a lot of focus on the author as truth teller. It‘s fascinating to see how her gentler style sometimes allows her to tell more searing truths than his in your face style. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat haven‘t read Wolfe, but sounds like he‘s attacking, that he has an agenda, or a more blatant agenda. Cather maybe tries to not have a critical agenda. She‘s critical only as it applies to constructing her world. (edited) 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat As @batsy noted, she comes across as not critical of war or American soldiers. Same applies, she‘s telling the story and the criticism (the carnage and suicides) is merely part of the scene. It‘s not there for itself, but only part of the truth of capturing the war experience. But now I‘ve slid into book 5... 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Wolfe writes as a young man (he died at 37 and was a young 37, if you know what I mean) so he lacks Cather‘s maturity. She is better able to show us the Truth because she doesn‘t have to smack the reader in the face with it. 😀 Her prose goes down smoothly like a Brandy Alexander, but packs just as much punch as another writer‘s moonshine. 😀🥃 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat a brandy Alexander? I don‘t know what that is. Sounds good though. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Brandy, cream, and crème de cacao. It‘s very smooth. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Sounds wonderful. Ok, it kind of sounds like I drop a scoop of chocolate ice cream into a glass of brandy. Crème de cacao is obviously not chocolate... time to google. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat oh... yum 😋 1mo
batsy @Graywacke I agree with @Lcsmcat and @CarolynM - no apologising! The "getting carried away" is the best part ? I love all the points here about the particularities of her characters & how a certain image of her work has come to be constructed. Co-opted, in a way, (for lack of a better word) for a particular form of traditional or conservative national mythology when her work is alive with so many contradictions & tensions & is not polemical. 1mo
batsy I'm OK with calling her a feminist writer if we take feminism to mean not a negation of men but the ability to see & depict women as fully human, with all of the contradictions that entails. Our group reads of Shakespeare have made me appreciate that aspect, too. Social constructs are reflected in the plots & in the way women are categorised as shrews or sweet virgins or harpies or whatever, but his women characters are also complex & interesting. 1mo
batsy @Lcsmcat That sounds delicious. It's morning over here and I'm craving one for breakfast 😆 1mo
Lcsmcat @batsy 🤣 1mo
CarolynM @Graywacke I love the way you have explained the myth making? In regards to her attitude to war, I think we have to remember that there was a very different understanding of wars and the reasons for fighting them in the first half of the 20th century than there has been subsequently. @batsy I would characterise her as feminist for the reasons you have given, and also because she challenges the notions of female submissiveness and "virtue". 1mo
CarolynM @Lcsmcat It's been many years since I drank a Brandy Alexander but you've got me thinking about it now😋 1mo
45 likes50 comments
blurb
Graywacke
A River Runs Through It | Norman Maclean, Barry Moser
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Day 1 #7days7covers No explanation. #covercrush

Tanisha_A Love it. 😍 1mo
51 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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#catherbuddyread

The comment above, as soldiers head out watching the Statue of Liberty, comes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s pre-Civil War poem The Building of the Ship, a patriotic plea for unity and looking forward.

Some links:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44626/the-building-of-the-ship

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/henry-wadsworth-longfellow

Graywacke From the 2nd link (will split into 2 or more comment: “Fanny Kemble performed this poem in dramatic readings, bringing herself and audiences to tears in the memorable emotional crescendo of the last stanza with its invocation to an imperiled country that is nonetheless the best hope for the world: “Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! / Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!” 1mo
Graywacke “President Abraham Lincoln, hearing these lines recited in the midst of the Civil War, is reported to have wept before remarking, “It is a wonderful gift to be able to stir men like that.” “ 1mo
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jewright This is such a sad, but true, description. 1mo
Lcsmcat This part is stirring, but it made me wonder if Cather had ever been on a ship. No matter how powerful the preacher‘s voice was (and she describes it as quavering) I doubt you could hear on another ship. But it makes a good scene. 😀 1mo
Graywacke @jewright yeah 😐 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat it does. And she was actually on many ships. There are photos. She was well traveled. (I don‘t think Cather meant anyone could here except those standing right next to the speaker.) 1mo
Graywacke *hear ☺️ 1mo
34 likes8 comments
blurb
Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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(1973 US postage stamp)

“...and he is terribly afraid of being fooled”

“It wasn‘t American to explain yourself.”

I adore Claude Wheeler. Is he a rebel, a misfit in his world, a independent spirit at home with the challenges of the land? His clash and compromise with his world fascinates. How would you feel in this family? What did you all think? Is this what you were expecting?

#catherbuddyread One of Ours - Book I

Graywacke Also, share your favorite quotes? (I have so many highlighted in my Kindle book) 1mo
batsy I wasn't sure what to expect because I didn't know much about it before starting, but I too love Claude. The blurb on my edition calls this a "beautifully modulated" novel and it really is. Her writing is so assured & takes its time. So many good lines. I loved this one too: "Sometimes he thought security was what was the matter with everybody; that only perfect safety was required to kill all the best qualities in people & develop the mean ones." 1mo
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batsy 👆🏽 It'll be interesting to see how that idea of security and meanness or smallness of character continues to develop in the novel when the war happens. 1mo
Lcsmcat I agree with @batsy ! Claude makes me sad because his life seems to be ruled by someone else‘s wishes. I‘m hoping the war which we know is coming will affect this. 1mo
jewright I love Claude. His father annoys me. The part with the cherry tree just breaks my heart. I hate when people do things out of spite. 1mo
Lcsmcat @jewright Exactly! Poor Claude is surrounded by selfish men and a weak woman. 1mo
Tanisha_A You are so sweet for tagging me. Haven't been reading this yet. ☺️ 1mo
Graywacke @batsy appreciate your comments on her writing. Your comments make me think of my current read 1mo
Graywacke @batsy also that quote seems so apropos today 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat true about him being rules. Personally I don‘t mind his family having influence, but they really use him, squashing who he wants to be (maybe or maybe not without realizing it). That bothers me. 1mo
Graywacke @jewright his dad is such a cruel match for him. Seems everyone likes his dad, but he sees right through to the dark aspects. I thought he was alone being the only one who sees through his dad, which, if I got that right, is really isolating. His silly mother is no help. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes that ( @jewright ). Selfish dad, brother, (field helper?), weak mom... 1mo
Graywacke @Tanisha_A of course. I forgot. Should I take you off the list for this one? 1mo
catebutler I really appreciate how clever Cather is with her characters and I think Claude is one of my favorite Cather characters. This first part of the novel really captures the dynamics of a farming family in the early 1900‘s. It would be very difficult to be talented, sharp minded and a dreamer but be expected to let that go, in order to better the family. And I agree, so many passages are marked and flagged in my edition so far. 1mo
CarolynM I highlighted that quote too @batsy ? Another one I liked "Evidently it took more intelligence to spend money than to make it." I agree his father is awful and the cherry tree incident is the perfect example @jewright His parent's views about his education are so frustrating but not that different from some people's modern attitudes - if it's church based is must be good and we don't want you thinking you know better than us. (edited) 1mo
jewright @Lcsmcat I feel like the mom tries, but she‘s stuck and can‘t fight against the father. She tries to offer the coat, for example, when his dad stops him from taking the car. She tries to comfort Claude about the tree, but she feels trapped between the two. She has no escape from the father and tries to play peacemaker as best she can. 1mo
jewright @CarolynM I hate when parents don‘t their children‘s opinions on education. If a child can offer a reason, it is something the kid has to live with, not the parents. It‘s not like he wanted to drop out. 1mo
Lcsmcat @catebutler Yes, Claude has to give up his dreams to run the farm for his family. 1mo
Lcsmcat @jewright She does try. That‘s why I called her weak. She‘s not evil or selfish, but she isn‘t strong enough to do anything to help Claude follow his dreams. 1mo
Lcsmcat @CarolynM That‘s a great quote! 1mo
Graywacke @catebutler great points, especially on capturing the dynamics. Cather documents her time and place wonderfully. She‘s a special record. And I love Claude too. Not sure he‘s my favorite, but he has a lot to love in his open questioning mind and his outer stoic work ethic. 1mo
batsy @CarolynM That's a great quote! 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM great quote and apt today (and then with the robber barons). This quote got me on his mother: “According to her conception of education, one should learn, not think; and above all, one must not enquire. The history of the human race, as it lay behind one, was already explained; and so was its destiny, which lay before. The mind should remain obediently within the theological concept of history.” 1mo
batsy @catebutler Very good point about how a person of Claude's temperament would fare in a farming family. @Graywacke The dad instantly rubbed me the wrong way and I can't help but be #TeamClaude on this one. I like how Cather points out how a sensitive child and the all-purpose jocular dad is a mismatch from the start. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM and this one got my attention too, on his mother again. I hear it in my neighborhood today: “she had told him once or twice that nothing could happen in the world which would give her so much pleasure as to see him reconciled to Christ.” 1mo
batsy @Lcsmcat The mother is one of those Cather characters I find so intriguing. I'm also frustrated with her and her inability to stand up for her son, but that scene where Cather depicts how she *feels* the pain on her son's behalf (when he's told by his father that he is to run the farm) really got to me, as well. 1mo
Graywacke @batsy yes. His dad. Complicated character there. Acts happy and joyful, but is actually controlling and stifling (and sharp). He‘s not kind at all, it‘s just show. 😐 1mo
Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat @jewright his mother is intriguing. She isn‘t a bad person, she‘s just so closed minded. She simply blocks things out and so can‘t see a lot... but she means well. I think her weakness comes from her unwillingness to go outside her comfort zone. The tension when he tries to find comfort in her and can‘t because she can‘t see what‘s important to him, and so they can‘t connect... that was moving to me. 1mo
Graywacke Does anyone else see John Grady Cole parallels with Claude? Maybe I‘m just being silly. But the outward stoicism strikes me. John Grady Cole is the main character in (edited) 1mo
batsy @Graywacke Yes, about the mother—nicely put. The father: I know people like that and they've always made me reflexively uncomfortable, so I think I relate just a little too much to Claude! Haven't read All the Pretty Horses. Cormac McCarthy is a writer I want to read but I feel I need to be prepared 🙂 1mo
Graywacke @batsy McCarthy is unnecessary but excellent. A terrific wordsmith who likes it dark and gory. I loved reading through his work. All the Pretty Horses is his easiest book to read, to get into and connect with, because, despite everything else, JGC is really beautiful. I‘ll let my advertisement sleep there. 🙂 1mo
CarolynM @batsy @Graywacke I agree about the mother. She loves Claude, but she's unable to see anything from any perspective other than her own. Those quotes are excellent. And it is sad for both of them. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @carolynm @jewright Re the mother and the “learn not think” quote - perhaps her narrow view developed as a kind of protection against the father‘s controlling abuse. If she could admit to herself that life could be different from the preordained path, then she would bear some level of responsibility for the way her husband treated her son. Either because she chose him in the 1st place, or stayed without standing up to him. A kind of ⬇️ (edited) 1mo
Lcsmcat “this life doesn‘t matter, only the next one does” mentality? Just a thought that occurred to me with the juxtaposition of these quotes. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat it‘s an interesting question. Was she like this before they met and married, or did she become like this after they married? 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM yes, it‘s really sad. I feel the same. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM @batsy @jewright @catebutler @crazeedi @Tanisha_A @Tamra @bromeliad A note to let everyone know there‘s a lot to read for next week. Books 2-4 are only 70 pages in my kindle edition, but it turns out that‘s like 200 pages in a normal edition. (Apologies for the poor planning) 1mo
Tanisha_A @Graywacke Hahaha! You can! I'd join another buddy read you host later. 🥰 1mo
Graywacke @Tanisha_A sure. Will do. 1mo
48 likes40 comments
blurb
Graywacke
The Tempest | William Shakespeare
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My inner love of Shakespeare needed a little reaffirming and Act I here did it and then some. I‘m happily wowed at Prospero‘s brutal control of his little world.

Graywacke (And, since I‘m a week early, Act ii will need to wait a bit. 🙂) 1mo
merelybookish Oh good! Glad to hear it renewed your faith! 😀 Yes, official start next week! 1mo
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merelybookish And nice bookmark! 1mo
Graywacke @merelybookish per bookmark, nice catch 😉 1mo
Tanisha_A Nice picture! 😊 1mo
64 likes6 comments
quote
Graywacke
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Everyone wishes to be loved, but, in the event, nearly no one can bear it.

blurb
Graywacke
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The next book for my Baldwin theme opens with the Leo describing his heart attack while performing on stage.

review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

The end of my little peak in Anglo-Saxon lit. Shorter than I expected, less poetic than I expected too (per Heaney‘s translation). I tried to slow down and absorb it a bit, but the story just rushes through making quick work of Grendel and Mom and focusing really on the end of the Geats after Beowulf‘s death fighting a dragon in old age. Some really great touches zoomed by in a blink. Someday I should reread with some reflection. Some day.

review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

Wasn‘t sure what to expect. It was nice, the poems, and then I encountered The Wanderer and The Seafarer (the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon manuscript is above). You have to understand these were completely new to me. They have such a different perspective compared to everything I know of that‘s older. They look inward at an emotional state in their own kind of touching way. And to imagine, as I currently am, that they just came out of the mist.

Lindy Can you read that text? Or is there a modern English translation in the book? 2mo
Graywacke @Lindy goodness, no! Although apparently it‘s not that difficult to learn if you‘re inclined that way. I used Alexander‘s translation. But there are many. I learned Ezra Pound‘s Seafarer is famous: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44917/the-seafarer 2mo
Lcsmcat I had an English teacher in junior high who read bits of Beowulf to us in the original. It‘s almost like German. 2mo
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Lindy @Graywacke Thanks for the link to Ezra Pound‘s Seafarer. I hadn‘t read it previously. It‘s a challenge, but lovely. 2mo
Graywacke @Lindy yup - Pound‘s is much more beautiful than Alexander‘s, but Alexander‘s was a lot clearer. 🙂Pound‘s is special. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat makes sense. As I understand, Anglo and Saxons were Germanic tribes. My Beowulf copy is bilingual...but I‘ll probably just admire the look of Old English/Anglo-Saxon. 2mo
Graywacke @Lindy I found easier to read versions if you want get the gist of these two poems. As you know, both take time. They're long.
The Seafarer: http://www.thehypertexts.com/The%20Seafarer%20English%20Translation%20Michael%20...
The Wanderer: http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=text&id=Wdr
(edited) 2mo
jewright Awww... I love both poems. I enjoy teaching Beowulf to students too. They are always surprised by how gruesome it is. 2mo
Graywacke @jewright I didn't know you taught literature. And actually I'm about to read Beowulf. (someone has me thinking about Woody Allen in Annie Hall: “ just don't take any class where they make you read Beowulf... “) I get the sense it's very different kind of thing from those two poems. (edited) 2mo
jewright @Graywacke I teach a couple of high school classes and a dual credit comp class, so I teach a lot about writing and grammar (which I also love), but we squeeze literature in too. Beowulf has beautiful parts too. I really like it, and the kennings are great. 2mo
Graywacke @jewright (had to look up kenning 😊) Sending a little high school teacher admiration your way. My wife is also a high school teacher, teaching art. 2mo
45 likes11 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

Kendi‘s history of racism and racist ideas is a manifesto with an agenda, no surprise. But the National Book Award winner is both fascinating and demands a mental shift, capturing my attention by showing the racism of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King and other famous black leaders, and by showing how the idea of assimilation is a racist idea. Terrific book.

Graywacke Among the ideas I took in was “upward suasion” - racism based on the idea minorities must convince others not be racist by acting better than other people (and being better educated and more accomplished than other people). And the idea of the exceptional genius used to explain Frederic Douglass or Barack Obama, and the racist implication of their somehow coming from a inferior race. 2mo
Aimeesue He is so freaking brilliant. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
Graywacke @Aimeesue 🙂 He‘s special. (And, maybe worth noting here, already a cancer survivor. Cancer at age 36). 2mo
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blurb
Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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A reminder and a tone setter of sorts for One of Ours (well, a guess at a possible undertone) #catherbuddyread

@Lcsmcat @CarolynM @batsy @jewright @catebutler @crazeedi @Tanisha_A @Tamra @bromeliad

Tamra Thank you - keep the reminders coming! 😄 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra 😂 This is your only one! From now on you‘ll have to live dangerously. 2mo
Lcsmcat I‘ve started - can‘t wait to discuss it with y‘all! 2mo
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Tamra @Graywacke living on the edge! 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat 👍 I‘ll start in a couple days. I‘m ready, though. 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra 😂 😂 2mo
Crazeedi I have to look for this 2mo
Tanisha_A Hello! Looks like it'll be difficult for me to join! :( 2mo
CarolynM I've downloaded the book. Looking forward to getting started 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi good luck C 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM 👍 me too! 2mo
batsy Just had a closer look at the schedule 😁 To confirm, we're doing books 2, 3, and 4 in one week to discuss on Sep 15? 1mo
Graywacke @batsy yes... I think. Is it too much? (A little less than twice book 1) 1mo
Graywacke @batsy a little of my thought process. In my Kindle edition books 2, 3 and 4 are 70 pages, which seemed like a slightly long but reasonable week for our pace. But...the 43 pages of book 1 took me 3.5 hours this read! (5 min/page) So, now I known the Kindle page is like two or three regular pages and books 2-4 are more like 175 pages... so, my prediction sucked. 😐 1mo
batsy Haha! 😆 It's hard to predict the estimated reading time with Kindle pagination! I love my Kindle but it's one of the things that drives me a bit batty. No worries, I'm sure we'll be able to get through it in a week 💪🏽😁 1mo
41 likes16 comments
review
Graywacke
Merry Wives of Windsor | William Shakespeare
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Mehso-so

Always enjoy the #shakespearereadalong and glad I have now read this, but it‘s not a favorite Shakespeare on the page. Seems this one is dependent on the performance and if the actors can pull it off, it‘s probably great fun and Fallstaff strikes again, or is brought down again. But hacking through the text is a mixed experience.

GingerAntics Would love to see it on stage. I agree on it being contingent on the actors, though, 2mo
Graywacke @GingerAntics I‘m with you, would love to see it performed. Thanks for leading us through. 2mo
batsy Yes, I felt mostly the same. It probably would be so much more enjoyable as a good performance. 2mo
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DGRachel I saw a performance through Digital Theatre years ago and unfortunately they changed their service from a purchase per play to a monthly subscription and it‘s been so long since I logged into my account, I‘ve lost access to all the plays I purchased, but it was a fabulous performance - a lot of fun. 2mo
Graywacke @batsy I‘m nodding 2mo
Graywacke @DGRachel I‘m not familiar with Digital Theatre. Noting. I would like to catch a good performance sometime. 2mo
merelybookish This was a so-so for me too. For same reasons. I imagine it's fun to see in performance. All the characters and side jokes would make more sense! 2mo
Graywacke @merelybookish yes. Needs several actors coordinating to bring it together. On the page, we‘re having to switch constantly, which breaks up any flow. 2mo
45 likes8 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

There‘s a long path of Baldwin‘s life in this short story collection, capped, easily, by the magnificent Sonny‘s Blues. Baldwin does some lovely, beautiful gently-created characters and tears them up. The last story, the title story on going to see a lynching, hovers over everything else. These stories are about racism even when they‘re not. The book completes my reading of the pictured collection.

KathyWheeler I think I need to read these again. It‘s been years. 2mo
Graywacke @KathyWheeler Since Baldwin is all new to me this year, it‘s too soon to think about rereading...well kinda. But I imagine he has a lot offer on multiple reads. Certainly Sonny may require another visit by me. 2mo
KathyWheeler @Graywacke It‘s been around 30 or so years for me. He‘s due a reread. 2mo
Graywacke @KathyWheeler admiring your history 🙂 2mo
66 likes5 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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The next book.

Tamra I really need to get to this one. I hear nothing but good things about it. 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra me too. I‘m still on the intro - he‘s passionate about it. 2mo
50 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Graywacke
My Antonia | Willa Sibert Cather
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Pickpick

I think Cather reminds us to break from this myth of subservient rural wives, and admire the variation of female strength, independence and vitality. She also uses that prose of hers to create something of a childhood Garden of Eden. It‘s not a simple as you might think. (For more, feel free to click on my attempt at a review...links in the comments)

Loved reading with the #catherbuddyread

batsy Beautifully put. I loved reading your long review on GR! (though I think you've mistakenly tagged another buddy read book :) 2mo
Graywacke @batsy didn‘t notice that... exposes the state of my poor little confused 🧠 2mo
batsy @Graywacke Haha, I can relate! You can edit it to change the tagged book, though. I'm just concerned that people looking up My Antonia won't see your excellent review :) 2mo
Graywacke @batsy I didn‘t know I could do that! Awesome, and thank you! Done. 2mo
51 likes5 comments
blurb
Graywacke
One of Ours | Willa Cather
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#catherbuddyread will read One of Ours in September. Just a handful of us on this are planning on reading Cather‘s take on the consequences (?) of World War I, her 1923 Pulitzer Prize winner that I had never heard of before this sequence of group reads. But we‘re open to more readers. If you‘re interested, feel free to jump in.

Crazeedi I need to see if I can find this! 2mo
See All 19 Comments
Graywacke One more note to say that, if you have noticed my being very quiet lately, there‘s a reason. Some distraction, good ones. So, crazy weekend over, time to get back into Litsy life. I miss it. 2mo
CarolynM 👍 2mo
Crazeedi @Graywacke I've been rather absent too, life kinda did me in this week, 😏 2mo
Lcsmcat We missed you, but life gets in the way sometimes. Glad you‘re back. 2mo
batsy Can't wait! 2mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi wishing you better week. This book is free on Project Gutenberg and available on Amazon ($1?) 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat thanks. Will catch up with your posts at some point ... get my poetry fix. 2mo
Graywacke @batsy 👍 2mo
Crazeedi @Graywacke thanks! And that's where I was going to look!! 2mo
Tanisha_A Hello hello! I haven't got much reading time these days, will try to join in. 2mo
Tamra I can join in this round! I‘ve read it in the past, but it was so long ago I don‘t recall much of anything about it. 🙃 2mo
catebutler I‘d love to be included in this! 2mo
Graywacke @Tanisha_A @Tamra @catebutler adding you to the list. 2mo
bromeliad Add me, too, if you don't mind. :) 2mo
Graywacke @bromeliad you‘re on the list. 👍 2mo
45 likes4 stack adds19 comments
blurb
Graywacke
An Orchestra of Minorities | Chigozie Obioma
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Trying this, which is on the Booker Long List. Interesting start, narrated by a character‘s Chi - who seems so far to have a mild hidden influence on his subject.

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Graywacke
My ntonia | Willa Cather
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Book V - Cuzak‘s Boys and the end of the book.
#catherbuddyread

Jim waited 20 years! The rest of this sections is a kind of epilogue of what Antonia became. For most of the book I thought Jim was a device to see Antonia, someone we never really see. But now we finish and I‘m wondering more about him than Antonia. Share your thoughts on him, Antonia, the others, what Cather might have been doing and the book overall.

Graywacke My favorite quote from this section: I did not want to find her aged and broken; I really dreaded it. In the course of twenty crowded years one parts with many illusions. I did not wish to lose the early ones. Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again. 2mo
Cathythoughts Love this quote ♥️💔 2mo
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Lcsmcat @Cathythoughts Me too! @Graywacke Like you, this section made me wonder about who the story is really about - Jim or Antonia. Perhaps the title is a clue? “My” Antonia, as Jim amended his manuscript. Authors show themselves through their work. Perhaps Cather is using this as a literary device to show us Jim? 2mo
Lcsmcat And I can‘t believe Jim waited 20 YEARS! 2mo
jewright I thought the last lines of the book tie Jim and Antonia together. “For Antonia and for me, this has been the Road to Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incomunicable past.” 2mo
jewright Jim does just seem like a literary device. His life seems kind of empty compared to Antonia‘s here, especially at the end. The first time I read this I was disappointed they don‘t end up together, but it‘s really better this way. I‘m annoyed it took him so long, but I‘m glad he goes to see her, and she‘s happy. 2mo
Graywacke @Cathythoughts @Lcsmcat - the lines strike home, no? I felt them. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes, he adds “My” as a last thing, flipping the weight of the book from her to him. And once we start thinking about the whole book, and rethink the narrator, a lot of ideas come up. Was Jim Willa, at least in part, or not? Was he too soft for Antonia? Was he an educated cipher compared to her embrace of land and labor? And so on... He was damn passive, for sure. 2mo
Graywacke @jewright thanks for highlighting those last lines. They‘re beautiful and embrace everything, and life itself in all its flaws. Also, I agree with you about Jim being empty (see my previous comment to Linda). No kids, adrift of his foundation, an orphan and so on... 2mo
Graywacke @jewright and I‘m really with you on it being better they don‘t end up together, at least for Antonia. I think she would have been very frustrated with him. As soon as I saw the lines he waited 20 years, it was clear to me she knew him better than I did and she made the right decision. My thinking is ( @Lcsmcat ) regardless of their relationship, that 20 years adrift was the possibly the mistake of his life. 2mo
Lcsmcat @jewright I do love those lines. Cather‘s prose again! And it shows a bit of growth on his part, because he states earlier that he waited so long to go back because he was sure her life was awful and he didn‘t want to see her that way. But she was actually thriving- more so than Tiny for all her wealth- and happy. 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Was Jim Willa? Interesting question. I think he at least represents a bit of her. That part that Thomas Wolfe identified - you can‘t go home again. He was too passive for her and, I think, too soft for the land. I agree that they would not have made each other happy. And think of the years of misery he could have saved himself, thinking Antonia was miserable, if he‘d just gone to see her sooner. ⬇️ (edited) 2mo
Lcsmcat Like his surprise at how she dealt with her first child as a joy instead of a shame, it shows that he didn‘t know her as well as he thought he did. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yes, good pickup. I overlooked his response to the baby, which you mentioned last week. 2mo
CarolynM @Graywacke I love that quote and I completely understand the sentiment. The bond between Jim and Antonia was their childhood proximity, not really anything to do with who they were as people. I think Antonia understood this all along while Jim only got it at the end. Was Jim Willa? I'm sure he was, at least in part. 2mo
batsy I love that quote too! And @CarolynM I think you've summed it up beautifully. For me it feels like the book was Jim's path to realisation and I was mulling over what you said last week about my question about why Jim never made an effort for Antonia, as it were. I understand what you mean: Antonia always understood what kind of connection they had. 2mo
Lcsmcat @CarolynM Yes! You said what I was feeling but hadn‘t articulated. Antonia was worth more to Jim as nostalgia than individual for most of the book. And contrast that with Anton, who was a city man by his own admission, but was happy on the farm because he loved Antonia and knew that she needed to be on the land to be truly happy. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @jewright @batsy @CarolynM Taking in these last comments - and the connection to the time and place (and “Jim‘s path to realization”) Thanks all for the discussion here. Enjoyed the book and the trilogy. 2mo
Graywacke @catebutler @crazeedi @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A @CarolynM @batsy @Caterina @squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books @jewright @Amiable @jmofo @saresmoore - just a note to everyone. I‘m going to keep going through Cather‘s works. Next is One of Ours, which won the Pulitzer in 1923. If you‘d like to join, let me know. Not sure if there‘s interest, or how much, and if there is enough, not sure whether to continue to do it this way or have a less formal structure. 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra - see previous comment 2mo
Lcsmcat I‘m in. I‘ve really been enjoying these discussions! One of Ours is also available as a free download for those with eBook apps or readers, through Project Gutenberg or Amazon. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I won‘t be joining as Cather is not for me, but thank you for doing this! I like buddy reads and I‘m glad I finally read My Ántonia, even though I didn‘t enjoy it much. ??‍♀️ 2mo
CarolynM Thanks again for hosting these buddy reads. The discussions are great - very stimulating. I haven't read One of Ours. I'd love to read it with you and all the other tagees🙂 2mo
jewright @Graywacke I‘m in. I‘ve read it before, but I love discussing with the group. 2mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books Thanks. Glad you at least enjoyed the group and checked off a box, so to speak. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM @jewright four works. I wasn‘t sure what to expect, so happy for the interest. (We could still add more as others read the message) I‘ll come up with a September-ish schedule. 2mo
Lcsmcat 👍🏻 2mo
batsy I'd love to join in for more Cather! I'm in for One of Ours 🙂 I love her writing so I'm collecting physical copies; I just placed my order at Book Depo so here's hoping it doesn't take a month to arrive 😅🤞🏽 2mo
Graywacke @batsy i was hoping but didn‘t want to presume. 🙂 Five works 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i saw Project Gutenberg had a Kindle option and one click put it in Kindle. Easy. But it didn‘t have a table of contents or page numbers. So I spent $1 on amazon just for those extras. 2mo
BarbaraBB Great discussion! I love your Cather reading. I only read (and enjoyed) 2mo
47 likes32 comments
review
Graywacke
The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
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Pickpick

(Pretty cool 1967 paperback. But I was afraid to damage it, and used the collected essays.)

What to say about this? These essay reverberated through the world in 1963, the threat in title hovering over the thoughtful, powerful text. Baldwin at his best, maybe.

Leftcoastzen I read it recently,extraordinary!❤️ 2mo
58 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
Spring | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Snuck this one in over a weekend two weeks ago without even a note here. I adore Ali Smith, and I liked this a lot. But I noticed this one is a lot thinner than the first two seasons, and the most plainly political - she interviewed UK IRC employees and refugees. Our prophet buried herself in the present. The first two left me with more to think about. Still, this is a nice addition to our times. What will Summer bring?

CarolynM I loved this too, but I thought it was less overtly political than Autumn or Winter. The characters and their individual stories were stronger in this one, I thought. 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM hmm. Depends on perspective, maybe, and other things difficult to quantify. Appreciate your thoughts. 2mo
CarolynM Perspective, definitely. The social divisions surrounding the Brexit debate I thought were strong in the first two - very much British politics. This one discusses issues that are being felt all over the western world and seem to me to be as much a moral as a political argument. 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM I think there was time when I separated moral and political stances, but being American, W corrected that, and with Trump it‘s plain as day. He‘s openly immoral. And we have learned that underneath the politics is a moral code. They are inseparable on this side of the pond. That perspective is maybe why I see her book as more political and you see it as less - the immortality of mishandling refugees is here a political question... 2mo
CarolynM Yes, I take your point. 2mo
49 likes5 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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It‘s interesting when an introduction can tell me how limited in quality the contents are and yet still get me interested. He tells me “Anglo-Saxon will never be considered one of the great languages of the world.” And “Beowulf, because is it extant, has sometimes been overvalued, as if it were the work of an English Homer. But it was not preserved, as the Iliad was, by the unanimous judgment of all the people through successive generations.”

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Graywacke
The Merry Wives of Windsor: A Comedy | William Shakespeare, John Frederick Stanford
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Been too busy or distracted for any structured online stuff, including Litsy. This will continue for a week at least, until we get through my son‘s Bar Mitzvah. But I have been catching up with the #shakespearereadalong . After Act ii we have a slightly different Falstaff from Henry IV. Same immoral epicurean, but seems the vibrancy has been somewhat replaced with a cold (mis-)calculation and a lot more plot.

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Graywacke
My ntonia | Willa Cather
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My Ántonia Book IV: The Pioneer Woman‘s Story - August 4 #catherbuddyread

Who set up this group read? ☺️ Sorry all, another really short section this week. But another good one, I hope. Odd titled section as it captures the very different stories of three women. Sad and sweet for Jim and Ántonia. What were your thoughts? Should Jim have done something different? Any thoughts on these three women?

Lcsmcat Cather certainly showed three very different ways a woman of that time could be independent or non-conforming. Tiny actually made me the saddest because she doesn‘t seem to have gotten happiness out of her choices. Tony, for all that she is seen as disgraced, seems to have made her peace with her situation and have hope for the future for her daughter. 3mo
jewright This section reminded me why I wasn‘t super fond of this book. I hate that often the only fact that matters for women is their virginity. Once Antonia is soiled, she‘s only good for hard labor and burying herself on the farm. I‘m also traumatized that she‘s outside doing farm labor in the summer while pregnant. I was wondering if anyone knew she was pregnant or if she hid it. I want Jim to take her away and marry her. 3mo
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jewright @Lcsmcat I hadn‘t thought of that, but I completely agree. 3mo
Lcsmcat @jewright I assumed she hid it. It wouldn‘t be too hard to do given the clothing of the time. My mom hid her pregnancy with me (in the early 60s) with just a girdle, so she could keep working, and didn‘t get caught and fired until her 6th month. And only then because someone ratted her out. And pregnant women weren‘t coddled then unless they were wealthy, so she would have worked anyway. (edited) 3mo
Lcsmcat I was more upset by Jim‘s reaction to the photograph of the baby, saying that she should be ashamed of her instead of proud. Even if you blame Tony, the baby is innocent. And frankly, I blame the man, not her, because the power was in his hands and he got off scott free. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Tiny impresses, but doesn‘t find happiness. That‘s Cather, no? I‘m not as convinced about Antonia‘s peace. She seems to have given up on other people. She‘s still so young. (Isn‘t she tragically lonely, like Alexandra in Pioneers). 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Maybe peace is the wrong word. But I don‘t see her giving up on other people. They gave up on her, but the hope she has for a better future for her daughter indicates to me that she hasn‘t given up on them. 3mo
Graywacke @jewright yeah, a sh!t era for independent women, and this is an American cultural foundation (trumper dream). Very frustrating to read that. Like you I wanted them together, but I wanted Jim to get a local farm and bring Antonia and let them work it together with the baby. But then I thought about it. Jim never worked a farm... 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat ( @jewright ) good call on her hiding the pregnancy. See the illustration, she‘s hiding it there. Also, interesting and frustrating about your mom. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat that guy was obviously no good. Interesting, your take on Jim‘s reaction. I think I was more forgiving of his judgment. Do you think he came around? 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke And she was married. An unmarried woman would have lost more than her job. Sometimes I think younger women (and men) don‘t realize how recent that kind of discrimination was. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I like your optimism. And also your respect and admiration of Antonia. I think like Jim I‘m disappointed she wasn‘t happier...and like Jim I‘m judging!! 😐🤨 If anything, Cather is asking us not to judge... 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat we see the world through our generation, no? 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Good thought. I do think Cather is asking us not to judge. Maybe that‘s why she chose a male narrator? It might keep readers from dismissing the idea out of hand? And yes, we see through our generation unless we consciously try. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat two constant thoughts I have when thinking about this is how does this fit into American mythology and why a male voice. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat would we (readers) judge a female voice more? (Or harsher?) 3mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I think some readers, particularly in her day, wouldn‘t listen to a female narrator justifying a female character with the same receptiveness. If a male, even a fictional one, recognized the unfairness, it would be easier for the typical reader to agree. 3mo
batsy I felt bad for Tiny, too. It shows how a woman can make decisions to be autonomous & be unhappy or seen as unhappy for not having what women are "supposed" to have, if that makes sense? Society vs individual freedom. Cather's themes. I liked Jim a lot more when he described Larry. I felt so sad about the beautifully-written melancholic last part of the section, but also wondered why Jim couldn't give Antonia the happiness he thinks she deserves. 3mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat it‘s true today too, and frustrating. 3mo
Graywacke @batsy ( @jewright ) I wonder about Jim there too. Very frustrating to read and see it and yet Cather holds him off without a real explanation. 3mo
CarolynM @batsy @Graywacke I am a dedicated romantic, but I really like the fact that Antonia and Jim love each other without being romantically involved. If Jim had offered to marry her I am sure she would have refused. She never had any romantic feelings for him, it would be dishonest for her to marry him, and she would feel that she was holding him back from the life he should have. 3mo
Graywacke @CarolynM huh. Yeah, I‘m thinking you‘re right. (See who she did fall for. Jim may not be her type, too boring, regular... ) 3mo
48 likes23 comments