i am insisting on reading this book as a metaphor for parenthood. in this wonderfully-illustrated-as-always edward gore...morethis review is for bird brian!!
i am insisting on reading this book as a metaphor for parenthood. in this wonderfully-illustrated-as-always edward gorey book, this creature arrives one evening, uninvited, unexpected. and it looks like a weird-ass penguin in a scarf and some canvas kicks.and it just will not leave.
it came seventeen years ago - and to this day it has shown no intention of going away
i assume there are plenty of parents who feel this way about their odd children - the alien, the other, the unrelatable who seems never to be leaving the nest and letting them get back to their lives already.
and it is a total pain in the ass. while this creature is living amongst them, it eats all the syrup and toast, and part of a plate, it steals parts from the gramophone, it hangs out in the fireplace and destroys its own shoes, it rips up books (!!!)
and messes up the hanging pictures, it lies down on the floor in front of the door and gets in everyone's way, it hides in a tureen, it steals and hides all the bath towels, it sleepwalks, it throws the beloved objects of others in the pond, and it seemingly has no intention of ever leaving or getting a job or finding a nice girl and settling down!!
sound familiar, parents?? time to clean house before it gets any worse.(less)
this is not a book review so much as a fulfillment of a request by ladies whose whims i cannot refuse.
R(est) I(n) P(ubescence): A Study of Child Morta...morethis is not a book review so much as a fulfillment of a request by ladies whose whims i cannot refuse.
R(est) I(n) P(ubescence): A Study of Child Mortality in Battle Royale and The Gashlycrumb Tinies as Historical Documents
edward gorey was an american illustrator, and as such his children, or "tinies", meet their ends in very american ways. they all have "accidents" befall them. (excluding the suspiciously-like-suicide situations of zillah, neville, and james) this book is seemingly representative of the american attitude towards blame, circa 1963. everything that happens is unfortunate, but the parents are not responsible. what was ida doing by the lake when she drowned? probably eating apple pie and supporting our troops. and rhoda was simply lighting 4th of july sparklers when she became consumed by fires. written today, all of these drawings would be followed by a panel indicating what steps were taken w/r/t litigation, after the children's deaths. the peach orchards would be sued for allowing ernest to choke upon a peach stone, the train company would be paying for victor's death for years to come. but this historical artifact is an exercise in cause rather than effect, and certainly free of affect. it is coldhearted american realism with an anti-abortion message. if there are stairs, your children will fall down them, so the more children you make, the less you have to actually look after them. just play the odds...
battle royale on the other hand, takes the japanse perspective. japan is a country smaller than california, but it has about a zillion people on it. their concerns, as depicted in this novel seem to be about downsizing their population, and embracing martial darwinism. suicide is not an option for the japanese - that is military old hat (helmet?) for them, and far less entertaining than drugging an entire class of children and making them fight each other to the death on an island while wearing schoolgirl miniskirts. this is a bold political move to bring in some revenue, and to make room for their businessmen and oversized monsters. only the strong and the crazy will survive, and that is predicted to make for the most interesting gene pool.
here, the children are expendable, as they are in gorey's tract, but ultimately the two philosophies have different endgoals. gorey claims "yes, your parental fears are valid - children are fragile and will inevitably come to harm," which encourages americans to stay in their bedrooms, ignore the children they already have (who are going to fall whether they are being watched or not) and make more babies for america, while in battle royale, the teens have their intercourses during the actual games, so that murder and death are shown to be the most effective forms of birth control, which keeps the population down, and lessens the need for future battles.
kids are gonna die, it's a fact of life. but some are gonna go out in a blaze of glory with a scythe.