Crap review and the politics thereof

#1 May 9th, 2010, 12:25
Join Date:
Sep 2004
Location:
Bangalore
Posts:
3,072
  • Digital Drifter is offline
#1
Bollocks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/bo...html?ref=world

I can't put my finger on it but this is stupid, calling people of another era anti-Semites or whatever.

By that token any book that disparages any ethnic/religion/race even with one reference to a character in literacy writings, it's anti-<insert race, religion, ethnicity> book.

Quote:
As an old-fashioned bardo*lator,...
<I have black friends too> escape line.

These are the days when you wonder whether there is an editor at all.

Of course, the stories show them in bad light, there's no question of that. But this is really stretching it.
#2 May 14th, 2010, 08:07
Join Date:
Jan 2005
Location:
yörp
Posts:
21,997
  • machadinha is offline
#2
I only had a passing glance at the article, DD. But,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Drifter View Post I can't put my finger on it but this is stupid, calling people of another era anti-Semites or whatever.
Antisemitism though not yet known as such was of course present in Europe ever since there were Jewish immigrants here, so let's say with the beginnings of the diaspora (some, what, 2000, 2500 years ago?) So there's some merit in studying its cultural prevalence.

Antisemitism such as we do now know and name it took firm shape in the 19th century (at least, if not the 18th or before), not the 20th. So it would be a mistake to call it a phenomenon purely of a "modern" era.

I can see your irritation, and whether this-or-that old author should be labeled an antisemite on the basis of their writings is an endless debate, but I don't think it's entirely besides the point. After all, that (relatively, and for the first time and finally outspokenly political) modern antisemitism didn't and wouldn't have existed without its forebears, and general cultural acceptance.

A point is how stunningly prevalent it was precisely, and running across the ideological spectrum (so e.g. around and throughout the 19th century it was bon ton for any number of our otherwise esteemed and "libertine" poets and leftist ideologues and whatnot to be, indeed, antisemites). Yes, one has to perhaps carefully place it in context of the times; but it doesn't alter the fact. And the developments of the 20th century wouldn't have happened without its being as widespread.
#3 May 14th, 2010, 08:19
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
styx
Posts:
21,630
  • capt_mahajan is offline
#3
Yeah, tough to figure this one out. Tim Wise would undoubtedly have something to say about it. He has written mainly about the US, as far as I know, but his stuff could be transplanted anywhere, including in India.

http://www.redroom.com/articlestory/...t-conditioning
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#4 May 14th, 2010, 08:26
Join Date:
Jan 2005
Location:
yörp
Posts:
21,997
  • machadinha is offline
#4
Well, basically, "the Jew" of course in Europe always served as the perfect "Other." Along with the gypsies and such. In literature and the likes, as well as in staging the occasional pogrom. (Except for whenever such groups come in handy, because they fill in a handy niche or so, and so are welcome for a time, of course.)*

So, yes, that's xenophobia. And, in this case, antisemitism.

* It too me a while to learn this titbit about the Jewish famed "knack for commerce," as well as how they've always been supposedly so "welcome" in The Netherlands, something we firmly like to believe in as proof of our fabled "tolerance": I think it was during the 80-Years' War against the Spanish (roughly 1500's) that Antwerp was sacked. We were now suddenly bereft of an important harbor at the time, and thus of a hinterland. Many refugees, including its Jewish population, settled here as elsewhere.

We had a guild system at the time, excluding outsiders from entering into those trades. Moreover, there was still a taboo on usury, as under many religions (and so not governed by said guilds). That is precisely the niche those Jewish immigrants filled up; because they had no choice. So setting themselves up as money handlers; that is to say, proto-bankers. Handy as long as it was welcome of course; it didn't preclude them from being persecuted at other times, when we could do it ourselves and they weren't looked as favorably upon.

It did, more-or-less indirectly, give a great boost to our own position as a naval and trading nation (with the Amsterdam harbor suddenly becoming an important trading point, a position previously largely reserved for Antwerp), and finally paving the way for our colonial endeavors and our "Golden Age."
#5 May 14th, 2010, 14:27
Join Date:
Jan 2005
Location:
yörp
Posts:
21,997
  • machadinha is offline
#5
... nb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Drifter View Post Bollocks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/bo...html?ref=world
So I did now read the full article. Well, where the author (of the article, not necessarily of the book reviewed -- how are we, the readers, to know?) goes on about (and it is his essential argument) "the English literary and academic establishment, which essentially opposes the right of the state of Israel to exist, while indulging in the humbuggery that its anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Endless boycotts of Israel are urged by this establishment...," and other such finesses, he certainly firmly loses me.

'Nuff said. Nonetheless, maybe the argument that spun off here about it is of some value.
#6 May 14th, 2010, 15:59
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,986
  • Nick-H is offline
#6
Always forget his name, but the guy who wote The 39 Steps --- so much anti-Semitism in those stories, that it is very like the evil aliens from space coming to take over our planet in science fiction. He was not at all alone on his period, either. Whilst we can read those books now as great adventure stories, and put aside the racism and anti-Semitism, it must have done much harm in its day, particularly as these stories must have been read by children.
#7 May 14th, 2010, 16:16
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,405
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#7
John Buchan.
#8 May 14th, 2010, 16:23
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Uk
Posts:
41
  • angus22 is offline
#8
I couldn't get past the idea of proposed boycotts on Israel being "anti semitic"
#9 May 14th, 2010, 16:42
Join Date:
Jan 2005
Location:
yörp
Posts:
21,997
  • machadinha is offline
#9
Well, modern anti-Zionism certainly isn't always clearly distinct from antisemitism.

But it's questionable if it's a discussion with no end in sight worth doing all over again here and at this point, to no clear purpose.

That question of whether people of yore can be held accountable for their views, and in the context of their times, is interesting though.

(I was reminded of my favorite Arthur Rimbaud, who of course and famously after his brief and young writing life gave up in disgust, never to write poetry or prose again, and to move on to Abyssinia to become, of all things, a merchant (and how he had despised the bourgeoisie alone!) and smuggler and slave trader. So was he a racist -- he is said to have entertained affairs with a number of local women --, not to mention a hypocrite, or was that just an acceptable, perhaps even "romantic," thing to do at the time? It's an interesting question.)

It's hardly like there were none fulminating against colonialism and the slave trade in those times, mind; the Dutch Multatuli to name but one wrote his famous anti-colonial novel Max Havelaar (targeting Dutch administration of and policies in Indonesia) in the same period (we're talking later 1800's, and in fact the abolition of slavery was well under way at that time in much of the colonial world).
#10 May 14th, 2010, 16:46
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
styx
Posts:
21,630
  • capt_mahajan is offline
#10
Quote:
read by children.
Don't forget Enid Blyton, and the controversies surrounding some of her writing- particularly the golliwog thing. (will link if I find it)

No wonder the Indian middle class of my generation has grown older (not grown up, please note) all warped.


found http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/jul/03/books.race
#11 May 14th, 2010, 20:21
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,986
  • Nick-H is offline
#11
Excuse me, Captain, but I grew up with Enid Blyton, and you can't tell me that all criminals are not working class men with low accents! Actually, I wasn't allowed Noddy. My parents might have been middle-class snobs, but even they thought that Noddy was crap.

TD... John Buchan, yes
#12 May 14th, 2010, 20:29
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
styx
Posts:
21,630
  • capt_mahajan is offline
#12
So did I, when my folks could afford them blighted Blytons. Before that, it was mainly Russian literature, which in those Indo-Soviet heydeys ( ) was dirt cheap- and pretty good.
#13 May 14th, 2010, 20:41
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,986
  • Nick-H is offline
#13
Nodinksy? Bigearsovitch?
#14 May 14th, 2010, 20:48
Join Date:
Sep 2005
Location:
styx
Posts:
21,630
  • capt_mahajan is offline
#14


and don't forget Kipling and his "White Man's Burden. "
#15 May 14th, 2010, 20:50
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,986
  • Nick-H is offline
#15
Why, does he need a hand with it?

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
City of crap Jan 14th, 2003 03:01 17 4304 Varanasi


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success