In Praise of Messy Lives

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Sorteer op: Meest behulpzame Meeste sterren Minste sterren Nieuwste. Geschreven bij In Praise of Messy Lives I can't quite say for sure whether I liked this book or not; I found the writing style somewhat abrasive and I certainly don't agree with all of her arguments, but I do have to admit I found it at times thought-provoking and challenging, even convincing.

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Is there some adventure out there that we are not having, some vividness, some wild pleasure, that we are not experiencing in our responsible, productive days? We are bequeathed on earth one very short life, and it might be good, one of these. She gets under people's skin, so much so that in her devastatingly good new book, an essay collection titled “In Praise of Messy Lives,” she is.

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Categories of Interest: Select All. Current Affairs. Historical Fiction. My only objection is that she pits the single mom household against the intact nuclear family, but ignores other forms of family, increasingly rare, that are not so narrow and suffocating as either of those alternatives — large families, for example, or extended families with grandparents, and aunts and uncles part of the household.

The tenor of many of these essays is almost anti-maternal, a reflection of the views of that European sage who once called America the land of the overrated child. Under the spell of that child, parents have surrendered to a new conformity in raising their offspring. No pregnant woman in middle-class circles dare takes the smallest sip of wine — such is the power of this conformity. No risk must be taken, lest the child come into the world one IQ point less than optimum.

Parents want the perfect child. The wooden toys that tastefully surround him, the all-sacrificing, well-meaning parents, with a library of books on how to make him turn out correctly — is all of it actually harming or denaturing him?

Katie Roiphe

It is an imbalance evident in her essay about the television series Mad Men , in which the characters happily smoke and drink to excess and hop into bed with men and women who are not their spouses. It is true that the human spirit needs adventure. Surely one can have this Whitmanesque adventure without committing adultery or incurring a massive hangover.

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