“American Widow,” Alissa Torres’s raw, occasionally maddening, bracing
graphic memoir, shows how those same seemingly trite details, coming
from someone whose life was shattered by the attacks, can convey what
it means to have your existence broken off by an event that cannot fit
into any familiar frame of reference.
Click here: Book Review - 'American Widow,' by Alissa Torres. Illustrated by Sungyoon Choi - Review - NYTimes.com
[note: Alissa is a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization to which I also belong. We all lost loved ones on 9/11.]
A colleague of mine wrote: 'I have to admit that I take exception to the reviewer's comment, "What’s inhuman is to expect people who have suffered outrageously to rise to a shining standard of virtue and forgiveness. There is evidence all over the world that this is not so rare or exceptional - or inhuman - an expectation. It is rather a reality.'
I have some thoughts [it does occasionally happen] about the expectation that “people who have suffered outrageously [to] rise to a shining standard of virtue and forgiveness”
The reviewer was too
harsh, but not too far from the mark. This expectation is a dangerous one,
indeed. It tends to put those who do not accomplish this ‘standard’ in a place
lower than others, and this is blaming the victim for
Methinks there is a
tendency to make angels out of all who suffer in large-scale disasters, and it
just isn’t so. There is also the danger of raising one's self above others
because of suffering. Have you seen Autumn Hearts? http://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Hearts-Beginning-Susan-Sarandon/dp/B0017VG604
This film speaks to the dangers of self-elevation due to suffering, and I think
it does a good job of it.
Virtue and forgiveness
live in the hearts of many who suffer—before the suffering takes place. It is,
perhaps, a greater reason for finding such virtues in victims. Not that the
suffering brought the virtue, but that the virtues was there in the first place.
Compassion need not be born of pain.
Activism, on the other
hand, may well be fomented by suffering. Experiencing the anguish of loss does
often stimulate people to actually do something about the state of their world.
Unfortunately, many wait until directly affected by political violence to stand
up against it. If only we could do better at generating peace action before the
Bruce..knowing less as the years go by..Wallace
www.121Contact.typepad.com <- have you been to the blog lately?