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Women & Men Chapter Discussions > 0233 Her Place Is There

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Discuss.

message 2: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments Wow, Jonathan! You are doing a terrific job updating on the reads. I'll join you when I'm done with the book. I don't want to lose my momentum with it.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

These updates are so great, Jonathan. Whenever a particularly difficult chapter comes up and leaves me with only a vague understanding of what happened, these always elucidate things for me. Keep it up.

message 4: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Jonathan's deleted post


Her Place Is There... in Manhattan. 'It's a shower and it's morning...' and Mayn and Jean are under the endlessly and beautifully described flow of water, experiencing this 'two-to-one insulation against cold, against dryness'. It's Election Day '76 in NYC. Now that we're situated, let's see how we got here.

How far back do we go? How about to where we left off at Ship Rock. The environmentalist Mayn met up with is named Dina West. She's 'so nice but wants something'. The Navajo with her is Raymond Vigil. Why is the Tribal Council is leasing the rights to the operation when they should control it. The uranium and oil? They still belong to the tribe. Oh, and Raymond Vigil has met with Spence, who is possibly following Mayn from the front, first in Los Alamos, now outside Farmington...

So Mayn and Jean kept up? Yes, As of the shower, she's seen him four times in three years, since they met at the launch press conference (Choor Monster chapter). So that leaves two times they've met up that we don't know much or anything about. One time was in Washington. There have been phone calls. But now Mayn is back in New York, where Jean lives. He had been subletting his place, staying in Washington, but now he has his NY apartment back (Grace's building). (Is the Chilean part of the reason for his return? Mayn is still chasing that man who knowing something about Allende's 'brave downfall'.) The night before the morning shower they go out to dinner, then Jean decides she wants to see a movie. She feels herself and Mayn at the point in their relationship where that kind of last minute decision to see a movie is natural, like they've been seeing each other more often than they really have, like she's more devoted than she suspects...


They watch the movie, a gangster film (can we identify it yet? I couldn't, but perhaps by the end of the chapter) that Jean has never seen, but Mayn has. He's seen it as a sixteen year old in 1945 and we see flashes of that experience intertwined with that of seeing the movie again with Jean. As the film ends, who does Mayn see walking out of the theater in front of them? Is it really Spence, still following him from in front?

They go home to her apartment, spend the night together, wake up, are taking a shower.



At the bottom on 249, we read this part sentence: 'your bladder tight-hot inside the watertight skin of your wet body's belly lets go blind, down the watery drain'. He peed in her shower on like the fourth date? Is that what I read? You can tell I'm really thinking deeply about the text, eh?

There's a knocking at Jean's door. Mayn heard it while he and Jean were in the shower. The question of who's knocking hangs over the chapter, and is partially answered by the end. As in my last post, let's first go back to Farmington, then Last Night as Mayn and Jean are eating dinner.

Farmington: The Navajo propose to mine a 'geothermal tap, the well of energy-steam'. The environmentalist focuses on the Four Corners Power Plant's poisoning of the San Juan River. In two, three years, demand will exist for more power plants, twelve(!) new strip mines. We learn that New Mexico is the most 'outside-controlled' state, sending electricity to California for example. Mayn speaks to an old leftwinger economist in Farmington (when?) who predicts that the US might devolve into a police state and that people will be killed for gold hoarding. He 'wonders if you could design a nuclear device that would confine itself to non or in-human target structures'. Mayn gets the Navajo to return his rental car and he goes south with Dina...

Last Night: Mayn and Jean are Sharing Information. Mayn retells his grandmother's story, the "historical" rather than mythic version. He speaks of her time at the World's Columbian Exposition (Jean's parents met at the '39 World Fair. Her dad rescued a Minnie Mouse balloon for a French child), her experience marching with Jacob Coxey's Army of the Unemployed (pictured below), and her interview of 'a man who gets five dollars a day for sticking ten hogs a minute' at a packing plant in Omaha.


Back To This Morning: Jean and Mayn are out of the shower, naked in Jean's bedroom. Her 'sweet stuff' distracts Mayn. Now she's cooking eggs (six big ones) and making bloody marys. They talk more about the same subjects above, geothermal power, family histories. Mayn retells Navajo myths collected in Farmington, complex myths w/ interesting connections to the science of the formation of their landscape. The First Man and First Woman came from two ears of corn. They come around to discuss the knocking. Jean answered the door when Mayn was in the bathroom. It was supposedly the landlord's nephew, campaigning for his father who is running for Ward Leader, but why did he ask about Mayn? How does he know Mayn is there? Mayn jokes about him sounding like a divorce detective, but Jean can see through the joke. She asks if it has something to do with that guy they saw at the theater lat night (Spence)? Is Mayn being followed? If he is Jean says she doesn't care.


A. Yes, Mayn was peeing in the shower. Jean caught him. He thought he got away with it because his back was turned to her.


"That thumping," she looks at him cutely, "that thumping at the door won't go away". Is this what Jean says before she answered the door while Mayn was in the bathroom or does the thumping continue after she answered it the first time? Does the thumping occur in the "present" of the scene? How are you liking the time shifts in W&M? I am getting used to them and am getting the sense that the ambiguity is often not to be solved (as in finding out when the event really happened in time) so much as left alone as an example of the event occurring simultaneously in the past and remembered present.

Thank you, I will certainly try to absorb as much as I can about those concepts in their popular form. Thank God for science journalists (like Jean!) and other popularizers that bring amazing knowledge to us who will only (with our limited time in which we can not all become scientists in multiple fields), as you say, dimly perceive. I would love to read this book alongside someone with a hard science background. Or alongside someone with a comparative mythology background. I'll entice them with my physically heavy novel background. My dad teaches the gasification process, so I gave him a call when it was mentioned in the text. Wasn't necessary for me to continue, but interesting and helpful nonetheless.

So far the only thing I've really done light research on has been on Langrangian Points (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangi...), relevant (how I'm not sure yet) to Mayn's future world.

Thanks. I may be slowing down due to getting some work, but I still hope to at some point fill out a rough outline for every section of the book. I skipped Larry, even though it's my favorite chapter so far! I just want to get it right.

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