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16 August 2009 @ 08:48 pm
Adding Rex Stout  
to the list of authors who Make Shit Up. Still, he writes a good story (yes, Archie Goodwin is racist, and Nero Wolfe probably is, too, but more subtly. I take the era in which the books were written into account), so I will continue reading him.

In Some Buried Caesar, he has both a bull and a human die from being injected with anthrax cultured from another bull. Which would be fine, except that they die within minutes of being injected.
TSJAFOtsjafo on August 17th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
I try too take the racism into account within the era it was written. If I recall correctly this has been oft cited as a problem with Tom Sawyer.

One of my favorite books is Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington, written about a twelve year old boy (boy being defined as a male child under the age of 13) growing up in America circa 1910. The racism (and sexism) is there but it is not meant to be an indictment of a race but as a cultural framework for the time it was written.

I've always enjoyed the book as a coming of age story and the wonderful predicaments the characters find themselves in. I suggested a young woman of color read the book with an eye to updating it for a contemporary setting and she was so highly offended I lost a friendship.

I still think the idea has very much to recommend it, but I'm not nearly capable of even understanding the gender perspective in a way that comes close to relevance and reality. This IS a hint for anyone interested, even to writing installments from different characters and perspectives in the same neighborhood.

As for playing fast and loose with the science, I've notice Stout does that from time to time. Either because he doesn't know as much about the science as we do today (possible) or he just fits the science into the story (much more likely), I don't think his target readership would know the difference. Again, I think this is such a wonderful series I'd love to see a well done sequel. The ones I've seen just do not seem to measure up.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on August 17th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Some years ago, when I took a class on Women in Music, one of the assigned readings was from about 100 years ago, about how women were incapable of composing music. My response in class was to the effect of, "That poor man. I know that he was surrounded by the societal assumption that women were basically unintelligent and suited only for the bearing and raising of children, but did he not even notice how circular his argument was? I mean, really, 'It's impossible to teach women to compose music, because women can't compose music, and we know this because there are no women composers.' I learned to reason better than that in fifth grade."

As I recall, the teacher, who was expecting a more impassioned response, was a bit puzzled.