Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25 (To Have Not)

Last night, I finished Frances Lefkowitz's To Have Not, and although I'm still digesting it, I do recommend the book. I think it will resonate with anyone who can see their life in terms of being both a "Have" and a "Have Not"; for me, some points of comparison include:

1) being a "Have" at least compared to some citizens of the multicultural urban area we were both raised in (for me, Philly; for "Frankie" San Francisco) and then

2) feeling decidedly like a "Have Not" once financial aid sent us to an elite private university where we met the genuinely affluent and the filthy rich

3) divorced parents, and

4) one is Christian and one Jewish

and

5) some holidays where money was extremely tight although overall it sounds like my folks did a better job of remaining gainfully employed

I never knew that Hemingway's title To Have and Have Not must come from the Cervantes quotation at the beginning of Lefkowitz's book:

"There are only two families in the world, the haves and the have nots."

And it of course also reminds me of Tolstoy's "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." But until I just searched for it to get exact wording, I'd always attributed that quotation to Flaubert, not Tolstoy. (I should say I haven't read the major novels of either of these two.)

So now I know.

A little more.

Everyday.

Or less, if we're talking absolute value and accounting for the things I once knew but have since forgotten.

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