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  #201  
Old 12-02-2013, 03:11 PM
Hentor the Barbarian is offline
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Is Liz despondent due to the hurt she is causing?


Just look at the way she writes about their life: “We mutually anticipated that I would …be happy to live in a big, busy household full of children and homemade quilts.” What she is saying is that they shared hopes for the future, at least as far as her husband knew. Saying that “they mutually anticipated” that she would be happy to settle down sounds more like some kind of contract, some unwritten agreement. It lacks any sense of responsibility that she might have had of giving him the idea that they both shared this dream.

So, we’ve been told that the book describes how difficult the whole thing was for Liz. That the aloof, dispassionate demonstration of the process in the movie does not do justice to the content of the book. One piece of evidence was supposedly the extreme despondency shown in the scene in the bathroom. But the description in the book does not suggest she is experiencing any concerns for her husband’s feelings. Instead, it’s pretty clear that she is extraordinarily self-pitying. She reiterates the line, in italics, “I don’t want to be married anymore.” The depiction in the book is just exactly that, she is despondent because she does not want to be married anymore, not because she has any sense of regret or remorse or compassion for the difficulty that she is causing her husband. Even the big, guiding inner voice is remarkably self-pitying. What does the voice of insight, the one that allows her to move from weeping in the bathroom to divorce, tell her? “Go back to bed, Liz.”

That isn’t introspection. That’s letting yourself off the hook. Her voice says, in essence, stop worrying about this and get some sleep. Good advice, I agree, but not insightful or introspective or showing any recognition that you are out of the blue pulling the rug out from under the feet of someone else’s dreams.
  #202  
Old 12-02-2013, 03:12 PM
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Further into the depths of this woman's lack of insight


What I think is remarkably revealing of a complete lack of insight is that just a few pages after crying in the bathroom that “I don’t want to be married anymore” and having no recognition why her husband and partner of 8 years couldn’t just happily divide up the property and move on, she goes into a description of the relationship with David she “dove into” immediately upon leaving her husband. (By the way, David is an actor and is performing a play based on some short stories that she wrote. I note this because in my opinion it lends credence to the suggestion that this relationship was developing concurrently in the months of despondency and of wanting not to be married anymore.)

So, she is describing the mad passion that she and David are enjoying with one another, but she goes on to blame 9/11 and her conflictual divorce for some continued emotional difficulties she is having. She says that she essentially literally “did not sleep for four months” and that she “was a murky hole of bottomless grief.” She writes,
Quote:
“That’s when I saw the other side of my passionate romantic hero – the David who was solitary as a castaway, cool to the touch, in need of more personal space than a herd of American bison.

David’s sudden emotional back-stepping probably would have been a catastrophe for me even under the best of circumstances, given that I am the planet’s most affectionate life-form (something like a cross between a golden retriever and a barnacle), but this was my very worst of circumstances. […]The fact is, I had become addicted to David (in my defense, he had fostered this, being something of a “man-fatale”)…”
Again, this is mere pages after saying how she started crying to herself about not wanting to be married anymore but not being able to explain that to her husband for months until one night she had the clarity to go back to bed and stop worrying about it. Not only is it wholly ironic that someone who just told us how she fell out of love with her partner and husband could also ask us to believe that she is a cross between a golden retriever and a barnacle, but anyone with an ounce of empathy (in particular, the ability to take the perspective of someone else, as well as to understand the affective experiences of someone else) would be able to see how her husband might have felt the pain of his wife, over the span of a few months, becoming isolative, withdrawn and seeing him as in part “an albatross” - in the very same way that she feels the pain of David's isolative need for space.

Note also that it really isn’t her fault, seeing as how David “fostered this.”

Last edited by Hentor the Barbarian; 12-02-2013 at 03:14 PM.
  #203  
Old 12-02-2013, 04:44 PM
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Perhaps not coincidentally, Ross Douthat and I had the very same reaction to the book/movie: wow, what a shallow, self-absorbed person!

More specifically, we both had some of the same big questions- for starters, Gilbert spends all her time in Italy eating and all her time in India "praying." But why? Italy is filled with some of the world's most magnificent cathedrals. Did she never feel an urge to stop and pray in one of them? Apparently not, and it's not hard to guess why not. The God worshipped in Italy's Catholic cathedrals is a God who actually makes demands of us. He often tells us to do things we'd rather not do (like, oh, stick to vows we took before Him?). He also tells us NOT to do things we'd like to do.

THAT is not the kind of god ELizabeth Gilbert wants to believe in. She wants a god who, like her old college girlfriends, will just listen to her vent and tell her, "You're wonderful, and anything you want is okay by me."

When she prayed, did she ask God "Help me to be a better wife"? Or "Help me rediscover the love I had for my husband"? Don't be silly! She prayed for God to make her husband sign the divorce papaers and stop inconveniencing her!

Her god exists to make her feel very, very, VERY good about herself. And she already liked herself an awful lot.
  #204  
Old 12-02-2013, 06:24 PM
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She. Didn't. Blame. Him. The only reason she gives is that she did not want to have kids, and did not want the life her marriage was heading for. She implies her husband was not an angel, but gives no details. She is equally hard on herself.

She said almost nothing about their marriage. She did talk about his behavior after the divorce, and related several things that he said to herwell after the marriage was over.
This isn't quite true. She does explicitly blame him. She writes:
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The many reasons I didn’t want to be this man’s wife anymore are too personal and too sad to share here. Much of it had to do with my problems, but a good portion of our troubles were related to his issues, as well. That’s only natural; there are always two figures in a marriage, after all – two votes, two opinions, two conflicting sets of decisions, desires and limitations. But I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to discuss his issues in my book.
Clearly she wants to portray him as being equally responsible for the end of their marriage, without having to say quite how so. In my opinion, it's worse to say this than to actually describe in more detail how he was responsible. The way she does it, she gets to say he's half at fault without letting anyone else judge for him- or herself.

As far as his not wanting to have kids, she never asserts that he does, at least in any particular way that would lead to irreconcilable differences. She more passively describes how they had mutual expectations for children. I had taken from posters here that he was somehow insistent upon girls, but her description suggests otherwise.
  #205  
Old 12-02-2013, 07:49 PM
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First, i opened this thread thinking "why is "cunt" permitted in the thread title?

Then, I noticed it was a zombie thread from 2010.

Then, i realized i have no idea who Elizabeth Gilbert is/was, and if she was a real person or a fictionalized character.

Based on some of the responses, I decided I don't care!

Carry on.

Who IS Elizabeth Gilbert? No need to answer, I will wikigoogle her after posting this.
  #206  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:22 PM
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This isn't quite true. She does explicitly blame him. She writes:Clearly she wants to portray him as being equally responsible for the end of their marriage, without having to say quite how so. In my opinion, it's worse to say this than to actually describe in more detail how he was responsible. The way she does it, she gets to say he's half at fault without letting anyone else judge for him- or herself.

As far as his not wanting to have kids, she never asserts that he does, at least in any particular way that would lead to irreconcilable differences. She more passively describes how they had mutual expectations for children. I had taken from posters here that he was somehow insistent upon girls, but her description suggests otherwise.
Your thesis makes sense if he didn't actually have any part in the breakup of the marriage. But that would make the whole thing pretty exceptional in the world of failed relationships. I would guess, like most failed relationships, they are both human beings who ultimately found themselves incompatible in a way that exacerbates each other's flaws. But yeah, you are technically correct that the quoted passage does imply he played some kind of role in the breakup. Do you expect her to say "I am entirely responsible for everything bad in the marriage, and my ex is an absolute perfect angel who I left for absolutely no reason at all. It is entirely my fault and my husband is an innocent victim." And if she did say that, would you believe it was true?

I am guess she didn't write more, as it's a book about a trip around the world framed by a divorce, not a blow-by-blow of her failed marriage. The marriage itself takes up no more than a few paragraphs.
  #207  
Old 12-02-2013, 10:18 PM
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For one, I thought it was important to note since it was a false claim about the book, and because several of the things said about the character in the book turned out not to be true. She seems as shallow, selfish and callous in the book as in the movie.

The other thing I'd note is that each time some charge is made about this character, your reaction is essentially "Oh yeah, well she's not [insert silly unrealistic example taken to the extreme here]. Even if she were, you'd still be a hater!!!". I think you're missing the point.

My point is that any celebration of this woman's story - her journey - is misplaced, because anything beyond a cursory examination of her character shows a pathological level of selfishness, lack of empathy and lack of insight. There are many women's stories that ought to be celebrated and millions that will never be heard, so for me it pisses me off that one of the most widely heard is this one. To hear that it "speaks to" people is to be looking on the finery of the emperor's new clothes, and it is extraordinarily frustrating.
  #208  
Old 12-03-2013, 02:42 AM
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I've seen the movie but haven't read the book. Honestly, I don't know where all this vitriol for this woman is coming from.

She fell out of love, she had no kids, she moved on. So what?

I've read many of the comments in this thread and I still don't get the hate. Maybe in the book she comes out as more self-absorbed than in the movie?
  #209  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:37 AM
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She fell out of love, she had no kids, she moved on. So what?
Exactly. So what?
  #210  
Old 12-03-2013, 09:44 AM
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My impression of the movie: the lead character was portrayed as shallow and self-absorbed, and lacking any real empathy for others. What made it sort of annoying, rather than simply forgettable, is that the intention was evidently that we, the audience, come away with the impression that her shallowness, self-absorbtion and lack of empathy were liberating and to be celebrated.

To my mind, this is exactly why it is popular. It is an explicit endorsement for selfishness as a virtue, all wrapped up in faux, paycheque spirituality. It is like the New Age version of Ann Rand.
  #211  
Old 07-02-2016, 08:10 AM
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Necropost to the n'th degree, but for the record, Elizabeth Gilbert has now left her second husband (and soon-to-be ex-champion) Jose.

Gilbert had loved Jose's statement “a woman's place is in the kitchen...sitting in a comfortable chair, with her feet up, drinking a glass of wine and watching her husband cook dinner.”

History has answered the question that is the title to this thread...
  #212  
Old 07-02-2016, 12:38 PM
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I love to read but in the interviews alone she comes across as self-absorbed. Then with what I hear about her books? No, thanks.
  #213  
Old 07-02-2016, 12:47 PM
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Finally I get my chance! She's a local celebrity. Look for me in her next book.
  #214  
Old 07-02-2016, 02:27 PM
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I've never read the book or seen the movie, but I've seen both referred to as "Eat, Pray, Vomit". My SIL did read the book when it first came out, because several people highly recommended it, and said that at the time she was, as she put it, "a SAHM with two toddlers and zero money" and kept thinking, "Uh, really?"
  #215  
Old 07-02-2016, 04:34 PM
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I follow her Facebook feed. EPL is what put her on the map but she'd already had several books under her belt as well. Anyone remember the movie Coyote Ugly? That was based on her experience working there while in college.

I don't know if I'd use the phrase "self absorbed" to describe her. She has, however, become an Oprah devotee and has developed a New Agey-type following.

Her most recent book is a glimpse into her "shift", so to speak.
  #216  
Old 07-02-2016, 05:24 PM
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I think she was a bitch the way she acted towards her first husband (as I said years ago), but come one we have no clue as to what ended this marriage and the circumstances. Can't use that to answer it one way or the other.
  #217  
Old 07-03-2016, 02:33 AM
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Finally I get my chance! She's a local celebrity. Look for me in her next book.
You gonna give her a parking ticket?

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 07-03-2016 at 02:33 AM.
  #218  
Old 07-03-2016, 09:42 AM
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Incidentally, when men take off on women like that, women always see them as assholes. Chick flicks are hypocritical that way, just like they always have a double standard about infidelity (men cheat because they're evil, women cheat because the men they're with are evil).
A hundred times this. I'm a woman and I agree here. You see this all the time in books and movies. It's even more disgusting when the guy being cheated on isn't evil. She's just "not in love" anymore. And the woman is portrayed as some kind of feminist hero. Fuck that. She's a cheating cunt. That's nothing to admire.
  #219  
Old 07-03-2016, 10:09 AM
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You gonna give her a parking ticket?
I don't live where I work. I don't like seeing customers when I'm off.

Her life tends to be newsworthy around here. I never read any of her books or saw the movie but I still know they sold their store last year and their house and moved into another house in the same town.
  #220  
Old 07-04-2016, 02:22 AM
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I think she was a bitch the way she acted towards her first husband (as I said years ago), but come one we have no clue as to what ended this marriage and the circumstances. Can't use that to answer it one way or the other.
There's plenty out there on blogs and such, covering the aftermath. The hunky 2nd husband was a homely looking old dude, who most likely married her for a Green card. She wrote about it, too. What little I read of her writing, it seemed to be a rather unromantic boring relationship that would not last for someone like her. I'm sure it ended because there was little passion (perhaps from either side), despite the Hollywood story and her attempts to make it look good as justification for her divorce/journey.
  #221  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:44 AM
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It’s not the movie, she is self-involved and clueless...

https://www.salon.com/2013/10/05/eli...t_shunted_off/
  #222  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:06 AM
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Unless you think that no one ever should divorce unless there's actual physical abuse or cruelty.
Well, there are those that believe that. Think of all the centuries of arranged marriages, and the expectations of the last couple hundred years that every single woman alive will end up married and procreating [whether or not they want to unless they join a convent ] Divorce simply was not done, and in many case not legally available unless there was some form of abuse going on.
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  #223  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:32 AM
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There's plenty out there on blogs and such, covering the aftermath. The hunky 2nd husband was a homely looking old dude, who most likely married her for a Green card. She wrote about it, too. What little I read of her writing, it seemed to be a rather unromantic boring relationship that would not last for someone like her. I'm sure it ended because there was little passion (perhaps from either side), despite the Hollywood story and her attempts to make it look good as justification for her divorce/journey.
It was a bit more complicated than that. She left her husband for a woman who she had been friends with for many years. They became partners but never formally married. She died of pancreatic cancer less than 2 years later.

Gilbert sold her beautiful home near here and I had heard bought another in town but now it seems she’s living in NYC. I guess that’s why I don’t here so much about her anymore. She used to be the most conspicuous famous person in the county.
  #224  
Old 02-08-2020, 04:25 PM
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It was a bit more complicated than that. She left her husband for a woman who she had been friends with for many years. They became partners but never formally married. She died of pancreatic cancer less than 2 years later.

Gilbert sold her beautiful home near here and I had heard bought another in town but now it seems she’s living in NYC. I guess that’s why I don’t here so much about her anymore. She used to be the most conspicuous famous person in the county.
Yeah, I remember hearing about that but I think what I posted about her marriage certainly factored into why she was so willing to leave it. It wasn't close to the Hollywood version used as justification for her journey and "happy ending."
  #225  
Old 02-09-2020, 10:30 PM
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I find this thread fascinating, not least because my wife of 25 years did what Gilbert did: decided to leave the marriage for no particular reason, and left with half our wealth (I was the breadwinner, she was several years unemployed at the time), and somehow felt victimized and sad. I don't blame her for the first, even though the hurt it caused me is still felt years later. But the latter is ridiculous.

Anyway, re Gilbert's character flaws, I saw this in her wikipedia entry:

Quote:
In a 2015 article for The New York Times titled "Confessions of a Seduction Addict," Gilbert wrote that she "careened from one intimate entanglement to the next—dozens of them—without so much as a day off between romances." She acknowledged, "Seduction was never a casual sport for me; it was more like a heist, adrenalizing and urgent. I would plan the heist for months, scouting out the target, looking for unguarded entries. Then I would break into his deepest vault, steal all his emotional currency and spend it on myself." She realised that, "I might indeed win the man eventually. But over time (and it wouldn’t take long), his unquenchable infatuation for me would fade, as his attention returned to everyday matters. This always left me feeling abandoned and invisible; love that could be quenched was not nearly enough love for me".
I mean...wow. That's really messed up. For any gender.
  #226  
Old 02-09-2020, 10:38 PM
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"...love that could be quenched..." I think she is talking about passion, not love. Passion burns itself out, love doesn't.
  #227  
Old 02-09-2020, 10:47 PM
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"...love that could be quenched..." I think she is talking about passion, not love. Passion burns itself out, love doesn't.
Love, like passion, is not preserved in amber.
  #228  
Old 02-09-2020, 10:53 PM
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Love, like passion, is not preserved in amber.
If it were you wouldn't be able to fondle it.
  #229  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:12 PM
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[Moderating]

I'd prefer to at least keep sexist expletives out of thread titles. Accordingly, I have edited this one.
  #230  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:12 PM
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"...love that could be quenched..." I think she is talking about passion, not love. Passion burns itself out, love doesn't.
Well, she did describe it as infatuation in the previous sentence. The woman does sound like an attention vampire or something.
  #231  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:28 AM
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If it were you wouldn't be able to fondle it.
Ooo but imagine the Jurassic Park sequel that could make....
  #232  
Old 02-10-2020, 05:51 PM
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I found more of "confessions of a seduction addict" here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz Gilbert
Seduction is the art of coercing somebody to desire you, of orchestrating somebody else's longings to suit your own hungry agenda. If the man was already involved in a committed relationship, I knew that I didn't need to be prettier or better than his existing girlfriend; I just needed to be different.

My guilt about the other woman was no match for the intoxicating knowledge that somewhere on the other side of town somebody couldn't sleep that night because he was thinking about me.

You might have called me a serial monogamist, except that I was never exactly monogamous.

In my mid-20s, I married, but not even matrimony slowed me down," she reveals. "Predictably, I grew restless and lonely. Soon enough I seduced someone new; the marriage collapsed.
So clearly she left her first husband for someone else, and had been doing so before and after their marriage, and never stopped.
  #233  
Old 02-10-2020, 06:58 PM
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It’s not the movie, she is self-involved and clueless...

https://www.salon.com/2013/10/05/eli...t_shunted_off/
It's weird that you just now revived this thread that last died in 2016 with an article from 2013, but it's even weirder that you used that article to show that she's self-involved and clueless. I mean, I haven't read much of her oeuvre, but she comes across pretty well in that interview, I think. What exactly set you off?

Last edited by Esprise Me; 02-10-2020 at 06:59 PM.
  #234  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:08 PM
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Yeah, I didn't get fennarama's point either. I'm glad this zombie came back though, I found it interesting and hadn't heard much about EPL or the author before. And, hell, it took these 10 years to finally answer the thread title's question via post #232: yes, she is.
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