Ugh. Should have been fiction or biography, not both. especially disturbed that the male gaze of the movie theatre (give me a break, I was an EnglishUgh. Should have been fiction or biography, not both. especially disturbed that the male gaze of the movie theatre (give me a break, I was an English major) could render a character so lifeless. Should have been a fascinating story, somehow not....more
Richard Wright shook things up with Black Boy and Native Son, but his travelogue/social commentary upon Spain in the 1950s is brilliantly evoked. WrigRichard Wright shook things up with Black Boy and Native Son, but his travelogue/social commentary upon Spain in the 1950s is brilliantly evoked. Wright isn't objective, and I'm still not sure if he's right in his ultimate conclusion, but I can't deny it was one of the more powerful books I've read lately.
There's a longer passage I'd like to reproduce later because it speaks so much to my experience in Egypt and being able to effectively recognize what kind of privilege you inhabit by being torn from it.
ETA: Here is the passage in question:
He sighed again and fronted me, spreading his hands in a gesture of helplessness. He smiled and explain in a sort of murmur that we were men, that men were not, perhaps, superior to women, but they were certainly more intelligent. His air was of cynicism and his manner asked me to join him in his masculine game of domination. .... V. was so angry that her lips were rigid . I understood her now. She had never in her life endured such treatment and she could not imagine taking it without some form of retaliation. I rose and tried the water faucets in her sink; a trickle of water came through , then there was a sucking of air through empty pipes. "You see?" she asked, driving her point home. "You have to *see* it to beleive it. He wanted that bill paid just as he had drawn it. They simply can't resist humiliating a woman who's alone."
"How do you stand it?"
"On the street it's not so bad," she said resignedly. "They insult you as you pass. But the public protects you from their goign too far. But when they get you alone in front of them, they let you have it."
"Are you ready? Let's get out of here." "I'll call the maid," she said. "She'll help with the luggage." She went out and came rushing back, her face scarlet. "He won't let the maid help. He says she's busy!" "I'll take 'em down," I said. We struggled down with the luggage, placing it upon the sidewalk.
"wait, I'll get my car -" "No! you've done your share. I'll get a taxi," she insisted. She hailed a taxi and we loaded the luggage. She climbed in and slumped back against the seat and burst into tears. "I could kill him! I could kill him!" she cried in a nervous rage. Her humiliation was complete. "Take it easy," I said. "You're out of there now." "I could rip his windpipe out with my hands!" she shouted clenching her fists and grinding her teeth. I took of hold her shoulder and shook her roughly. "Stop it! You're getting hysterical!" I yelled at her. "Can I help it if I'm a woman? why do they act like that? It makes me mad clear through!" she spoke in a fury. I looked at her wavy locks of hair, at her white skin, her brown eyes.
"You are acting like a Negro," I told her. taht shocked her. "What do you mea?" she asked wonderingly.
"raging and wailing and crying won't help you." I argued. "Negroes do that when they are persecuted because of their accident of color. The accident of sex is just as bad. And crying is senseless." "But they treat me senselessly." she contended. "and the crying compounds the senselessness," I said. "she dried her eyes. She straightened up suddenly, then looked at me with a demanding stare. "You must write about this. People ought to know." 'No this is your story," I said. "it happened to you." "no. Nobody'd believe it," she said. "A woman's word would be doubted."...more
A fairly good overview for the layperson about what we know about how the universe works. Except I've seen it done with much more clarity and a lot moA fairly good overview for the layperson about what we know about how the universe works. Except I've seen it done with much more clarity and a lot more fun by Brian Greene in The Elegant Universe(Although Greene is super biased towards string theory, which once you step back and look at it, string theory doesn't seem so elegant anymore).
Hawking has a killer sense of humor though: "Time will go on forever, at least for those prudent enough not to fall into a black hole."...more
I picked it up because of my morbid curiosity about how a western woman who lived in Saudi would write about the place. It's both a murder mystery - wI picked it up because of my morbid curiosity about how a western woman who lived in Saudi would write about the place. It's both a murder mystery - worthy of the significant object of the story - a Colombo jacket that the main character buys at the unlikely jacket bazaar in downtown Jeddah, and a mediation about women's lives in the culture of extreme modesty (and some would say oppression) in the country.
I can't decide if Ferrais imparted too much sympathy on the part of her main character, Nayir, a Palestinian who's truely believes the need of the Saudi's segregated control is for the women and who wants to live piously. His assumptions are tested by Katya Hijazi, a forensic analyst who insists on being part of the investigation, or if she's subtly damning the Saudi system from a Western point of view (Not that I disagree with that point, its just a situation that screams possible charges of Orientalism.)
In the end though, I think because Ferrais lived there it feels as accurately Arab as it can be. And both Nayir and Katya are fully formed characters - people instead of props for an argument about women's rights. I'm not that into mysteries, but Finding Nouf kept my interest....more