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vivico1
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment


kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

Fozzie wrote:


IBIS wrote:
My biggest disappointment in the novel is the epilogue when Cain returns to fight for the South, even though he despised slavery and all it stood for. He spent the entire novel learning about the immoral institution of slavery, and he redeemed himself by helping to free Henry and Rosetta. Yet by turning around to fight for the side that would perpetuate such evil, it's as if he learned nothing at all.





I, too, was initially saddened to read that Cain returned to fight for the South. However, I do think I understood that he was somehow separating slavery from what he was fighting for. I think this section from the book helped me to clarify Cain's motivations in my mind:

"Once, in a card game at the International Hotel, an ill-mannered Texan, on a bad losing streak, asked Cain if he might put up as a wager his Negro valet. When Cain objected, saying that he didn't condone such a thing as betting a man, the Texan started to harangue him, called him a **bleep**-loving disgrace to his southern heritage. In the past Cain might have beaten the man silly, but instead, he gracefully acquiesced and permitted him to wager the slave. After winning the hand, Cain promptly gave the slave his freedom. No, it wasn't what the South was fighting for that stirred his heart and his allegiance. It was the simple fact that it was fighting, fighting for its very existence, for its way of life. So he bought passage on a steamer that took him back to Richmond." (pgs. 412-3)


Good quote Laura and I think is really true of him and many a man during that time.





I do not understand why Cain went back to the South to fight the North. The war was about slavery. They were fighting against brothers and sisters that was in the other end or the other so why didn't they stick with what they believed. Why fight for something that you didnt have your heart in. It seems a person is sealed for disaster if his heart is not there with what he is doing.


The war wasn't really about slavery in the sense that it was about doing anything to make the black man equal to the white, to free him to enjoy the same rights as a white man. And the north winning didnt do that either. I was not old enough in the 60s to see where the blacks had to sit on a bus or what water facet they could drink from or where they could sit in a resturaunt. I dont even know right off hand when they finally got the right to vote. The Civil War was never about doing any of these things, it was about economics, and the south's ecomonics at the time depended on their culture based on slave labor. What war do we ever fight because of actual human rights. Its always about economics, if we (meaning anyone going to war) manage to do something good for someone in the meantime, all the better. If it was ever about human rights, we would have been in Europe in WWII when we were first asked, begged for help, when we first knew what was happening there, not waiting until WE got attacked by Japan. If it were about caring about human rights, we would be in Darfur right now, and give Iraq back to itself and leaders who are not helping themselves, and yes you heard it here from a Republican who is confused about what to do there now, supports her country and leaders and soldiers, but is just being realistic too.
Vivian
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Re: Cain's Demons

What an exciting discussion this is. It's more interesting than the milquetoast ones where everyone agrees with everyone else, and no one wants to challenge anyone else's views for fear of hurting their feelings. Serious, indepth discussions like this one is a compliment to the authors' skill in directing us to a deeper understanding of the issues covered in their books.

In another thread, our moderator, Stephanie, posed a thought-provoking question of how historical novels, like SOUL CATCHER, have relevance to current events.

SOUL CATCHER brought up so many... 21st century slavery, contemporary racism and civil rights, terrorist tactics and the war on terror, civil wars (of which there are about 5 currently being waged worldwide in real time).... the list goes on and on.

IBIS
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Re: Cain's Demons


IBIS wrote:
What an exciting discussion this is. It's more interesting than the milquetoast ones where everyone agrees with everyone else, and no one wants to challenge anyone else's views for fear of hurting their feelings. Serious, indepth discussions like this one is a compliment to the authors' skill in directing us to a deeper understanding of the issues covered in their books.

In another thread, our moderator, Stephanie, posed a thought-provoking question of how historical novels, like SOUL CATCHER, have relevance to current events.

SOUL CATCHER brought up so many... 21st century slavery, contemporary racism and civil rights, terrorist tactics and the war on terror, civil wars (of which there are about 5 currently being waged worldwide in real time).... the list goes on and on.

IBIS


I agree IBIS, I love to be able to actually DISCUSS books and ideas and not just sit as a fan club, but a book club. I have been in a couple where other readers really got upset with me over not liking the book, or maybe a part of it, or questioning something. They said I had no right to "offend" the author by doing so! What is that all about lol. These discussions are great and I like when people are willing to really delve into things they feel strongly about, whether its an idea or something specific about the book itself or how it is written. You guys have been great to be in this club with! everyone! :smileywink:
Vivian
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Re: Cain's Demons

UPDATE: I have to update the current civil wars being fought today in real time to 8.
Darfur, Georgia in Abkhazia, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir, Palestine, Somali and Uganda.

Holy mackeral!
IBIS

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kiakar
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment



vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

Fozzie wrote:


IBIS wrote:
My biggest disappointment in the novel is the epilogue when Cain returns to fight for the South, even though he despised slavery and all it stood for. He spent the entire novel learning about the immoral institution of slavery, and he redeemed himself by helping to free Henry and Rosetta. Yet by turning around to fight for the side that would perpetuate such evil, it's as if he learned nothing at all.





I, too, was initially saddened to read that Cain returned to fight for the South. However, I do think I understood that he was somehow separating slavery from what he was fighting for. I think this section from the book helped me to clarify Cain's motivations in my mind:

"Once, in a card game at the International Hotel, an ill-mannered Texan, on a bad losing streak, asked Cain if he might put up as a wager his Negro valet. When Cain objected, saying that he didn't condone such a thing as betting a man, the Texan started to harangue him, called him a **bleep**-loving disgrace to his southern heritage. In the past Cain might have beaten the man silly, but instead, he gracefully acquiesced and permitted him to wager the slave. After winning the hand, Cain promptly gave the slave his freedom. No, it wasn't what the South was fighting for that stirred his heart and his allegiance. It was the simple fact that it was fighting, fighting for its very existence, for its way of life. So he bought passage on a steamer that took him back to Richmond." (pgs. 412-3)


Good quote Laura and I think is really true of him and many a man during that time.





I do not understand why Cain went back to the South to fight the North. The war was about slavery. They were fighting against brothers and sisters that was in the other end or the other so why didn't they stick with what they believed. Why fight for something that you didnt have your heart in. It seems a person is sealed for disaster if his heart is not there with what he is doing.


The war wasn't really about slavery in the sense that it was about doing anything to make the black man equal to the white, to free him to enjoy the same rights as a white man. And the north winning didnt do that either. I was not old enough in the 60s to see where the blacks had to sit on a bus or what water facet they could drink from or where they could sit in a resturaunt. I dont even know right off hand when they finally got the right to vote. The Civil War was never about doing any of these things, it was about economics, and the south's ecomonics at the time depended on their culture based on slave labor. What war do we ever fight because of actual human rights. Its always about economics, if we (meaning anyone going to war) manage to do something good for someone in the meantime, all the better. If it was ever about human rights, we would have been in Europe in WWII when we were first asked, begged for help, when we first knew what was happening there, not waiting until WE got attacked by Japan. If it were about caring about human rights, we would be in Darfur right now, and give Iraq back to itself and leaders who are not helping themselves, and yes you heard it here from a Republican who is confused about what to do there now, supports her country and leaders and soldiers, but is just being realistic too.




Vivian, if it wasn't slavery in the south, then it wouldn't have been a civil war. So enslaving Africans as slaves was the cause of the civil war. There is nothing else to call the war. It was caused by the use of slavery in the South. I know, people say its not due to slavery, the w ar that is. But there would have not been war if it hadn't been slavery. To me, that is evidence why the war was. Economices are just a fact or maybe why they had slaves, but slavery caused the war, the Civil War.
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment


kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:




I do not understand why Cain went back to the South to fight the North. The war was about slavery. They were fighting against brothers and sisters that was in the other end or the other so why didn't they stick with what they believed. Why fight for something that you didnt have your heart in. It seems a person is sealed for disaster if his heart is not there with what he is doing.


The war wasn't really about slavery in the sense that it was about doing anything to make the black man equal to the white, to free him to enjoy the same rights as a white man. And the north winning didnt do that either. I was not old enough in the 60s to see where the blacks had to sit on a bus or what water facet they could drink from or where they could sit in a resturaunt. I dont even know right off hand when they finally got the right to vote. The Civil War was never about doing any of these things, it was about economics, and the south's ecomonics at the time depended on their culture based on slave labor. What war do we ever fight because of actual human rights. Its always about economics, if we (meaning anyone going to war) manage to do something good for someone in the meantime, all the better. If it was ever about human rights, we would have been in Europe in WWII when we were first asked, begged for help, when we first knew what was happening there, not waiting until WE got attacked by Japan. If it were about caring about human rights, we would be in Darfur right now, and give Iraq back to itself and leaders who are not helping themselves, and yes you heard it here from a Republican who is confused about what to do there now, supports her country and leaders and soldiers, but is just being realistic too.




Vivian, if it wasn't slavery in the south, then it wouldn't have been a civil war. So enslaving Africans as slaves was the cause of the civil war. There is nothing else to call the war. It was caused by the use of slavery in the South. I know, people say its not due to slavery, the w ar that is. But there would have not been war if it hadn't been slavery. To me, that is evidence why the war was. Economices are just a fact or maybe why they had slaves, but slavery caused the war, the Civil War.


The White man's (Northern European,etc.)appalling sense of entitlement, among other things, gave them the "right" to take anything they wanted, including America and all the natives' lands, property, homes, rights and bodies, just as they did anywhere else they went. All we did was stretch this out into another country from here, we went to Africa and South America, decided we were better than the natives there so why not take them too, for our own use, our own property. Talk about "cheap labor force". This belief caused slavery, not just here. Greed created a demand for a workforce that would triple (or better)the profits of the southern economy. As the need for goods from south to north, and yes, visa versa grew, the economy not only grew from the use of this type of workforce but actually became dependant on it. The whole southern lifestyle did. Kinda like how our little lifestyle of big cars, two or more per family, every member having their own has made our particular lifestyle dependant on just a few nations in the middle east where we go to rescue those who have the oil in the name of humanity, while Darfur continues its genocide because we also happen to have political ties there and "needs" to stay friends.

Slavery didnt cause the civil war, greed, entitlement and basing an economy dependant on a slave workforce did. Is that saying the same thing as, if slavery wasnt here, the war wouldnt have been? I don't really think so in the long run, because anything that threatened that lifestyle would have brought on the war. We are still doing the same thing, we just arent doing it in our own backyards. Actually slavery was just part of the "machinery" to them. You might as well say, if there were no ships in the south to carry goods north or come get them, there would have been no war. Those slaves were not seen as any more than any other property that was needed for business that if threatened, would have been fought for.
Vivian
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Re: Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?

[ Edited ]
Vivian,

Slavery was the direct cause of secession, and the secession of the Southern Confederacy led directly to the Civil War. The Confederate leaders held the position that they had the right to secede. They did secede, and they did set up their own government and they attacked Fort Sumner.

That was treason. Lincoln had no choice but to wage war, to save the Union. It was a war thrust upon him.

The abolition of slavery went with the territory. It went along for the ride, when Lincoln thought it was necessary to emancipate slaves in states, and parts of states, that were in rebellion, in order to keep foreign powers from intervening in the war.

Destroying the Union is a terrible thing unless done for a very good reason. The preservation of the institution of slavery is not a good reason, and the fact that it was attempted for economic or socioeconomic reasons does not make it better.

IBIS

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-15-2007 04:38 PM
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Re: Did Economics Cause the Civil War?

[ Edited ]
Linda and Vivian:

Here is a link to a book by Kenneth Stampp, who wrote Causes of The Civil War.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=TOP&EAN=9780671751555...

In it, Professor Stampp writes that economics was not the motivating cause for the Civil War.

Historians generally agree that economic conflicts were not a major cause of the war. Economic historian Lee A. Craig reports, “In fact, numerous studies by economic historians over the past several decades reveal that economic conflict was not an inherent condition of North-South relations during the antebellum era and did not cause the Civil War.” When numerous groups tried at the last minute in 1860-61 to find a compromise to avert war, they did not turn to economic policies. Aside from the economic institution of slavery, no other economic issues brought about the Civil War.

The South, Midwest, and Northeast had quite different economic structures. They traded with each other and each became more prosperous by staying in the Union. In 1860-61, most business interests in the Northeast opposed war. As Historian Kenneth Stampp wrote in his book—"Most historians...now see no compelling reason why the divergent economies of the North and South should have led to disunion and civil war; rather, they find stronger practical reasons why the sections, whose economies neatly complemented one another, should have found it advantageous to remain united."

IBIS

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-15-2007 05:09 PM
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Re: Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?


IBIS wrote:
Vivian,

Slavery was the direct cause of secession, and the secession of the Southern Confederacy led directly to the Civil War. The Confederate leaders held the position that they had the right to secede. They did secede, and they did set up their own government and they attacked Fort Sumner.

That was treason. Lincoln had no choice but to wage war, to save the Union. It was a war thrust upon him.

The abolition of slavery went with the territory. It went along for the ride, when Lincoln thought it was necessary to emancipate slaves in states, and parts of states, that were in rebellion, in order to keep foreign powers from intervening in the war.

Destroying the Union is a terrible thing unless done for a very good reason. The preservation of the institution of slavery is not a good reason, and the fact that it was attempted for economic or socioeconomic reasons does not make it better.

IBIS

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-15-2007 04:38 PM


IBIS, I hope I have not left the impression that I thought it was a GOOD thing, or even a righteous war. Quite the contrary, I am trying to say, it was horrible and there was no right in it. I absolutely agree with you that it was thrust upon Lincoln and the breakup of the Union would have been catastrophic. But in a sense, that is my point. This war wouldnt have happened JUST to save the slaves. Lincoln would not have and had not done anything prior to this to "free the slaves". You are right in your paragraph,
"The abolition of slavery went with the territory. It went along for the ride, when Lincoln thought it was necessary to emancipate slaves in states, and parts of states, that were in rebellion, in order to keep foreign powers from intervening in the war.".

Yes, the abolition of slavery went along with the territory. Like I said before, we get into wars for mostly "non humanitarian" reasons, BUT when something humanitarian or good for the people come out of it, then all the better, its the gravy. But its never really the meat.
Vivian
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Re: Cain's Demons

It's really exciting to see this discussion unfold. I've stayed out of it, because I don't want to "moderate" it... I think this is such an interesting discussion, one that never really gets to see the light of day because so often people have their viewpoints and are not willing to change them. The dynamics of this group must be perfect though, because you are all making a difficult topic seem like a walk in the park. Thanks for this- it's truly enlightening.
Stephanie
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment



vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

kiakar wrote:


vivico1 wrote:




I do not understand why Cain went back to the South to fight the North. The war was about slavery. They were fighting against brothers and sisters that was in the other end or the other so why didn't they stick with what they believed. Why fight for something that you didnt have your heart in. It seems a person is sealed for disaster if his heart is not there with what he is doing.


The war wasn't really about slavery in the sense that it was about doing anything to make the black man equal to the white, to free him to enjoy the same rights as a white man. And the north winning didnt do that either. I was not old enough in the 60s to see where the blacks had to sit on a bus or what water facet they could drink from or where they could sit in a resturaunt. I dont even know right off hand when they finally got the right to vote. The Civil War was never about doing any of these things, it was about economics, and the south's ecomonics at the time depended on their culture based on slave labor. What war do we ever fight because of actual human rights. Its always about economics, if we (meaning anyone going to war) manage to do something good for someone in the meantime, all the better. If it was ever about human rights, we would have been in Europe in WWII when we were first asked, begged for help, when we first knew what was happening there, not waiting until WE got attacked by Japan. If it were about caring about human rights, we would be in Darfur right now, and give Iraq back to itself and leaders who are not helping themselves, and yes you heard it here from a Republican who is confused about what to do there now, supports her country and leaders and soldiers, but is just being realistic too.




Vivian, if it wasn't slavery in the south, then it wouldn't have been a civil war. So enslaving Africans as slaves was the cause of the civil war. There is nothing else to call the war. It was caused by the use of slavery in the South. I know, people say its not due to slavery, the w ar that is. But there would have not been war if it hadn't been slavery. To me, that is evidence why the war was. Economices are just a fact or maybe why they had slaves, but slavery caused the war, the Civil War.


The White man's (Northern European,etc.)appalling sense of entitlement, among other things, gave them the "right" to take anything they wanted, including America and all the natives' lands, property, homes, rights and bodies, just as they did anywhere else they went. All we did was stretch this out into another country from here, we went to Africa and South America, decided we were better than the natives there so why not take them too, for our own use, our own property. Talk about "cheap labor force". This belief caused slavery, not just here. Greed created a demand for a workforce that would triple (or better)the profits of the southern economy. As the need for goods from south to north, and yes, visa versa grew, the economy not only grew from the use of this type of workforce but actually became dependant on it. The whole southern lifestyle did. Kinda like how our little lifestyle of big cars, two or more per family, every member having their own has made our particular lifestyle dependant on just a few nations in the middle east where we go to rescue those who have the oil in the name of humanity, while Darfur continues its genocide because we also happen to have political ties there and "needs" to stay friends.

Slavery didnt cause the civil war, greed, entitlement and basing an economy dependant on a slave workforce did. Is that saying the same thing as, if slavery wasnt here, the war wouldnt have been? I don't really think so in the long run, because anything that threatened that lifestyle would have brought on the war. We are still doing the same thing, we just arent doing it in our own backyards. Actually slavery was just part of the "machinery" to them. You might as well say, if there were no ships in the south to carry goods north or come get them, there would have been no war. Those slaves were not seen as any more than any other property that was needed for business that if threatened, would have been fought for.






Vivian, I do understand what you are saying and thanks for the enlightment into the background of the civl war. Sometimes things appear fuzzy to me. (too many years have passed since school) hehehe. Ok! Look at it this way, if they were using say like a new type of machinery that was so new and dangerous but it cut down the cost of producing their cotton, but cost many lives of those that operated it, would it have stood up or would the north have rose up against the south. My answer is No. They would have tried to improve the equipment, but it wouldn't have made any difference to them in some ways. But it obtained the lives of human beings and it did make a difference. So to be fair maybe we can say both caused the war. If it wasn't for the ecomonics of the situation, I believe it still would have been fought because of the human being facture. But maybe you are right and that wouldn't have been the facture. Looking onto a situation is alot different than living with it or living in it. You can call someone a sinner alot better observing things from a distance than when you are right on top of it. Even though the north had child labor and unfair labor practices, to them they were rightous and the south was wrong for slavery for their labor. The North probably thought, well, we are not owning them like the south, but in a way its its like slavery. They enslaved children, so many children lost their lives on faulty equipment, working too many long hours and so on. In fact they had to, to eat, to have a place to sleep. But the northener saw it as free will. There is all kinds of forced free will even today. Its like today, a person has to be enslaved to their job to make a living, whether he enjoys it or not unless he is greatly educated. He has to work the hours, days and so forth the employer beckons.
His life is not his own when he works for someone else. He in order to live, has to do what his employee wants. Some things have changed but not all the ones that should change. It's always different to each person as they see it, only out of their eyes is the other wrong. And they are rightous.
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment

Kiakar wrote:
....Ok! Look at it this way, if they were using say like a new type of machinery that was so new and dangerous but it cut down the cost of producing their cotton, but cost many lives of those that operated it, would it have stood up or would the north have rose up against the south. My answer is No.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Kiakar, I guess what I am trying to say about comparing the slaves to machinery and a way of life and if threatened by the north, that would have brought on the war too is this...ok, no the north isnt going to rise up against the south for using an unsafe machine that could kill people they were doing just as bad of stuff, as you say, whats the difference really in child labor and slavery, or how the immigrants were treated in the big cities in the factories. For example, have you read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, about the meat packing business at the turn of the century? That was an eye opener then and still is now. Sometimes you were eating parts or people, no one went to war over it. Thats not what I am saying, BUT, speaking of cotton, since cotton was if not "the" major crop supporting the economy of the south, one of them. So what I was saying was, no the north wouldn't come after them if the cotton gin wasn't working well or killing people. What I am saying is, lets say the North said, ok you cant even HAVE the cotton gin anymore, thats it! Just like saying no more slaves. Think about it, if the South was threatened with having the gin taken away, they would have risen up, this was part of how they maintained their businesses, their livelihood. Most of the south hated Lincoln, even as he campaigned and were ready to do something about him being president, some for what he wanted to do, some for what they "perceived" he wanted to do, or rumored he did. You add that to all the things going on at the time, and the idea of freeing their labor force, or in our scenerio, taking away the cotton gin altogether, and you got a south ready to say the heck with this government, lets just start our own. Thats what I mean about, it doesnt matter if it were the slaves or some other thing they "owned" that supported their way of life. And just as you say the north would not have come after them for defective machinery, I believe, for the most part, they didnt care whether the south had slaves or not, it certainly wasnt worth dying for when even they didnt believe the negro was a human, and many had their own slaves or slave industry ties in the south, including some presidents. Why do we constantly go to the middle east where we are hated, when in other parts of the world, we are being begged to come? The priorities havent changed.
Vivian
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MichaelCWhite
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment

Ibis,

I have absolutely loved to talk about and hear from regarding Soul Catcher, and in particular, Cain. You are right. I feel as Chekhov does that a writer needs to fashion characters and the only thing he need concern himself about is that they are interesting. Their morality is for others to decide. If I write about a simple and good person and he/she is dull, I've failed. And I deeply appreciated your wonderful comments--good, bad, and probing--about the novel.

Thanks.
Michael


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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment

Hello all,

I think Laura's quote about why Cain went back to fight for the South closest to my reasons for having him make such a morally complicated decision. I don't think he could have fought for the North, and not to fight at all was tantamount to cowardice for someone like Cain. And while he hated slavery, he still was a Southerner at heart and in his "soul." The vast majority of Southerners were not slave-holders, just as most in the North didn't sign up to fight to end slavery. For the most part both sides (the individual soldiers) fought for country, for soil, for loyalty to their visions of themselves and their codes of honor. Remember Lincoln didn't give the Emancipation Proclamation until several years into the war, and he didn't abolish slavery in the Northern states for fear border states would rebel. So slavery, though it was at the heart of the division between North and South was a more indirect reason for the decision of individual soldiers. I think that applies to Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Soldiers often fight even though they might not believe in the particulars of the conflict. I, for example, knew many men who went to Vietnam though they had no idea for what reason. Some for adventure, some to get away from home, some for honor, etc.

Michael


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Re: Cain's Demons -- Disillusionment

I just loved the complex, subtle, yet impassioned discussion about the Civil War, slavery, and Soul Catcher. The dialogue was great, open-minded yet forceful. I feel that I learned much about people, about relationships, about causes of history and events, and about my new novel (the one I'm working on right now) by listening in on discussions about why we do things.

Great.

Michael


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Re: Cain's Demons -- Southern soil as birthright

[ Edited ]
Thinking of one's place of birth, in Faulkner's universe, as a birthright, worthy of defending, is an alien concept for many of us who have immigrated to the US, and adopted the US as their homeland.

I grew up in a country torn by civil war, and genocide. My family and I fled to safety to the US. I plan never to return to the land of my birth. I've never encouraged my American family to travel there.

So it's with sad nostalgia, and maybe a curious sense of loss, that I read Faulkner, and about Cain's love for the South, because it's such an alien concept to me. I can certainly understand it; but its a very wide chasm for me to bridge emotionally.

IBIS

Message Edited by IBIS on 11-16-2007 05:12 PM
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Re: Cain's Demons -- Southern soil as birthright

Ibis,

My father's family were from Vermont from the late 18th century,but like you, I find loyalty unto death to soil and trees and skies and slogans to have very little pull for me personally. But I can understand it being of great importance to others, for both noble and not so noble reasons.

Michael


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