Katherine's Reviews > The Quest of the Simple Life

The Quest of the Simple Life by William James Dawson
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's review
Jan 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011

Though dated in some respects (I was somewhat offended by his some of his off-hand descriptions of women/the simplicity of the female mind and questioned his use of the word "primitive"), otherwise very well-written and makes a number of observations quite pertinent today. Thoughtful, relatable, and, at times, poetical.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Leigh How can you be offended by someone 100 years older that yourself. I'm sure you understand that ideals were different in 1908 than they are today . You can't go back in time and say you were offended if times have clearly changed. That's like saying that Charles Dickens should have used Microsoft Word to write more books!

Katherine Hi, Jim.

To answer your question: quite easily, actually! I'm also offended by the fragmentation of native cultures due to colonization, slavery, the Holocaust, the Japanese-American internment... the list of things that offend me even though they were before my time goes on and on. This notwithstanding, I certainly don't plan on renouncing my citizenship, let alone trying anything as futile and potentially dangerous as backward time travel! I find the present, even with all its foibles, too engaging, if not comfortable, to do so. Also, being a woman of color, I'm sure that if I were to successfully travel back in time, I'd be killed for witchcraft or at best deemed insane and institutionalized.

Anyway, I am, in fact, quite capable of contextualizing outdated ideologies. But it doesn't make me any less offended. I'm a human being, so it's in my emotional nature to find arguably iniquitous parts of human history unsavory. One should continue to find such things offensive! That's how we weed them out of the future.

The only point I was trying to make in my brief review was that the book is very thoughtful and interesting and, barring the condescension toward women, fairly relatable, even now. At least I have a modicum of certainty that your comment didn't stem from a poor regard toward minority women, and that makes me content. :)

All that said, I think that Charles Dickens might like OmmWriter better, given the option. I'm not saying he should've written more books on it... that's just silly. I'm just saying he might've liked it given the option. ;)

Have a nice day!

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