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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp - Mercer Mayer Liza Lou is a little girl who lives in a dangerous swamp, but she faces threats with courage and manages to outwit all the monsters.

At first I wondered why Liza's apparently loving mother kept sending her out to face these dangers alone. But if one ignores the supernatural element suddenly the story becomes quite realistic. Liza and her mother live in a dangerous environment and appear to possess few resources. Their clothes are patched and they are happy when they get enough to eat. Put that way, it sounds like a situation that is all too common. Of course, most children face weirdos rather than witches, but is that any better?

My elementary school was a couple of miles from our apartment. I got myself there on my own, usually taking public transportation in the morning and walking home in the afternoon to save the fare. Walking adds the danger of cars, but otherwise is about the same as the bus, which is likewise full of perverts, addicts, and crazy people (literally, people formerly in mental institutions who were let loose when the hospitals switched from in- to out-patient). My mother warned me as best should could and told me to be careful. In retrospect it was really quite unsafe, but what else could my parents have done? They could afford a car, or to take the bus with me, and they had to work and take care of my younger siblings. I'm sure, although they never said so at the time, that they were not happy about exposing me to these dangers and worried while I was out. But world-wide the majority of parents don't have the resources to protect their children from a dangerous world. All they can do is teach them well and hope they come though as well as Liza Lou.