Saturday, June 18, 2011

This Book Will Change Your Life - the bee-loud glade: a novel by Steve Himmer.

We suppose that we are supposed to read the rhythmic and beautifully crafted the bee-loud glade: a novel by Steve Himmer and find ourselves captivated by the ruminations on nature, which we were, and in turn ruminate ourselves on the work of Thoreau and maybe even the Garden of Eden, which we did, but as we read the book over the last couple of months we found ourselves primarily returning to another theme entirely, the world of work. The conceit here is that the mysteriously rich and eccentric Crane wants the oddly asocial Finch to live as a hermit on his estate for pay, another employee subject to Crane's every whim, from playing the flute to engaging in Tai Chai, which Finch does, willingly, and rarely grudgingly, never with a complaint certainly, and always coming back to the fact that he has signed a contract and made an agreement, which got us thinking about the state of work today, versus say the world of Bartleby the Scrivener, who famously said, "I prefer not to," and forced us to ask ourselves if that was okay. Is it okay to tell your employer you prefer not to do something, even work? What are our obligations when someone is paying us to do something? We think it has to be okay on some level, must be, right, regardless though, Finch never raises this issue or anything to that affect. But does that mean something? Is it a commentary on the fact that workers don't feel they can prefer not to do anything these days, that work is so fraught with tension, it feels impossible to do so? Because we also suppose that there is an argument here that says a return to nature is our one true escape from a world run by corporations, and yet in Finch's case he "escapes" in the employ of someone else, he is a worker with no say, who yes, ultimately becomes free of said employer, we think, but does that make him, or us free, can we ever truly be free, and can we still prefer not to?


TNBBC Super Mod said...

Oooh I like your twist on this. I read this a few months back and loved it too! What a talent!

I totally took the Garden of Eden approach :)

Pete said...

Whatever wavering I experienced before is now gone. I will definitely read this book.

Ben Tanzer said...

Yes, smiles all-around, and yes, read it, wholly unique.