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Author Topic: PseudoPod 706: The Giant Wistaria  (Read 681 times)

Bdoomed

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on: June 08, 2020, 02:17:12 PM
PseudoPod 706: The Giant Wistaria

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Narrators: Leeman Kessler and John Meagher
Host: Gwendolyn Kiste
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

“The Giant Wistaria” was first published in the New England Magazine, June 1891 with the byline “Charlotte P. Stetson.”



“Meddle not with my new vine, child! See! Thou hast already broken the tender shoot! Never needle or distaff for thee, and yet thou wilt not be quiet!” 

The nervous fingers wavered, clutched at a small carnelian cross that hung from her neck, then fell despairingly. 

“Give me my child, mother, and then I will be quiet!” 

“Hush! hush! thou fool–some one might be near! See–there is thy father coming, even now! Get in quickly!” 

She raised her eyes to her mother’s face, weary eyes that yet had a flickering, uncertain blaze in their shaded depths. 

“Art thou a mother and hast no pity on me, a mother? Give me my child!” 

Her voice rose in a strange, low cry, broken by her father’s hand upon her mouth. 

“Shameless!” said he, with set teeth. “Get to thy chamber, and be not seen again to-night, or I will have thee bound!” 




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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Nyckname

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Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 03:57:27 PM
"We have to consider the unavoidable presence of a large body of aliens, of a race widely dissimilar and in many respects inferior, whose present status is to us a social injury." - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, A Suggestion On The Negro Problem

http://www.expo98.msu.edu/people/Gilman.htm



Fenrix

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Reply #2 on: June 11, 2020, 04:08:22 AM
It is quite true that people who were revolutionary on one axis held toxic views on another. I bet we could find others. Those views inform how we are to engage with their work.

Did you have anything to say about the story, Nyck?

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Marlboro

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Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 06:28:08 PM
The whole internet loves the Giant Wistaria, a scary plant that wrecks supernatural vengeance! *5 seconds later*  We regret to inform you the shrub is racist.



Random plug for a 70 year old radio episode: for more CPG goodness, be sure to check out the July 29th 1948 episode of "Suspense." Agnes Moorehead does a fantastic job in this adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 06:36:14 PM by Marlboro »



Languorous Lass

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Reply #4 on: June 14, 2020, 05:01:18 PM
I do think it’s worthwhile to identify the racist views of creators past and present, so we can be aware of the perhaps-subtle effects of those views on their creative efforts.  Our frustrating pal Lovecraft is a prime example.

I wasn’t aware of Gilman’s views on race, and find the information disappointing, but valuable.   It will affect the way I view her writing in the future.  I don’t see those views reflected in this story, though. 



Bdoomed

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Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 07:36:35 AM
At a certain point you gotta subscribe to the "death of the author". It's rare for someone to "check all the boxes" of your political views, especially authors of a bygone era. You certainly can't discount the monumental works that Gilman produced such as Herland and TYW just because she wasn't as forward thinking on matters of race. It's disappointing for sure, but I'm of the opinion that such things shouldn't come between you and the enjoyment of the writing.

I mean, how else can you enjoy something like Harry Potter now if you don't? :P

However, I definitely agree with Languorous Lass -- it's certainly worthwhile to understand an author's psyche when interacting with their work. I just think such an interaction should take place on a separate level -- distinct from an "authorless" reading of the text.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Languorous Lass

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Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 03:05:36 PM
I actually can’t enjoy Harry Potter anymore.  I was just thinking about that fact right before I came onto the Forum and saw this message.  Most recently, J.K. Rowling’s words condemning trans people have been quoted by a Republican lawmaker who opposes a bill guaranteeing civil rights for trans folks.  I can’t just put that knowledge aside.  She is actively harming people now.

With Gilman, I have a somewhat different perspective, because she was of a different era, and I think it’s worth studying her work as a historical artifact.  Now that I know she expressed racist views, I can take a look at the effects of those views on her society.  There’s no question of the importance of her feminist views and writing, which may very well have made her views on race just as important.  But the distance of time means that reading her work now is not equivalent to supporting her views.  Not so with Rowling.



Scuba Man

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Reply #7 on: July 07, 2020, 08:03:23 PM
I struggled with this story. The male characters needed some percussive maintenance On the back of their kopffs.

Re: J.K.R. I feel betrayed by her recent postings. :-X  Yikes, JKR teams up with Orson Scott Card for the dream-team-ticket  ::)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 08:06:09 PM by Scuba Man »

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


Fenrix

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Reply #8 on: August 10, 2020, 10:09:38 AM

I struggled with this story. The male characters needed some percussive maintenance On the back of their kopffs.


I think that was a deliberately constructed effect.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”