Talk:Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

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Edited area of grandparents origin. Barbara was my second cousin, and we know for a fact that our family is from Abruzzo. In her book "Italian Days" she even mentions visiting relatives in Abruzzo.

Thanks. Any other information you can add will be greatly appreciated. Perodicticus 08:28, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Mistake on this page?[edit]

The page says that Harrison won the O. Henry Award for her short fiction novel but the O. Henry Website has this entry: "Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, "To Be", The Iowa Review, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1987, 1989, Abrahams" on their past winners page.

dead link[edit]

Visions of Glory -- full text, reprinted on Also, I haven't read the book, so wouldn't know what Ms. Harrison stated, but are these her words or an editor's interpretation of her book,

she portrayed the faith itself as brutal, racist and sexist.

Natural (talk) 00:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)Natural

I have made a slight adjustment to the terms used, to reflect the words Harrison uses at the end of chapter one: harsh, tyrannical, racist and sexist. She may use the term "brutal" as well, but those terms should suffice as a reflection of her views on the religion in which she was raised and for whose world headquarters she worked. The article is woefully short of references; if anyone has more to add, please do so. BlackCab (talk) 07:08, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Apparently the book is no longer on the Internet? if it uses those words, they don't come up in Google search. Is that correct?
Also, this is not part of the article, because if she said that in her book, that's her opinion. But if anyone accuses JW of being racist, that is about as far from the truth as could possibly be the case. JW are about the most un-racist religion there is. The Bible itself is accused of as being sexist, esp. the Apostle Paul, who JW follow. Again, that's not going to appear in the article on Harrison. But for the record. Natural (talk) 10:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)Natural
Her viewpoint on the religion is very much part of the article. Her writings were strongly critical of the religion, so therefore the article notes that. It's unimportant what your views are on the subject of racism. The article notes her views, which were about the Jehovah's Witness religion, not about the Bible. BlackCab (talk) 11:42, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
BlackCab, you're a bit of a rude dood. You need to learn to be polite. Natural (talk) 09:39, 4 November 2011 (UTC)Natural
The point previously was the way Harrison used the descriptive words used here in Wikipedia. Harrison, in using the word tyrannical, does not refer this adjective to the Jehovah's Witness religion, rather, she states, "assurance that the day of the Lord is at hand, when all manner of blessings shall be their reward and the evil oppressors shall be blotted out. In search of an ultimate solution, they give themselves over to a tyrannical force. Jehovah's Witnesses are a microcosm of mankind trying desperately, often painfully, to find possibility, hope and grace in a moral wilderness."
The adjective tyrannical can then be interpreted to mean different things based on Harrison's words. The current Wikipedia version can remove the word tyrannical from the adjectives it offers as to Harrison's opinion of JW, and might be considered to be an editorial interpretation of her words, rather than her description itself.

Summary - the adjective tyrannical can be edited from the Wikipedia text, and is used in Wikipedia differently than Harrison used it. Natural (talk) 22:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)Natural

You may interpret her use of "tyrannical" any way you want, but in the context her use of the word as a description of the methodology of the religion is clear. BlackCab (talk) 23:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
For an individual editor, one's personal interpretation or viewpoint, it is probably clear. However, Wikipedia states the following,
This means that we only publish the opinions of reliable authors, and not the opinions of Wikipedians who have read and interpreted primary source material for themselves.
I don't see in this context that she is describing JW religion as tyrannical, even though she used the word in her book, her book is not necessarily about JW, it c,ontains broader topics, including some universal ones, as in this paragraph. So what she actually meant by that is a little ambiguous. It the interpretation of one Wikipedian editor over what she wrote, which Wikipedia doesn't permit. I would have to read the entire context of the chapter to discern what she meant by that, and that is true of the other comments as well. These are little snippets of words, that Wikipedia editor generalizes into a concise damning summary of JW by Barbara Harrison. If we were to read the whole book, it might provide pros and cons, rather than all cons.Natural (talk) 00:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)Natural
It is quite an admission that you are dismissing her description without having bothered to read at least one chapter of the book. I have read the book. She uses many adjectives to describe the religion; "tyrannnical" is one of them. BlackCab (talk) 00:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I read a section of the book, with the word tyrannical. It doesn't seem that she is necessarily calling the religion tyrannical, but speaking on a higher philosophical level. Do you have the exact quote? with a little buffer for the context.Natural (talk) 03:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)Natural

Really, I don't think there's much value in having this conversation. The section you quoted above is only part of a paragraph. You have deliberately chosen not include the opening of that paragraph, which leaves the reader in no doubt that it is the religion she is talking about. You seem unwilling to believe that an author who describes a religion as "harsh, disciplinary, self-negating ... demonstrably racist and sexist" and later describes "leaving that stale, dry religion (which was a form of servitude)" could actually be referring to that same religion when she says its members are oppressed people who "give themselves over to a dull submission to a tyrannical force".

You have argued that she didn't mean what she said. The article simply states what she does say. You are creating arguments over nothing, splitting hairs and wasting time. Your arguments are pointless, baseless and tedious and you are becoming more troll-like with every comment on talk pages. BlackCab (talk) 10:30, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I only have a snippet of the book. I don't have the entire book or context to read, I'm just going by the snippet, short paragraph. In any case, I understand that the article is showing her personal views rather than commentary as a whole on JW, but for the record, anyone who claims that Jehovah's Witnesses have ever been racist, is just throwing around words or slander, because I don't think anyone has ever accused JW of that. Where she came up with that idea I can't figure. The only issues with JW and racism appear to be in Russel's time, who didn't exercise his authority in a lot of things in the early Bible Students, he let things come up as they did. In Rutherford's time, there were many African American appointees, and it seems as if two members of the Governing Body were African American, current, Samuel Herd, about 10 years appointed, and previous, according to this source, William K. Jackson, although I don't know about that personally.
Source: African American Religious Cultures, Finley.'s+witnesses+african+americans&safe=strict&hl=en&ei=r7CzTpjCOqTs0gH7y7S3BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=jehovah's%20witnesses%20african%20americans&f=false

This is not intended to be part of the article, but the accusation of racism by Harrison seems strange and is the first time I've heard anything like that. The opposite idea I've heard expressed that JW are a black religion. I'd be interested in knowing where she was coming from with that.Natural (talk) 09:37, 4 November 2011 (UTC)Natural