If you have read this book, I want to hear your opinions on it.
#1 daughter recommended that we (the family) all read it. Not because she found it an important, paradigm-shifting sort of book, as many others apparently have, but because it infuriates her. I see her point. The form of this book — at least in the part that I have read, and it shows no signs of changing — is a conversation between an insufferably pompous and condescending gorilla and a man who seems to be making an effort to be as stupid as the gorilla wants him to be.
The first few chapters establish that civilized people have a world view that says that the earth was created for the purpose of producing humans and giving them something to conquer. I am guessing that the central thesis of the book is that this world view has led to problems, perhaps to all human problems as well as the problems humans create for other creatures. Presumably there will be a prescription for change somewhere along the line.
My mother (you can enjoy her blog over at Ozarque; they’ve been discussing unconditional love) has done a lot of work on the subject of metaphors, and the real-world consequences of the metaphors that we adopt. I would not deny that choosing a metaphor like Mighty Conqueror to structure our relationship with the world would put humans in a very different position, with regard to things like conservation and use of resources, than choosing one like Member of the Band or Steward of God’s Creation. Nor would I deny that Mighty Conqueror is at the very least one of the great favorites among the available metaphors.
#1 daughter has read further than I have, and has also been in correspondence with the large community of people who find that Quinn’s work reshapes their thinking, and she thinks that the whole thing is sort of a riff on the old Noble Savage idea. Having grown up with a person from a non-technological society, and having spent some years in very rural life, she has a different personal perspective on it.
As I say, I will be interested in your views on the subject. We are having a sort of cross-country discussion group on this book. After this one, #1 daughter is going to read the next two novels in the series, and I am going to read Quinn’s nonfiction apologia, Beyond Civilization. So join in if you have read any of those, too.
I can tell you already that there won’t be any knitting in this book. But there has been knitting at my house.
As you may recall, if you have been following my T-shirt adventures, I was unhappy with the neckband. The picture below on the left shows why. Last night, #2 daughter and I watched the movie Possession (quite different from the book, but still enjoyable) and I removed the first neckband and started again.
Taking Alison’s advice, I read about picking up stitches in The Big Book of Knitting. There I also found the suggestion to make decreases at the shoulder edge before the turning row and then to increase back out after the turning row. Following these suggestions gave me a much better neckband. I also followed Wendy’s example and picked up the stitches in the main color, switching to the contrast color on the first knit row.
Today, we are going to watch all the episodes of Britcom Coupling in order, a marathon undertaking which will give me time to tweak the seams a bit (and probably make progress on the prayer shawl as well) and have the T-shirt officially finished by tomorrow. #2 daughter is using the time to make a skirt from men’s ties.
Some of you may remember these. They were popular in the ’70s, if I remember correctly. The picture here does not actually appear to be made from ties, but rather to be an effort to make a skirt that looks as though it were. #2 daughter is going for the real thing. She has taken a job at Abercrombie & Fitch for the summer, so I think she is wise to make herself a nice bohemian garment to dilute the A&F influence just a little.
Before we begin this orgy of crafting, however, there are errands and housework and gardening to do. I had better get to work.