Monday, March 19, 2012

Southern writers, poor people in America

While at Welty's house, I noticed a bookshelf that housed a line of Russian translations of The Golden Apples and really wondered what reading that particular book would be like in Russian and what a Russian would make of it. Does any Eastern European believe any story about poor people in America?


  1. I believe poor is a state of mind. There are so many newborn richmen (out of the mud) in our poor little country whose conversations gravitate only around money that it's really sad... Americans can be poor, but at least they have a dream.

  2. "Does any Eastern European believe any story about poor people in America?"

    Could you explain more about what you mean here?

  3. Anonymous:
    "Americans can be poor but at least they have a dream" sounds right to me. And, in a way, is one of the reasons why I love being here. Nothing seems completely out of reach. If you don't have it yet, it could be yours some day.

    My question was prompted by a recent conversation with my mom who could not believe Emergency Room horror stories I was sharing with her. She didn't think that working people in one of the wealthiest countries in the world would ever have to worry about being able to afford healthcare. Which led us to a conversation about how many people here are really, REALLY poor and struggle just as much as poor people back home. My mother she was having a really hard time believing. But... IN AMERICA?!...

    I think that even though Western Europeans do seem to think of the US as a land of opportunity, I do not think they share this view of people from poorer nations that in America the streets are painted with gold. Does this make more sense? What do you think?

  4. Thanks, Petya. That does make sense to me. I just wasn't sure in which sense I should take the question! :) It can be hard to believe that even wealthy countries have problems. --I lived in Denmark for a while and remember someone's irritation over the romanticization of the place, expressed by "People think we live in a fairy-tale country!"--when of course they have serious problems too, even if not on the same scale as many places.

    1. Yes! Absolutely! Literature is so good at communicating that kind of TRUTH about a place!

  5. It may sounds right to you, but there is a great chance that it could be wrong. The Dream of America is something of collective origin, a kind of state lottery which only the chosen one will benefit from. All other unlucky participants have been robbed of their own dreams for the purpose of crowning the winner. Believing in freedom has its price. But then, the world is not so bad. In case of emergency we, who follow the american way, can always rely on Mother Mary or Mother Eli Lilly...
    I've been thinking. American intellectuals can only dream of living in our communism for a while. In these dark times only the masterpieces of american literature was allowed for reading, which has sheltered us from the cheap propaganda of the western way. We've understood this much later, in the open world. We missed nothing on the cultural level. We were poor because we weren't able to wear new jeans and listen to ghetto music. We even had "вокално-инструменталная група Двери" :) Anyway... forgive the offtopic.