December 9, 2007

PITY THE POOR LIBERAL...:

Many happy returns: Rereading a novel after many years can bring new revelations about its depth and intent. Alas, disappointments also can ensue (David L. Ulin, 12/09/07, Los Angeles Times)

In her 2005 anthology "Rereadings," Anne Fadiman recalls reading C.S. Lewis' "The Horse and His Boy" to her son, Henry, for the first time. Although she'd loved the book as a child, she couldn't help noticing, as an adult, an uncomfortable racist and sexist subtext. But when she gently tried to raise this issue with Henry, he was uninterested in the implications; all he wanted was to know what happened next.

"[T]here," Fadiman writes, "lay the essential difference between reading and rereading. . . . The former had more velocity; the latter had more depth. The former shut out the world in order to focus on the story; the latter dragged in the world in order to assess the story. The former was more fun; the latter was more cynical. But what was remarkable about the latter was that it contained the former: even while, as with the upper half of a set of bifocals, I saw the book through the complicating lens of adulthood, I also saw it through the memory of the first time I'd read it, when it had seemed as swift and pure as the Winding Arrow, the river that divides Calormen from Archenland."


...too politically-correct to enjoy life's pleasures.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2007 9:05 AM
Comments

Did she somehow miss that the "racist and sexist" ideals are held by the evil culture? I can't imagine wanting to read about enemies that are all nice and egalitarian.

Posted by: Jay at December 9, 2007 6:06 PM
[W]hen she gently tried to raise this issue with Henry, he was uninterested in the implications; all he wanted was to know what happened next.

Pity the mom? Pity the kid.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 9, 2007 11:05 PM

The good thing is the kid rejected her liberal propaganda. She says she gently mentioned the issues. We have only her word on how gently she mentioned them. I used to work with an ardent feminist. Her idea of gently mentioning worked up to be ardent hectoring. I can only hope the kid keeps rejecting her nonsense and thinks things through for himself.

Posted by: dick at December 10, 2007 4:25 AM

I once was at a restaurant here in Omaha and some woman with two kids had a car (an SUV, as I remember) absolutely plastered with about 300 liberal, hippie-dippie bumper stickers of the "Imagine World Peace" variety. Basically every square inch of this vehicle was covered with some nauseating left-wing blather.

Those poor kids. Imagine the harassment they must get at school.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 10, 2007 9:37 AM
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