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TSE  March 2001

TSE March 2001

Subject:

Re: Dans le Restaurant and the Commedia

From:

"Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 Mar 2001 00:06:30 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

I'm not Scottish at all.  Bin aus Michigan, echt American.  I can be just as 
disgusted with the cruel treatment of anyone; I just happen to know more 
about Scotland.  This is not about "forgiveness" either.  That is simply not 
remotely relevant to the discussion, so please do not condescend about 
my personal capacity for decency, and please recall that you know  
nothing whatever about me as a person except what I THINK about Eliot 
and a very few other things that I  write on this list.  I do not understand 
why these discussions have to be twisted into views on personality.  I don't--
to my knowledge--have a single Scottish ancestor.  They were nearly all 
German.  And I do not take responsibility for what Germans did, but those 
who did it were unforgivable.  But I can already see where this is going, and 
I am no doubt ridiculous to respond at all.  So I will not again.
Nancy



Date sent:      	Wed, 21 Mar 2001 21:26:28 EST
Send reply to:  	[log in to unmask]
From:           	[log in to unmask]
To:             	[log in to unmask]
Subject:        	Re: Dans le Restaurant and the Commedia

Nancy,

I've met angry individuals from many groups who feel, as you do, that
injustices done to one's own in the past should never be forgiven under
any circumstances, even if the net result of dwelling on them in anger is
to embitter the present for the complainer and those around the
complainer. It's a matter of personal style. I don't fault you for your
choices, although I don't understand them. But neither do I fault those
who want closure, or who feel a moral imperative to forgive, or who simply
prefer to leave judgment to God.

But these things aren't actually isn't what I meant in mentioning
individual choice. For an example, nothing is preventing you from speaking
only the Scottish languager, moving to Scotland, and immersing yourself in
the study of Scottish culture. The Duke and Duchess of Sutherland aren't
going to stop you, nor is anybody else. So I'm guessing it might have been
your own choice to live in the US, and it's the kind of choice I'd want
anyone to have.

pat
-------------------------------------------



In a message dated 3/21/01 6:51:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> This is to Rick (who I keep hoping is being sardonic)--in case he is
> not--and to Pat:
> 
> First of all, I was only talking about language intially.  But Gaelic
> and Scots were systematically and brutally suppressed.  I myself sat in
> the pub of the Traverse theater in 1980 talking with a young woman from
> the Gaeltach who, when she had said a Gaelic word in school had been
> made to wear a letter around her neck on a cord to shame her.  Note:
> 1980.  I was told personally by Hugh MacDiarmid about children being
> punished in school for speaking Scots.  I am not just theorizing.
> 
> But if we are talking "culture," do you know how the "Highland
> Clearances" were implemented?  For much of the late 18th and early 19th
> century, people were simply kicked off the land and put in boats not
> much (if any) better than the slave ships and sent to Nova Scotia.  That
> is why its name is "New Scotland."  The way they did it was this:  a
> sheriff or other official who spoke only English went into Gaelic
> villages where no one spoke English and announced (in English) that they
> had until, say, next Tuesday, to leave.  No one had a clue what had been
> said.  "Next Tuesday" the English speaking officials returned and set
> fire to all the houses, some with old people in them, and sent the
> population keening and weeping to the ocean's edge.  I have read
> accounts by those who were there.  They were told they would be given
> new land:  it was pebble beach  (Not much for farming).  The ships were
> waiting.  Many died.  The reason they did it was that sheep would make a
> profit but people could not wrest wealth from a rocky soil.  All they
> had was poverty and a great culture, and that did not make a profit. I
> remember a Scottish play in St. Andrews in which a character represented
> the Duchess of Sutherland.  The Duke and Duchess of Sutherland were
> especially sweeping and brutal in their methods.  The audience was a
> sophisticated late 20th century academic group; they booed the character
> in an anguished sound.  I cannot forget these things, and I know they
> are not isolated or just Scottish:  I have read the history. In the
> Highlands, in the post-Culloden period it was a CAPITAL CRIME to wear
> the kilt or play the pipes or have a picture of Prince Charlie.
> 
> So this has ABSOLUTLELY nothing to do with individual choice or 
> improving the lot of the native population.  So if you  don't know any
> of the history,  maybe you should read some before trivializing genocide
> (the Clearances were) and cultural destruction (punishing people for
> their own speech is). I think this astonishing comfort in the face of
> other people's pain and sorrow unbelievable. And I will not be drawn
> into any discussion of whether this is accurate.  Read the history--and
> read the contemporary accounts--and see if these attitudes about how
> fine it was for everyone in the long run that people were driven wailing
> from their homes forever and that even today children are taught that a
> speech descended from Northumbrian (the language of "Caedmon's
> Hymn"--the first known text in Anglo-Saxon and a magnificent poem) is
> just ignorant, incorrect English and all will be well and all manner of
> thing will be well when we just stamp out everything different from
> ourselves, whoever "we" are.  
> 
> Nancy
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