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Second half of the book.

Incredible, I went through the whole book in expectation of some sort of outrage from part of Graves in regards to the title. He just resolved not to return to England without much ado. What a jester.

It seems that this man’s greatest adventures were mere happenstances of his day. A man whose destiny was shaped by forces outside his power and his only response was to act nearly sangfroid and superstitiously to his surroundings.

His memory prowess baffles the mind. He has great memory for detail and because of that it tends to work up ones jealousy.

Describing life in war trenches, Graves makes it sound like a Sunday walk through the Parks of Hell.

Like I said before, this guy writes with a bellicose passivity that yanks grins out your mouth when you least expect it.

Its just one of those books that teaches to take life as it comes, grudge all you want, this is it. And make the best of it.

What struck me as amazing was the same parallels I drew from the voices of dissent coming out of Graves autobiography with the voices of dissent we here in the eve of the Irak-USA war.

I guess what I call homosexual writing is really nothing more than what the British call sensibility. He cares. There is a level of manly emotion that I never seen expressed, nearly feminine, to it. These days there is a look that is much praised amongst those in artistic circles, and which is an outward androgyny. I believe that Graves managed quite well to paint an inward androgyny that exist/ed/s within his writing.

Running Bit Mark Amerika

“… I sort of decided to let quality take care of itself – because how do you decide on the quality of something you don’t understand? …”

– Ronald Sukenick

This is the kind of conciousness in a text that I would like to explore more, mainly, the altercation between ego and superego.

First half of the book.

Language is difficult and almost alien to me. It depicts life in England as I never seen it pictured before. Rare names pop up now and then. The military traditions are all told in a manner that makes them look nearly silly. These traditions are built upon feuds between individuals and a hierarchy of bureaucrats who oppose them. Their successful efforts then become traditions.

The same goes for the time he spent in school, traditions are poked fun at and the whole system is made to look supercilious, except him of course. The relationships between boys are almost as if he had in mind homosexual relationships like those in ancient
Greece and Rome, this goes too for when he is in the trenches. Boys fall in love with each other.

There is a lot of research done in this text. Military history at its best.

If there ever was a homosexual voice in this writing I think I have found one. He has a manner of coming to conclusions that borders a flair of nonchalance. Almost light humor if you will. Although I like to think that his writing has a definite boxing style to it. One, two, and Pang! You get number three. He has a way of making witty remarks; by building up the narration with seriousness only to kill it off with charismatic wit. Quite enjoyable indeed.

For example: “… Although they could see we were officers, they [Welsch soldiers] did not jump to their feet and salute. I thought that this must be a convention of the trenches; and indeed it is laid down somewhere in the military text-books that the courtesy of the salute must be dispensed with in battle. But, no, it was just slackness.”

Bullying seems to be a central theme throughout. At times it felt as if I was in some Harry Potter dungeon.

The text runs with an amusing bellicose passivity.

For example: “Two young miners, in another company, disliked their sergeant who had a down on them and gave them all the most dirty and dangerous jobs. When they were in billets he crimed them for things they hadn’t done; so they decided to kill him.”

Yet another example: “Sergeant Dickens was a different case: a born fighter, and one of the best N.C.O.s in either batallion of the regiment. He had won the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar, the Military Medal, and the French Médaille Militaire; been two or three times promoted to sergeant’s rank, and each time reduced for drunkenness.” Ch 16

Text online: babysitter The Jack Derrida version, according to me, since I didn’t find a full integral text anywhere else.

Read Coover’s The babysitter online. It smacks of 1950’s, like the show Happy Days.

Except that this version is the violent form, insults and all. It could be that this is what all those goody-two-shoes characters really had underneath their conscious. Curiously enough, it also had some of that atmosphere one can find in Raymond Carver’s The Cathedral. Does this ever have a ring to Thomas Newman’s American Beauty or what! The type of suburbia such as the one described in Edward Scissor Hands comes to mind too. Well, I can see why this text is popular, there is a lot of sexual implications. It isn’t too strange then that this period (1969) also had the sexual revolution. I personally find all sexual commentary here a worst outbreak than the outness Victorian prudishness
had when it left those vestiges in the past.

Thought: This text is impregnated with Christian values. The sweetest reward is to have sex. Yet taboos run all throughout the text, impeding men to full fill their acts. Its only Christian moral values that hold them back. Mr. Tucker’s incessant need of an aspirin reminds me of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman with his need of new material things and his failure to see his reality and accept the present.

This also has some of Julio Cortazar’s fantasy style characteristics like those in La Isla a Mediodia (The Island in the afternoon). There is a lot of rave regarding the sentence structure on the net over this text.

I’ve been reading some books concerning the Victorian period in my Autobiography class such as Edward Gosse’s Father and Son, Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and a chapter in the book Eminent Victorians called Florence Nightingale and it strikes me how much the Christian Judeo faith is steeped into the very essence of the writing. One is made to take at face value what it is said, and even if there is a slight chance of disbelief atestaments are provided. As if being thoroughly religious gave one the power to be in the “Truth” as it were. There wasn’t any doubt about one’s follies and every event is attributed to Almighty God. One feels the scrutiny under which these peoples characters are being put through, not so different to modern censorship nor George Orwells 1984. It is perhaps no mischance then that people like George W Bush abide by such religions since it gives a structure, a mechanism by one can easily manipulate these sorts self observations under the watchful eye of God. It is also little wonder then that every dollar in the USA has Annuit Coeptis as it’s motto alongside a pyramid with an eye looking dead straight at one. For more info on this subject: back of the buck

Well, I’ve digresssed well off into something else more akin to conspiracies and left the Victorians in their little isle, but suffice to say, as regards the conciousness of these people who wrote autobiographies I can say that the very same sort of impulse that convinced them how to be is no doubt also the very same impulse that justified some of the worst cruelties in human mind. Which goes to prove that character managent that goes unchecked falls short of rotten.

Incredible, I finished my first e-book, I am now a full member of the cyber world!

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.

The book is a myriad of emotions uneasily untangled. One can discern several traces of Plato’s, The Apology and even Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre. This is the first time my skepticism is debunked from the high horse it usually sits on and for once I had a remorse every time a shadow casted doubt on the narrative. It seems hardly adequate to judge this book from an academic stand point and close reading seemed unneeded. At times, one was betrayed into easily accept the arguments southerners put forth for the kindness they expressed to their slaves only to later realize that one was siding with the devil itself!

Reading now: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Hate network
covers darkness
futile escape
eyes everywhere

ye of hope
run to me
embrace will I
your precious ambition

Even if you’re caught
lashing out lasting pain
the hate network dies
everytime you freedom try

the pain and memory remains
in our crying swelling hearts
when read do we today
of slaves of white men

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