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The White Hotel
by D.M. Thomas

By turns a dream of electrifying eroticism recounted by a young woman to her analyst, Sigmund Freud, and a horrifying yet calmly unsensational narrative of the Holocaust, this PEN Silver Pen winner is now recognized as a modern classic that reconciles the nightmarish with the transcendent.

To:                ALL                   Date:    05/09
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     0:23 AM

THE WHITE HOTEL, by D.M. Thomas *** Dear long-lost CRs      
("lost" meaning me, not you): A brief prefatory note as to  
how I came across this novel...When I gave my talk at Fresno
State last week, the creative writing faculty graciously    
took Mary and me out for beers afterwards.                  
  There being mostly writers and poets assembled (including 
an exceedingly modest guy named David Borofka who failed to 
point out, at the time, that his story collection had won   
this year's VERY prestigious Iowa Short Fiction prize, which
I look forward to reading), the talk eventually turned to   
contemporary authors who are currently most pushing the     
envelope of language and technique.                         
  After much, and proper, obeisance was paid to Cormac      
McCarthy, the talk unanimously turned to D.M. Thomas, whom I
hadn't read. As a result, some ways down the road, I found  
the recommended Penguin paperback of Thomas's THE WHITE     
HOTEL and it has thus far surpassed even its advance        
  A relatively short historical novel, THE WHITE HOTEL      
mainly takes the form of journal entries made by a female   
patient of Sigmund Freud's who has been diagnosed by the    
eminent doctor as having "severe hysteria." The language and
erotic imagery are breathtaking, and the risks Thomas takes 
with conventional narrative technique are boggling my mind. 
I'm never quite sure which parts are dream and which are    
reality, but after a while such distinctions become mostly  
irrelevant, which I think is part of the author's intent.   
  To make a long story short: Holy sh**! This one's a       
barn-burner, folks, and the kind of book that I most chafe  
at the bit to talk with CRs about. Be forewarned that both  
the erotic detail and the violence in WHITE HOTEL make it   
not for the squeamish, and I suggest that potential readers 
have near at hand either a jeroboam of Chardonnay, or       
several cold showers, or both, as you proceed.              
  >>Dale, on the road, in awe of D.M. Thomas                

===============   Reply    1 of Note   27 =================

To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/09 From: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Time: 2:45 AM I read The White Hotel and one other of D.M. Thomas' novels in high school. I think that was probably not the right time to read these books - I'm sure I missed a lot by virtue of my age. I do remember a plagiarism controversy which plagued Thomas for a while. Theresa =============== Reply 2 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/09 From: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Time: 8:10 PM Dale, I have read TWH twice, and it definitely stands up to the test. There are so many themes to this book, and each is packed with meaning. Just your mention of the book conjures up a variety of images. With the benefit of a reader's hindsight, one is reminded of Kundera and Ondaatje. I too remember the controversy about the book. At the time of the publication of TWH in 1981, Thomas had not published anything so grand. There were those who wondered if he was for real. I myself think that the book is definitely for real. Thanks for reminding me. Mary Anne =============== Reply 3 of Note 27 =================  
To: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Date: 05/09 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 9:35 PM What, Mary Anne, you say that this book reminds you of both Ondaatje AND Kundera?! That's enough to totally hook me --as if I needed any more encouragement after Dale's great review. I feel a very expensive trip to Borders coming on. Ann =============== Reply 4 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/10 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 0:13 AM OK Dale, you hooked me here. I've had this book sitting on the shelf for a decade or so; I started it once and for some reason or another that I cannot recall I just dropped it, planning to pick it up again when the fancy might strike. Well, here it is. I read the first 60 pages this morning prior to retiring, and I believe I'm just about at the spot where I lost interest the first time (a somewhat confusing interlude where Major Lionheart is attempting to codify unusual activities). The barn-burner metaphor is certainly apt - the jacket of my copy shows a nude seated woman in a high windowed white room with upswept, literally flamimg, red hair. Joe B =============== Reply 5 of Note 27 =================  
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 05/10 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 0:37 AM Joe: Nude? Upswept red hair, flaming? God, I love literature. I'm dropping 'A Soldier of the Great War' (a great read, incidentally, but so far totally bereft of nude hair, red or otherwise) and immediately opting for 'The White Hotel'. Dick in Alaska, who's only experience with flaming red hair came in high school chemistry lab =============== Reply 6 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/10 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 3:59 AM Dick, I once knew a girl with flaming red hair. . . . --DJP =============== Reply 7 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/10 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 11:16 AM Sir Richard - I don't believe you'll regret your decision. The opening chapter of this novel is a poem titled Don Giovanni that spills off the pages like a rill down the mountain side. Read it out loud (preferably with a loved one) and you'll catch yourself talking faster and faster, cramming the words together breathlessly, like the lovers surrounded by banal and catastrophic events that brush consciousness and delineate l'affaire d'amour. I too have put Helprin on hold, in my case MEMOIR FROM ANTPROOF CASE and REFINER'S FIRE, till I finish this novel, which I believe I'll be able to do this weekend as long as the weather holds out (remains wet and miserable). Joe B =============== Reply 8 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/10 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 8:05 PM Dick & All: Glad to hear you're taking up Thomas's THE WHITE HOTEL with me; I look forward to your comments. Joe, your mention of putting the novel aside earlier reminds me of a disturbing fact, i.e. how much my reaction to a given book depends on what kind of reading I'm "in the mood for" at the time. Twenty years ago, I felt duty bound to finish any book I started, but as life shortens I'm far more likely to put one on ice and start another. Sometimes, months or years later, I'll pick up an abandoned book and find that it suddenly blows me away, making me wonder how I missed its value the first time. Or conversely, I'll try to re-read an old favorite and wonder what I ever saw in it. A strange biz, this process of reading. Anybody else have this experience, or am I just entering my "crank" phase with age? Wait, don't answer that. >>Dale, heading for the white hotel with fear and trembling (PS: I just downloaded from Homework Helper an article about Thomas and the novel, and I'll be glad to E-mail a copy to anybody who's interested. Usually these scholarly pieces are anathema to me, but anything that can shed light on this highly unusual book has my full attention at present.) =============== Reply 9 of Note 27 =================  
To: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Date: 05/10 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 8:08 PM Theresa: My hat's off to you for reading THE WHITE HOTEL in high school. Besides making me feel especially old (thanks a lot ), the fact that you finished it says volumes about your obvious broad-mindedness, in light of the troubling subject matter and the ongoing controversy in academic circles about TWH supposedly being demeaning to females, etc. I do think, though, that a re-read would be a very different experience. If you decide to undertake if there weren't a few hundred thousand other books vying for your attention...I'd be interested in your comments. And thanks again for journeying to Berkeley for my reading on Sunday; it means more than you know, to look up and see friendly faces in an audience, especially this far from home. As to the lady you mentioned, in the front row at Gaia Books, I gathered she was very intense and New Age-ish (sp?) but don't see how you pegged her immediately as a Berkeleyite, unless the two descriptions are redundant. Please enlighten me; I need to know this stuff. Take care, >>Dale on the road =============== Reply 10 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/10 From: NMTT86A JAMES HEATH Time: 8:34 PM I read THE WHITE HOTEL last year right after reading HOTEL DU LAC. All I can say is that Swiss hotels got a lot tamer after the war. --Jim in Oregon =============== Reply 11 of Note 27 =================  
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 05/10 From: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Time: 9:32 PM Joe, Hehe...CRs must be the only breed that hopes rainy weather holds out... Peggy, who ordered WHITE HOTEL from the bookstore yesterday... =============== Reply 12 of Note 27 =================  
To: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Date: 05/10 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 9:42 PM Mary Anne: Glad to hear you share my high opinion of Thomas's THE WHITE HOTEL. It still has me reeling at the moment, but something about his images--surreal as they are--seems almost primal to me. I'm sure they'll be in my head for quite a while. I downloaded an article on Thomas today, and the plagiarism controversy that you and Theresa mention apparently stems from some critics' charges that he borrowed a bit too freely from a nonfiction account of the massacre in the last section of the book. The professor who wrote the article believes this whole deal was far overblown, and claims that issue has died out since. Still alive, he says, is a controversy as to whether Thomas exploits his main character in a manner conventionally defined as "pornographic," a charge which the prof sets out to debunk, or at least put in perspective. Being on the fiction-writing end myself, I have way too little patience with byzantine academic theories after-the-fact. From my perspective, any novelist worth his/her salt avoids "issues" like the plague. My "intent" consists of waking up every morning and putting to paper these images that are driving me crazy, then rewriting as many times/years as necessary to make the edges fit. Past that, as to what any of it "means," I'm the last person on earth who would know. I just did my job by making the thing whole; on to the next. Which reminds me...the writer of this article begins by quoting some scholar who says, "Whatever one's opinion of Thomas's writing, it's impossible to deny his gift for stirring up sh**." More power to him, I say. Take care, >>Dale on the road =============== Reply 13 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/12 From: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Time: 4:46 PM Dale, Yes, I know that many feel that TWH is pornographic and demeaning to women. Typically, I would not go in for that kind of reading. This entire book seems so allegorical, that I have to believe that the sex is allegory as well. It's been a number of years since I read TWH. I also find myself having different reactions to books reread at a later time. Maybe if I reread TWH now I would find it offensive, but I hope that is not the case. Mary Anne =============== Reply 14 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/12 From: HGEQ97A WILLIAM SUGARMAN Time: 10:37 PM Dale - I read "The White Hotel" years ago, when it first came out in paperback, and I was just as thrown by it then as you seem to be now. I was working at Crown Books at the time (for those of you who don't know, Crown is Bobby Haft's answer to what Barnes & Noble used to be outside of New York City). Interestingly enough, despite the obvious eroticism of TWH, I didn't really see it as truly erotic. Neither did I see it as pornographic, however; I saw it as...well, I guess the best I can do is "art". Once I got through those initial chapters and saw them for what they were, I must say that I was even more impressed than I was when I started reading the book. There was a lot of controversy on TWH at the time it came out, but as I remember (at least in Washington, where I was living at the time), it had nothing to do with the book's erotic content - it had to do with the psychology involved - and I suppose "discussion" would be a more appropriate word than "controversy". I think Thomas just came out with a new book a few months back; I'd like to get my hands on it and see how he's been doing over the last 20 or so years. Bill 5/12/96 10:35PM ET =============== Reply 15 of Note 27 =================  
To: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Date: 05/14 From: KGXC73A GAIL SINGER GROSS Time: 7:41 PM greetings CERTIFIED BOOK JUNKIE.... years ago i really tried to read this was hot and everyone was recommending it like mad.....i was not successful but after reading all your posts...perhaps my advanced age and appreciation of certain types of literature will shed more light at this time in my life....i love to read about everyone's reaction.... and when one person is so HIGH on a is so easy to drop everything and pursue this novel.... can't wait to hear more from everyone... gail..a passionate reader in about to rain in SAN FRANCISCO... =============== Reply 16 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/15 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 1:09 AM Dale, I just came across this and thought you might enjoy it. From ERNEST HEMINGWAY ON WRITING ed. by Larry W. Phillips "Then there is the other secret. There isn't any symbolysm (mis-spelled). The sea is the sea. The old man is the old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is s***. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know." --to Bernard Berenson, 1952 (Selected Letters) Also... "The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproff, s*** detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writer's have had it." --from "An Interview w/EH" by George Plimpton Paris Review, Spring 1958 And finally, this is for all who post about the WEATHER! "Remember to get the weather in your g** d***** book--weather is very important." --to John Dos Passos, 1932 (Selected Letters) Jean--in PGH, PA where the weather outside is hopefully getting back to being spring-like =============== Reply 17 of Note 27 =================  
To: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Date: 05/15 From: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Time: 6:23 PM Jean & Dale My writing teacher told us once that the only thing THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA was symbolic of was Hemingway's need to pay his bar tab. He'd heard one of the local fisherman tell about a battle with a big fish and fleshed it out to get his editor off his back. Peggy =============== Reply 18 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/15 From: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Time: 9:18 PM Dale - I don't remember thinking White Hotel was demeaning to women at all. But, I generally am not the least bothered by things which many women pounce on immediately, and find other books/authors (i.e. Fowles, whom I fear I've been a wee bit hard on) bothersome when others do not. What is it about White Hotel that is supposed to be demeaning, if I may ask? And as for the chick at Gaia - it was the hair, the clothes, the intonation.... Theresa =============== Reply 19 of Note 27 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 05/15 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 10:29 PM Hee hee. Love that irreverent humor (about Hemingway and his no doubt prodigious bar tab). Lynn =============== Reply 20 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/16 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 1:15 AM My favorite Hemingway story comes from THE LETTERS OF E. B. WHITE. At one time White wrote to his editor that he had read that Hemingway always wrote while standing on the skin of a Lesser Kudu. White's remark was "I always write sitting on my arse, except, of course, when I have piles." Ruth, in CA, looking forward to seeing Dale tomorrow night =============== Reply 21 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/16 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 11:25 AM Unfortunately, I didn't get to put in much reading time over the weekend. I have finished the third section however, and all I can say is that it had the effect of a bucket of cold water. Man, the imagery that was expanding my mind dissed by the old doc as doggerel! This new tack has disoriented me - I can't imagine what type of transmutation might be presented next. Joe B off to visit the spa =============== Reply 22 of Note 27 =================  
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 05/16 From: ZKRF38E KAY ALEXANDER Time: 1:06 PM goodness....hmmmm.....I suppose I shall just simply have to read this book, The White Hotel. It's gotten everyone all a-stir here it seems. :-) Kay in Atlanta =============== Reply 23 of Note 27 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 05/16 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 7:50 PM Peggy, Thanks for that interesting information about THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. I read it in high school and hated it. Now I feel almost vindicated. It is, of course, entirely possible that I was just too young to appreciate it , but that is one book that I have never felt tempted to tackle again. Ann =============== Reply 24 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/16 From: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Time: 8:50 PM Ann, count me in re: Old Man and the Sea and any other Hemingway, for that matter. Given his almost universal acclaim, I've always felt out of it because I never liked a single Hemingway piece I've ever read. High school English teachers have turned off many a potential avid reader by touting his work, IMHO. Teresa in Salt Lake City, with an aching back from cleaning up debris in the garden after gale force winds... =============== Reply 25 of Note 27 =================  
To: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Date: 05/16 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 11:06 PM The Wild Man is an admirer of some Hemingway...I think it was the earlier stuff. Where are you, Steve? Recommend some good EH again! I tried a later one last summer...the title is well known, but it will not pop into my head...and only got through about two chapters. And, I'm one of those folks who still finishes almost everything she starts. Barbara =============== Reply 26 of Note 27 =================  
To: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Date: 05/17 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 2:55 AM Teresa -- I never much cared for Hemingway either. In general, I dislike being that conscious of the writer and his consciousness of his own act of writing, not to mention his consciousness of his own self-consciousness... whew! Like getting stuck in a hall of mirrors and wanting out. Real bad. But! That said, I did read one short story of his (The White Elephants?) that I liked a lot. Lynn =============== Reply 27 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/17 From: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Time: 4:05 PM As regards Hemingway, Since Steve hasn't jumped in yet, I can recommend a couple of good reads by EH. My all-time favorite is the long short story (really two-part short story) THE BIG TWO-HEARTED RIVER. I've always felt that this story works so well because there is only one character, and you don't get all the spite and posturing that is characteristic of a lot of Hemingway stuff. Of course, being one of the best bits of prose I've ever read doesn't hurt, either. Steve's big favorite, I think, is another short story called THE BATTLER. I've only read two of the novels, THE SUN ALSO RISES and THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, so I am not really qualified to say much about the novels. TSAR works because all the characters really ARE spiteful and posturing. The section where Barnes goes with his pals to fish for trout on the Irati River is fine, like TBT-HR with other people. Trout fishing stories seem to have brought out the best in Hemingway. Truly and well from the clean, well-lighted place, Felix Miller ( 5/17/96 3:59PM ET =============== Reply 28 of Note 27 =================  
To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 05/17 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:07 PM Felix-- I think that the EH I tried to read recently might have been THE SUN ALSO RISES. Does it start with a man stranded in a jungle with a woman and gangreen setting into a wound in his leg? I couldn't believe how much I did not want to read that book after the first chapter or so! Barb =============== Reply 29 of Note 27 =================  
To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 05/17 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 10:08 PM A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE, now that's a short story but not as short as A VERY SHORT STORY! I like ACW-LP and there is another one I always end up reading, but, darn, I can't think of the title. I liked the SUN ALSO RISES. I also liked THE GARDEN OF EDEN even though in a preface by Charles Scribner, Jr., it says " presents an intensive study of the mental state of an intelligent woman uncontrollably *envious* of her husband's success as a writer and yearning to change her gender." Somehow, when I read TGOE I didn't get that. Of course knowing even just a little about EH, one would think the above description is accurate. I'll have to re-read it. I did find the book HADLEY, about his first wife, interesting. Jean in hazy Pittsburgh =============== Reply 30 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/17 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 11:20 PM Barb, I think THE SUN ALSO RISES is about a guy who is impotent, which probably won't make you want to run right out to read it either. Ann =============== Reply 31 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/18 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 0:59 AM About Hemingway and fishing - My friend outdoor writer H. Lea Lawrence several years ago published a book called FISHING PAPA'S WATERS. He has gone to all of Hemingway's known fishing haunts, fished and photographed himself, and interviewed old timers who remember Hemingway. Fortunately, he did the Cuba bit when that was still reasonably possible. Lea Lawrence is an interesting man forever balancing his interest in biology and literature. He's also one of those independent minded East Tennessee cusses (Morristown) who will dig in their heels and defy anybody. He testified for me at my divorce hearing. Cathy =============== Reply 32 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/19 From: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Time: 1:27 AM Dear Barbara, Please, PLEASE don't give up on Hemingway. I love his works, and I myself have never been able to read The Sun Also Rises. Have you read A Farwell to Arms? There is something about Hemingway that haunts me. Kristin =============== Reply 33 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/19 From: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Time: 1:34 AM Cathy, Speaking of Hemingway's "haunts", I was in Idaho a few years ago. As we barreled through Kellogg, I wanted to stop and see Hemingway's grave. My husband insisted we continue our hard drive to Montana, and not spend a lot of time searching for a grave. I rarely lose arguments, and I pouted all the way across the Idaho panhandle. I was glad to learn later, that it would have been a long search for a grave in Kellogg, as he is buried in Ketchum, Idaho. Kristin =============== Reply 34 of Note 27 =================  
To: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Date: 05/19 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 1:51 AM Kristin -- It's the testosterone-soaked existential angst. Gets 'em every time. Lynn =============== Reply 35 of Note 27 =================  
To: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Date: 05/19 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 9:42 AM Kristin, I honestly think that when my life lets up on me a little (like this summer), I'll probably try something short by EH. He's just too much a part of American literature to not take seriously. And, the excerpt in the Kundera thread from IMMORTALITY about people's work being judged by who they were personally made me stop and think about my reaction to him. I did really HATE whatever it was that I tried to read by him last year...I can't stand not being able to remember that was a library book...need to go there and see if I can figure out what it was. In any case, I'll try something that's recommended here and let you know. BTW, I remember you posting at intervals and am glad to see you back. What are you reading? Barbara =============== Reply 36 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/19 From: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Time: 11:51 AM Barbara, The story of Hemingway's concerning a man dying of gangrene is "The Snows of Kilimanjaro." It is a story of about 25 pages. Made into a big star movie back in the '50s, which I have never seen. A rather mean-spirited man is on safari and is dying from a festered thorn scratch. His memories and an ongoing dialogue with his wife comprise the book. I say mean-spirited, because the guy says some pretty uncivil things to his wife. Of course, he is dying, so maybe he should be cut some slack. There are much better stories by Hemingway; in addition to the ones I mentioned in my last note, "A Clean, Well-lighted Place" would be a good one to read. There was a Scribners paperback, THE HEMINGWAY READER, published some years ago. It had selections from several of the novels and an assortment of short stories. If you could find that in the library, you might get a feel for Hemingway. Persevere, Felix Miller ( 5/19/96 11:50AM ET =============== Reply 37 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/19 From: ZRAK98A ROBERT AVERY Time: 10:32 PM Dear Barbara, Don't despair, dear, if you find you still can't like Hemingway. If I were God-of-the-literary-critics, his work never would have seen the light of day. Bob, who tried, but just can't see what the fuss is about =============== Reply 38 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRAK98A ROBERT AVERY Date: 05/20 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 10:38 AM Bob -- I suppose it's Hemingway's being drawn to grand themes, and the stark simplicity of his imagery, that attracts people. My problem with him is that he has huge blind spots that, for me, interfere with his ability to say anything without getting tangled up in his own solipsistic concerns. Maybe that's why his short stories work better: put him on a short leash and his flaws are less apparent, his strengths better able to sustain the demands of storytelling. By the way, much is sometimes made of the fact that women tend not to like ol' Papa -- and the suspicion seems to be that the explanation for not liking his work came first, then the response, molded to fit the "party line" explanation. And that it's Hemingway's machismo that turns women off. I like to think, of course, that the response came first, then the various attempts to understand what that response may signify. And as for his machismo, H. seems to wear his masculinity so uncomfortably, as if he doubts his right to it, never mind his ability to measure up to whatever he seems to think is demanded by wearing it. His characters are limited in this same way, which can be interesting at first, but after a while, when he seems to have nothing new to say on the subject and is blind to the simplest of implications re this limitation, the reader just wants to say: "All right already. You're a man, Ernest! Spell that M-A-N! Now please, something other than the same three chords!" I think any writer who doesn't at least understand his or her own limitations is bound to produce pieces plagued by those odd "clinkers" -- like dead keys on a piano. Get too many such clinkers, and put 'em in major keys, and you end up with a writer who can produce the occasional minor key ditty (to beat this poor metaphor to a pulp!) but who otherwise is terribly unsatisfying in ways that can only be described as essential. And that folks is my highly idiosyncratic response to Papa Hemingway's work! Lynn =============== Reply 39 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/20 From: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Time: 12:45 PM Not to change the subject or anything , but I finished WHITE HOTEL yesterday. I must say that I felt thoroughly manipulated by the author, but not deceived or misled. I lay awake wondering just why Thomas felt this story had to be told this way. This isn't a judgement as to the rightness or wrongness of such an approach, but curiosity as to what is being added to or subtracted from the experience of this novel using the form that he has. I'd love to hear others' impressions. I won't comment on the content any more than I did initially because I feel that in this case awareness of what is going before experiencing it as Thomas presents it will be a loss for the reader. So I would recommend NOT reading the material Dale has made available from Homework Helper until after you've read the book. Joe B =============== Reply 40 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/20 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 4:32 PM Lynn, We were wondering last night if the CHAT was going to be the one that went down in history as the CHAT where everyone found common ground with Marty. In this, an election year, in the spirit of Bob Dole's new tieless, officeless image, I thought that it would only be appropriate to illuminate yet another bone of non-contention between other CRs and myself. I don't like Hemingway. I've never liked Hemingway. I wouldn't put him in the canon if I had been appointed the big canonizer. I have enjoyed some of his short stories, but the novels I read just didn't get to me. It seems to me that Hemingway WORKED to achieve the plainness of style he's known for. And when the working of the writer is that obvious, the writing suffers. I've heard it said that Hemingway and Faulkner agreed on the problem with language but disagreed about what the solution was. That is, both men said that language was the only tool we had with which to communicate with one another. But there they parted company. Hemingway said that we should not trust language, and that to achieve the most effective communication, it should be direct and concise and (in my opinion) bloodless. Faulkner, on the other hand, believed that since language was the only possible means of communication, we'd best take it and run with it. That the more words one used, the better he could describe what it was he was trying to get on the page. We have had an interesting battle in American literature ever since then about the role of language and its proper use. One of the things that so fascinates me about Cormac McCarthy, I think, is how much he draws from both styles and traditions--and winds up with something unique. I like your phrase, by the way: "the stark simplicity of his imagery." And I have a question of sorts: what is a writer supposed to do, if not illuminate his own solipsistic concerns? I'm just sort of wondering aloud here about the whole purpose of the artist. If either Faulkner or Hemingway were right, it seems to me that man is existentially alone and that language is a failure. So all he can do is try to communicate. He will never succeed, but he might get close. (That last may have been some sort of strange intuitive leap; I'm not sure of my logic.) --DJP =============== Reply 41 of Note 27 =================  
To: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Date: 05/20 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 6:04 PM Marty -- Loved your note. Or I think I did! Printed it out to go through it more carefully. But the question about what else is a writer to do but illuminate his own solipsistic concerns caught my eye. Of course you're right -- better his own concerns than the feller next door's. But one hopes, or the reader hopes, that the author would have some sense of how his concerns were (or weren't) universal and some desire to let the reader in on those concerns. I often have the feeling with Hemingway that he's dancing with himself and would just as soon not be cut in on. But now to the rest of your note, which is done printing... Lynn =============== Reply 42 of Note 27 =================  
To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 05/20 From: NMTT86A JAMES HEATH Time: 9:52 PM It's hard to give whole hearted support for the author who created the phrase "Did the earth move?" or who had his hero leave his dead girlfriend and walk morosely home in the rain at the end of a novel. Even so, I like THE SUN ALSO RISES and a lot of the short stories. As long as I'm convinced that the hero has been stunned into silence by the horror of World War I, the short sentences and understated events work. Later on, the style starts to feel affected and unnatural -- not to mention pretty sentimental. I suspect that over time Hemingway will become someone like Dickens where you have to overlook a lot of defects to enjoy the work. --Jim in Oregon =============== Reply 43 of Note 27 =================  
To: ACCR69A JOSEPH BARREIRO Date: 05/21 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 11:19 AM Joe & All: I finished THE WHITE HOTEL last night, and it packed a huge emotional wallop for me--dazzling and disturbing in equal measure. Your comment about feeling "manipulated by the author, but not misled" rings very true, I think. I get the feeling that part of what Thomas is up to, here, is showing how vastly subjective and mysterious our inner lives are; how dependent on memory, and how resistant to any clear analysis, psycho- or otherwise. Much food for thought, which I'll be digesting for quite a while. As for the final chapters (*Plot Spoiler Alert*, I guess...) : One thing the author achieved was getting me to emotionally invest so heavily in Frau Anna and her story that I was off guard when the inexorable flow of recognizable history started to intrude, and hoped against hope there could be a different outcome. In that sense it reminds me of the films JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN and SCHINDLER'S LIST: making individual lives so rich and complex that the cold statistics, of millions killed in this or that horror, take on a whole new level of meaning. What do you make of the final short section, Anna in heaven (or wherever)? At first I was ambivalent about how it fit with what had gone before, but then it began to take on such a strong internal logic that it felt not only necessary but inevitable. In any event, I'm very glad I experienced THE WHITE HOTEL and look forward to hearing your comments. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 44 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/21 From: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Time: 7:03 PM Dale, I picked up THE WHITE HOTEL this weekend after reading your post and am now about halfway through it. I, too, am blown away by Thomas' style and imagery. When I first started it, I thought what the hell have I gotten into here, and then decided to suspend disbelief and notions of narrative technique and who knows what else and dive in. Once I did that, I found myself in a buoyant state and am enjoying the ride. The last time I, as a reader, experienced something similar was with Joyce's ULYSSES.Some passages seem almost psychedelic..."He was convinced that start were falling through the black sky outside their window and she argued that they were white roses. But then something that was unquestionably a grove of oranges floated down and they gave up whispering, in the wonder of watching it. The brilliant oranges glowed in the dark rustling foliage. The lovers went on to the balcony to see the orange grove fall in the lake. Each separate fruit hissed and was extinguished as it touched the calm water." The beauty of Thomas' language puts me in mind of Garcia Marquez, but in such a totally different way that it's like comparing apples and oranges. Looking forward to further discussion...thanks for the recommend. Teresa. who would love to see roses falling from the sky =============== Reply 45 of Note 27 =================  
To: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Date: 05/21 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 7:22 PM Teresa: Glad to hear you're "lodging" at THE WHITE HOTEL; I think your strategy of suspending expectations, both narrative and otherwise, is the supreme way to ride the wave of D.M. Thomas's amazing exploration, here. I look forward to hearing from you after you've finished the journey. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 46 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/22 From: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Time: 0:26 AM Dearest Barbara, I am currently reading The Shining Shining Path, by some guy named Dale Short! Grin, Kristin =============== Reply 47 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/22 From: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Time: 0:42 AM Lynn, I don't see Hemingway as "macho" as so many women do. I don't think that term applied to men in the thirties and fourties. They were allowed to chase pursuits without criticism then. I see Hemingway as a man who had a gusto for life. That to drink, make love and face danger was to feel life - so was writing. I honestly don't think it was a game with him, it was something he lived, and felt. "A Clean Well Lighted Place" is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. There is a quality to Hemingway's writing in that story that allowed me to "hear" the tinkling of glasses, and become juxtapostioned between the old man and the young. Easy to do at thirty seven, and Ernest was middle aged when he wrote it. Kristin =============== Reply 48 of Note 27 =================  
To: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Date: 05/22 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 1:58 AM Kristin -- I don't see Hemingway as macho in any successful sort of way, but I do see him as obsessed with manhood and what he imagined was required by being a man. And I agree it wasn't a game with him; indeed he was dead serious about it. It drove him. It interfered with his relationships with women, with other men, with himself. It blinded him in many ways. And ultimately it limited his writing. Had he had a little insight into this aspect of himself (hell, it was more than an "aspect" -- it consumed the guy), he could have perhaps done something interesting with it. As it is, the occasional exquisitely detailed set piece, with the lighting just so, was about it for him. My opinion only,of course. L. =============== Reply 49 of Note 27 =================  
To: AHMB18B KRISTIN HELBERG Date: 05/23 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 1:45 AM Kristin, They might not have had the word or concept of "macho" in Hemingway's glory days, but macho sure existed. It may not have been as openly criticised as today, but there it was and ol' Ernie apparently soaked up more than his share. (I've always secretly wondered if there wasn't a bit of homophobia at the root of H's rabid "male-ism, if I may coin a word.) At any rate, for years, all this chest-beating and posturing spoiled his work for me. Then, a couple of years ago, after rereading A CLEAN WELL-LIGHTED PLACE in a mixed collection, I bought the volume of his collected short stories and read it from cover to cover. On the whole, I found a new appreciation for Hemingway. However, like the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when he was good he was very, very good, but when he was bad he was horrid. Ruth, in CA, a couple of chapters into PAUL THEROUX'S RIDING THE IRON ROOSTER, which I picked up at a garage sale =============== Reply 50 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/23 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 2:02 AM Stopped at the library today and A FAREWELL TO ARMS was sitting on the books on tape shelf. It's an unabridged version from Books on Tape, Inc. with possibly the worst reader I've ever heard. Am trying to make myself get used to I usually can...but we'll see. Is this choice worth the effort? Barb =============== Reply 51 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/24 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 0:50 AM Ruth, I think you have a good point there about EH being homophobic. Whenever someone is homophobic or when a man continually tries to prove his "machoness" I can't help but wonder if this is to prove to himself that he himself is not homosexual. Maybe, this is something that he fears more than anything else. I have the notion in my head that this is the case with EH. I think I got that idea from reading THE GARDEN OF EDEN and HADLEY. I also think EH had a thing for androgynous women. In some of the photos of Hadley, I think she looks boyish. Maybe this is the way he dealt with his own homosexualness (huh?) if he did indeed have some? I have an article that suggests that GOE was just a male fantasy of two "straights" having a lesbian affair. Which, maybe it is, but when I read it I didn't think that, but then I was reading it at the beach and sipping margaritas! A few months ago, at my request, someone on this board recommended A LIFE STORY by Carlos Baker and suggested it be read along with Baker's collection of EH letters. Jean =============== Reply 52 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/24 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 3:42 PM Kristin, Ruth, Barbara -- Maybe the thing that keeps bringing us back to Hemingway, from time to time anyway, is this sense that he was drawn to the right themes (the "big ones" -- we all know what they are!) and our feeling that a fellow so drawn might have something to tell us if we only looked a little harder. And maybe his way of continually slipping off target, of getting detoured by this 'masculine mystique'(!) thing, touches us too. Anyone who tried as hard as he did, who kept turning over the same dang rock, over and over, can't help but move us with his humanity. Maybe we just wish he'd found a little bit more, communicated a little bit more, that his story had turned out different? But I'm sold on giving A Clean Well-Lighted Place a try -- so many recommendations how can I resist?! Will report back later, Lynn =============== Reply 53 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/25 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 0:08 AM Dale, Joe, Teresa, and anyone else who may have finished THE WHITE HOTEL: This book reminds me a bit of a ride at an amusement park which I used to visit when I was a kid. It was called the Wild Mouse and was a type of roller coaster that went very fast in one direction until you felt that you would fall off the edge, and then completely changed direction. You continued on that path for awhile, until it veered sharply again, taking you in yet another direction. This pattern was repeated again and again. Dale, I would like to thank you for recommending this book. It certainly packs an emotional wallop. The first part was indeed very erotic, but to be quite honest, it also made me somewhat uncomfortable. Is the difference between pornographic and erotic that the latter is well written? I guess those years and years of education by nuns had some residual effects after all. The menages ( can that be plural?) a trois, the combination of sex and death, and the public sex in the sexual fantasies were a bit much for me, but once I got to part 3 and the Freudian analysis I was totally hooked. I am, after all, a sucker for the psychological novel. I loved the way Thomas was constantly forcing the reader to reassess what he had already learned by providing bits of additional information. WARNING - Plot spoilers follow. Just when you thought you had the characters figured out, you learned something which totally changed that interpretation. Anna/Lisa's mother is by turns a saint, a wicked seductress and betrayer, and a lonely wife who provides the physical component lacking in her brother-in-laws's sterile marriage. The book builds up to Freud's conclusion that Anna's homosexuality prevents her from having a normal relationship with her husband, and then we learn that the real problem is rooted in her husband's anti-Semitism and her own rejection of her Jewish heritage. Further revelations indicate that Anna is quite heterosexaul after all. There is some very interesting symbolism in this book. I think the symbol which affected me most strongly was the cross. Interesting, wasn't it, that it had been thrown away by Anna's mother and that her daughter fingered it whenever she was lying? There is that horrible scene at the end when the guard (who seems to have a Ukrainian name and is presumably Christian ) brutally tears it off her body after inflicting the wounds that have so bothered her earlier in the story (pains in the left breast and genital region). It seems to me that Thomas is very strongly condemning the hypocrisy and dishonesty of a religion which stood by while millions of Jews were exterminated. As for the ending, Dale, I was grateful for that chapter. The massacre scene made me feel almost ill. What bothered me most was Lisa's awareness that she could not protect her child from this horror--the reality of which was far worse than any nightmare she could have imagined. The rather whimsical last chapter made the book end on an almost hopeful note. Would love to here more from other readers of this book. Ann =============== Reply 54 of Note 27 =================  
To: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Date: 05/25 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 2:31 AM Yes, Jean, that's exactly what I meant. Hemingway's greatest fear may have been of homosexual tendencies. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. Ruth, in CA, where it's cool and heavy overcast with SNOW in the mountains. =============== Reply 55 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/25 From: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Time: 10:44 AM Ann, I was delighted to see your note because I just finished THE WHITE HOTEL and am anxious to discuss it. This book works on such a number of different levels that I feel compelled to re-read it immediately, knowing I'll probably pick up on things I missed initially. Joe posted earlier asking why Thomas told Lisa's story in this way. I think it aptly portrays the complexities of the human heart, while at the same time questioning the role of individual fate in an historical perspective. Almost like peeling away the layers of an onion, we are given more and more glimpses into Anna/Lisa's psyche. First the visceral, stream of conciousness images of Don Giovanni, then her more tailored treatment of the same material in the way in which she wanted to present it to Freud. Freud's impressions and insights follow, and then a third person narration which reveals more. Thomas, having brought us to a place where we have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of this woman, packs a powerful wallop with her unspeakably horrible historical perspective illustrating Lisa as "everyman." It is difficult to describe how powerfully this scene affected me (and apparently, you, too, Ann). I found myself sobbing at the horror and the prescience of Lisa's pain. The amazing paragraph following the massacre scene seemed to sum up, for me, what this book is about. "The soul of a man is a far country, which cannot be approached or explored. Most of the dead were poor and illiterate. But every single one of them had dreamed dreams, seen visions and had amazing experiences, even the babesin arms (perhaps especially the babes in arms). Though most of them had never lived outside the Podol slum, their lives and histories were as rich and complex as Lisa Erdman-Bernstein's. If a Sigmund Freud had been listening and taking notes from the time of Adam, he would still not fully have explored even a single group, even a single person. And this was only the first day." I confess I was a bit confused at the ending, which I interpreted as the wanderings of Lisa's mind at the time of her physical body's death. Perhaps if I were more familiar with Freudian symbology, I would have a greater understanding. What is the meaning of the black cat? Lisa's reconciliation/insight into her mother was compelling, and I was greatly comforted by the book's closing sentences... the sharp scent of pine. Earlier, if you recall, when Lisa returns to the resort on her honeymoon, she had an epiphany of sorts when showing Kolya the haunts of her childhood. "...she knew that she and the child of forty years ago were the same person. That knoweldge flooded her with happiness. But immediately came another insight, bringing almost unbearable joy. For as she looked back through the clear space to her childhood, there was no blank wall, only an endless, extent, like an avenue, in which she was still herself, Lisa. She was still there, even at the beginning of all things. And shen she looked in the opposite direction towards the unknown future, death, the endless extent beyond death, she was still there. It all came from the scent of a pine tree." So in essence, Lisa was wholly "there" for herself at the time of her death. So many images to ponder... Ann, I enjoyed your thoughts on the image of the cross. Am looking forward to more discussion and a big thank you to Dale for recommending this book. Teresa, on a grey day in the city of salt =============== Reply 56 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/25 From: ZRAK98A ROBERT AVERY Time: 1:29 PM Dear Lynn, Lynn, thanks for enunciating much of what I think (and feel) about H. It seems to me that you are very near the mark. It sometimes seems to me that H is hiding behind his "very own" literary device - the bare-bones simplicity, and one-note messages. (Have you heard the Bro. Dave Gardner thing about littel Joseph sitting playing ony one note on his stringed instrument...someone asked him why he didn't play a lot of notes like most people. His reply..."they're lokking for it, but I've done flat got it!") That summarizes my thoughts about Papa. All that said, I still have tremendous respect for anyone who can find such a defining note that the whole world listens in rapt attention... Thanks for the response, Lynn. Bob, who's got to go mow, for the second time in... =============== Reply 57 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRAK98A ROBERT AVERY Date: 05/25 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 8:22 PM Hemmingway was sound on cats. A man who's sound on cats has Redeeming Social Value. It sounds like THE WHITE HOTEL is a good complement to REFINER'S FIRE, which has its genesis in that time. I'm still not at all sure where it's going, but it's certainly going with people very much aware of time and place. Beautiful descriptions. Of course, at one point I felt like yelling, "Call the ACLU!!!" Cathy =============== Reply 58 of Note 27 =================  
To: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Date: 05/25 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 10:26 PM Theresa, Thank you for your excellent comments on TWH. I liked your analogy comparing this story to peeling off the layers of an onion. I think it is very true that Thomas is trying to emphasize the complexity of human experience and the various, even conflicting ways it can be interpreted. I also appreciated your quoting the paragraph following the massacre scene. Thomas succeeds in personalizing this hideous tragedy for us and making real those 33,741 people that were so brutally murdered at Babi Yar in the space of a mere 36 hours. One of the things that I enjoyed most about this story was Thomas's brilliant use of time --the future winds back upon itself and affects Lisa's present every much as bit as did her past. Her recurrent pains in breast and genital region, the fire, flood, and falling to one's death in her fantasies all prefigure the actual massacre. Freud explores the irrational in her fantasies, but the irrationality of the massacre itself , an actual historical event, dwarfs anything in the unconscious mind. Interesting question about that black cat. He appears earlier in the story when the baker's son dies clutching him as he falls from the gondola to his death. The boy breaks his back, interestingly enough in a pine tree. The black cat escapes. As you so rightly pointed out, later in the story the scent of the pine tree is a comfort to Lisa. This pine tree seems to represent death and Thomas is saying perhaps that death is not so terrible after all because there is an afterlife and Lisa will still be Lisa after she dies. The black cat shows up again in Kiev, shortly before the massacre. The little neighbor girl is desolate because she cannot take him with her on their trip. And, of course, he shows up in the final chapter where his shadow is reflected on the movie screen. If nothing else, I guess he had nine lives. As for the final chapter, I can understand why you thought it could be the wandering of Lisa's mind before she dies. I hadn't really considered that because for me this chapter represents the afterlife (which I can accept, but only in the context of a novel). Everyone she meets there has already died, starting out with the young lieutenant who meets her on the bus. I am not sure if it is heaven. Her mother, does not seem to be in heaven because she wryly comments that at least she is not in the lowest circle (Dante's nine circles of hell? Or were there circles in his purgatory and paradise as well?). It does, however, seem to be a place where everyone is kind to each other and there is hope of ultimate redemption for everyone. I don't know if Thomas was really that sanguine about Lisa's future. From a realistic viewpoint, I think that if he had not done something to mitigate the absolute horror of the massacre scenes, very few people could bear to read this book and recommend it to others. Ann =============== Reply 59 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/26 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 12:08 PM Ann & Teresa: I enjoyed your comments on THE WHITE HOTEL, a novel that continues to haunt me in the best and worst of ways. I especially like your description of the author's vision of the afterlife as a place where "people are kind to each other, and there's the ultimate hope of redemption." That's a far more appealing and realistic prospect, at this stage of my life, than the conventional wings-and-streets-of-gold scenario. Part of Thomas's genius, I think, is how well he holds the story together despite the fact that so many revelations throughout, large and small, require the reader to reconsider everything that's gone before in a whole new light. Just as in real life, I submit, if we're open enough to it, which is a hard thing to be. I believe he's showing us how impossible it is to really know ourselves in-depth, to any degree, much less to adequately appraise and judge other people and how they behave in certain situations. Whenever I bring this up, I know the serious history students here have their teeth set on edge, but for the reasons Thomas makes apparent, I really have doubts that anything we accept as "historical truth" has validity or practical value beyond the very boldest, over-simplified outlines. All the meaningful details come under Faulkner's category of "the human heart in conflict with itself," and I believe it's only fiction, not factual writing, that's capable of exploring that, as THE WHITE HOTEL does so brilliantly. Equal time gladly given to historians, >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 60 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/26 From: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Time: 1:55 PM Dale and Ann, enjoying your comments on TWH immensely. Dale, your questioning "historical truths" is something I've done often. It puts me in mind of the old parlor game where you start out with a single sentence and it is repeated on down a line of peopleand is always hopelessly adulterated at the end. Ann, your comment regarding the irrationality of the massacre as dwarfing the irrationalities of the unconscious mind, put me in mind of another aspect of this book I'd like to hear your (collective) thoughts on. The role of fate, or predestination. Remember the section where Lisa is disturbed by newspaper reports of the mass murderer Peter Kurten? Thomas writes that while the murderer had been on the loose nearly a million men had been reported to the police as the Monster, but Kurten was not among them because even the Prosecutor said he was 'rather a nice man.' This seems to prefigure the fashion in which the Nazi mentality became widely accepted, but Lisa also notes that although the murderer had been executed, "somewhere -- at the very moment -- someone was inflicting the worst possible horror on another human being." She also ponders the horror of being born Peter Kurten..."To have to spend every moment of your life, the only life you were given, as Kurten... But then again, the very thought that SOMEONE had had to be Maria Hahn and Peter Kurten made it impossible to feel any happiness in being Lisa Erdman..." Thomas seems to be positing that "the human heart in conflict with itself" (thanks for bringing up that excellent Faulkner quote, Dale) inevitably leads to a willing, or unwilling, participation in evil. It reminded me of your essay ONE TRUE THING, Dale. Evil as a palpable force. Was it Lisa's fate, from the time of childhood, to be unavoidably driven, both on a conscious and unconscious level, to a set of circumstances in which she was a victim of horror. And is Thomas suggesting that Hitler and his ken were born to their roles? Please discuss your thoughts. Teresa, on a misty, moisty Sunday =============== Reply 61 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/26 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 4:40 PM A gentle dissent is in order here from me, Ruth. Today I intended to spend my time outdoors, fresh back from some indoor amusement in Las Vegas as I am. When I awoke this morning I had not yet decided whether to load up the shotgun and murder some wildlife or go up to my parents farm to taunt the bull or simply step out on the front lawn and challenge neighbor Larson to fisticuffs, all of which I have found useful activities for repressing my own latent homosexuality. Unfortunately, it is raining cats and dogs here. Consequently, I have been restlessly haunting the house today, scratching myself occasionally, and knocking back a few Stolis with water. It is for this reason that I have finally come here to enjoy your company and conversation. Leave us not quibble about whether Ernest Hemingway was a jerk at times. He was. No doubt about it. So was Faulkner. So was Picasso. So was Joyce. So was Gauguin. So have been a myriad of our literary and artistic heroes. (I didn't name any female jerks here, but give me a minute.) Here was a man whose fiction was discovered and encouraged by the greatest twentieth century American poet, Ezra Pound (now that the veil has been lifted from Eliot's OWN anti-semitism [see THE NEW YORKER, May 20, 1996, pp. 29 et seq.]). No woman hater, he actually studied at the feet of Gertrude Stein and paid her back handsomely by bringing her into the public eye, their feuds notwithstanding. One can draw a straight line from Jack London through Hemingway to Elmore Leonard. (Norman Mailer would of course like that line to cut a swath through him, but that is a moot point.) He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and the Pulitzer Prize for that little gem, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Among his other honors, as I am afraid will be apparent here, he is a hero to Steve Warbasse. In spite of all this he has been the subject of criticisms over the past twenty years that has become so predictable that it has lapsed over into the trite. First and foremost among these is the accusation that his interest in portraying the masculine traits--good and bad--somehow evidences his latent homosexuality. Norman Mailer addressed this phenomenon best in his essay concerning the fight between Emile Griffith and Benny Kid Perret. These two hated each other. In the pre-fight hoopla Benny insinuated that Emile was a homosexual. Mailer's point was that whatever the subconscious of a man holds, he is defined by what he does--what he chooses to do. Whatever dwelt in the dark recesses of Emile Griffith's mind, he did not act out the homosexual role. Therefore, it was unfair to label him contrary to his actions. (By the way Benny died at the conclusion of that fight.) Now lest my gay friends misunderstand the point of the previous paragraph, let me also state unequivocally that I have read Ernest Hemingway big time, and I defy anyone to cite a passage to me that demonstrates homophobia or hatred of homosexuals or anything of the sort. It just ain't there. In fact one can interpret that great short story THE BATTLER as an homage to the love between two men--yes, perhaps of a sexual sort. So why over the course of the last twenty years have we heard this homophobia or homosexual thing come up over and over and over concerning Ernest Hemingway? My own theory is that this has been the result of the development of a rogue and despicable branch of feminism that is not satisfied with rightly empowering and dignifying the women of the world, but also feels compelled to disparage, abase, demean, and humiliate anything traditionally connected with the masculine. When all else fails, these ladies are ever ready to pull the "latent queer" card from their sleeve and play it. Did Hemingway glorify war? Read what he said: "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country . But in modern war there is nothing =============== Reply 62 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/26 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 4:40 PM [continuted from above] sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason." And how about that old bugaboo that Hemingway could not render a real female character? Lady Brett Ashley in THE SUN ALSO RISES is as real a female character as any rendered in the twentieth century. Perhaps that statement is the product of my own misguided taste, but I stand by it. If she walked into The Bunker right now, I would stand and greet her by name immediately. And the much mocked line about the earth moving. Actually, it is famous because it is a great line. God grant us all a mate that makes the earth move for us. I mean, hold the phone, folks. Great sex is still important. And the style. Oh, that awful, terse style! Admittedly, Ernest believed that what was NOT said was much more important than what was said. Howcum Elmore Leonard and a host of others who have studied at the feet of this man don't take heat for the same thing? "Manuel lay back. They had put something over his face. It was all familiar. He inhaled deeply. He felt very tired. He was very, very tired. They took the thing away from his face." [THE UNDEFEATED] And while we're on the subject, did he glorify the corrida? Your durn tootin' he did--in some of the most lyrical non-fiction prose ever written: "It is impossible to believe the emotional and spiritual intensity and pure, clasic beauty that can be produced by a man, an animal, and a piece of scarlet serge draped over a stick." [DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON] You know something? Having been there, I can tell you he is absolutely right. And while we're on the subject, was he fixated on death? No. He was simply able to recognize, as the contemporary American cannot, that there are worse things than death and that death is to be embraced as a part of life when life itself is no longer worth living. However, I am here to report that a new dawn is coming. By the centennial of Hemingway's birth in 1998, there will be a resurgence in interest in him that will astound you. (Remember! You heard it here first.) The pendulum always, always swings back. Someday if you are interested about my theory as to why this will be so, I'll tell you--e-mail only though. Your old pal, Steve, whose essay entitled THE SUN ALSO ROSE AGAIN is available on request even though you did not grace me with your latest volume of poetry, and I had to peruse a bootleg edition. =============== Reply 63 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 5:57 PM Will that centennial be in 1998 or 1999? Surely there is one other Ernestophile lurking here who can help me on that. Your pal all, Steve =============== Reply 64 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 6:51 PM Steve: Good to hear from you, as well as to hear that you managed to hitchhike back from Vegas in one piece. At least you still have your house, be it ever so mortgaged. Afraid I have to split the difference on Uncle Ernie. I've never been much of a fan, but also could never quite buy into the 'Hemingway as J. Edgar Hoover' theory either. To grow old in states of increasing loneliness and terror has no necessary connection to your sexuality. More likely Hemingway, despite some undeniable talent, was just a poor quality human being, developmentally and relationship-wise. Whether he took his pleasure with guys or gals, both, or those sociopathic dogs we're discussing on another thread, none of it lasted or healed him. Sometimes I think these tormented, talented people have a syndrome akin to Rich Person's Disease: "How can I be such a genius (or rich, or smart, or goodlooking), and still be so miserable?" Seems to me the main difference between the Hemingways and the Plaths and the rest of the world is that their misery gets into the newspapers. Apparently we find reading their entrails at least as interesting as reading their more conventional work. I doubt that most of them intended things that way, however. And finally, according to my usually reliable sources, Hemingway was born in 1898, which is memorable for a whole bunch of things including the Klondike Gold Rush. Dick in Alaska, where the sun is trying hard, but not doing too well =============== Reply 65 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 8:18 PM Dear Consigliere: Gosh! (OK, so Papa would have used a stronger term), but it's good to have you back, especially in the form of such an eloquent Hemingway defense. Love him or hate him (and I vary, depending on the particular work at hand), he had the gift/curse of being a total American original in the matter of literary style. As you point out, he made such amazing waves in the arena of language and has been paid such homage by countless imitators, since, that it's impossible for us retro-evaluators to assess EH's true achievement independent of the massive political and emotional baggage accumulated in the decades since. I'm reminded of the high school teacher I know who overheard a conversation between students several years ago: "The Beatles? What's that?" "Oh, you know. It's Paul McCartney's old band." Likewise, I think of the generations of kids who can't hear "The 1812 Overture" at a symphony concert without thinking the composer copped it from a TV commercial: "The one and only cereal that comes in the shape of animals...", or who believe "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is imitative of a Walt Disney movie. But I digress. Anyhow, I enjoyed your post and felt moved to pass along the story, most likely apocryphal, about the time a Hollywood studio was considering making a movie of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. The internal memo supposedly read, "The guy needs a girlfriend. And we gotta lose the fish." >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 66 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/26 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 8:52 PM Dick: Hello! I enjoyed your (characteristically) thoughtful and thought-provoking comments on Hemingway and his writing. I realize that the oft-quoted quote "Happy people don't write novels" is somewhat reductive, but instinctively I feel it's very close to the mark. The next question is, which comes first: (1) a massive emotional and/or physical scarring/crippling in early life which diverts a person from realistic pursuits toward the unspeakably obsessive and schizophrenic route of creating other worlds on paper, day by day, with 100-to-1 odds of it ever seeing light, or (2) the inevitable isolation from "healthy" community that results from such a single-minded dedication. It's either and/or both, I maintain. But is it coincidence that 7 of the 10 American Nobel laureates in literature suffered from life-long alcoholism? On that note, the most insightful commentary on the question that I've seen in years is a highly readable book called THE THIRSTY MUSE, by Tom Dardis, which profiles the inner lives, addictions, and demons of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and O'Neill. I'd love to discuss it with CRs... >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 67 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 10:20 PM I am glad you brought up Gertrude Stein. I was going to mention her in my own defense (and EH's) after my post. If I recall correctly, there may have been some tension or suspected tension between Hadley and Stein, which I think was on Hadley's part. Jean =============== Reply 68 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 10:43 PM Steve -- I think the focus on understanding what made Ernest tick comes from the sense that many people have that, for all Hemingway's obvious desire to deal with "important themes", there is a sort of willed blindness about his writing -- a blindness that comes more from being stuck in contemplating this or that reflection of himself than anything else. This very human dilemma/failing, being unable to step outside oneself, is so carried to the n-th degree in this man who nonetheless continued the noble struggle (until the final giving up, of course) that many of us are drawn to trying to figure out what it is about this guy that so infuriates and yet is impossible to ignore. Was he fearful of homosexual urges? I have no idea, although I've read this theory before. But even if he was, that seems only to beg the question. Ultimately, the only thing that seems certain to me is that this was a man at war with himself for his own private reasons and who played out his conflicts on a grand scale on the stage of the world. For my money, he was only moderately successful at turning his conflicts into art. Lynn P.S. While you were challenging your neighbors to fisticuffs, I was dressing the dog in flowered panties and lacy lingerie. Nothing amiss here. =============== Reply 69 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/26 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 11:14 PM Ah Dale, I feel there is so much truth in what you write about history and literature. And yet, as someone who once devoted 8 years of her life to the study of history and spent the ensuing 23 years forgetting almost everything she learned , I feel compelled to come to its defense. Agreed that literature can touch your heart and make you feel the visceral reality of an individual's fate in a way that is impossible for history. But history can perform a function that literature does not. It helps us understand the broader picture and put events in some kind of context. It helps us generalize from the particular. THE WHITE HOTEL makes us feel the absolute horror of the Nazi massacre at Babi Yar on an individual, human basis. History can help us understand why a monster like Hitler was able to take over most of Europe and implement a systematic program of extermination of Jews, of which Babi Yar was only one example. It teaches why many Ukrainians, who had suffered horribly under Stalin, sided with the Nazi and played such an important role in the Babi Yar murders. And I think that seeing the big picture and learning about cause and effect is very valuable. Incidentally, the murders of Jew and other so-called undesirables continued at Babi Yar each Tuesday and Thursday on a regular basis for the next two years. Estimates of the total number of people killed there reach 200,000. After the war, the Soviets covered up this disgraceful bit of history for many years. It is true that each generation chooses to reassess history through the prism of its own concerns. Unlike the dogmatic way we are all taught history (or is it patriotism?) in school, there is admittedly a great deal of relativity to it. But I think these reinterpretations of the past are legitimate. Truth is not monolithic, and the willingness to examine it from many different angles is an enriching experience --as I think we learned from Thomas's narrative approach in THE WHITE HOTEL. So I guess that my view of historical truth is quite elastic. I have always liked George Santayana's explanation for why we should study history: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Whew-- it is definitely time for me to get off this soap box. Anyway, Dale thanks for bringing up an interesting question. Ann =============== Reply 70 of Note 27 =================  
To: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Date: 05/26 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 11:15 PM Wonderful questions, Teresa, regarding free will and fate. In this story, there is not much question in my mind that Lisa's manner of death was predetermined. How else can we explain the way the future impinged on her fantasies and even physically affected her body? Does it also follow that "Hitler and his ken were born to their sins?" I guess I am not so concerned with Hitler himself. In every period of history there are sick individuals who completely lack the ability to empathize with other human beings and are so guided by their own ruthless ambition that they are willing to crush anyone in their path. In this century, Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein come to mind. I think it very possible that Adolf Hitler was so sick that he could not, in fact, control what he did. But what I am much more interested in is the number of people who were willing to assist him in carrying out his insane plans. I think that most of these people were "normal" enough that they did have a choice. And I must believe that there was choice involved, because without choice there is no responsibility, and then we would have to say that the atrocities of the Second World War, the Serbian policy of ethnic cleansing (i.e. murder), and the Rwandan massacres were unavoidable. I would not want to live in such a cruel and arbitrary world. I liked the part you quoted about Lisa being unable to be happy when she thought about the horrors inflicted by a mass murderer like Kurten on his innocent victims. Most of us can ponder atrocities like the one depicted in this book, but a psychological defense mechanism helps us repress the horror rather quickly. Otherwise, the full realization of this monstrous inhumanity would be too difficult to deal with. Apparently, this was not true in the case of the unfortunate Lisa. Ann, in Omaha where the weather gods seem to have us confused with a rain forest. =============== Reply 71 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/26 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 11:19 PM Steve, Great to have you back. Your note made me laugh out loud, something I don't get to do nearly often enough. Have you considered nominating one of your favorite Hemingway books and/or stories for the new slo-mo reading list? It might be fun to discuss the work itself, as opposed to the author's personality. Ann =============== Reply 72 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/26 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:49 PM Dear Steve, Down, boy, down! Did I say that Hemingway expresses homophobia overtly in his writing? If I did, it's certainly not what I intended. What I meant to say was much of Hemingway's writing and lifestyle and general philosophy seemed to exhibit an overweaning need to prove his "maleness" by a relentless pursuit of things that are seen as traditionally male, bullfights included. Anyone who pushes his "maleness" that much makes me wonder if he isn't a little insecure about the whole thing. Personally, I don't care if he was homosexual, heterosexual, bi, tri, or quadrisexual, or even if the sheep ran when they saw him coming. Is "latent queer" an insult? A way to "disparage, abase, demean and humiliate anything traditionally connected with the masculine"? Not in my book. I don't give a damn what people do in their bedrooms and I don't think the rest of us should either. But, I do hope we are now open to the idea that there are many ways to be a man, and that those activities traditionally associated with the masculine are not the only way. And I sometimes find Hemingway's devout pursual of the traditional masculine a more than a little wearing. I don't join you in your admiration for THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, but I'm willing to try a re-reading. I do own of volume of his COLLECTED STORIES, which I read from cover to cover a couple of years or so ago, and as I said in an earlier note, gained new respect for his clear, simple, limpid prose. I discovered that my fiction writing was, without my realizing it, an effort towards the same kind of effort to state things simply and let them speak for themselves. Ruth, in CA, who'll address your regrettable lack of my chapbook below =============== Reply 73 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/26 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:50 PM Now, Steve, if you had been more on the board (where you are sorely missed when you pull those disappearing acts) you might have seen my post, where I offered to send one of my books to those who wanted one. I'm more than delighted to have people read my stuff, but I'm very careful not to push it down their throats. Not everybody likes poetry. Not everybody wants to be forced to read MY poetry. All you had to do was ask, man. Ruth, in CA, glad to see you back and in fine fettle =============== Reply 74 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/27 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 1:52 AM One tidbit I remember from my Hemingway-loving friend - he was mad as h**l because Spencer Tracy had gained 20 pounds when he was supposed to do THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. I don't know how he and Spencer worked it out. He also called the movie version of THE SNOWS OF KILAMANJARO THE SNOWS OF ZANUCK because Daryl Zanuck had insisted on sneaking in a happy ending. Hemingway was also ripe for parody, as Cornelia Otis Skinner did in a short sketch including the wonderful lines "She spat down the gorge. It was Pablo's gorge." Cathy =============== Reply 75 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 10:16 AM Richard, Dale, Lynn and Ruth: Does this mean that there really is not any cabal out there with a secret handshake dedicated in part to bringing my man Ernesto down? that the whole thing is not a sinister plot to undermine the canon of western literature? that this is all a paranoid delusion on my part? that it's only that some people JUST DON'T LIKE ERNEST HEMINGWAY! Oh, my God! You realize what this means of course. It means that my life to this point has been without meaning--an illusion wrapped in a dream and tied up with a ribbon of invention. Actually, the truth of the matter is that he is simply out of fashion, nothing more, nothing less. Fashion plays a part in these things, you know. And Catherine, you bring up a good point. Nobody's--and I mean nobody's--style is easier to parody with hilarious results than old Ernest's. Another facet of this is that there for awhile, particularly in the fifties, a ton of people tried to write in the Hemingway style. Some of their work ended up unintentionally being the most hilarious of all. (Gimme a minute. I'll think of an example.) And by golly you're right on the money, Catherine, when you say he was sound on cats. Loved 'em and knew 'em well. One of my favorite photographs of him has him sitting at his desk in the Finca Vigia with a big old yellow tom standing on top of one of the books on that desk. The photo was black and white, but I'm positive that old tom was yellow. I am serious though when I say that there is going to be a grand revival of interest in the man's work in the very near future. Mark my words. Honest. When he is bad, he is admittedly lousy. But when he is good, he is far, far too good to be consigned to the dunghill of irrelevancy. This brings me to your suggestion, Jean. I could nominate a Hemingway for the slo-mo group right now, but you and I would be the only ones who would read it. So let't do this. Let's just wait until the grand revival comes around and everybody is chirping "LET'S READ SOME HEMINGWAY!" "LET'S READ SOME HEMINGWAY!" Then we'll do THE SUN ALSO RISES or maybe one of the collection of short stories. That'll show 'em. What a masterpiece! Nothing he did after THE SUN ALSO RISES was ever quite as good in my humble estimation. A great and tragic love story. Super stuff. Speaking of great love stories, I just finished LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA ("El amor en los tiempos del colera") by our old friend Gabriel Garcia Marquez a couple of weeks ago, this amid my usual daily scriptural study of course. Let me tell you! That is one hell of a book. Tremendous. Did I like it? You betcha! Those web crawlers among you who enjoy Garcia Marquez should check out The Quail: From his main page you can jump to something he has created called "The Labyrinth" .html Lots of good stuff there about old Gabe as well as Jorge Luis Borges and others. Damnitall, Ruth. Do I have to beg? You know I am one of your most ardent fans. That last one made me weep and then laugh; plunged me into the depths of the most horrid depression and ended by inspiring me to dance in the street. Send me the new book of poems, and be quick about it. See you all in church. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 76 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 10:31 AM Doggone it! I meant to address those later remarks to Ann. . . . . or did I really mean Jean after all? I am utterly incapable of adequately distinguishing folks here until I've seen their face. That is why the annual gatherings are so important. Jean and Ann, I wonder if the two of you would each mind sending me inscribed 8 X 10 glossies that I could hang up in The Bunker here. Nothing pretentious. Maybe "Your greatest admirer and most ardent fan, Jean" or perhaps "To a swell and wonderful guy with my heartfelt best wishes, Ann." Something like that. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 77 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/27 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 10:40 AM Cathy: Thanks for bringing up the topic of Hemingway parodies; any writer who can inspire such astronomical quantities of these is a force to be reckoned with, I think. (Speaking of which, Lewis Nordan has a wonderful Faulkner parody called "The Farmers' Daughter" in his story collection THE ALL-GIRL FOOTBALL TEAM; I'll post a portion.) My favorite faux Hemingway paragraph, whose author I've regrettably forgotten, won the big international contest several years ago: "He heard death, crackling in the campfire. He heard death, sighing in the wind. He heard death, tripping over a root. It was a clumsy sort of death." >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 78 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/27 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 10:41 AM Ann: I'm sure that the study of history has nothing to fear from my kind , as long as it has such articulate champions as yourself. Points well taken, all. I'm struck, in your note, by how a seemingly inconsequential fact can cast an issue in a whole new light. The fact that Tuesdays and Thursdays were set aside for murdering Jews at Babi Yar is an even more horrible thought, in its "ordinariness," than a continuous outpouring of genocidal rage would have been. >>Dale in Ala. =============== Reply 79 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 10:42 AM Consig & All: Oops, my musical ignorance is showing. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" *was* the segment of FANTASIA; the music was "Night on Bald Mountain." I think. >>Dale, who should fact-check more before pontificating =============== Reply 80 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Time: 1:00 PM Well and truly said, Steve, I'm glad that Ernesto has a defender as eloquent as the Voice from the Bunker. I can agree with most all of what you have said. However, there is at least one instance in which EH includes a bit of homophobia in his work: In a passage in TSAR when Brett makes her first appearance, she is accompanied by a crowd of homosexual men, who evoke the following reaction from Jake Barnes: I was very angry. Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure. I don't think that proves he was latently anything, other than adolescent. I spent much of my early puberty terribly insecure about almost everything, including the fear that I would "catch" homosexuality. This insecurity did not survive my first afternoon watching TV with a complaisant girl in her family's absence. The feelings she aroused had no parallel in my life, and if I should meet that girl on the street someday, I would thank her profusely. Incidentially, this was the very early '60s, and nothing really happened, other than for me to discover that unrequited lust of several hours duration leads to acute male discomfort. (All of you guys will know whereof I speak.) But I digress. Liking or not liking Hemingway should depend on literary taste, not ideology, whether sexual or otherwise. Permit me to nominate IN OUR TIME as a likely future selection for the reading list. Oh, and lest you think that you are a voice crying in the wilderness, Steve, I once was flamed severely on a literary mailing list for suggesting that many of EH's characters, particularly female characters, were lacking in real depth and were very unsympathetic. The flamer thundered in digital fury, "Hemingway IS A GOD, and your puerile effort at literary criticism is pathetic." A little extreme, perhaps. Felix Miller ( 5/27/96 12:50PM ET =============== Reply 81 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 1:15 PM Steve! You nut. I think you're wrong when you say you and Jean would be the only ones to read your man. The rest of us (I'm guessing, but it seems plausible) would give him a try both in the hope we found something we'd missed before and for the sheer pleasure of hearing you hold forth! But willing also to wait for the rapture/reversal of E's fortunes/whatever... Lynn =============== Reply 82 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 3:44 PM Steve, The 8 x 10 is in the mail! I'm glad you're back. I am a fan of yours--I like your posts. I say let's do Papa now, so when Papa comes 'round a gain, we can say: We Did Papa When Papa Wasn't Cool. Because with Americans the way they are or should I say the media--they will be all over Papa in 1998! Or Papa will be all over... Jean coming to "yinz" from Pittsburgh on a cold, gray Memorial Day where the burgers (no pun intended) and dogs will soon be on the grill anyway =============== Reply 83 of Note 27 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 05/27 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 3:44 PM Ruth, Since Steve brought this up...I asked for a copy of your poetry and am still waiting. I think what happened is that I tacked it onto the end of an unrelated note and you probably missed it. And the procrastinator that I am... Look for my e-mail. I'd like to dance in the street, too, so if possible send me your older stuff too. Jean =============== Reply 84 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 5:02 PM W-- This straight line...after it goes from London through Hemingway (through Mailer?) to Leonard, where does it go? I ask this question suspecting that the answer may be, and rightly so, "it goes to Steven Warbasse, Esq." Good to have you back, and I think, based on the general high quality of your posts here, that you need to write a book. Gore Vidal and John Updike as literary critics have nothing on you. Except for their prestigious positions in their own minds as men of letters . --DJP =============== Reply 85 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 5:02 PM Steve, Cenetnnial is 1999. --DJP =============== Reply 86 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/27 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 5:03 PM Dale, No..."The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Dukas. This music was in FANTASIA, during the story with Mickey in the robes, making the brooms dance. "Night on Bald Mountain" by Mussorgsky was ALSO in FANTASIA. But they gave it a quite literal treatment. Demons and churches and all sorts of stuff. And by the way, Disney's working on another FANTASIA, which is supposed to include a segment where all of the Disney characters ever created EXCEPT Mickey will appear. Should be fun. --DJP =============== Reply 87 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 5:03 PM Steve, A comment from a friend of mine: I am a constant defender of Hemingway against people who run him down. I think my favorite modern writer is William Faulkner who has influenced me more than any other writer, but if I had to say what writer's work is going to live or if I could find a single page in literature that I would say I knew was imperishable, it would come from Hemingway. It can never die. It can be detracted, but they can never destroy that. . . . He certainly never wrote a good novel, by a long shot, but I'm talking about the quality of the writing, the ability to communicate sensation and the cleanness of it. . . . (146-47) Carter, William C. CONVERSATIONS WITH SHELBY FOOTE. Jackson, U P of Miss., 1989. --DJP =============== Reply 88 of Note 27 =================  
To: VMMN97A FELIX MILLER Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:22 PM Oh, Felix, darn it! Okay. Let me amend. I defy anyone to cite TWO instances of homophobia in Ernesto's oeuvre. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 89 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 6:32 PM w-- Why are you giving up so easily? Couldn't the rational critic argue that Hemingway was writing about a CHARACTER apart from himself, and that while Jake may have been homophobic, Ernesto certainly wasn't? It's when the narrative voice--the voice of the narrator--makes comments such as those that you're in trouble. Just because Falnnery O'Connor wrote about grotesque people didn't mean she was one. Quite the contrary, if I'm reading her right.--DJP =============== Reply 90 of Note 27 =================  
To: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Date: 05/27 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 6:38 PM Marty -- Butt out. We like having Steve on the ropes. L. =============== Reply 91 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/27 From: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Time: 9:17 PM Ann, Thank you for adding your insights to the discussion on THE WHITE HOTEL. It has been so many years since I re-read it and discussed it that I am enjoying it all over again through your eyes. Yes, I should probably read it a third time. So many books, so little time. Mary Anne =============== Reply 92 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 9:54 PM Dale--and Marty, you too--listen up here, I have discovered a reference that has solved a life-long problem for me, a book that belongs right up there with your Roget's Thesaurus, your Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and all that other stuff. I am so excited about this that I simply had to tell you about it. Also, there may have been those out there who suspected I was making some sort of cynical, blasphemous joke with my allusion to my Bible studies. Oh ye of little faith! A little background is in order. I have always been at a complete loss when thrown into the Old Testament. I remember in Sunday School when I was confronted with these bizarre stories, I could only nod and smile a lot. Then in college I took a core literature course called Classical Literature or something like that, the syllabus of which included the Old Testament. Aha, I says. Perhaps a more secular approach will shed some light on this. Not so. Again, I was reduced to nodding and smiling a lot. I mean let's face it. This has to be the most opaque piece of literature known to man. The problem is that there are a ton of references to the Old Testament in so much that we read. (Remember when you and Divina tracked down the source of the phrase "wheels within wheels," which had cropped up repeatedly in Wodehouse?) Recently, I ran across a reference to the ravens feeding Elijah. This did not even ring a little tiny bell with me. Suddenly, I recalled something. Years ago when Number Two and I were having our parting of the ways and I was picking up my clothing off the driveway and throwing it in the trunk, she made a going away gift to me of something called THE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION SERENDIPITY BIBLE FOR STUDY GROUPS. (Number Two always displayed a consistent and touching concern for the fate of my soul in the great hereafter.) Since I needed to learn a little bit about the ravens feeding Elijah, I undertook an all out search for this book, and lo, I found it carefully stowed behind my old bowling ball. It had never been cracked (the book not the bowling ball). Now as you well know, research concerning Elijah puts one smack dab into 1 Kings and 2 Kings, some of the weirdest stuff every set down on paper. (For anyone else taking the trouble to read this, let me just jog your memory a little. At the beginning of 1 Kings, we are with Solomon during the Golden Age of Isreal. By the end of 1 Kings, everything is a mess. The kingdom is divided. There's a lot of fornicating and worshipping false gods going on. Enter Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah. At the beginning of 2 Kings, a chariot and horses of fire appear and Elijah goes up to heaven in a whirlwind. Then a gentleman named Elisha takes over.) Just a short introductory example of the sort of thing that has always stymied me appears at 1 Kings 20:35 et seq.: "By the word of the LORD one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion, 'Strike me with your weapon,' but the man refused. So the prophet said, 'Because you have not obeyed the LORD, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.' And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him." Now I ask you. Are we dealing with a wrathful God here, or what? Frankly, I have always harbored the tacit opinion after reading this sort of thing that maybe we are dealing with a God who is missing a few of his marbles. Now here's where TNIVSBFSG comes in. This thing has marginalia consisting of questions for discussion designed to shed light on the biblical text itself by putting it in a more personal context for the members of a biblical study group. These questions are divided up into ice breakers (OPEN), those formulated to inspire research (DIG), and those calculated to cause one to reflect (REFLECT). Very neat. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL YOU GET! There are also periodic =============== Reply 93 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 9:54 PM [continued from above] multiple-choice questions. The book cautions that there are no correct answers to these. In fact "most of the options could be 'correct,' depending upon your perspective. This makes for good sharing." This whole concept made eminent sense to me. All for good sharing, you know. Now I'm going to let you test run this thing. Here's another one of the innumerable passages that I find strange to say the least. Elisha has just healed the waters in the city well by throwing a bowl of salt in it. This follows immediately at 2 Kings 2:23 et seq.: "From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. 'Go on up, you baldhead!' they said. 'Go on up, you baldhead!' He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria." As you well know, Dale, I'M NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP. Does that strike you as a bit of an over-reaction? Be honest now. I could be wrong. (I'm sure Bernard Getz would disagree with me.) Never fear, however. Let us turn to a couple of the OPEN questions in the margin. (Remember. These are just ice breakers.) "OPEN: . . . 2. Who in your family is bald? Do you fear baldness? Why?" You see how that kinda puts you in Elisha's shoes? Then we get to the meat of the deal: "REFLECT: . . . 2. Do you ridicule people to their faces, or just behind their backs? What can your group do about back-biting?" [That's easy. Just get a bear to maul hell out of those back-biters.] Just a couple more. I don't want to get carried away here. At 2 Kings 4:1 et seq. we find the story where Elisha multiplies the widow's jar of oil so she can sell it, pay off her deceased husband's creditors, and thus prevent the imminent bondage of her two sons. "OPEN: What's more trouble: Having credit cards or not having them? Should you tear yours up?" [A moot question with me since everyone except good ole Phillips 66 has canceled my charging privileges anyway. Citibank has threatened to enslave my first born.] Lastly, one of my favorites--and I've only just scratched the surface of this thing myself. At 1 Kings 19:1 et seq. Jezebel is upset because Elijah has just slaughtered 450 of her prophets of Baal. She has sworn to do in Elijah. "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, LORD,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep." "OPEN: Ever had a "mid-life crisis" or seen a family member go through it: Once? Never? Several times? Explain what it was like." [Several times. I wouldn't wish any of them on my worst enemy.] =============== Reply 94 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/27 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 9:54 PM [continued from above] MULTIPLE CHOICE: ". . . 2. What moved Elijah to ask God to take his life? a. he was tired of running b. his faith was drained c. one woman frightened him more than 450 heathen priests d. he was weak from hunger e. he had lost contact with God [CEEEEEEEEEE! CEEEEEEEEE! The answer is CEEEEEEEEEE!] This thing is so cool. I love it. You need this book, Dale. Diamond Jim, you need it, too. Keep your eyes peeled for it. No need to thank me. I'd do the same for any of my pals. As for any other Faithful Correspondents who may foolishly still be reading this, it is not now nor ever has been my intent to mock anyone who has participated in a Bible study group. In fact I'm seriously considering it myself now. I have never formed a solid opinion about anything--and I mean anything--until I've tried it personally, much to my chagrin on many occasions. And as for any other Faithful Correspondents that may be fornicators and worshippers of false gods, it is not now nor ever has been my intent to mock anyone who fornicates or worships false gods. (Of these things, alas, I have solid opinions.) So there. That's taken care of. If any of you--be you Bible study group members or fornicators or worshippers of false gods--have in mind any Old Testament passage that has been particularly troubling for you, feel free to pass it along to me here. I will be happy to share with you the discussion questions and multiple choice questions from my TNIVSBFSG applicable to that passage for your insight and edification. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 95 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:05 PM Well, I may qualify as the only person in this discussion currently reading Hemingway, even if it is on tape. Am a little more than half-way through FAREWELL TO ARMS. Picked it up off the library shelf mostly because of Steve's comments some time ago about EH and the current discussion. My biggest surprise is how ANTI-war it is and I had somehow perceived EG to be one who glorified it. Also, the relationships between the main character and the other men in the story (Renaldi, the ambulance drivers under his command, the priest) are beautifully drawn in that simple language. Renaldi particularly has a loving, Italian male manner about him, calling the main (male) character"Baby" and giving kisses and hugs, all in a mostly fellow reprobate sort of fashion. However, I need to say that,despite the fact that I tried to steam-clean all prior comments I'd ever heard about EH totally out of my brain, the female character is pretty awful. I'm hoping that she emerges with more texture at the end of the book. However,so far, this is a woman like no woman I've ever known. There just seems to be no person there. Perhaps, it's because she begins the relationship hugely depressed over the death of her previous boyfriend in the war. I'm willing to try the other EH recommendations on this count. However, apart from that criticism, I am falling under the Hemingway spell a bit. And, this despite the fact that Books on Tape, Inc. used a reader that sounds a bit like Mr. Rogers...what a poor choice for Hemingway. Barb =============== Reply 96 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/27 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 10:17 PM I think Steve has more than made up for however many years he spent nodding and smiling... =============== Reply 97 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:24 PM Steve, you disappear without a word, but then come back with something like this that makes me laugh until I cry. On a night when my adolescent sons may be driving me totally insane, I NEEDED this laugh. Barb =============== Reply 98 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 10:36 PM Gosh darn it, Steve. I just gave away my last 8 X 10 glossie yesterday. My husband Tom and I are, however, tentatively planning on coming to the Nashville gathering and will be making reservations when the hotel situation is resolved. Now Jean, if you show up too, I think Steve could learn to tell us apart after only a few easy lessons. I think you are probably a lot younger than I am since you have mentioned little kids. Ann, who thinks she is the same advanced age as Steve =============== Reply 99 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 11:31 PM Dear Steve, Verily I say unto you, I have not laughed so mightly since the Babylonians erecteth their space needle. Ruth, who in a fit of adolescent excess, once actually read the old Testament cover to cover. Was I mad? Yes, yes yes!!!!!! =============== Reply 100 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/27 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 11:51 PM Steve: It warms my heart to see you exploring the Good Book with such devotion. And you immediately seized on one of my own favorite stories: Elisha, the naughty children and the bears. You say Elisha overreacted a bit; however, anyone who has raised even one child has some inkling of Elisha's actual situation, confronted as he was with a positively howling mobs of the venal little felons. And you must recall this was not a good time for Elisha; his dad had only recently been recalled by the manufacturer, taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, leaving Elisha with his (Elijah's) mantle. Finally, this all occured while Elisha was on the road to Bethel. Now you can look it up, but I assure you that Bethel is a small town in Southwest Alaska, and that children of that area are ROUTINELY torn limb from limb by bears, and no one bears any ill will towards God, or the local prophets, because of it. I suppose its something like combine accidents in your neck of the woods. Stuff happens as the bumper stickers point out with menacing brevity. But your basic point is certainly well taken here: the Bible is an extraordinary resource, and anything that can make it more accessible is to be treasured. My own personal favorite Bible story (this month) is in Genesis -- a book of the Bible that too many of us think contains only the creation story and the Noah stuff. Leaving aside the fact that its actually three different creation stories (read 'em; it's right there in the first two pages), there's a lot of good stuff in Genesis that they didn't teach (to me, at least) in Sunday School. To wit: Genesis 19, which contains the well known story of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and, as Paul Harvey puts it, "The REST of the story...." I'm sure you recall the basics: Sodom and Gomorrah are terrible places, filled with equally terrible, evil people. These people are not only evil, they are stupid, because unlike now, God actually shows up and warns them to shape up, and they LAUGH at him. Of course, that story about Elisha was still at the printers, so maybe they didn't realize what deep yogurt the Lord could put them in for being such defiant smart alecks. In any event, they paid Him no never mind at all, and in the end only Lot, his wife and two daughters (even the daughter's hubbies were too dumbed down to get out of town) leave town, one step ahead of the Lord's own Nuclear Testing Program. And, of course, Mrs. Lot looks back despite the fact that God BEGGED her not to, and WHAP! she's turned into a pillar of salt. O.K. everybody knows that part of the story; however, relatively few sermons have been preached on Chapters 30-38. You see Lot and his daughters ran off into the woods and hid in a cave. So one night, Lot's dozing, and the girls are getting, well, restless. The oldest one says, (and I paraphrase here) "Look, sis, we are in deep trouble. No guys, no malls and Dad is about 250 years old. If we're going to have a life, we got no choice: we have to get dad drunk and sleep with him to repopulate the world. Otherwise, we're going to end up as two shriveled old broads living in a cave, with nobody to sit shiva for us when we're gone." So sure enough, they dig into the wine coolers, and fix a few long, cool ones for dad, who goes out like a light and later claims he knows nothing about any of this. Next night, the same thing, except it's the younger sister. And sure enough, zingo!, the girls end up pregnant. It's unrecorded what happened to Lot, but liver problems sound like a good bet. Anyway, not only do the girls deliver up two healthy baby boys, but these boys beget the kingdoms of Moab and Ammon -- or, basically, the modern Kingdom of Jordon. So, some story, eh? Sure makes you wonder what the EVIL folks in Sodom and Gomorrah had been up to, to get in such hot water with the Lord in the first place. God sure seemed like a pretty standup guy where Lot's filial improprieties were concerned, so maybe He's not so strict after all. Dick in Alaska, who thinks Elisha was just having a bad hair day =============== Reply 101 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/28 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 0:55 AM Steve, for further help on your Old Testament studies, pick up a small book of historical background. I have one called ISRAEL AND THE NATIONS, one of the few things I kept from my misbegotten college bookstore. (In fact, the only other thing I kept from that era was my Harvard Dictionary of Music, which I had to buy elsewhere.) Anyway, the prophets start making sense when you disentangle all those ancient wars. I was fortunate enough to have two teachers who had been through their paces at Hebrew Union. Thus I learned that the background of the first Isaiah was the Syro- Ephriamitic War and what was going on during the aforesaid war. I also learned there were at least three authors over a tolerably wide expanse of time who wrote Isaiah and that the literary styles of the first two are totally different, even their metaphors. Call up your Reform Rabbi and get some suggestions about midrashes on areas that interest you. Once I realized a midrash was not a form of dermatitis I found them fascinating. Originally, rabbinical commentators had set a verse or so in the middle of the page and written their commentaries and counter-commentaries all around them. Some of these things date way back and contain fascinating insights. Last year I read a Jewish women's midrash on the Book of Ruth - wonderful stuff. One woman's contribution was a little one act play about a study group called Women Gathered To Deplore The Bible. They had tried to get up one called Women Gathered To Discuss The Bible but hadn't been able to stimulate enough interest! Cathy =============== Reply 102 of Note 27 =================  
To: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Date: 05/28 From: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Time: 1:44 AM Hi Ruth - If you have an extra copy, and are willing to part with it to a semi-confirmed poetry hater (no, that's too strong, disliker I guess...) I would love to have one. Who knows, you may even convert me. Theresa =============== Reply 103 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/28 From: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Time: 1:46 AM Audible laughter, Steve. Four stars. =============== Reply 104 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/28 From: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Time: 2:27 AM Steve and Dick, In all seriousness, I've found the NIV STUDY BIBLE to be a great great source of information and reference material. I don't know about all this other stuff, multiple choice questions and the like. I'm not sure that God would approve of questions of which ANY answer could be right. That seems too lenient, even in a dumbed down world. I don't recall God's cluing Abraham in to the fact that his sacrifice of Isaac could have been merely a neo-Freudian meditation on his own (Abraham's) sexuality, and that if he'd spent a little more time sharpening the blade, so to speak, he might not want to hack his son to pieces. I can see the multiple choice questions for these verses: If you were Lizzie Borden, your best defense would be: a. God told me to do it. I swear He did. He said that if I did I'd be the mother of a great and powerful nation. b. I thought they were rams. I had no idea they were actually my parents. c. Both a. and b. d. None of the above. --DJP, wondering what the actual question about the sacrifice story is. =============== Reply 105 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/28 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:17 AM Barbara, woman of discernment that you are, I agree with everything you have said here. Catherine Barkley is maybe not too well done. You might be interested to know that the real life model for her was a lady named Agnes von Kurowsky, an American who was Hemingway's own nurse in Milan. If there ever was a book that suffered from its treatment by Hollywood, this one is it. Rock Hudson and whatshername! Yuccccck! A plague upon Hollywood! On the other hand and in all fairness, the reason I could stand up and greet Lady Brett Ashley by name if she walked into The Bunker here is that she would look just like Ava Gardner. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 106 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/28 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:17 AM I remember this little episode, Richard! This is one of those that always kinda silently slid by in Sunday School. I suspected that it would again here in TNIVSBFSG. Not so! And actually, the questions give rise to an interesting take on it: "DIG: 1. Why is this story in the book of Genesis? If omitted, what picture of Lot would be missing? 2. From this story, how would you describe Lot? Lot's daughters? Lot's grandchildren? REFLECT: 1. What bothers you most about this story: The drinking? The deception? The incest? 2. Children of alcoholics suffer from the sin and sickness of others. Lot's family may have. Where among your friends or family have you seen this to be the case? 3. What about Lot's story, or your own, moves you to pray?" I'll tell you! When these TNIVSBFSG folks talk about sharing, they mean SHARING. You're absolutely right about Genesis. Lots of good stuff in there (no pun intended). One of my favorite opaque stories in Genesis concerns Jacob's wrestling with God. And another concerns that body hair of Esau's. Every time I see one of those late night commercials about unwanted hair, I think about old Esau. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 107 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/28 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:17 AM Actually, Catherine, rather than my buying this book, why don't you just move in with me. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 108 of Note 27 =================  
To: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Date: 05/28 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:17 AM Marty, the folks at TNIVSBFSG do indeed have a sense of humor. Here's one of the multiple choice questions concerning God's demand that Abraham sacrafice Isaac: "6. What did Isaac learn from this experience? a. Abraham's relationship with God came first b. God is a jealous God c. to be as committed as his father d. never go with Dad to offer a sacrifice" DEEEEEEEEEEE! DEEEEEEEEEEE! The answer is DEEEEEEEEEEE! Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 109 of Note 27 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 05/28 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:17 AM If I recall correctly, Ann, we were born in the same year, as were so many of the Faithful Correspondents--1947. What a vintage year that was! Were you the one urging me on to read STONES FROM THE RIVER? If so, rest assured that I am about two-thirds done with this heart breaking book. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 110 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/28 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 11:39 AM Steve: My ribs having partially healed from over-laughter, I am able to type sufficiently to let you know how much I enjoyed your Old Testament commentary. When the Wild Man returneth, he doeth it in style. >>Dale in Ala., eagerly awaiting the first edition of THE CONSIGLIERE'S BIBLE FOR STUDY GROUPS =============== Reply 111 of Note 27 =================  
To: DCTW04A MARTY PRIOLA Date: 05/28 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 12:09 PM Marty: You're absolutely right that the story of Abraham is one of the most challenging in the Bible. He's one of my favorite characters (like he needs rave reviews from the arctic goyim, maybe?) -- the Strom Thurmond of the Old Testament, fathering babies and leading his nation when most guys are sucking gruel up a straw. He was 86 when his wife Sarah set him up with the maid to produce Ishamael, and 99 when he entered into the covenant (just in case anyone doubts that the Lord Thy God is a Merciful God, check out the fine print in that covenant: circumcision within 8 days of birth. He COULD have made it at age 21 -- ouch). It's interesting to consider Abraham vis-a-vis Job. It seems Yahweh was inordinately fond of tempting his most faithful servants ("Heh, heh, just testing," says God). In Abraham's case, He stays the most terrifying aspects of the test; in Job's case, the testing involves the outright slaughter of Job's entire family, not to mention quite a few farm animals. The other aspect of Job that is disconcerting is the sporting element: God and Satan going double or nothing for Job's soul, while casually disposing of his family and friends, has an alien chill about it -- perhaps Godlike is the word I'm looking for here. Perhaps that is all the Holocaust was about -- God and Satan, playing dice to test the faith of humanity. I guess I'd better stop before I stumble into heresy here -- I'm feeling distinctly Manichean all of a sudden. Dick in Alaska, with grandpa's King James Red Letter Edition at the ready =============== Reply 112 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/29 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 1:03 AM Actually, there is a possibility that Job was a teaching parable rather than an actual set of events; it is one book that cannot be fitted into historical context, as most of the historical books can. All this stuff about the Old Testament is really pretty relevant to our other reading, 'specially if we do British authors. Wodehouse was supreme; that thing about the deaf adder that stoppeth her ears and heedeth not the voice of the charmer is an obscure passage in Psalms. Kipling's Biblical references abound, especially Old Testament. For example, he titled an early poem about a government scandal GEHAZI and expected everybody to get the point. Even Oscar Wilde displayed a fine array of scripture knowledge; parts of SALOME were lifted, appositely, straight from Ezekial. Even our own Dorothy Parker got in on the game - you may remember the name she gave her canary. The reference is in Genesis. What does this relevant question Bible have to say about Judges chapters 4 and 5, some of my favorites in the OT? I'd like to hear the gentlemen's comments. My first thought, of course, was that if Heber survived that battle he subsequently slept with all the spare tent pegs under the pillow. This tale also was a favorite of Wodehouse. Cathy =============== Reply 113 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/29 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 12:07 PM Cathy: I've read that theory about Job being a teaching parable -- a theory with which I agree. Question is, what's being taught and who's doing the teaching? The scholarly thought seems to be that the point of Job is to show that misfortune is not the result of sin or personal failing; only problem with that approach is that it reduces God and Satan to mere sources of caprice, which is quite a different view than you usual get in the Old Testament -- God was quite the micromanager in those days in most texts. And good point on the importance of the OT as a literary source -- to read almost any serious literature written before 1800 you have to be well grounded in both the OT and classical mythology, unless of course, you get those dandy Norton editions with all the notes. As I've said many times before, I sure love modern times and developments. Finally, I too would like to hear what the Q&A Bible format has to say about those passages from Judges -- sounds suspiciously feminist to me. Dick in Alaska, keeping all hammers, nails and tent-pegs away from the wife (and what was Dorothy Parker's canary's name, anyway?) =============== Reply 114 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/29 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 3:15 PM "The wife", Dick? Ick. But you may redeem yourself -- and I use the word "redeem" ill-advisedly, I'm sure -- by telling us what your wife calls you. I assume it's something other than Sir Richard! L. =============== Reply 115 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/29 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 5:33 PM Dear Dale, I have been off the board for a few days now because of a trip. But having read your original note and seeing all the discussion that I felt obliged to skip (which I just hate to do because I didn't want to spoil anything, and I didn't know what you were talking about), I felt compelled to buy TWH. I started reading it today while I was eating my lunch at a sedate little Milwaukee restaurant. Well, needless to say, I drank a lot of water with my chicken salad sandwich. I can't wait to download all the discussion now and dig in. Sherry in rather cool but sunny Milwaukee =============== Reply 116 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/29 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 6:48 PM Cathy, there are a TON of multiple choice questions, OPEN questions, DIG questions, and REFLECT questions concerning Chapters 4 and 5 of Judges. Unfortunately, I find most of them to be inane, and I am sure you would, too. The feminist angle that Dick referred to did not escape the editors, however: "DIG: . . . How do you think Barak felt about being called to action by Deborah? Why did he insist on having her go along (vv.6-8)? Where else (in government, on TV, in your family) have you seen a male-female couple relate like this? . . . 4. How do you think Heber responded to his wife's murdering a family friend? What do you think of her use of a tent peg and hammer? 5. How does this story highlight the role of women over men? What do you think the Israelites felt about having a woman judging and delivering them?" As for the questions concerning the hymn in Chapter 5, they are awful: "REFLECT: . . . 4. What aspect of Deborah's song would best fit your group's experience? Try composing a song about God's victory in you life. Is it singable?" This sounds to me like a question Mr. Rogers would ask. (Or maybe the guy who is reading A FAREWELL TO ARMS to Barbara on tape.) Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 117 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/29 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 8:07 PM Steve, Just finished listening to FAREWELL TO ARMS tonight. The scenes after they are in Switzerland are really beautiful, despite the foreshadowing of the devastating ending when Catherine relays a comment from the doctor about her narrow hips for childbirth. And, Catherine is a little better as they go along, developing her own wry little sense of humour, but still unrecognizable to me as any woman I've ever known. Again, the drawback of books on tape is that you can't go back easily and quote passages, but the lines after the baby dies when he says that "they" get you in the end if you live long enough will stay with me for a while. Also, his inner conversation when he keeps asking himself "But, what if she dies?", while incredibly repetitive, was an accurate representation of the kinds of inner thoughts that we really do have at times like those. BTW, did the actual nurse in Milan die in childbirth? I have a feeing that I must've seen the awful movie of this as I have vague memories of Rock Hudson raging and a horribly sad ending, but that's it. If you think of the name of the woman who played Catherine, let me know. Also, this FAREWELL TO ARMS should go on a list of books with good that, I don't mean happy, but tied together, crisp, making sense....rather than ones that go on and on while the author tries to think of a way to end it and then finally does it by trickling off or with little logic. I've commented on this frequently enough that I probably should make an actual list of these...doubtful given my level of organization. Steve, you really should nominate your favorite Hemingway for the next CR reading list. I promise to read it and I'm sure most everyone else would. Even reading this has been a nice surprise for me. I had been going by his reputation as a person rather than a writer age old mistake that Kundera would have me shot at dawn for. My only prior reading of Hemingway was A MOVEABLE FEAST and THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, both of which I read in my teens and early 20's...liked both of them then, but who knows what that means? I'm also learning to go for early Hemingway. After reading the amount of cognac consumed in this book, I can understand why he had trouble in his later years. Barb =============== Reply 118 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/29 From: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Time: 9:56 PM Barbara et. al. This thread is amazing. We've made our way from THE WHITE HOTEL to Hemingway to the Old Testament. I can't begin to imagine the next turn of events. One lesson is clear: don't leave the discussion for too long. Mary Anne =============== Reply 119 of Note 27 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 05/29 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 11:04 PM Lynn: Curiously, this is a notoriously difficult subject. If one is to refer to one's 'wife' at all, pronouns or articles become almost mandatory. Thus, "my wife" (long ago banished from polite company due to its chauvinistic connotations), "a wife" (grammatically imprecise and probably incorrect), "your wife" (grammatically incorrect, factually incorrect and illegal unless you live in Hawaii). Now, I could have referred to her as 'Susan' which is her given name and one that I often use around the house. However, since she doesn't post on this board, and has never been introduced to anyone, this seems both confusing and unduly familiar. Perhaps, "Mrs. Haggart" would be appropriate? However, even this has its limits, given my repeated references to my sainted mother who is, to the day she dies, "Mrs. Haggart" as well. So you can see that if I've offended, it's not for lack of thought on the subject. And, to answer your question about what Susan/the wife/She Who Must Be Obeyed calls me, it depends on the circumstances. "Yo, doofus!" springs immediately to mind. Most common, however, is "Dick" (since we've been introduced properly, first names are clearly appropriate). After that, "my husband" is a close second, however politically incorrect it maybe in theory. Susan is an old-fashioned sort of woman and has no trouble at all with the concept of "husband as chattel". I suppose the next time around I should seek out a more modern mate, provided of course Susan approves. Hope that clears everything up. Dick, who hopes he is "the" husband, and is definitely "a" husband, in Alaska =============== Reply 120 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/29 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 11:52 PM Dorothy Parker called her canary Onan because he scattered his seed. Now, find the story in Genesis about Judah and his sons and a lady named Tamar. It comes in sometime after they've sold Joseph and before they go into Egypt. The implications are a bit too adult for a family bulletin board. Yes, Steve, those folks are really working hard at Deborah and Jael. I've read an explanation of Deborah's daring battle plan; it depends on geography. When you can lure 400 chariots of iron out onto a floodplain following the rainy season, then you can swoop down upon them with light armed infantry. Imagine trying to get 800 wheels of iron out of the mud. It was this sort of thing that caused so much trouble during the Civil War. Wonder if Deborah herself was in there hacking? Scripture isn't clear. Also, if "wife of Lapidoth" is indeed a correct translation (It could mean "woman of fire"), there's no indication old Lapidoth went out with the army. VERY Interesting. Even feminist commentators I've read seem to be out of it on Jael, for no very good reason that I can see. Factors to consider: (1) The contract with Sisera was between him and her husband. (2) Heber was a Kenite, descendant of the father-in-law of Moses, and therefore probably had different priorities from the Jews. (3) Sisera was the head of an army that had been ravaging the land with predictable attention to its women. By me, Jael was striking for her homeland and for her sex rather than abusing the duties of hospitality. Which brings me to a useful, if somewhat irritating reference source. In secondhand stores you can still pick up the commentaries of Adam Clark, a very learned scholar of the mid-19th century. He really knew his antiquities and explained the background of most things properly, but he was also a very rigid man of his time. By him, Judges 4 and 5 are not canonical; that was the only way he could handle it. And Mama says his comments on the Sin of Onan (see the canary above) would make a cat laugh. His commentaries can irritate you with long untranslated passages of Greek and Hebrew and equally long extempore prayers, but he did know a great deal about ancient cultures and languages. Cathy =============== Reply 121 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/30 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 0:38 AM Hmm. I hadn't heard that saying "my husband" or "my wife" was politically incorrect. (Was I out of the room?) But in any case, I'd certainly be willing to accede to public sensibilities and go with "yo, dufus"! =============== Reply 122 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/30 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 1:45 AM Ah, Ms. Cathy -- your posts are a never ending source of delight. Onan the Canary, indeed. And now, on top of everything else, I've got to go out and get some good source books on the Old Testament. Honestly. This board is like some loathsome, progressive skin disease -- the itches develop faster than you can scratch. Dick in Alaska, apologizing in advance for the disgusting quasi-medical metaphor =============== Reply 123 of Note 27 =================  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 05/30 From: SCYV62A TERESA HESS Time: 10:10 AM Sherry, do post your thoughtson TWH. I know this thread is snaking through a lot of different subject matter, but I'll be looking forward to your comments. Teresa =============== Reply 124 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/30 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 1:43 PM Cathy, you have provided me with my hearty laugh of the day. Onan the Canary indeed! Only Dorothy Parker would come up with this. I had never heard this story. Suffice it to say that I will never again hear the word "onanism" for the rest of my life without thinking of Dorothy's canary. This business concerning whether Jael was herself a member of one of the tribes of Israel had me confused. At first I thought that she obviously was, given the family connection to Moses. Apparently not, however. One of these questions makes reference to the "clever but godless Jael," which completely confused me. I mean, just because she drove a tent peg through a guy's head certainly does NOT make her "godless" by Old Testament standards. So I take it that she was a heathen. All right. I'm off on your next assignment. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 125 of Note 27 =================  
To: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Date: 05/30 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 1:43 PM Yes, Mary Anne, and it's all my fault. (I'm easily distracted. Attention deficit disorder, I think it's called.) In order to atone, I have laid my hot little hands on a copy of THE WHITE HOTEL and intend to address the subject that gave rise to this thread in the first place. Bear with me. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 126 of Note 27 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 05/30 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 1:43 PM Yes, there's the problem with Catherine for me, Barbara. I just never have gotten a handle on her as a real person. Over all, it's a good old tear jerker though, ain't it? And a very eloquent anti-war document, also, I think. I take it that you did very much enjoy this one. I'm delighted. No, Agnes didn't die. The affair just didn't work out. I'll try to remember to dig up one of those biographies at the library when next I am there and refresh my recollection concerning the juicy parts of that deal. The actress was one of those insipid fifties types like Jean Simmons, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't her. I'll also come through with this, too, before we're done. Lastly, I think you're onto something with your remarks concerning the cognac. This is the odd thing about Ernesto in my opinion. The earlier the work, the better in my estimation. FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is his ambitious attempt at a really epic depiction of the Spanish Civil War, but it falls a bit short of the mark and does deserve a gentle ribbing in places along the lines of Jim Heath's comments above. For my money the very, very best is THE SUN ALSO RISES, which for all intents and purposes was his first novel. I don't know how many times I've read that one, but there is no doubt that my first reading occurred at way too early and impressionable an age. The book damned near got me killed, as a matter of fact. My own personal running with the bulls took place exactly twenty-five years ago this July. I have commemorated that anniversary with a little essay, which I have submitted to both Diamond Jim and Ruthie for their critical comments. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 127 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/30 From: NPVX84A MARIA BUSTILLOS Time: 1:57 PM Wild man, just finished your edifying romp through the Old Testament. Much food for thought here. Really felt kinship myself with the old coot under his broom tree. What's it all for, anyway, eh? Where's it all at?? Additionally, wouldn't it be kind of cool to be able to summon bears?? And did these bears just maul the heckling youths, rather than polishing them off, because they were trained bears?? Or did they in fact polish them off, and the whole OT is such a bloodbath anyway, they didn't bother to tell you?? How about the exact meaning of "maul"? Ah, me. Miss you. Fondly, Maria. =============== Reply 128 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/30 From: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Time: 3:48 PM Lynn & Dick, This discussion is sounding too familiar. When "my" husband wants to irk me, he'll threaten to refer to me as "the" wife or worse yet "the little lady" or the ultimate hit you over the head with a frying pan referral, "my old lady." I prefer "my" wife or "my" husband any day. IMHO, to say "my" wife or "my" husband is not a way of claiming ownership, but a way of distinguishing one's spouse from another's spouse. Hey, how about "my spouse?" Jean--who thinks "The Wife" sounds like the title of a very bad all male written, directed and produced horror movie =============== Reply 129 of Note 27 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 05/30 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 6:21 PM Steve, It is a "good old tear jerker", but, somehow, the simplicity of the language makes that okay. Yes, I did very much enjoy it...found myself disappointed when I got into the car for my commute today and realized that I wasn't in Switzerland anymore. I also find myself using the words "fine" and "lovely" quite a bit in the last few days. I'm definitely going to try the short stories and hope that you put THE SUN ALSO RISES on the CR list. you going to join us with Tolstoy and WAR AND PEACE this summer on CC? Given your relationship with Vronsky, you really shouldn't miss this little fest. Barb =============== Reply 130 of Note 27 =================  
To: KFBC86B JEAN MILLER BELL Date: 05/30 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 10:27 PM Jean: "The little lady" or "my old lady"? Even I would have known better than that -- If I were terminally ill, I could save the long distance charges to Dr. Kervorkian by referring to my legally related signficant other in such a fashion. But I get your drift; I'm now a reformed kind of husband, and will henceforth eschew the useage "the wife". From now on, it's Susan (which curiously is also my wife's name). You're all considered introduced to her. And my mother's name is Mary, my father's is Tom and my one brother is Bill, just in case any of that comes up. Dick in Alaska, once again toeing the appropriate line =============== Reply 131 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/30 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 11:19 PM Actually, from what I can gather, Heber was the one who was probably a heathen and Jael a Jewess. By me, that makes her a patriot. After all, how many times do you get a personal whack at your country's oppressors? The persistent misunderstandings just go to show how sexually charged (as in Help! they're out to GET us) that whole story is. On "the wife", of course, there are other interesting historical/literary connotations. First thing I thought of was The Wife of Bath. Now, there was a character for you!! Cathy =============== Reply 132 of Note 27 =================  
To: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Date: 05/31 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 0:39 AM Cathy: Heber was a Kenite, which while probably not a thorough-going sort of heathen was not a Jew, either. Jael was Jewish, I believe. The tribes of Israel and the Kenites hung out together in the malls of the time; the connection is close. For example, Moses's father-in-law was a Kenite. Frankly, today it sounds like something Dupont uses to manufacture bowling balls, but at one time it was a word of power, fraught with meaning for friend and enemy alike. Dick in Alaska, wondering if we couldn't lure a Rabbi onto this board, and perhaps a Jesuit as well =============== Reply 133 of Note 27 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 05/31 From: YHJK89A CATHERINE HILL Time: 1:15 AM A rabbi would be especially good; I feel we too often miss out on this strand in our cultural heritage. You lawyer types would love rabbinical arguement; they argue from what's NOT there as well as what's there. I just remembered where I'd written down a beautiful source for those who want to know how ancient Hebrew times really were. This is the two volume THE ART OF WARFARE IN BIBLICAL LANDS IN THE LIGHT OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY by Yigael Yadin, translated from Hebrew and published by McGraw-Hill in 1963. The Israeli Colonel included color plates of ancient weapons and ancient wall paintings illustrating his points and covers most of Biblical history from a military standpoint. For instance, that bit about Joshua & Co. smiting people "with the edge of the sword". That was literal; they were using swords rather like the Arab scimitar, with the striking edge outermost. Note: You can get tolerably accurate Biblical Action Figures at our local Baptist Bookstore, probably available through outlets nationwide. Something to give your bloody minded youngsters to interest them in religion. Cathy =============== Reply 134 of Note 27 =================  
To: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Date: 05/31 From: NPVX84A MARIA BUSTILLOS Time: 12:22 PM Hey, they can call me "wee wifie" or "the li'l dumplin'" if they want to, so long as it's done affectionately. It's the spirit of the thing, n'est-ce pas? The proof of respect (which should be mutual) doesn't come from such banal tokens. You know when someone loves and respects you, and when you've got that, you don't have to bicker over trifles. =============== Reply 135 of Note 27 =================  
To: NPVX84A MARIA BUSTILLOS Date: 05/31 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 12:55 PM MARIA BUSTILLOS! As I live and breathe! Oh, be still my heart! (Excuse me a moment while I break out in song.) "When she walks it's like a samba that swings so cool and sways so gently, and when she passes, each one she passes goes aaaaaaaaaaaaaah." There. I've got a grip again. And don't you just love it that the bear mauls exactly forty-two of these recreants? Not thirty, not forty, not fifty. Exactly forty-two. A body count, if you will. I say the bear had to be a trained one. Gotta be. So wonderful to log on and find your post. Hope all is going well out there in La-La land. Don't be so scarce. Your pal, Steve =============== Reply 136 of Note 27 =================  
To: NPVX84A MARIA BUSTILLOS Date: 05/31 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 3:21 PM Maria -- You're right of course, and no doubt we could dispense, once and for all, with huge chunks of this unfortunate p.c. craze if everyone understood that and was able to think and feel and act with the kind of insight and understanding that you've described so thoughtfully. But till such time, we're left, I'm afraid, with a clumsy sort of "pattern analysis" and the hope that occasional bursts of insight will keep us from going too fer astray. Of course, this is all quite separate from our good-natured ribbing of each other and, come to think of it, ourselves! Not above hiding the mastercard bill... Lynn =============== Reply 137 of Note 27 =================  
To: NPVX84A MARIA BUSTILLOS Date: 06/01 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 0:49 AM Maria, You've been away too long. Glad to see your post. The only problem with our get-together with Dale, etc., recently was that you were seated too far from me. Ruth, east of you =============== Reply 138 of Note 27 =================  
To: NDKB53A THERESA SIMPSON Date: 06/01 From: TPRS02A SABRINA MOLDEN Time: 10:37 PM What is so funny about these blasphemous remarks? The Bible is the Word of God. How can you feel justified in applying your mortal logic to it? God sent his Son Jesus to SAVE folks like those in the OLD TESTAMENT. Are there not any Christians on this Board? I did not know you guys enjoyed such discussions. I'm wondering do I belong. I certainly don't find ANY of this to be FUNNY. Sabrina =============== Reply 139 of Note 27 =================  
To: TPRS02A SABRINA MOLDEN Date: 06/01 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 10:49 PM Sabrina, I am a Christian, but I think that we must realize that the Bible was written by men, and that there are many inconsistancies in the Bible. And I believe in my heart that God has a sense of humor and that he expects us to question everything. Otherwise, why did he give us brains? Jane who grew up in a fundamentalist family. =============== Reply 140 of Note 27 =================  
To: TPRS02A SABRINA MOLDEN Date: 06/01 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 11:31 PM Sabrina -- You raise an interesting point: those who like their religious reading material straight, no humor on the side, will have a difficult time with portions of this thread. The only thing I can suggest is that you skip this thread and find those you're more comfortable with. (I think we all skip those threads we're less interested in anyhow, in favor of those that do interest us.) On the other hand, this is a books and writing board, and that is the slant here. And speaking as someone who's pretty much a "non-believer", I'm enjoying this lively discussion in which belief, humor, intelligence, and so on all mingle so freely. That such a discussion can take place in this time and place (as we slouch balkanized toward the millenium) strikes me as a very good thing indeed. Lynn

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