Monday, March 21, 2005

"my Tithable"

From: George Washington’s Slave Child? by Ed Pompeian, History News Network, 21 March 2005:
“Volumes tell how he fathered a nation. Only iUniverse let me tell how he fathered a slave,” proclaimed a two-page advertisement that appeared in the New York Times Book Review, on Sunday, February 20. The advertisement promoted Linda Allen Bryant’s I Cannot Tell A Lie. Published in 2004, Bryant’s book tells the story of how George Washington, the nation’s first president, fathered his one and only child through a slave. The headline was certainly eye-catching, as intended. But was the claim off the wall?

According to Linda Allen Bryant, Washington initiated a sexual relationship with a female slave named Venus around 1784. Her claim is based on her family’s two hundred year old oral history and on conspicuous evidence showing that the Washington family afforded special treatment to West Ford. Bryant, a direct descendent of West Ford, points to correspondence between George and his brother, John Augustine, to argue that George Washington visited his brother’s plantation in 1784, and that a gap in Washington’s personal diary that year could account for a sexual liaison during this visit.

Mason & Dixon
, p. 572:
"Eeh!" Washington grabbing Mason.
"Colonel, Sir," twitching away, "'twould be far preferable,- "
"That voice, Mason! 'tis my Tithable, Gershom!"

[photo source]

the war complex

...from a University of Chicago Press new book email alert:
The War Complex by Marianna Torgovnick

Marianna Torgovnick argues that we have lived, since the end of World War II, under the power of a war complex--a set of repressed ideas and impulses that stems from our unresolved attitudes toward the technological acceleration of mass death. This complex has led to gaps and hesitations in public discourse about atrocities committed during
the war itself. And it remains an enduring wartime consciousness, one most recently animated on September 11.

Gravity's Rainbow, p. 645:
The Germans-and-Japs story was only one, rather surrealistic version of the real War. The real War is always there. The dying tapers off now and then, but the War is still killing lots and lots of people. Only right now it is killing them in more subtle ways. Often in ways that are too complicated, even for us, at this level, to trace.