Charles Clanton Rogers

Reflections based on poetry, music, visual art, book reviews, history of science, first-person history, philosophical essays and International Blogging

https://clanton1934.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/56-the-earl-of-essex-his-galliard-p-42-_can-she-excuse_.m4aphoto27211

 

Although bbnewsab conceded that my review of Never Let Me Go was my best effort thus far, my Swedish critic  required some “more blood out of the stone”.     ; o)>

[An aside: Although I don’t recall that Ishiguro has mentioned it, it can’t be insignificant that he was born in Nagasaki only fifteen years after an atomic bomb leveled it.]

The following is an attempt to placate PV (bbnewsab). The “rest of you may talk amongst yourselves” while he and I sort out the lack of my first attempt at a review.(ha ha not seriously)

bbnewsab:  “But I don’t quite understand what emotions or feelings this book woke up in your brain and your heart, KK.
I can easily understand the anger and disgust you must have felt by reading about, for example, Joseph Mengele’s twin experiments and other horrible Holocaust memories brought up to the surface by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Likewise, it’s not hard to realize that this novel must also be about real and genuine love (an emotion closely related to happiness and joy).
But I’m a demanding man, KK. :o)
Now I want you to tell me – and other followers – more about the emotions caused in your brain and heart by this author and his book.”

51obZREOAtL._SL300_

Me: [The “mystery-thriller” component requires no discussion on my part]

. The other two themes echo in major parts of my life: (a) platonic love and  (b) clinical research on human subjects.

(a) I was born into a family who had a profound reverence for and appreciation of the incalculable value of each human life (actually all life).  I was the oldest grandchild, and a male (steward of the family jewels). I felt the “I am yours” kind of love every day. I was also charged with delivering this quality to future generations. I hereby pass this torch to my readers.

Click on the following link to understand the loving environment in which I was reared and educated:

“You can live without the person who says You are mine. But you can not live without someone who says I am yours. May you be blessed with at least one such person in life!”― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

I was truly blessed by knowing nothing less than unconditional love from a family who impressed upon me: “I  am yours”!

Where I grew up, there is an expression: “Now and then, even a blind hog stumbles upon an acorn.” As an adult, I have stumbled upon more than one treasure. First of all my bride followed, by my progeny, all of whom, on anniversaries and birthdays, reaffirm that they are mine, unconditionally.

As a physician, I have learned that many troubled people are primarily suffering from not having someone who has said that they are theirs.  I previously wrote: “…. we are … emotionally incomplete. Various psychological elements also connect us to [our] network. We obsessively need to be with others. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are just components of a network.” [Our “lifeboat” is not just many individuals, but an ever-expanding living system.] “The irrepressible force of life leaves no stone unturned in seeking ways to extend the invaluable larger LIFE [of which we are the temporary stewards]. We obsessively need to be with others. We think we are separate, but we are one. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are just components of a network..  Life has a purpose; the purpose is the process; the process is the product. It all requires mutually caring with platonic loving exchanges.

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”  Friedrich Nietzsche

(b) The other major theme is Ishiguro’s strong accusation of the subordination of the welfare of the vulnerable (especially children) to the perceived needs of a larger (and older) society.

Other treasures that I stumbled upon was a student’s place in medical school and later I was awarded  N.I.H. clinical research grants [Principle Investigator]. I was charged with the responsibility of testing cyclotron neurons in human cancer therapy.

images-29            images-28

As these treatments required exposure to relatively hazardous doses of heavy particle radiation, obtaining informed consent was, correctly, essential. The question of treating children with exposure to this experimental treatment was a special case. The legal opinion held that no child could understand the risks, and, therefore, could not, legally, give informed consent. It was even doubted that a parent had the right or clairvoyance to see how the coming adult form of this child would feel about having been a subject to this treatment.

I sat upon several N.I.H. Ethics Committee, deliberating the ethics and legal constraints on informed consent.

In the novel, neither Kathy H., Ruth or Tommy (nor their absent parents) had informed consent  [spoiler alert!]  in the subordination of their inherent human rights.

“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we’d have kept a tighter hold of one another.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

In summary, Ishiguro touched two disparate, but cherished, parts of my life. bbnewsab, I hope that these expanded remarks are adequately professorial.

13 thoughts on “Blogger’s GPS – Additional notes on Never Let Me Go

  1. bbnewsab says:

    @clanton1934: Indeed you managed to add extra value to your first book review by this “review supplement”. Both blogposts taken together really complement each other!

    Now, after reading both the original review and this “supplement”, I come to think of what Schopenhauer once said/wrote: “In our early youth we sit before the life that lies ahead of us like children sitting before the curtain in a theater, in happy and tense anticipation of whatever is going to appear. Luckily we do not know what really will appear.”

    Or in my own, more banal, words: The goal (of our lives) is, of course, of big interest, but what really matters is what happens during our life’s journey towards that goal.

    Harshly speaking, the end station of our lives is always DEATH.

    We will all arrive at that end station some day in our lives.

    So why focus on that gloomy and dreadful “goal”?

    IMHO it’s much better to try to live NOW – and try to do the best you can while living.

    There is no second try for you (unless you are a true believer in religious bullshit dogmas).

    Then the conclusion must be: Why not, like Kazuo Ishiguro (and now also you, KK!), instead, move the attention to our childhood. where it all starts?

    Much of our lives revolves around that period of life – even later on after entering adulthood.

    Being a child means being malleable – and full of expectations. You have your whole (at least almost) in front of you.

    Some of us are lucky to be born into a – put in your words, KK – “loving environment in which [to be] reared and educated”.

    Others, like me, drew a blank.

    I think most of us draw blanks.

    That is, we grow up—if we are lucky—in security and wonder, and afterwards we are delivered to the grotesque goals of life, that usually are not chosen by us.

    Therefore it’s not hard for me to agree with you, KK, that “it can’t be insignificant that [Kazuo Ishiguro] was born in Nagasaki only fifteen years after an atomic bomb leveled it”.

    Vestigia terrent! (The footprints are frightening!)

    You can’t avoid being influenced, both consciously and unconsciously, of your heritage. In fact, it’s impossible to evade your sociocultural and genetic heritage.

    That’s why I, the atheist, “believe” that folks, in order to survive their perceived Weltschmerz – find it easier to start believing in Hidden Causal Agents (HCAs) a.k.a. gods.

    It’s so easy, and sometimes also comforting, to close down one’s critical thinking and instead become a true believer.

    In short, many people prefer to enter into a kind of cocooned version of reality, hoping that such a choice (I doubt it is of “free will”) will provide some psychological comfort.

    I now want to pose this question to you, KK: Have you seen – or heard of – the movie “Brazil” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_(1985_film) ?

    I myself imagine that there are some simlilarities between Kazuo Ishiguro (or his dystopian novel) and that movie. The protagonist enters his own little fantasy world and feels at peace living there, obviously oblivious to the grim reality that is taking place outside his own little comfortable “bubble”.

    The message is clear: You can’t evade your past. But, and this is important, you ARE able to influence the one you are today and, maybe, at least partly, the one you’re going to be tomorrow.

    As far as I understand it, Kazuo Ishiguro is a dystopian author. But, if I have understood your book review correctly, KK, life is still – and will always be – about never to surrender too easily to setbacks and misfortune.

    We all have to understand, and accept, that life contains both tricks and treats. And that the choice is partly yours. Cf. the controversial view that depression is a learnt “behavior”

    BTW, beautiful music, KK! As usual. You can’t hide the fact that you’re a real music lover! Don’t even try to conceal that personality trait of yours. It’s meaningless, just a waste of time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      “I have no control over where I find myself. How I respond to my circumstances is for me to determine!” In Bridge and Poker, success is less about the hand one is felt but rather, how well one plays a poor hand.” It’s the same in the game of life! KK

      Liked by 1 person

      1. clanton1934 says:

        Of course, auto spell got me once again ! It should read: in the card games of Bridge and Poker, winning is less dependent on the quality of cards with one is DELT; but rather is dependent on learning how to play a “poor hand” WELL! This even more true in the game of life. “There is a tide in the affairs man, when taken at the flood, leads on to fortune!” (Brutus to Caesar)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Reblogged this on Mass Delusions a.k.a. Magical & Religious Woo-Bullshit Thinking and commented:
    My friend Charles Rogers is, as always, full of both knowledge and wisdom. On his blog he likes to review books that have touched his heart and/or brain.

    At the moment he and I are discussing a rather dystopian novel, “Never let me go”, written by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    The message of that book is that life is not a rose garden. Instead life can be seen as a bumpy pathway full of disappointments and broken expectations. But at the same time, as Charles Rogers puts it, even a blind hog can sometimes find an acorn to eat; i.e. life contains both tricks and treats.

    One of the many important messages from both Kazuo Ishiguro and Charles Rogers is that childhood matters – all life long.

    Life is about how to endure living. How to survive in an a world loaded with atrocities and trying to do the best out of what is happening and evolving before your eyes.

    Such questions and topics tend to lead to religion, or rather religious beliefs. In fact, eschatology can be defined as a part of theology, physics, and futurology, concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity.

    And that’s why I want to reblog this blog post.

    To make it clearer for my own followers, I now add a comment that I wrote in the comment field of Mr. Rogers’ blog post. So now I quote myself (not only to inflate my own ego:

    Now, after reading both the original review and this “supplement”, I come to think of what Schopenhauer once said/wrote: “In our early youth we sit before the life that lies ahead of us like children sitting before the curtain in a theater, in happy and tense anticipation of whatever is going to appear. Luckily we do not know what really will appear.”

    Or in my own, more banal, words: The goal (of our lives) is, of course, of big interest, but what really matters is what happens during our life’s journey towards that goal.

    Harshly speaking, the end station of our lives is always DEATH.
    We will all arrive at that end station some day in our lives.
    So why focus on that gloomy and dreadful “goal”?

    IMHO it’s much better to try to live NOW – and try to do the best you can while living.

    There is no second try for you (unless you are a true believer in religious bullshit dogmas).

    Then the conclusion must be: Why not, like Kazuo Ishiguro (and now also Charles Rogers), instead, move the attention to our childhood. where it all starts?

    Much of our lives revolves around that period of life – even later on, after entering adulthood.

    Being a child means being malleable – and full of expectations. You have your whole (at least almost) in front of you.

    Some of us are lucky to be born into a – put in your words, Mr. Rogers – “loving environment in which [to be] reared and educated”.

    Others, like me, drew a blank.

    I think most of us draw blanks.

    That is, we grow up—if we are lucky—in security and wonder, and afterwards we are delivered to the grotesque goals of life, that usually are not chosen by us.

    Therefore it’s not hard for me to agree with you, Charles, that “it can’t be insignificant that [Kazuo Ishiguro] was born in Nagasaki only fifteen years after an atomic bomb leveled it”.

    Vestigia terrent! (The footprints are frightening!)

    You can’t avoid being influenced, both consciously and unconsciously, of your heritage.

    In fact, it’s impossible to evade your sociocultural and genetic heritage.

    That’s why I, the atheist, “believe” that folks, in order to survive their perceived Weltschmerz – find it easier to start believing in Hidden Causal Agents (HCAs) a.k.a. gods.

    It’s so easy, and sometimes also comforting, to close down one’s critical thinking and instead become a true believer.

    In short, many people prefer to enter into a kind of cocooned version of reality, hoping that such a choice (I doubt it is of “free will”) will provide some psychological comfort.

    I now want to pose this question to you, KK: Have you seen – or heard of – the movie “Brazil” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_(1985_film) ?

    I myself imagine that there are some simlilarities between Kazuo Ishiguro (or his dystopian novel) and that movie.

    The protagonist enters his own little fantasy world and feels at peace living there, obviously oblivious to the grim reality that is taking place outside his own little comfortable “bubble”.

    The message is clear: You can’t evade your past. But, and this is important, you ARE able to influence the one you are today and, maybe, at least partly, the one you’re going to be tomorrow.

    As far as I understand it, Kazuo Ishiguro is a dystopian author. But, if I have understood your book review correctly, Charles, life is still – and will always be – about never to surrender too easily to setbacks and misfortune.

    We all have to understand, and accept, that life contains both tricks and treats.

    And that the choice is partly yours. Cf. the controversial view that depression is a learnt “behavior”.

    Like

  3. bbnewsab says:

    I wish other followers to join the debate. Don’t be shy to partake. Your views are also worth listening to.

    BTW, the Bible has a strongly deterministic view on this topic KK and I are discussing. Everything (in our lives) is settled beforehand by God Almighty. His plan of creation is steadily implemented. Not even a single hair can fall down to the ground/floor from your head if it’s not said so and validated in God’s great plan of creation.

    We can read in Psalm 139:16 (English Standard Version, ESV):

    16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

    BUT, as you all can see, if you follow this blodpost and its comments, both KK and I disagree with this utterly deterministic biblical view.

    Here’s a quote from KK confirming this disagreement: in the card games of Bridge and Poker, winning is less dependent on the quality of cards with one is DELT; but rather is dependent on learning how to play a “poor hand” WELL! This [is] even more true in the game of life. “There is a tide in the affairs man, when taken at the flood, leads on to fortune!” (Brutus to Caesar).

    On the other hand, neither KK (I’m pretty sure) nor I believe in extreme behaviorism.

    So where do you, who read this comment, stand? Closer to determinism or closer to behaviorism? Or somewhere in the middle, in between the both end points?

    Just for a start, have a look at what is said about determinism vs. behaviorism here: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090815085343AAohCta .

    Like

  4. Janice Wald says:

    Hi,
    It’s Janice. It’s my lunch hour at work. Perhaps I’m in the wrong post.
    I’m trying to find 1. Your Swedish friend’s question for me and
    2. My name and link to my blog. You wrote me today you had put them in your blog.
    Your cyber friend and dance partner,
    Janice

    Like

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I will e-mail a link to you.
      c

      Like

    2. clanton1934 says:

      Dear Janice, After a false start, this afternoon, I have posted one new post (Reincarnation) and 9/18 update (geography) I tagged you and a link to Mostly Blogging in each of these.
      I sent you a separate e-mail to you, for each, with the links to theses posts. I hope that is helpful.
      Charles

      Like

  5. Janice Wald says:

    Hi,
    Way too blue. Only picture of blue boy should be blue. Not legible enough; too dark. Once we have a theme we can play with color palette. I liked the blue boy since it looked like it belonged on a visual arts site.
    The monkey and other animal looked like a nature site,
    the men in the bottom photo looked like a history site.
    The babies with DNA looked like a Mommy blog.
    The zebra might belong on a visual arts site–cool!
    Also, the man in the blue graphic looks kind of naked now that I see him larger…
    Sorry. I’d put everything back.
    Did you find a theme you like with a right sidebar and tagline? Email me the answer. Thanks.
    Janice

    Like

  6. Janice Wald says:

    Your header looks amazing (put a small picture of you where the small jazz players are?) and you have a reblog button!
    Janice

    Like

  7. Janice Wald says:

    I love this theme–the orange reply boxes, your tagline is great! Are you self-hosting now or are you still on WordPress.com?
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clanton1934 says:

      I’m with WordPress.com; self hosting seems frightening.

      Liked by 1 person

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