Fordham Forum Explores Intersection of ‘Law, Culture and Society’ Thomas Adcock 01-27-2006 To bring what he calls “a different kind of clarity” to troubling questions of justice, Professor Thane Rosenbaum of Fordham University School of Law has launched an ongoing public forum in which distinguished artists reflect on the limits of the U.S. legal system. Novelist E.L. Doctorow and playwright Tony Kushner, both of whom have offered fictive interpretations about the still-controversial 1950 espionage trial and later execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were the first guests. On Jan. 19 at the Time-Warner Café in Columbus Circle, Messrs. Doctorow and Kushner spoke on the Cold War-era trial before Southern District Judge Irving R. Kaufman; evidence found wanting decades later in documents from the toppled Soviet Union; and its international cause célèbre aftermath: the Rosenbergs’ deaths by electrocution in 1953, which orphaned their two young sons. In introductory remarks before an
I was a bit confused by the student’s question, as well, because in class we discuss those scenes as examples of the generational consequences of injustice–essentially, the post-traumatic viagra buy stress of having one’s parents executed in front of the world, which resulted in the orphaning of two small children. What would we expect of those children when they reach adulthood? Susan is a suicide victim, and Daniel mutilates and abuses his own family. I think the student would agree with you, Michael, that the novel ends in the spirit of repair and reconciliation–if not simple resignation–but I think she felt that there is an impulse toward violence that is an inevitable consequence of having destroyed the lives of the Isaacsons, so that even though Susan and Daniel have not taken vengeance on the outside world, they have instead essentially viagra price mutilated themselves.
I was struck, Thane, by one of your students’ questions. She argued that the story told in the Book of Daniel could be a viagra tablets counter-argument to both Tony and Edgar’s support for the idea that healing redemption is always a better way to go than revenge. [The context of the film MUNICH is a remarkable coincidence to this evening where revenge killings clearly spiralled out of control -- ending with suicide bombings and literal airplane bombings perhaps ad infinitum!]. Her argument was to focus on “Daniel’s” violent behavior towards his wife and his son as caused by his inability (failure?) to take revenge on the real villains. Certainly we see images of this kind of behavior all over society — the oppressed man (a person of color subjected to racism as in THE WINDING SHEET, the oppressed worker [ethnicity irrelevant] in story after story) who beats his weaker
“Daniel” is about the generational consequences of legal decisions, how the law, and its failings, can affect not just the parties to the action, but also their children, and future generations. The fictional children of the Rosenbergs ended up being haunted by their parents’ execution, and were essentially imprisoned by it. Any comments? Is it frightening to think that the politics of the times can dictate a legal result regardless of what online canadian pharmacy the law actually requires? Or should we want our laws to be placed on hiatus, or be less restrictive, during times of great upheaval and crisis? In “Angels in America,” when Belize says that “Forgiveness may be viagra for sale without a prescription where love and justice finally meet,” what does he mean?
Ivy Meeropol’s film, Heir To An Execution, examines the Rosenberg case through the eyes of both a talented documentary filmmaker and a granddaughter connecting to the grandparents she never knew in life. Ms. Meeropol participated in an illuminating conversation with HBO viewers online, touching on many themes explored in the film (and the Forum’s Thursday night conversation with Mr. Kushner and Mr. Doctorow). See Also The New York Times Movie Summary.
New York Times article by Adam Liptak.
The conversation with Doctorow and Kushner was so stimulating and tought provoking, and they were so animated in their responses, there were, unfortunately, several questions I never got around to ask. Perhaps I can get them to publish a comment to this post, but for now I invite the bloggers to our Forum to respond, as well. Was Ethel Rosenberg the more tragic figure because she was truly innocent in ways that, perhaps, her husband was not? Had they not been executed, but rather served their entire lives in prison, would we still have found them so fascinating, or was it the execution, for the reasons they were executed without mitigation, thta online homework help continues to haunt us? Are artists completely seduced by people of conscience, those with great passion for their beliefs, who live for ideas and are willing to die for cheap cialis them, too–the kind of
“This is my rendering” Thane quoted Mr. Kushner (himself paraphrasing Plato), from a 1995 interview in Mother Jones magazine: “People shouldn’t trust artists and they shouldn’t trust art.” He then asked for thoughts on history being filtered through the mind, the imagination. In response, Kushner said, “I think that there are issues of responsibility… I was very careful with Roy Cohn [as a character in Angels in America] not to attribute anything to him that he didn’t himself claim.” He stated that he wrestled with “whether it is ethically responsible to fictionalize a living person.” Mr. Doctorow added his perspective: an author is “similar to an artist. Set up your easel and there’s a subject, a real life subject. There’s your rendering. The compact between you and the audience is clear, ‘this is my rendering.’” “Yes and Not Necessarily” Later, expanding on the notion of the artist’s rendering, Doctorow offered
Many thanks to all who attended tonight’s wonderful program and have now taken the time to visit this site! Tomorrow (Friday 1/20) will see a more substantive posting, with quotes from Messrs. Kushner, Doctorow, and Rosenbaum, and photos will follow as soon as they become available; for now, as was stated during the evening, we truly want the conversation to continue here in cyberspace. Click on the “Comments” link below this post and add your thoughts, observations, questions, insights, and suggestions. Only through wide collaboration can this Forum truly succeed in our mission. Thank you once more, and let the discussion, started so beautifully this evening by Thane and our remarkable guests, continue.
In thinking about the portrayal of the Rosenbergs in buy cialis online “The Book of Daniel” and “Angels in America,” and all the emotions of the Cold cialis pill War, do we hold artists responsible to get it right, to be factually accurate, as if they are historians, journalists, and lawyers, or are we asking them to provide us with different kinds of truths?