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Praise for Hariette PDF E-mail
Hariette Survell’s brother, a vivid character in her memoirs, responds to her disemboweling of the movie “Precious”:

1) Extremely insightful, perceptive.

2) Well-written, lively, even provocative style

3) Your key point about the Jewish Hollywood producers being racist is well-taken, but could you add what I think is the obvious corollary, namely, that the state of Israel has treated its non-Jewish citizens as they were treated by Nazis and other anti-Semites? I don't think this would be too "controversial."

4) Hebrew phrase "Shalom...YIsrael": I think it might be translated so people know what the fuck it means. Even I (of Jewish descent) don't...

5) Might mention also that not only the Jews were racist vis-a-vis Blacks in Hollywood, that it was part of a more generalized white racism. But the obvious point is that one would think and hope that the Jews would have more empathy, decency, and understanding...probably just indicates the universal human tendency of all groups to use scapegoats whenever possible...

6) You say in NYC gay marriage is "illegal"--better to say it is "not legal" (yet)

7) You imply that it is absurd that the family has plants & pets...I am not sure this is true. I think it is possible...

8) You question the fact that the child of 2 dark-skinned parents is light-skinned, but I think it certainly is possible, and one often hears about such cases, given that genes can come out at any time, with any generation...

9) You say the name Mongo has implications of Mongo Santamaria's mental capacity--I think this is perhaps subjective on your part, a bit of a stretch, and is overly reflective of your subjective feelings; the use of Mongo may simply be coincidental

10) The title is creative, but I wonder whether it is too out there, that because it uses the worst kind of racist paraphrases of Black speech it may actually be taken as insensitive.

Bro Karl, December 25, 2009

Other reactions to the savaging of “Precious”:

your review of precious was WONDERFUL! 

very well written. right on point about oprah, and the inconsistencies...everything!

my take on it from last week:

December 26, 2009
Ishmael Reed, who savaged “Precious” himself in a New York Times op-ed piece, also praises Hariette:

WOW!! Hariette Surovell, Thanks for this piece. It's terrific. Best, Ishmael

ps say hello to my old friend Andrei

February 6, 2010
On “Witches and Ghosts”

Hi Robin,

Nice to talk with you. I went to the exquisite cadaver site and was fascinated by Harriette's work. She grew in a different America than I did at the same time! I realized I knew that title from reading about the surrealists, not the publication.

Thanks for the heads up!

More work in 2010!

Ed Cionek
January 11, 2010

read some of "witches and ghosts", and wow, the rosenbergs, columbia records, artist abe... great stories har!

Jeff Abell
January 28, 2010

The beauty of this kind of writing and why I always preferred memoirs over fiction is that it takes me away to other places, other times. Stuff like Revolutionary Road or Stepford Wives or Updike or anything else from the post-war period (East Coast at least) drives me up the wall. There is more drama and poignancy in your memories of lilacs growing in your secret garden than in all the hyped up tragedy and guignol of those writers.

More please
Martin Blythe, author "Sexual Fables"

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