Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Green Meander

15 comments:

  1. Started the War Lovers last night. It's surprisingly well written. I hope it holds up, since he's interested in how otherwise sane men (i.e., like the author himself) can be suckered into supporting a "war of choice" (i.e., an unprovoked invasion of another country).

    He focuses on TR, Hearst, and Lodge but also William James and apparently Henry Brackett Reed, whom I've never even heard of before.

    Interesting way to look at war, through the eyes of those who are chomping at the bit to fight it -- and those who try to slow it down or prevent it.

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  2. Fascinating reading James' anti-war comments. I got curious after watching The Hurt Locker, as the main character was Sgt. William James. I assume it was meant in irony.

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  3. Interesting. I know nothing about William and little about Henry James. Fascinating family.

    A friend just sent this from the Daily Beast on great literary feuds. Here's the one on Henry James and Wells:


    "James, revered as the most sensitive of novelists, grew increasingly incensed by the prolific output of H.G. Wells, the ground-breaking writer of science fiction, whom he accused of valuing substance over style. In 1915, Wells published a parody of the master’s long-winded prose and exalted view of literature. A James novel was, he wrote, “like a church lit, but without a congregation to distract you, and with every light and line focused on a high altar, and on the altar, very reverently placed, intensely there, is a dead kitten, an eggshell, a bit of string…” ....

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/1655/1/
    May 23, 2010 7:57 AM

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  4. I will be working for the Educational Testing Service grading Graduate Record Examinations this summer on-line. Does anyone here have experience doing this?

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  5. Wow, that's fantastic!

    I have been on the receiving end of it, because I had to re-take the GREs to enter grad school.

    I think I got the equivalent of a C on my writing exams.... (not kidding!).

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  6. The Issue writing component is not easy. Some of the topics are pretty squirrelly, especially considering that you only have 45 minutes.

    I'm am planning to go back to school and get my Ph.D. in creative writing next year. That is assuming my writing porfolio and other stuff looks good enough. I inquired about my old GRE scores and was told that because they are more than five years old I will have to take the test again. So I mentioned that I am grading the GRE this summer. The English department at Georgia State University has agreed to waive the requirement of new scores.

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  7. Congrats on both! That's fantastic news!

    They sure didn't let me waive them -- and so I ended up taking them two days after burying my mother. It was quite the experience.

    But yes, as someone who writes for a living, my writing scores were interesting.....

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  8. Congrats from me, too, Rick. Too funny, being told one must retake a test one is employed in grading! Of course, you could take it and see if yours turned up in the to-be-graded assignments.

    Such a retake requirement reminds me of when my nurse daughter's training was delayed by overfull classes, turning many a 4-year-plan into 5 or longer. She got in just under the 5-year limit so she didn't have to retake...Anatomy! (Oh, the changes in the human structure and elements that took place in those 5 years!)

    Like the law, the Ed(uc.) Biz often has absurd elements, as I'm sure you'd willingly acknowledge.

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  9. Well my GRE scores are about thirty years old, so I could understand that they might want me to test again just to make sure I haven't been reading comic books all these years.

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  10. Mine were from back in the 1970s, too -- back before computers. So who knew even how to find them? Studying for the math section would bring back memories, though!

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  11. And for another meander, Henry Cabot Lodge writing about the successful war on Cuba from The War Lovers:

    "The country is I think satisfied that the Insurgents have not got a government and cannot make one. The President I think feels very strongly about Cuba... He means to take firm military possession and not withdraw the troops until the island is in perfect order and a stable government established."

    A surprisingly good book, with amazing parallels to Iraq as the author intended. Even links the origins of the use of water boarding to this period, as the Americans moved on to the Philippines where they used the Spanish "water cure" on prisoners of war.

    Roosevelt, now president, dismissed it as an "old Filipino method of minor torture" in which "nobody was seriously damaged."

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  12. I have just acquired and begun a book that may be of interest to a few of you, though it's certainly unlike the general run of books discussed here: Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" a story that has fascinated me since I first heard about it in interviews with the author and which I could resist no longer when I happened upon a sale at my local bookstore yesterday. If any who can put up those new books would care to do so, here's the amazon.com link
    http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Life-Henrietta-Lacks/dp/1400052173/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275884572&sr=8-1

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  13. Thanks, NY. Yes, hers is a fascinating story, and from everything I've heard, it's a great book. I wonder if I could pass it off as "history?"

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  14. (Scratching head) Why do you say "pass it off as 'history'"? What else is it?

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  15. I think it would probably be considered more biography than "history," but that's a fine line to be sure. Maybe I'll add it to my history list and see what happens.

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