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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 2) (125 comments)

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  •  More detail from a different Heinlein book (6+ / 0-)

    In "Friday", the heroine (a genetically-engineered "artificial person" who tried to pass as a regular human) was originally marrying into a clan or line marriage prototype in New Zealand.  She had to pay a rather large amount of capital to enter into the marriage, but part of the reason for keeping the capital up was to provide a stake to the children from the marriage.  A major plot element in the book is when one of the children decided to marry a maori.  The racism of Friday's fellow spouses came out, and when Friday objected, she ended up revealing he real status.  As "artificial persons" had no legal rights, she was also kicked out of the marriage and the marriage fell apart shortly after.  Not the best advertisement for the line marriage that manny espouses, but the education and support of the kids was probably in the Davis family rules and customs.

    The Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful...) is a GREAT liberal manifesto.

    by DaytonMike on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 01:53:49 PM PDT

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    •  I saw this ugly little incident (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJayTee, neroden, quarkstomper, TerryDarc

      as evidence of Heinlein's ability to grow and change. He had spent a number of earlier books poking and prodding at conventional forms of marriage. In these, he often seemed to idealize alternatives by way of contrasting them with unthinking monogamous convention.

      And then "Friday" -- a later effort -- instead features the passage you describe, where even the unconventional alternative is fraught with pitfalls due to imperfect human nature.

      •  No one is perfect (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper, prfb, TerryDarc

        And logically no one form of marriage is perfect, either. The success of any marriage depends on the people involved, and since people are flawed, marriages of any sort may fail.

        "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

        by Maggie Pax on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 04:29:56 PM PDT

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        •  Of course! My point was that Heinlein seemed to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maggie Pax, quarkstomper

          realize this well after he had thought his way all around some of the novel forms that "marriage" might take. His insight grew as his career continued. Not all authors -- even some very good ones -- can make that claim...

          •  Heinein's Three Marriages (0+ / 0-)

            Still RAH's marriages were conventional. Here's what I gleaned from Wiki:

            "In 1929, Heinlein married Eleanor Curry of Kansas City in Los Angeles, but the marriage lasted only about a year. In 1932 he married Leslyn Macdonald, who was born 29 Aug 1904 in Massachusetts and died 13 April 1981 in California. MacDonald was a political radical, and Isaac Asimov later recalled that Heinlein was, like her, "a flaming liberal."

            Heinlein and his second wife divorced in 1947, and the following year he married Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld, to whom he would remain married until his death forty years later. Shortly thereafter, the Heinlein couple moved to Colorado, but in 1965 her health was affected by the altitude. They moved to Santa Cruz, California…"

            It further mentions that Heinein's swing to the right politically happened after his marriage to Ginny and that she served as a model for his later women:"intelligent, fiercely independent female characters..."

            "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

            by TerryDarc on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:21:41 AM PDT

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            •  Conventional is not the word I would use (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              prfb, quarkstomper

              Although they were conventionally "legal" (one wife at a time), Heinlein and his current spouse were not necessarily monogamous. Read the first volume of the bio I mentioned elsewhere, and hang onto your hats when vol. 2 comes out.

              "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

              by Maggie Pax on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 09:16:55 AM PDT

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              •  Nor were RAH's Marriages Line Marriage... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                quarkstomper

                ...nor polygamy, etc. I'm unlikely to come by his biography but feel free to share any details free of charge, Maggie.

                I think Heinlein might have been as exploratory in his social setting as in his science.

                "Always remember this: They fight with money and we resist with time, and they’re going to run out of money before we run out of time." -Utah Philips

                by TerryDarc on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 01:20:53 PM PDT

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                •  Not mine to share (0+ / 0-)

                  Well, not what I was told about volume 2. But in volume one, Patterson makes it clear that the first two Heinlein marriages were not exclusively monogamous. His first marriage was brief, but he and his wife remained friends, and she was known and welcomed by his family. His second marriage was what we would today call an open marriage. As for his third and final marriage to Virginia, read vol. 2!

                  "Shared pain is pain lessened; shared joy is joy increased."--Spider Robinson

                  by Maggie Pax on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 07:10:08 PM PDT

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