Thursday, January 18, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter 25Z - Revision

Trivia - Todd Compton (author of Sacred Loneliness) originally didn't think Elvira and Joseph had consummated their sealing, as I recall from my e-mail correspondence with him. Then I pointed out the record left by Elvira's daughter, Phoebe, which I've referred to here several times. I understand Compton now thinks Elvira was intimate with Joseph.

Didn't know I was so persuasive...


pat said...

Perhaps it was the strain of driving in the 'winter blitz' that affected my reaction to your treatment of the story. I think however it was my reaction to the idea that somehow sex between Elvira and Joseph was tainted and to restrain themselves from the consummation was a better path. I do like your new version. I may be the only one. Thank you for making the alternative. For me it rings true, and as for making Jonathan suffer, he had already accepted the idea that Elivira was Joseph's while he lived. I am familiar with the form of marriage known as polyandry. In some cultures women marry two or more brothers because of paucity of land. To the amazement of anthropologists, the marriages seem content. In our normal culture we reject both polyandry and polygyny, preferring the idea of monogamy. We have become so affixed to the idea that true love only exists between a couple, that other forms of marriage seem suspect. When we see the attitude reflected in children who cannot believe that their parents can love more than one child, we laugh or feel sorrow for the mistaken idea. I do believe that Elivira could and did love both Joseph and Jonathan. I do believe that Jonathan, recognizing that he loved both Marietta and Elvira, did not have a 'hellish' reaction in the situation. In fact, by reserving his affection for the time that Joseph died, he might have had another reaction. He might feel a sort of guilt in the idea that Joseph must die before he could become Elvira's husband. In either case, the story is a fascinating one.

jl said...


What is wrong? You brought me here, knowing Emma would give me to Joseph. "I am well." She smilled. {smiled} Jonathan's eyes looked down and this time he didn't look at her again.

When I read the first version of chapters 25 and 26, I felt SO SO sad. My heart ached. Eliza and Jonathan had held up their end of their promise and Joseph just left her there all night alone AND Emma was OK with what she thought had happened. To have so many assumptions and so many misunderstandings.... It felt more like a love triangle rather than God's work. I sincerely hoped things would be made clear soon.

I much prefer the revised version. I do feel bad for Jonathan, that he has loved Elvira for so long and to know for sure that she really does belong to Joseph. I liken this to the feelings that Emma must have felt knowing that she had to share her husband. While Jonathan seems to love Elvira, the bit about Marietta seems to show that he still longs for her as well and might not so as ready to move on as he thought. I hope that Jonathan and Elvira will meet in the middle in due time. (Is that the right saying?)

I liked the part about Jonathan picking up Elvira and putting her in the bed. The first part included "What would Sarah think?" It seemed more for appearances once again. Without that line/question, it gives me hope that Elvira and Jonathan will still be able to love each other.

Jonathan also gives me another frame of reference on the whole "having to share" perspective. In the past, sharing my spouse was an absolute "NO WAY, NEVER!!!" Now that I have 3 young children, and two of those have special needs, and realize that I have strengths and weaknesses, I have had the thought cross my mind that it would be nice to have a team rather than try to do everything on my own. what I mean is that I see women who are naturally gifted in areas that I am not and that it would be nice to share in my daily responsibilities and have a conversation with an adult for a change.

daughterofheaven said...

I am considering a third approach to this section - which recall is entirely fictional and at least two removes from any documented facts. In my third approach, Joseph withdraws his hand from Elvira's before she can agree to the covenant, effectively rendering the ceremony void. After talking with Elvira that evening, Joseph brings Jonathan to her. But Jonathan is unable to bring himself to sleep with Elvira because of his concern that Elvira doesn't love him, his concern that she is truly Joseph's, and his fresh realization about what happened to Marietta. In this third version, Joseph does not have the conversation clarifying his desire for Elvira, although I may relay it second hand when Jonathan explains to Elvira why he feels she is truly Joseph's.

Pat said...

I think you have to either fish or cut bait. I personally feel that having them abstain is phony. Messing around with additions as you have suggested only confuses the issue more. If you are personally uncomfortable with the idea that they consummated their union, or if you feel your story is better served by having Elvira maintain her virginity until after Joseph dies, well, you are the author and as you say, this is a fiction.

dd said...

You asked:
>By the way, which version of
>chapter 25 did you prefer?

Well, I actually (emphatically) like the first version. I like the love story and innocence and honor in it. But also, as I read through the revised one, I realized it is more complicated and harder for me - the lazy reader who just wants to be entertained by a story based on fact - to follow. I had to think about relationships, what people were saying and the whole 'who should sleep with who and when and wht' kind of stuff. I like the first version best but both are fine -

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