I was reading an article that noted those who write novels that take place in the past or who do memoirs depend upon the passage of time. It would be hard to make sense of things in real time, but over the years thoughts coalesce and perspective changes.
And then in the same day I watch Laura Bush on Oprah hawking her new book. I don’t think she needs the money, but she is doing her best to lay the ground work for a Bush legacy.
And there was the charming and gracious and even a bit modest Laura Bush and then the twin Bush daughters, once portrayed in the popular media as wild out-of-control college girls (girls just want to have fun), now two rich girls who are dedicating their lives to do good.
And the one daughter, the one who looks just like her daddy (well if her daddy was a young girl), makes the case, one she said was made to the Obama girls in a letter by her and her twin sister, that those who criticize the president (be he George W. or Barack) don’t know the real man who is a father and who is lovable.
And while I don’t think they (the Bushes) are particularly bad people (I do not really know), I come away almost thinking, gosh how could I or anyone else not love em. They’re so all-American — rich, never have to do real work or even fix their own meals, any of them, but lovable nonetheless.
I almost feel ashamed for every doubting them.
But I also recall my folks telling me that when Harry S Truman was president (I was only a few years old at the time), one heck of a lot of people did not like him. But a couple decades after he left office he becomes a folk hero — “the buck stops here” and “give em Hell Harry” and so on. He was a Democrat, but for some reason Republicans often use his name favorably, vowing to act the way he would.
So now the project to create a folk hero out of George W. Bush has begun. Laura has her book in the stores now and George is working on one (probably has to have Laura look up the big words).
Actually in that article about waiting for the passage of time, a novelist had apparently written about the past when it was the present. It was about the writings of the late Irene Nemirovsky, who died in a Nazi concentration camp. He writings, found by family in a journal, were published a few years ago in a book called “Suite Francaise”. (The reference I read to the book was in the May 3 Roger Cohen column in the New York Times.)