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Second Harper Lee novel to be released in July


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I'm not at all convinced Harper Lee even knows this book is really being published.

 

She allegedly has lost her short term memory capacity due to a stroke, the only person who says she is all for this is her lawyer and she previously had signed away the entire copyright to Mockingbird to her agent [I think]...as well the lawyer's story of 'finding' the manuscript is shady as hell.

 

The State of Georgia considers her a living treasure and sent investigators to follow up this claim.

 

They determined there was no reason to believe she could not give consent and she was quite lucid, aware, and even witty.

 

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/04/03/Harper-Lee-wasnt-manipulated-into-publishing-book-investigation-finds/5851428089232/

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The State of Georgia considers her a living treasure and sent investigators to follow up this claim.

 

They determined there was no reason to believe she could not give consent and she was quite lucid, aware, and even witty.

 

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/04/03/Harper-Lee-wasnt-manipulated-into-publishing-book-investigation-finds/5851428089232/

 

 

All I see them say is that she "seems to be aware of the book deal"..which is pretty weak.  Not that she IS aware, but only that she seems to be aware and has opinions.  I'm not sure I even know what that means, especially in someone who it is said has lost their short term memory capacity.  She could be aware one minute and have no recollection 5 minutes later...in which case, this is not someone who is mentally able to countermand 50+ years of stated intent.

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All I see them say is that she "seems to be aware of the book deal"..which is pretty weak.  Not that she IS aware, but only that she seems to be aware and has opinions.  I'm not sure I even know what that means, especially in someone who it is said has lost their short term memory capacity.  She could be aware one minute and have no recollection 5 minutes later...in which case, this is not someone who is mentally able to countermand 50+ years of stated intent.

 

Ultimately, investigations into allegations of elder abuse, which is basically what was going on here, are confidential, and you would not and should not expect state officials to make public statements detailing all of the reasons for which they are satisfied that a person is not being abused. Several state agencies in Alabama were involved in the investigation into whether Lee is competent or was being taken advantage of and manipulated, and the unanimous conclusion is that the evidence doesn't indicate that she is. We're probably never going to get an answer more definitive than this, and it's enough for me. 

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Ultimately, investigations into allegations of elder abuse, which is basically what was going on here, are confidential, and you would not and should not expect state officials to make public statements detailing all of the reasons for which they are satisfied that a person is not being abused. Several state agencies in Alabama were involved in the investigation into whether Lee is competent or was being taken advantage of and manipulated, and the unanimous conclusion is that the evidence doesn't indicate that she is. We're probably never going to get an answer more definitive than this, and it's enough for me. 

 

This is a unique situation.  I doubt she is being abused, is she being financially taken advantage of?  I doubt that also, but of course we won't know anything about that until we know what/when is in her will.

 

Is she really competent to have okayed the release of this manuscript?  No, I don't think so, but I suspect this is also something that is not really within the purview of the state, since it isn't abuse, or neglect and she is probably getting all the proceeds, so on what concrete basis could a finding be made?

 

But, sorry the idea that after 50 years she willingly decides to publish a first draft of Mockingbird and demands that it be published  "as is" is complete and utter BS.  It had to be published "as is because Nelle Harper Lee is not able to participate in the editorial process in any way...she can't hear, see or retain her short term memory so she is incapable of editing or even proofing a novel.  There is no way I would believe she would ever knowingly allow publication of something that has word for word sections the same as Mockingbird.  It's sad.

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How? Watchmen was written before Mockingbird and was not edited in any way, and as such it cannot be considered a sequel or continuation of that story, just an earlier draft set in a different time telling a different plot. She took what she and her editor liked about Watchmen and made a different novel, and Watchman was what was discarded. Its only the fact that Watchman takes place after Mockingbird that allows people to try to find direct connections between the books, rather than just themes.

How?  Because the basic character of Atticus Finch didn't change when Mockingbird was later written/published.  Later, when the site is updated or when I get around to writing my review, I'll quote relevant passages on this issue.

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This is a unique situation.  I doubt she is being abused, is she being financially taken advantage of?  I doubt that also, but of course we won't know anything about that until we know what/when is in her will.

 

Is she really competent to have okayed the release of this manuscript?  No, I don't think so, but I suspect this is also something that is not really within the purview of the state, since it isn't abuse, or neglect and she is probably getting all the proceeds, so on what concrete basis could a finding be made?

 

But, sorry the idea that after 50 years she willingly decides to publish a first draft of Mockingbird and demands that it be published  "as is" is complete and utter BS.  It had to be published "as is because Nelle Harper Lee is not able to participate in the editorial process in any way...she can't hear, see or retain her short term memory so she is incapable of editing or even proofing a novel.  There is no way I would believe she would ever knowingly allow publication of something that has word for word sections the same as Mockingbird.  It's sad.

 

Okay, perhaps I was being imprecise. The law that authorizes the investigation that was done into the Harper Lee situation by the state is Alabama's Adult Protective Services Act of 1976. It covers not just "abuse" but also "neglect" and "exploitation." If Lee was incompetent to consent to the publishing of her book, it would be exploitation ("the expenditure, diminution, or use of the property, assets or resources of a protected person without the express voluntary consent of that person or his or her legally authorized representative."). The statute also deals with the question of capacity.

 

I just find it a little strange that you seem to have such a strong attachment to your belief as to the facts of the case when, as near as I can tell, you have zero contact with Harper Lee and are certainly in a worse position to make these factual determinations than the people on the ground investigating. 

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All I see them say is that she "seems to be aware of the book deal"..which is pretty weak.  Not that she IS aware, but only that she seems to be aware and has opinions.  I'm not sure I even know what that means, especially in someone who it is said has lost their short term memory capacity.  She could be aware one minute and have no recollection 5 minutes later...in which case, this is not someone who is mentally able to countermand 50+ years of stated intent.

 

Doctor reports I've found are that she still has short term memory and that the stroke only affected her vision and hearing.

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perfectly acceptable for attorneys to act as mandataries, and for authorized agents to act on behalf of incompetent principals, y'all pack of greasy proto-teabaggers. that's all basic capitalism 101.

 

Also, people who can walk around versus 90 year old ladies.

 

But either way, I think both sides have mostly made up their minds.

 

Not much is going to change.

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The State of Georgia considers her a living treasure and sent investigators to follow up this claim.

 

They determined there was no reason to believe she could not give consent and she was quite lucid, aware, and even witty.

 

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/04/03/Harper-Lee-wasnt-manipulated-into-publishing-book-investigation-finds/5851428089232/

 

 Monroeville, Alabama. That's where HL was born and where she lives.  Not Georgia.

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 Harper Lee is blind, deaf, and suffers from dementia. She has stated for over 50 years that she did not want to publish another book. The book that was published was discarded by her and rewritten into a master piece in literature. All of these facts coupled with the knowledge that this book is setting sales records and making people very rich tells me that she is being taken advantage of.

 

 I see very little difference morally between reading this book and looking at nude celebrity pics from hacked cell phones. In some ways this is actually much worse as one can argue that Ms. Lee is far more naked and raw with her words being exposed than someone who just has their clothes off. I will not be reading this book.

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 Harper Lee is blind, deaf, and suffers from dementia. She has stated for over 50 years that she did not want to publish another book. The book that was published was discarded by her and rewritten into a master piece in literature. All of these facts coupled with the knowledge that this book is setting sales records and making people very rich tells me that she is being taken advantage of.

 

 I see very little difference morally between reading this book and looking at nude celebrity pics from hacked cell phones. In some ways this is actually much worse as one can argue that Ms. Lee is far more naked and raw with her words being exposed than someone who just has their clothes off. I will not be reading this book.

 

Honestly, I find some of these claims to be questionable or overstated. 

 

I can accept that Lee is mostly blind and mostly deaf, and that she suffers from some memory loss after her stroke. Whether the impact on her memory rises to the level of "dementia" has never been determined as near as I can tell, nor whether the impact on her memory results in her legal incapacity - that is to say, she lacks the ability to make major life decisions herself. 

 

I also question this oft-repeated claim that she has consistently and repeatedly stated over a 50 year period that she didn't want this book published. I've tried to google actual statements from Lee on this issue, and I just don't really see any. As far as I'm aware, she hasn't given media interviews in something like 50 years, and I'm not sure that we can interpret 50 years of radio silence in the manner that you do.

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Honestly, I find some of these claims to be questionable or overstated. 

 

I can accept that Lee is mostly blind and mostly deaf, and that she suffers from some memory loss after her stroke. Whether the impact on her memory rises to the level of "dementia" has never been determined as near as I can tell, nor whether the impact on her memory results in her legal incapacity - that is to say, she lacks the ability to make major life decisions herself. 

 

I also question this oft-repeated claim that she has consistently and repeatedly stated over a 50 year period that she didn't want this book published. I've tried to google actual statements from Lee on this issue, and I just don't really see any. As far as I'm aware, she hasn't given media interviews in something like 50 years, and I'm not sure that we can interpret 50 years of radio silence in the manner that you do.

Look, the facts are the facts in this case. She is blind. She is deaf. She suffers from memory loss (which is dementia). The book that was published was rejected and rewritten by herself when she was not in this state, and she repeatedly said that she did not want to publish another book. You aren't going to google many statements by her because she avoided the press like the plague her entire life, but people close to her have always maintained this. Seven years ago, she had lunch with Oprah, (not an interview because she wouldn't do that), and Oprah repeated this claim.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/11/my-lunch-with-harper-lee-oprah-winfrey-go-set-watchman

 

 

 

I knew 20 minutes into the conversation that I would never be able to convince her to do an interview, and it is not my style to push. I decided to relax and enjoy the time I had. Because honey, she was not going to be convinced at all. She said to me: “I already said everything I needed to say. Already we have those buses coming down to my house, and they pull up to the door still looking for Boo Radley, and I just don’t want that to happen any more than it already does.” She said no, and I knew that no meant no. Sometimes no means no, “Hmm, let us see what else you have to say.” But when Harper Lee said no, I knew that was the end of it. I just enjoyed the lunch.
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Eh, I ended up writing a review late tonight.  Although it's not as spoiler-laden as the print reviews, there might be a few revelations in there for those who don't like this sort of thing, so click on the review if you don't mind such things.

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 Harper Lee is blind, deaf, and suffers from dementia. She has stated for over 50 years that she did not want to publish another book. The book that was published was discarded by her and rewritten into a master piece in literature. All of these facts coupled with the knowledge that this book is setting sales records and making people very rich tells me that she is being taken advantage of.

 

 I see very little difference morally between reading this book and looking at nude celebrity pics from hacked cell phones. In some ways this is actually much worse as one can argue that Ms. Lee is far more naked and raw with her words being exposed than someone who just has their clothes off. I will not be reading this book.

 

I agree.  Anyone who thinks that a woman who spent 2 years rewriting Mockingbird and then for whatever reason was never willing or able to publish another novel, would agree to have this work published without her even reading it/hearing it, copy editing it, where it still has the word for word segments that are the same as TKAM excised is fooling themselves.  

 

Her lawyer's story on how the manuscript was discovered has changed and is different from what the others present say.  There is other evidence that Harper Lee is, if not incompetent in a legal sense, she is certainly not able to make such a momentous decision that affects her legacy at this time.  Again, this is a woman who 7 years ago signed away the copyright for Mockingbird, so that long ago, she was no longer 'with it'...

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People keep assuming she is not of sane mind or body, but I haven't seen anything in here rebut the State investigation with anything by conclusory statements (e.g., she's not of sound mind ergo the State investigation was incompetent).

I don't have any strong opinions one way or another on this topic, though the story about signing away rights seven years ago plus the memory loss seem like strong a priori indications she isn't all there.

Has anyone seen a rational criticism of the state investigation?
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