[ilds] RG Justine 1.7 -- the child

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Tue Apr 17 20:00:52 PDT 2007

Bill reminds us that

> Some time ago, Lyn Goldman commented caustically on that "Of course." 
> If it's Melissa's baby fathered by Nessim, if it is,  why in the name 
> of all that's rational would the narrator call her Justine? Why not 
> call her Melissa in memory of her mother?

"Of course" I was playing the demiurge's advocate in the original 
posting.  I think that LD is presenting his readers with an early 
challenge against their comfortable assumptions--moral or rational--in 
begging the question "who else?"  I think that if I pretend not to hear 
LD as provocateur in this moment then I am not appreciating the edginess 
of /Justine/--1957 or 2007.  Also note the sick men to the whore with 
her snatches of song to the boys stirring uneasily at their backgammon 
to Melissa dusted with the pollen of other men's kisses--more assaults 
on the little mind of "Lovely Thérèse."  Are you up to this?  Can you 
handle this?

"Who else?"  A question mark, once opened, is damned hard to close.


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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