November Fourth

Klara has a cold, is running a fever and staying at home, so I spend hours every day reading to her. In one story I read, a little bear’s mother punished her for misbehavior, so we started talking about what we see as serious punishment.

“If I couldn’t read for a week, that would be terrible punishment,” I said.

“I know what would be a worse punishment for you, Mommy,” Klara said very seriously. “It’s if you couldn’t play with me for a whole week.”

On a completely different note, I wanted to share this tweet:

Liberal American Jews are the perfect example of people who experienced a terrible trauma but refused to look it in the face. They are so desperately and noisily creating the myth of the abject blacks whom they need to save because the fantasy about the victimized black helps them look away from the time in history when they were the abject and the victimized.

Of course, thinking about the Holocaust makes me want to drop everything and reread Clive James’s magnum opus Cultural Amnesia which is a devastating funeral dirge for the civilization that was incinerated in Auschwitz. It took me forever to read that book because the writer’s grief was so enormous that reading felt like watching him weep at a funeral.

In short, I’m hoping that the weekend will break my streak of bad luck. I have an Arestovich class, plus I want to try some painting, which I haven’t done since elementary school. Let’s hope it works.

5 thoughts on “November Fourth

  1. I think you reviewed Cultural Amnesia before, but now the review is nowhere to be found.

    I understand he wrote with love about the past, but how did you see he was grieving about WW2? Surely, many people he described continued to live after WW2 too.


    1. I quoted a lot but never wrote a single post about the book.

      His main idea is that the horrors of the twentieth century made all cultural products created by the civilization capable of these horrors deeply suspect. And the horror that touches him the most is the Holocaust. He shows that everything that happened after the Holocaust is a reaction to it, and we’ll never live it down, never get over it. The whole book is an attempt to come to terms with the Holocaust, somehow to go on living while knowing that it happened but it’s impossible.


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