A CHORUS OF STONES by Susan Griffin

A CHORUS OF STONES

The Private Life of War
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Griffin (Made from this Earth, 1983; Pornography and Silence, 1981, etc.) turns her thoughtful if chronically depressed gaze to the relationship between secrecy and violence, both in the world and in personal relationships. ``I cannot be certain how far back in human history the habit of denial can be traced,'' writes Griffin. ``But it is at least as old as I am.'' Beginning, then, with the birth of modern warfare in this century, she proceeds to interweave tales of evil made possible by governmental lies and secrets with personal recollections of the toxic falsehoods maintained by her own and others' families. Griffin's point is that there is a profound connection between the monumental horrors of concentration camps in Germany, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the dangerous side-effects of nuclear-arms development, and the unexpected high-tech warfare of the Gulf War--all facilitated by governmental denial and suppression of the facts--and the alcoholism, suicides, depression, and shattered psyches that litter her own and others' family lives. Whether suppression of personal unpleasantness may be a reflection of, or a cause of denial in, the larger world is a fascinating question that Griffin examines only superficially. In fact, her utter despair as she recounts our modern horror stories (``I have come to believe that our shared movement toward nuclear war is a movement toward mass suicide'') eclipses any analysis beyond the vaguely psychoanalytical, and discourages the bold and persistent investigation necessary to expose the truths behind the falsehoods. Somber, elliptical, and defeatist--certainly less than such a study might have been.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-41857-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1992




MORE BY SUSAN GRIFFIN

NonfictionTHE BOOK OF THE COURTESANS by Susan Griffin
by Susan Griffin
NonfictionWHAT HER BODY THOUGHT by Susan Griffin
by Susan Griffin
NonfictionTHE EROS OF EVERYDAY LIFE by Susan Griffin
by Susan Griffin