Thursday, July 5, 2018
July 5: L.I.W.
I know it's full of racism and I find them, as an adult, troubling not just for that but for the fact that Laura's father, Charles, is a lunatic. He's a fucking lunatic! He left a completely normal enclave of relatives and supports in Wisconsin and trespassed into Indian Territory. He made it out west and Laura's depiction of the "long winter" (I know she has some historical fiction issues as well regarding which winter that would have been) describes a man who was willing to put his family at risk for no fucking good reason.
I related to these books, not seeing Charles that way as a child, of course, but the constant moving. The disappointment driving away from a house that I'd grown to love and feel comfortable in. Leaving relatives behind that I wouldn't see for years. Friends I would never see again. The adventure of a new place soaked in the misery of being the new girl. The hope that I could reinvent myself or try harder this time or find good friends or be important somehow.
I know she's a mess, and I'm not apologizing for "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" or any of the rest. Just, at 6, 8, 9 years old, I didn't even see that. I saw a frustrated young girl who idealized her father and went along, with each step just growing tired and wanting the stability of one place, one man, one house, one kitchen window.
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I don't think you should have to apologize for loving and identifying with something written so long ago. And yes, Charles was a lunatic.ReplyDelete
Never heard of these either, and will not be adding them to my "to read before I die" list. But I like the tie-in with your life at the time you read them. I used to think it would be fun to move from place to place, but I changed my mind about that decades ago.ReplyDelete
Okay - I absolutely have to reread these. I always saw Pa through Laura's eyes, and never realized he was a lunatic (but of course you're right). I cringe remembering the indian quote.ReplyDelete
Also I keep checking back to see if you've lined those books up in the right order yet.ReplyDelete
Ha!!! Ok I will try that.Delete
This was so interesting because although I never read the books, I read about them. And I saw the TV show.ReplyDelete
I've never read the books, and I only saw a few episodes of the TV show. But I agree with Dona, you shouldn't have to apologise for loving something when you were young. Because we don't love the racist parts, we love the bits that speak to our hearts. As you have said here so beautifully.ReplyDelete
Nicely said, Mali: "Because we don't love the racist parts, we love the bits that speak to our hearts." But that said, B, I haven't read these SINCE I was a child, and this post was a fantastic, eye-opening, you're absofuckinglutely right read.ReplyDelete