Fifty years later, “the problem that has no name” has both a name and numbers, but little seems to have changed.
More plain disgust than surprise.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Sweet. The Sweets live with their two children, ‘the beautiful Persephone’ and ‘the young Heracles,’ in Vermont, in a house that author Shirley Jackson once owned.
The couple’s marital decay is the story of Jamaica Kincaid’s See Now Then. A middling classical composer, Mr. Sweet is prideful, selfish and loathes family life. While he maintains affection for Persephone, he rejects Heracles, who loves toy warriors and sports heroes but not classical music. Eventually Mr. Sweet rejects his wife and children for another woman, a different life.
Mr. Sweet is Hades to Mrs. Sweet’s Demeter. Kincaid’s referencing the myth is apt: Mixing Jackson and Greek mythology makes See Now Then a cold tragicomedy of American domesticity.
From Walton Muyumba’s review of See Now Then
— 10 February 2013, Dallas Morning News
Here’s are my favorite parts.
First, the safety net works too well:
This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a…