I wonder how many casual Kisrael visitors will be put off by the Saki quote. No criticism intended, really--it just occurs to me that without establishing that almost unique satirical landscape of a Wodehouse or a Saki (or a Wilde or Shaw), it's a bit visually shocking, just the bald statement.
Then again, perhaps some of the shocked will go find out just who this Munro character is and find the pot of gold...
--Rocco Wed Mar 24 18:39:40 2004
I don't think it's so bad. It's obviously more damning of the human condition in general than of babies: greedy, self-centered, unable to think of anything but the needs of the present moment, incapable of action to achieve specific goals and desires, dependent on others, generally helpless, ignorant, not yet at the stage where the learning has really kicked in, crying a lot...
--Kirk Wed Mar 24 21:59:26 2004
Hmmm. I suppose that is a valid deconstructive kind of post-hoc interpretation, but the full quote ("I hate babies. They're so human--they remind one of monkeys.") is spoken by a character in a play, and is, I believe, in support of the plot/character's perversely ironic stance to "normalcy". The implied criticism is of the elitist speaker, for an "inhumane egocentricity".
For a discussion, check out http://www.wam.umd.edu/~twb/Dandy's-Progress.html and search for "monkeys". BTW, I am not the author of the article--I just thought it was pretty on point, at least about Munro/Saki.
--Rocco Thu Mar 25 11:59:30 2004
Oh, huh, I have a note to look up the short stories of Saki.
Even with the full quote, I don't think it's that ghastly a thing to say. I think a child who isn't your own doesn't become very interesting until they've started developing and demonstrating real learning and deeper communicating.
--Kirk Thu Mar 25 13:40:39 2004
Oh, I completely agree. I like the quote! I was just initially noting that without the context, it seemed possibly jarring to the man-in-the-street blog reader unfamiliary with that style of irony. Just curious whether or not you might get some "Eeew gross" comments. Clearly, though, so far only pedantic musings from me...
--Rocco Thu Mar 25 14:05:43 2004
I think most man-in-the-street readers aren't reading as closely and thoughtfully as you are :-)
--Kirk Thu Mar 25 14:29:37 2004
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