Took the kid to the library yesterday (have I mentioned that we live three blocks from the local branch library, so that we can walk to it whenever we like? This was a dream of mine when I was a child, to be within walking distance of a library) in search of more reading material. I found two books, one of them The Writing Life, by Ellen Gilchrist, which is really just making me nuts.
The other was useless, a novel about some shrink who had a twin brother who slept with all the women in his life, and his son had drowned, and he was having this sexual fantasies about the women who were seeing him, I read about half of it last night, with growing astonishment, the writing was nice enough, mind you, but great leaping Christ on a skateboard, who thinks this is what life is about?
And Gilchrist, she just gets on my nerves. Smug ain't begin to describe that bint. She got bored with watching tennis, Ellen did, so she skipped on over to UA and asked them to let her to teach the fiction workshop, because she thought she would be good at it -- of course they let her -- and now she's telling young writers who have the nerve to write about icky things like werewolves that they haven't got any business mucking up her workshops. "I have to preserve the integrity of my workshop," she recites to herself, and calls this student up and tells her she has to drop the class. I thought it was understood that a class in fiction in an English department would be writing literature, she explains to the student.
She also doesn't like the student's language. It's too harsh for our Ellen.
This might be a class issue, she muses.
No. You think?
Gilchrist would have kicked Octavia Butler out of her workshop, too, I point out to mr. delagar, who took Ellen's workshop last semester and scored an A from the bint, not to mention a glowing letter of recommendation. Ellen loved mr. delagar and his writing.
Of course, mr. delagar comes from the same class Ellen does. His family, too, owned the means of production.
See, when Ellen says it's a class issue, she doesn't mean, by that, it's a class issue, and so I should take into account that I have some blind spots and I should work to overcome them. She means, It's a class issue, and my class is superior, and it's too bad, isn't it, that this poor unfortunate child has been so crippled by her class that she can't recognize superior literature when I lay it before it. Let's send her down the hall to work with those of her (lower) class, where she really belongs, after all.
Then, two pages later, she's all bemused when the poor unfortunate child seems, well, angry, at how she has been treated. What's her problem? Doesn't she know Ellen just has her best interests in mind? Not like she really would have fit in, would she? Up there at the country club? Much happier down in the kitchen, where she belonged.
21 hours ago