Hi, everyone. I thought I’d post some information about completed Wikipedia Projects, so you can see what other students worked on last quarter:
KJ and Garrett created terrific pages for Casey Miller and The Handbook of Non-Sexist Writing.
Grace created a very thorough page for Vonda McIntyre’s The Moon and the Sun, including a section on the forthcoming film version.
Naomi and Eliza massively revised Ursula Le Guin‘s Wikipedia page.
Naomi also substantially expanded and revised the page for The Left Hand of Darkness.
Gabrielle worked on Suzy McKee Charnas‘ page. Dylan’s page on Charnas’ The Vampire Tapestry just got accepted!
Kim revised Joanna Russ‘s page and Austin revised Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing.
Laura and Genevieve did a great job revising Eleanor Arnason‘s page.
Aimee created a page for Sally Miller Gearhart’s The Wanderground and also did extensive editing on Sally’s Wikipedia page, including a fabulous new picture of Sally in Eugene.
A collection of letters and misc. writings entitled “When the Mollusc Met the Bear” were found hidden in the University of Oregon’s special archives in the storage room. The letters include letters written to Vonda N. McIntyre from Ursula K. Le Guin, letters to James Tiptree Jr. from Le Guin, and vice versa. How these letters escaped the librarians’ attention is unknown (they are likewise, dumbfounded). Note, some of these letters have deteriorated or are in bad condition; thus, some letters are unfinished, for the other parts are missing. In order to share with you all these rare documents, I have included a link to a pdf, to save the trouble of transcribing these letters into text onto the blog and to avoid confusion. Enjoy!
When the Mollusc met the Bear
-Your fellow researcher, Grace
Dear Mr. Tiptree,
You seem like an awesome person: you write rationally, you like to make jokes, you are self-critical, and you have a particular interest in politics. To me, that seems like we would have gotten along quite well and would have had many great conversations. I should confess right away that I’ve taken to reading some of your private correspondence with Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ. So sorry about that!
That being said, I’ve got one question in particular to ask you about the contents of those letters, and I think that you’d appreciate it if I was just blunt about it:
What’s with all the hate?
How can you go around calling people “Ay-rabs,” single out some people because of their race, or others because of their religion? Were you raised this way or did some people from these groups do something to offend you? Did you support the Civil Rights movement?
I suppose I’m having a difficult time reconciling the hateful things you say with some of the other messages you champion. You fiercely deplore male dominance but admit that you feel that some types of people should be oppressed. I think that you even know these things are contradictory, but you persist in doing it in your private letters. Do you think that you’re being irrational? Do you think your feelings about these kinds of people have affected your feminist beliefs?
I think that I can understand many of your other thoughts, about feeling oppressed, fearing government corruption, even your blatant bellicose attitudes (to an extent). Because of this, I wish that I could sit down and talk to you in depth about your time in D.C. during the McCarthy Years or even during the Watergate Scandal. You seem to have paid close attention to politics and those things appear to have shaped your attitudes in life. All in all, it’s been a lot of fun reading your take on events as they transpired!
I hope you don’t mind if I call you Tip.
Dear Ursula K. Le Guin,
At several different times in her letters, James Tiptree Jr. aka Alice Sheldon said that she did not plan on outliving her husband. In the ever-so-clear hindsight, we can see that Tiptree was alluding to her suicide, possibly suicide pact, with her husband. But, did you guess that that was what she intended to do? Tiptree often makes light of her depression, describing and disguising it with humor. But, it is quite obvious that she was depressed. Knowing this, did you have any inkling that she was going to commit suicide? If you could go back in time, would you have tried to persuade Tiptree out of thinking of suicide, or do you believe her suicide was justified? And, if you had told her not to commit suicide, do you think your words, whether in person, written letter, or phone call, made any difference to Tiptree’s resolve?
I hate to sound horribly mean and accusatory, but these questions have been nagging at me for ages. It’s hard to get a sense of your reactions to Tiptree’s letters because the letters you sent to Tiptree are mostly not included in the archives. Thus, there is just silence. Suicide and depression are things that strike a chord with me personally. It is disconcerting and saddening to read someone’s letters of depression and intent of suicide. I guess, I just wanted to know whether or not Tiptree’s letters scared you as much as they did me, and if you did try to confront her. I would like to hear your side of the story.