[lit-ideas] I'm going back to lurking

  • From: Austin Meredith <Kouroo@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 01 May 2004 07:40:48 -0400

Recently there has been on this list a discussion of antisemitism and the 
Middle East, and I thought I saw an opportunity for me to contribute a 
minor fact that was of my personal knowledge. After I had contributed that 
fact, another contributor to this list, "Omar Kosturica," snapped back in 
the following manner:
>This happened during the early days of the Islamic
>revolution. So are we now going to tell an anecdote or
>two from Europe during World War II and conclude
>thereof that the European societies are, have always
>been, and will always be, pervasively anti-Semitic ?
>Or an anecdote from Russia during the 'pogrom' days,
>and draw similar conclusions about the Russian society?

Since I do not appreciate being responded to in such a manner, I am going 
to return to lurking. I wish I had not bothered to share my information, 
such as it was, with this list.

This "Omar Kosturica" continued with an irrelevancy about something he 
seems to remember from several centuries before he was born:

>I seem to remember that the grandfather of Nathaniel
>Hawthorne sentenced a Quaker woman to be whipped in
>the streets of Boston, which is mentioned in one of
>his stories.

The person to whom "Omar Kosturica" seems to be referring to was Nathaniel 
Hawthorne's great-great-great-grandfather William Hathorne (1606/07-1681), 
rather than one of his grandfathers. He had arrived on these shores in 1630 
on the Arbella, settling in  Dorchester in New England and then moving to 
Salem. This great-great-great-grandfather would serve as a Major in wars 
against the Americans and become a Magistrate and Judge of the Puritans, 
and we have his holograph signature upon a warrant for the whipping out of 
town of Friend Anne Coleman for being a Quaker. Nathaniel Hawthorne the 
fiction writer, one of this man's great-great-great-grandsons, did in fact 
refer to this warrant in one of his fictions.

Omar Kosturica's summation was:

>What could this tell us about the American society?

I would respond with "What could it tell us about this lit-ideas list, that 
a lurker, myself, rose from lurking for a moment, and contributed something 
-- only to promptly regret having bothered to do so?"

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