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Whoever dreamed Atticus Finch, of all people, would turn out to be a racist and segregationist

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Hospital Bob

Hospital Bob
I just don't know what to say about this.  I told you yesterday we're living in some king of alternate universe.  And this damn sure proves it.

Hospital Bob

Hospital Bob
"Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?"

-- Atticus Finch ("Go Set a Watchman")

Guest


Guest
One might have to consider this scenario:  Harper Lee, a Southern writer from Alabama, writes a story she feels reflects current tension (1950s) in the South.  Publisher rejects but asks her to write about Scout's childhood (reference accounts in today's news.)  Rejection sets a mood of " I'll show them childhood fantasy."  To Kill a Mockingbird is written and brings out conflict but the conflict resolves and all are revered.  Great feel good book and it sells well.  Movie does the same.

Harper Lee has not been one for interviews through the years.  Her sister, an attorney, held the manuscript and it was not released until after she (the sister) died.  (Documented in news articles on the subject)  So now do we assume Harper Lee was a writer who told the real situation of Atticus and a small town in Alabama but it had to be scrubbed, polished, and rewritten into To Kill a Mockingbird in order to sell?  Might have been a little "I'll show you" as it was written from a child's point of view??? Do we truly have the real story now with "Go Set A Watchman?"

I tend to think this is quite plausible.

Hospital Bob

Hospital Bob
As you mentioned,  SheWrites,  what makes this story so unusual is that,  even though it's not being published posthumously like would usually be the case,  the author hasn't given any interview since 1964 and likely won't ever give one again.
So even though the creator of all this is still alive,  we'll get perspective on it only from others and not the creator herself.
That fact is especially remarkable since the work in question is such a significant part of American literature.

Guest


Guest
Funny side note on Harper Lee - A while back Alabama author Rick Bragg was the recipient of the Harper Lee Award. He received the award and later met her. He gives a funny account of that meeting. Of course there is a commercial first and for some reason I could not embed.



http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/02/harper_lees_new_book_fannie_fl.html

2seaoat


Atticus was born into a system which made the black man inferior.  Few can grow up and shed those chains of hate.  I find this incredibly consistent with his character.  In the abstract the law can only survive by consistency and continuity and Atticus recognized that each man must be treated equally under the law, but the truth is that Atticus did not socialize with a black man at the country club, or invite black friends to join him at the table with the children.  The abject poverty of systems of slavery, jim crow, and now dog whistle politics which create the drug war, the southern strategy in the Republican Party where Dixiecrats have found a new home in the Republican Party, and the continued attempts to create felons in the black population and deny them access to the polls, will take years to allow the black man to advance in America.  No she is a genius who showing that even Atticus cannot easily free himself from the chains of hate.  I look forward to reading the book.  Atticus and Abe Lincoln have been my heroes since I was 10 years old......

knothead

knothead
http://www.wsj.com/articles/dark-days-in-maycombto-killa-mockingbird-1436564966

In today's WSJ I found this quite interesting . . . . . .

Hospital Bob

Hospital Bob
knothead wrote:http://www.wsj.com/articles/dark-days-in-maycombto-killa-mockingbird-1436564966

In today's WSJ I found this quite interesting . . . . . .

It is interesting.  By the way,  on the final segment of NBC's nightly newscast tonight,  they interviewed a Harper Lee expert who had the opportunity to read the book.  And the interviewer pointed out to her how people will be disappointed about what this book does to the Atticus Finch character.
Her response was that it won't matter because in this book the character Scout (Finch's daughter) is the heroine and so much so that it overshadows whatever readers thought about the Finch character.

I've been contemplating on all this.  And since SheWrites speculated about what it's all about,  I'll take a stab at it too.
We know that Harper Lee had a stroke.  We don't know what the effect of the stroke was since no one ever gets to hear from her.  Her lawyer does all the talking for her.
My guess is she's no longer in complete control of her mental faculties and that's why this book is being published.

We now know this was the original manuscript she submitted for publication and that upon receipt of it,  her publisher told her to go back and totally re-write the story and that's what resulted in To Kill A Mockingbird.  

And then To Kill A Mockingbird became a national literary institution.
I don't know how many lawyers I've heard (including both Fred Levin and Mike Papantonio) say the Atticus Finch character is what inspired them in their youth to want to become attorneys.  And of course Harper Lee knew better than anyone what that character meant to so many Americans.

Remember, she's had the last 50 years to seek publication of that original manuscript and never showed any desire to.  Only now at age 89 after she's had a stroke and is confined to a nursing home does she supposedly give approval for it.
Of course I'm just speculating but I think this may all be just a way for others to make money off of her and they manipulated her into giving the okay on it.

knothead

knothead
Bob wrote:
knothead wrote:http://www.wsj.com/articles/dark-days-in-maycombto-killa-mockingbird-1436564966

In today's WSJ I found this quite interesting . . . . . .

It is interesting.  By the way,  on the final segment of NBC's nightly newscast tonight,  they interviewed a Harper Lee expert who had the opportunity to read the book.  And the interviewer pointed out to her how people will be disappointed about what this book does to the Atticus Finch character.
Her response was that it won't matter because in this book the character Scout (Finch's daughter) is the heroine and so much so that it overshadows whatever readers thought about the Finch character.

I've been contemplating on all this.  And since SheWrites speculated about what it's all about,  I'll take a stab at it too.
We know that Harper Lee had a stroke.  We don't know what the effect of the stroke was since no one ever gets to hear from her.  Her lawyer does all the talking for her.
My guess is she's no longer in complete control of her mental faculties and that's why this book is being published.

We now know this was the original manuscript she submitted for publication and that upon receipt of it,  her publisher told her to go back and totally re-write the story and that's what resulted in To Kill A Mockingbird.  

And then To Kill A Mockingbird became a national literary institution.
I don't know how many lawyers I've heard (including both Fred Levin and Mike Papantonio) say the Atticus Finch character is what inspired them in their youth to want to become attorneys.  And of course Harper Lee knew better than anyone what that character meant to so many Americans.

Remember, she's had the last 50 years to seek publication of that original manuscript and never showed any desire to.  Only now at age 89 after she's had a stroke and is confined to a nursing home does she supposedly give approval for it.
Of course I'm just speculating but I think this may all be just a way for others to make money off of her and they manipulated her into giving the okay on it.

Bob, I find it difficult to disagree with your speculation and feel you probably hit the nail on the head . . . . . . my guess.

Hospital Bob

Hospital Bob
I'm going up to Monroeville tomorrow and plan to be there at 7 because I have to leave by 2 to get back to P'cola for something.
I'm hoping to visit some of the places in town which played a part in the lives of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. I want to see the inside of the Monroe County Courthouse which was recreated for the movie. And to see what little remains of their childhood homes which were next door to each other.
But, old habits never die and I'm also going to try to score some of the special versions of the book which will only be sold in Monroeville so I can flip them on eBay. lol
However the latter goal is getting less and less likely since a local Mobile newscast reported tonight that 7000 people have already pre-ordered the special edition and only 4000 books are expected to be delivered tonight.
I'm hoping that with so many pre-orders the bookstore convinced the publisher to send them more to satisfy the walk-in buyers.
But regardless if I can get the books, I want to revisit Monroeville and experience the place they both grew up in. I haven't been through the town in 20 years and back then I had no interest in any of this.

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