Monday, April 07, 2008

Essay on Fake Memoirs on Bookslut

I have an essay, "Fake Memoirs and the New Racial Passing" on the site Bookslut.com. My friend Adrian would say, "That's where it belongs!" Actually Bookslut is a great literary site for booklovers. No dirty stuff, sorry.

Anyway, if you want to read it, it's here: www.bookslut.com

6 comments:

onesharplady said...

It was good!

The children's lit class that I'm in has been talking about Sherman Alexie's books a lot lately, and I'll be passing the link on to them.
Your essay provides a different way to approach them that should add a lot to the discussion.
Thanks so much for writing it!

Anonymous said...

To be sure, there are racial issues involved in Seltzer's deception, but I don't think this is the primary issue. Speaking of Hibbing, don't forget that Bob Dylan made up the most outrageous lies about his background when he first came out. He made up a very colorful background about joining the circus and other tall tales far more interesting that his own background, which was he had been a very geeky son of a pharmacist from a small town. David Geffen, a hugely successful entertainment mogul went so far as to print up prestigious references when he first started his career. People do it to create interest in themselves. If Margaret Seltzer's book had been labeled a novel, it probably wouldn't have received the same great reviews of her "faumoir." There are plenty of resources for anybody who wants to learn about the lives of Native Americans. Seltzer is a chronic liar. She also lied about having graduated from the University of Oregon, and this hardly adds or detracts from her story, other than being evidence she transcended her hardscrabble background. I read bits and pieces of Seltzer's tome and found it rather silly. It's a shame that our People Magazine mentality places too much on the writer and not the work. Madame Bovary isn't a real person, yet she lives on because of Flaubert's genius as a novelist. "What's wrong with being white," isn't really the question. A great writer could write about a white person's experience and make it interesting.
The racial question I find interesting is this: There remains so much discrimination in this country, yet lots of white people want to be black. What on earth is this about? This question, too has answers, as writers such as Albert Murray talks about the American "mulatto" culture in his work. Writers should keep their pretending on the page.

Green Fertility Marie said...

I disagree. I think white people enjoy appropriating black culture but wouldn't physically/phenotypically want to become black. One study interviewed white people about, if there were a technology to make them irreversibly black, how much $ it would take to get them to do it. Average answer: one million dollars. And dthis study was done a while back, so you have to adjust for inflation...

Green Fertility Marie said...

Thanks for reading it, OneSharpLady!

Third Mom said...

Hey, Marie, thanks for the tip. Hope all is well in your world!

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