The Human Stain PDF ´ The Human Kindle -

It is 1998 the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president and in a small New England town an aging Classics professor Coleman Silk is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist The charge is a lie but the real truth about Silk would astonish even his most virulent accuserColeman Silk has a secret one which has been kept for fifty years from his wife his four children his colleagues and his friends including the writer Nathan Zuckerman It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent upright man esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled And to understand also how Silk's astonishing private history is in the words of the Wall Street Journal magnificently interwoven with the larger public history of modern America


10 thoughts on “The Human Stain

  1. says:

    ”All he’d ever wanted from earliest childhood on as to be free not black not even white just on his own and free He meant no insult to no one by his choice nor was he trying to irritate anyone whom he took to be his superior nor was he staging some sort of protest against his race or hers He recognized that to conventional people for whom everything was ready made and rigidly unalterable what he was doing would never look correct But to dare to be nothing than correct had never been his aim The objective was for his fate to be determined not by the ignorant hate filled intentions of a hostile world but to whatever degree humanly possible by his own resolve Why accept a life on any other terms?”Coleman Silk went into the Navy as a Caucasian because his pigment allowed him to do so After a perceptive whore they are bona fide experts on the male anatomy in a brothel noticed something about his physique that gave him away as black he was hurled from the establishment His girlfriend in college who thought he was white met his parents only to learn differently She after a moment of hysterics dumped him It wasn’t hard to understand that life provided opportunities if the world perceived him as white The timely death of his father who would have put a kibosh on the whole thing gave him the freedom to choose His mother his brother and his sister were simply people that had to be carefully cut out of his life ”You don’t have to murder your father The world will do that for you There are plenty of forces out to get your father The world will take care of him as it had indeed taken care of Mr Silk”Silk married and landed a job at Athena College He advanced to the position of Dean of Faculty He was respected but as happens with most successful people he made enemies He also along the way had four kids which is four times that he was sitting in a waiting room offering up prayers to whatever deity would hear them with his fingers toes and everything else crossed hoping the baby would bewhite He dodged every bullet but as some wise man said there is always a bullet with your name on it Maybe it was just that he was old and didn’t move as fast as he used to but the bullet that caught him and cost him his job was bordering on ridiculous Where was the man that intimidated his kids with words? ”The father who never lost his temper The father who had another way to beating you down With words With speech With what he called ‘the language of Chaucer Shakespeare and Dickens’ With the English language that no one could ever take away from you and that Mr Silk richly sounded always with great fullness and clarity and bravado as though even in ordinary conversation he were reciting Marc Antony’s speech over the body of Caesar”I don’t think he took it seriously How could anyone? He was calling roll call for a class and noticed that two people were gone again and had been gone since the beginning of the quarter ”Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?”They were both black students Silk is charged with racism and dismissed I’ve never really understood the derogatory connotations of using the word Spook in regard to a black person Wouldn’t it make sense for black people to call white people spooks? I believe the term came into usage as a way to scare white children a ghost that would get them who had never seen a black person Regardless it does exist and any reasonable well educated person knows the word as a derogatory term when referring to people of color The problem with this charge of racism is intent If Silk had known the students were black would he have used the term? To me it was just a moment of levity out of frustration about students that weren’t attending class The problem is when your life is words you must select them carefully The irony of course is that he can’t reveal his most important secret even for the defense of his career Although that does beg the question can’t a black person make a racist comment against another black person? It can get rather confusion about who is capable of being guilty of what especially when race is indeterminate Silk’s wife dies and he believes the scandal killed her He goes off the rails accusing practically everyone he knows as being part of a grand conspiracy against him I sympathize because most of the time I feel the same way but I know they will slap a strait jacket on me and throw me into the nearest rubber room if I give them proper opportunity He actually finds a much fun way to put the final nail in the coffin of his reputation He seventy two starts having sex with a thirty four year old illiterate janitor and part time milk maid at the local dairy He requires the help of the “miracle drug of the 20th century” ”Thanks to Viagra I’ve come to understand Zeus’s amorous transformations That’s what they should have called Viagra They should have called it Zeus”Silk is falling in love with Faunia but she sets him straight ”He’d said to her ‘This is than sex’ and flatly she replied ‘ no it’s not You just forgot what sex is This is sex All by itself Don’t fuck it up by pretending it’s something else’”All is going well well that’s not true His kids are not speaking to him and he is receiving rebuking letters from his former colleagues most by the way who he had hired as Dean of Faculty His biggest problem is Fauna’s ex husband Les Farley a Vietnam vet who is as stable as nitroglycerin He is less than thrilled that his ex wife is blowing a seventy two year old man The war warped him in a way that can never be planed straight After the government trained him to be a killer and allowed him to embrace all his worst impulses by giving him the authority to shoot anything that moves with a machine gun from a helicopter they gave him two hundred dollars and a pat on the back for his service to his country See ya Les Good luck back in the real world Back in the real world he can’t eat at a Chinese restaurant without wanting to kill the waiter This story is set against the backdrop of the Clinton impeachment and Roth is able to worm into the text the opinions of various people about Slick Willie and Monica Lewinsky Silk’s own perceived indiscretion becomes magnified for the community already reeling from a President who nearly went down because the Essence of Bill was discovered on a navy blue dress At thirty four Fauna had been around the block a few times For anyone to think that Silk was taking advantage of her was ludicrous At what age does someone pass over the barrier of being able to be taken advantage of by someone older than themselves? Aren’t people close in age as capable of taking advantage whatever that entails as someone twenty thirty forty years older? There are so many great discussion points in this book You might even find the needle has moved on something you think of as a core belief I'm always questioning why I believe something and books like this put hockey puck ideas in my mind that bounce carom and sometimes hit the net proving that nothing is as firm a belief as I think it is If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at