“The problem, however, is not just one of proportionate loss but the casualness with which many insist on drawing a moral equivalence between acts of terror and self-defense, between the purposeful kidnapping of teenagers hitching a ride and the inadvertent killing of teenagers who are hurling homemade grenades at armed soldiers going house-to-house in search of three boys who they don’t realize are already dead.
There is no moral equivalence here, and there is a danger in continuing to make these false comparisons.”
Source: Thane Rosenbaum, “There Is No Moral Equivalent to the Murder of Three Israeli Teenagers,” The Daily Beast.
Writing practice goings-on from the past week:
Within the past week, I’ve received the first two rejections in response to the literary humor piece I mentioned here awhile back. So, said piece is now off to find a possible home for the third time. Will that be the charm? One can hope.
Last Friday–the first of our six-week summer schedule at the day job, whereby we work longer M-Th and get Fridays off–I spent a chunk of time revising my newest poem. I think that it is improving (slowly).
I’m making slow but steady progress on my next essay-review for The Missouri Review. Still rereading/taking notes on the books; hope to begin writing over the long holiday weekend.
I have renewed my Paris Review subscription. (Thanks to @mathitak for cluing me in to the fact that the summer 2014 issue was already out; that made me check on my subscription, which had expired. And thanks to the NBCC for the cool membership benefit of a 25 percent subscription discount for this particular magazine!)
Yesterday I awakened to discover that this here website was down. To make a long story short, my amazing webmaster saved the day with a new strategy (which includes a new hosting service).
And, last but not least: I sent out the July issue of The Practicing Writer this week. I’m delighted to feature a Q&A with Celeste Ng in this issue along with the usual range of no-fee contest info and calls for work from paying litmags & presses.
And how about you? Anything you care to share from your past week’s writing practice?
About 18 months ago, I purchased a new book for my Kindle: Anita Shapira’s Israel: A History (translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris). But soon after that, I began attending a weekly seminar titled “Zionist Thought and Statesmanship”; that wonderful course came complete with its own considerable reading list. I put aside Shapira’s book for another time.
It’s not that I’m glad that it has taken me so long to return to the book, which I’m about halfway through right now (I’m reading slowly). But I can’t help feeling that approaching it with at least a little more knowledge of Israeli history already in my mind has enriched my reading experience. Similarly, what I’ve read so far in Shapira’s book has reinforced and complemented the readings from my earlier seminar very, very nicely.
I’m not quite prepared to write a review of my own, but I’ll point you to some reviews that piqued and sustained my interest in the book over time. In the meantime, I can assure you that this is a book very much worth reading.
In The Forward, Jerome Chanes wrote: “Anita Shapira ups the ante in her history, which recently won a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, offering a truly comprehensive narrative of Israel, from its genesis in the first stirrings of Zionism in the 19th century to present day’s unsettled Israeli society. Shapira is a historian who believes things actually happened in history and they deserve a good telling. But the author, who has had a distinguished academic career, is a superb analyst, as well.”
In the Jewish Review of Books, Allan Arkush noted: “Shapira, for one thing, has done away with all sorts of errors that have been passed through the years from one short history of Israel to another.”
In The Jewish Week, Francine Klagsburn wrote: “Unlike other histories that often tell Israel’s story by jumping from one war to the next, this one…captures the nation’s diversity and cultural richness along with its existential struggles.”
P.S. Yesterday came the tragic news about the three missing boys in Israel. It’s hard not to feel totally helpless and devastated at a time like this. But thinking of those boys and filled with the spirit of Jewish peoplehood, I will do something simple: continue my reading, mindful of my connections to Israel, and to those boys (one of whom is also connected through our common American citizenship).
Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee competitions/contests, paying submission calls, and jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Continue reading ›
In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”
“Finally I said, ‘I feel like someone just put a poultice on my heart.’”
Source: Gail Caldwell, New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir.