Friday, October 10, 2008

"Wit's End"

"Wit's End" is a novel by Karen Joy Fowler. I would tell you what it is about, but I have not figured that out yet. At Chapter 8 I am about ready to skip to the end to find out if I should keep reading the tale. I am not sure, but I think books start with a conflict that is resolved by the end of the story. Not knowing what the point is makes for dull reading. Perhaps the same could be said of my blogs. Have often wanted to say to people, "Why are you telling me this?" and felt there were times others might be wondering the same of me. Anyway...

Chapter 8 begins "Tuesday was election Day." Addison, a main character in the novel is a famous author who has not published a book in three years. Chapter 8 mentions:

"...blamed the absence of a new novel on the delayed shock of having seen the Supreme Court, with no pretense of legal standing, hand George Bush the presidency,"

Addison keeps a list of the five justices on her refrigerator held in place by a magnet. She also has a list of Bush's five worst outrages. And:

"...the name of every congressperson who'd voted for the Military Commissions Act and the end of democracy in this country."

Addison said she would not publish "until habeas corpus had been restored." She received an email that said, in part, "I'm sorry you felt it necessary to express your Bush hating aging hippie opinions. I know my comments will mean nothing to you. Liberals never change..."

The email was from a former fan who "...read what you wrote on the Huffington Post with all your snotty little remarks denigrating President Bush." It goes on to mention "knowing" Addison would prefer people who (blah, blah, blah) which was clearly a description of Bill Clinton.

I feel dumb, because I do not know about the Military Commissions Act and should know what "habeas corpus" means, even though probably aware in the back of my mind that the Bush admin destroyed it. I thought that had to do with the Patriot Act. Addison is happy about the Election day results. (Democrats took over the House.) She says of the email "You'll see." Blah, blah, blah "All because the Democrats have the power of the subpoena."

Hard to know if Election Day has anything to do with the story. Perhaps it is included to give a "sense of place". I read that novels should do that; give readers details that make them know the town. The town in this novel is Santa Cruz, California.

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