[ilds] on "Uselessly"

M. Erick Ward wardwrites at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 10:02:35 PDT 2007

  On the stricken lines:
  Small children make one doubt oneself.  One longs to protect them against the powers of the world.  Uselessly
  I'm glad the red pen did its work here.  I have always found Darley's relationship with the child compelling by omission.  Early in Balthazar (I hope you'll excuse me for reading ahead here), the narrator tells us that (paraphrasing), "The child is happy and active."  Sort of a Hemmingway moment, letting the reader infer the rest.  As a parent, I at first found a lack of verisimilitude in the depiction of life on the island -- where are all the logistics that go into child rearing, even in its simplest form?  How can a writer, so immersed in his work that he barely gets to sleep before dawn, take care of a child?  For me, these questions have faded in importance, but perhaps they speak to LD's use of children symbols, or as reflectors.
  Matt Ward

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