Only on an episode of “The Surreal Life” could I imagine taking tea with Flannery O’Connor. She wouldn’t like me, I’m sure. She, no doubt, had a sixth sense for what Richard Rorty calls “literary intellectuals,” those who believe, with Swinburne, that man is the master of all things, that “we humans have nothing to rely on save one another” (94-95).
From the very start, my relationship with writing has been difficult, convoluted, involuntary, and unavoidable. Such was not the case with reading, which always has been generously open to me as a garden promising a pleasant promenade whenever I wanted it. Neither demanding nor dominant, reading gives me a comfort zone, whereas writing challenges me constantly whether or not I’m ready. But, despite their contradictory functions in my life, writing and reading are interwoven and inseparable.
If it were not tragic it would be amusing to compare the drug problem in United States, where tens of thousands of the policemen and civil servants owe their jobs to the drug trade, with The Netherlands, where marijuana is tolerated.
A pamphlet published in 2002 by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs compares figures from the United States National Household Survey of 1997 with a study of drug use in Holland.
Although a substantial body of criticism has grown up around Arturo Islas’s The Rain God, very little of it deals directly with the subject of indigeneity.2 Most academic readers see the novel as a mixture of elements: history, gender relations, narratology, and so forth. Terms such as “ambiguity,” “alternative,” “hybridity,” and “reconstruction” have been used to describe the complex nature of The Rain God as a “text.”