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Letters to The New Yinzer should be sent electronically to email@example.com or physically through the USPS to: The New Yinzer, 315 Gross Street, #3, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224.
From: Josh Weston
Sent: Wed 3 Sep 03
Subject: Natural Wasn't Easy
Having known the author of "Natural Wasn't Easy" for many years, I found it right on the mark. Ms. Boyd is wonderful in expressing this sustenance angst, that now past 30, I am experiencing very well. Granola my ass! I'm typing this e-mail with a plate of the $5.00 special pizza from Little Caesar's on my desktop and loving it. I'm pleased to see this in print.
Royal Oak, Michigan
From: Kristen Szymkowiak
Sent: Fri 5 Sep 03
Subject: Being Heard
Heard ja loud and clear, Jaime. Brilliant! I loved it. My heart was thumping as I read your story. You are one of a kind, and I would have felt a better person just to have read this. But being able to call you friend is jubilant, indeed. Dude, you rock!
From: David C. Madden
Sent: Thu 21 Sep 03
Subject: I am not Willa Cather
Dear The New Yinzer:
She grew up in Virginia about 50 miles east of where I did, in
Herndon, a town with a high school that taught English courses
that never required me to read any of her books, though one class
did cover "Paul's Choice" and showed us the film starring, of all
people, Eric Roberts, brother of Julia.
She moved to Red Cloud, Nebraska, which is West of here, in that
hazy part of Nebraska I simply don't know, before she moved to
Lincoln, where as you know I live now. Her house was on 11th
Street. 11th and H? G? Scholars at the Cather Project aren't too
certain. Me? I live at 11th and C.
She graduated from college and moved to Pittsburgh, did you know
this? Few do. She edited a magazine there, one certainly unlike
you, this being of course ages before the Internet. For a time
she lived with the family of a judge on Murray Hill Avenue. This
is so close to the apartment I just left that I could almost spit
on the roof.
The end for Willa was New York City and some days I think it may
be the same for me. All this aside, we couldn't be more
different. Look at us. Look at whatever it is we have to say. She
probably loved olives and had a fear of fire escapes.
All the same I like to think we'd get along. I think she'd like
From: Andrea Woessner
Sent: Thu 18 Sep 03
Subject: re: Monster Ethics
Well, *actually*, this is a common misconception and oversimplification of a fascinating and cautionary text... Frankenstein was not amoral, simply arrogant and foolish. Frankenstein's monster wasn't *created* to be evil. (In the Socrates-vs.-Aristotle, nature-vs-nurture debate, I lean more towards Aristotle.) The monster knew love and joy from witnessing the experiences of others; its longing for similar treatment was the driving motivation behind the monster's actions.
Frankenstein created the monster in order to demonstrate his genius; as a young scientist, he felt a strong desire to prove himself to his older (and skeptical) colleagues. Like any fallible main character, he was driven by hubris. His experiment was successful; the monster lived. When the monster sought love, it was treated with revulsion. When the monster later requested that Frankenstein create a mate for him, as a sole companion in its misery, Frankenstein at first agreed, then destroyed the second creature in a fit of spite. Frankenstein neglected to treat the monster as an autonomous entity (i.e. with respect and consideration), and it grew to resent Frankenstein. It attacked Frankenstein by attacking his loved ones.
The story of Frankenstein and his monster is an allegory. The power of creation is not to be abused; being able to create means having power, and with power comes responsibility. The idea of creating something and having your creation turn on you is a recurrent theme in all the ways human beings tell stories: mythology (Prometheus), literature (Ursula LeGuinn, Bram
Stoker, The Picture of Dorian Gray), film (Godzilla, King Kong, Dr. Strangelove), and history (the colonies vs. Great Britain).
The moral of Frankenstein is threefold:
1. Don't go running around creating autonomous beings willy-nilly.
2. If you forget moral #1 and end up creating an autonomous being, don't be so arrogant as to assume you can control it.
3. Treat the being nicely. Give it the respect it deserves, or it will turn on you.
All that said, having the monster get squished by Godzilla (another manifestation of the theme) is pretty funny.
Monster Nerd and Nitpicker
From: Chris Sullivan
Date: Mon Sep 22 03
Subject: The Oversight
Don't you think it's ironic that in Cara's story about the man not being named, the woman, who was named four times in the original story, remains nameless? (Yet we do, in the end, find out what the man's name was...) Perhaps the irony is intentional, but in my opinion, it doesn't help the fairness argument too much.
From: Daniel Minskey
Sent: Sun 21 Sep 03
very coool...you guys really have your shit together. nice stuff.