A Note From G

G.G is the hero of the novel G. by John Berger. G is a bit of a picarro wandering through Italy before the Great War and racking up sexual adventures. Along the way the narrator (presumably the aforementioned G) tells stories of the events and characters he meets (or seduces) in his travels around Italy and parts of Europe. The narrator also stops and makes editorial comments on those activities and on the developments going on in Europe.

I find that most historical fiction nowadays is best accepted less as a reflection of the past but moreover as a comment on the present, especially as the present leads into the future. In G. we have several such passages; here is just one:

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Women Hold Up Half the Sky

I realize that until fairly recently women were viewed more as possessions than as human beings. If men were able to create life themselves, I’m sure women would still be indentured servants at best, and possibly even go the way of the passenger pigeon.

This makes sex the most primary human activity, more important even than making money.

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Upton Sinclair

Upton SinclairMost people know Upton Sinclair for his “muckraking” novel, The Jungle, and now a few more know of his novel Oil! which was made into the critically successful movie, There Will Be Blood, but very few people know just how prolific Sinclair was: he wrote fiction, essays, even a few dramas. To give you an idea of his impressive output, here is the list from Wikipedia:

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