Poor While White: WIDE SARGASSO SEA

They still do have servants. But the servants don’t respect them. Shades of Penelope and her servants in The Odyssey? Umm, not quite. Because in Wide Sargasso Sea, there’s a race element: the employers are poor but white, the servants are black, but feel themselves better than their employers because at least they’re not poor whites. Absolutely nothing could be worse than that.

Why does no one bring up this race thing when talking about Wide Sargasso Sea?

p. 23:

Christophine, who had been in the pantry listening, came at once and was told to find a clean dress for me. ‘Throw away that thing. Burn it.’

Then they quarreled.

Christophine said I had no clean dress. ‘She got two dresses, wash and wear. You want clean dress to drop from heaven? Some people crazy in truth.’

‘She must have another dress,’ said my mother. ‘Somewhere.’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Liquid: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 16 May 2018

For this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, LIQUID, self decided to break with her usual habit of scouring her archives. Instead, she decided to take pictures of liquids.

Since this is also a hard-at-work day for her (writing), she’s at home. What is liquid in her home? Here are three things:

DSCN0331

DSCN0330

DSCN0332

Other LIQUID:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Writing on the Wall: San Francisco Chronicle, 16 May 2018

Editorial, p. A9:

The Trump Administration has exported its politics of provocation to the last place that needs it, the Middle East. The all-too predictable immediate result has been carnage. The long-term consequences are likely to be worse.

Like President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement last week, his relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday stoked tensions and emboldened hardliners on all sides. They include those who urged protesters to storm a border fence in Hamas-ruled Gaza, about 40 miles from the wilfully oblivious celebration of the new embassy. Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas and gunfire, leaving at least 60 dead and 2,000 wounded.

The disputed status of Jerusalem, in light of its religious and political importance to Jews and Palestinians alike, has long been regarded as one of a few key controversies to be resolved by peace talks. Trump’s recognition of the holy city as Israel’s capital would be a monumental concession to one side if anything had been gained or even asked in return. As effected, it was just a gift Trump bestowed on his evangelical political base, and by extension himself, at the expense of lives, American standing and prospects for peace.

Whether Trump takes the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations seriously might be guessed from his decision to entrust the job to his callow son-in-law, Jared Kushner, along with a laughable litany of other assignments for which he has no obvious qualifications.

Poetry Thursday: LIU XIA

Excerpt from Scheme, in the bilingual poetry collection Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press)

You’re always disappointed in me/
I, too, can do nothing about myself.

Liu Xia is the widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. She is currently under house arrest in China.

Stay tuned.

 

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