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Harry Dodge: My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing
Harry Dodge: My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing
He told me a story about a neighbor running out in the middle of the night screaming that her husband was trying to kill her and he told it as a very funny story laughing at her and I said how do you know that her husband wasn't trying to kill her and he said they were middle class white people therefore that she was mentally. Ill was an obvious assumption. Because her husband was trying to kill her was something. He couldn't conceive and I know a lot about domestic violence and it is very likely she ran out in the middle of the night because her husband was trying to kill her and here was a neighbor who couldn't conceive that she was a person with the capacity to perceive reality but how often having a voice having credibility is a crucial issue in survival and until we had cell phone video we had so little evidence that the police had first person stories which some of US believed but it was the cell phone videos of police shooting people in the back and saying that they were running towards them not running away of all the unjustified killings that helped people say maybe. The police aren't reliable authorities. Maybe we need to listen to the victims. I Michael Suv Blunt in my residents. This is the very first time I've taped program at my home. I'm speaking to Rebecca Solnit at her home. I'm very honored to do so. We're talking about Rebecca Zone. It's new book. Recollections of my non existence will continue after this short break. I'm Michael Silver Blah this bookworm. And I'm talking with Rebecca solnit about her new book recollections of my non-existence a radiant portrait of a writer finding her voice but not just finding her voice invoking the possibility of others finding their voices as well and one of the things. That's most impressive to me about your work. Rebecca is how generous it is to its readers as I said as I was reading. I kept identifying and crying at the state you were in that I was also win. That any creative person is in when looking for a voice if you an to that the political subjugation not just of creative people but the political subjugation of victims. You're talking about what? It's like to grow up deprived of your right to be heard. To what extent do you think that has changed? You know I wrote a book on hope and I found that hope was a very difficult thing for a lot of people to understand that they think often. If you say things have gotten better you're saying everything is great and we can all go home in its victory in a finish line and they think if you you know if it's not the finish line then we haven't started and we've lost and were defeated. It's impossible I think things have gotten a lot better. I think the full implementation of title nine on campuses better during their bomber the present one to address campus sexual abuse and racism matters. I think just the rise of other people in charge of what stories will be heard the rise of more rights granted to Queer people people of Color and women under the law and in various professional and social arenas workplaces universities schools etcetera. And you know to say nothing of addressing the rights and inclusion of Trans People at the same time. It's only a beginning. It's better than it was. It's better than the world that I was born into. There's still so much more to be done and the book is really two things. I it's a personal story about a particular and in some ways eccentric individual me and my my trajectory and becoming a writer and finding a particular voice but it's also a very generic story of me as a pretty typical woman in my experience of voiceless. Nece not only being a target of medicine threat and harassment and assault but also the not being believed in the publishing world as well as in other arenas when I reported that this stuff was happening and I think the last several years has seen in extraordinary feminist insurgency. That's opened up a lot of space for women to tell their stories and I to learn from them to see this is really common. This is how it happens. These are popular myths. That we have now debunked. These are things we understand. Better and so I feel like it's been a revolution since two thousand twelve around gender in particular and it's been a revolution through storytelling in particular but it is only a beginning where neither defeated nor victorious. We are on our way. I only started reading will counter around eight years ago. But what a rider. How do you suppose she was able to do it in those cases where you find your voice? How does that happen? How does it become possible? How does the door get opened? I will a cather such an extraordinary figure because she's a lesbian. Who lived with her partner for much of her adult life and she managed to have a very successful career in magazine publishing before she went. Freelance says a novelist and then won the Pulitzer Prize and was a very acclaimed novelist. Who wrote from the perspective of a man in masterpieces like death comes to arch bishop as well as the perspective often of women and sometimes both in some of her novels. I mentioned in recollections of my non-existence an all of her. It's so remarkable. It's more than one hundred years old. It's about a girl and then a young woman who's extremely ambitious keeps. The company of men has an a free erotic life and is one of the most gifted singers of her era and so often in the books by men that I grew up with. Women get punished. They get punished for having their own desires. They get punished for wanting to be independent. They get punished for being talented. They get punished for wanting to serve their own desires and interests for doing anything other than being a doormat too. So man and this is just a great novel from I think. One thousand nine hundred thousand nine hundred nineteen where the woman doesn't have to be punished. You and I are both at home. Because of the corona virus. What do you think it seems to me that this isolation is the doorway the introduction to a new culture and we're going to throw out the way we have lived and find a new way. Are you feeling that I am and of course? First of all my heart goes out to all the people who are going to be so impacted by this crisis that is as much a massive financial collapse for so many working people as well as a health. Emergency for some of us. But I do think we're going to look back at how we were living wonder why we were so busy. Why we had to move around the world so much why so much. Consumption and production went on first of all. We need to make sure that everybody has enough because the problem in the US has never been absolute. We've been very wealthy society for a very long time. It's been a problem of distribution and that existed before the pandemic because we had so many working people making minimum wage who couldn't even afford to rent a modest apartment on their wages so many people who are working in precarious lacking health care going hungry unable to pay off their debts etcetera. I think we're going to rethink economic distribution in a big way. I think a lot of people are also going to reinvasion the ways in which were connected. The ones that are beautiful invaluable in which were inseparable from each other socially spiritually culturally and the ones that are dangerous around how illnesses circulate problem circulate. It may give us a new perspective for addressing things like climate change which in some ways resembles this acceptance move more slowly in which we need to change everything in which what some people do impacts what happens to everybody and So I don't know how it will be different but I did also write a book about Disaster called a Paradise Built-in Hal about the pro. Social ways people come together and organize and one of the things I learned is that disasters often begin very suddenly but they never really end. You never really go back to the day before nine. Eleven the day before Hurricane Katrina the day before the San Francisco earthquake in nineteen. Oh six some of the changes can be terrible. Some of them can be wonderful depending on. Who's in charge and what the vision is but there are always lasting lingering changes and I think we won't know exactly what they can be in some cases in some other cases. I think we can decide what they're going to be by how we organize. How we envision how we tell the story of this very moment Rebecca Sauna. I think you're a wonderful writer and a beautiful person and I think that that information is coming to readers of your books through the clarity of your voice. I've been talking with Rebecca solnit author now of recollections of my nonexistence it's published by. Viking it was edited by one my dearest and earliest friends in publishing poor Slovak. Thank you Rebecca for joining me. Thank you so much Michael be well. And thank you for reading you can visit. Kcrw DOT com slash bookworm for podcast of today's show also available at apple and spotify and other podcast services you can even.