I was at a friend’s house party over the holidays – she was giving away books she was ready to let go of. So I picked up what looked like a very yummy book: A Book of Travellers’ Tales, Assembled by Eric Newby.
I love stories about travels and travellers, and this is travel from 430 B.C. to the 1980s. And the book was big and thick, and so I assumed it was full of life and adventure. But so many of these stories are sexist, racist, and just plain vicious.
Reminds me of the time, maybe the 80s, when I decided to re-write a couple of pages of Michener’s The Source, just to play with removing the old patriarchal values and language. Ugh. It is thoroughly tainted with anti-joy, pro-domination beliefs that there’s no untangling it.
This book is the same way. The writers and the editor are so thoroughly used to the cultural constructs they are swimming in that they have no idea any other thoughts are possible.
Now I’m trying to decide if I should give it to the library to give away or sell – or if I should just recycle it!