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of the Summer of Love. The protagonist once met Janis Joplin, who at the time of their meeting lived in the Scottish Rite Dormitory, “notorious for its homely girls.” He had also read On the Road. And so he sets out for San Francisco looking for relief from a strange depression that Austin couldn’t cure. In San Francisco, he moves in with friends, drops acid, and cheats on his macrobiotic diet, slipping off each day to a restaurant called the Pig Stand for a 50-cent, yang-filled pork sausage sandwich. A date with Janis, once a possibility back in Austin, might be his only salvation. The story’s protagonist finds Janis Joplin, singing at the funeral of Hells Angel, Chocolate George. Maybe it’s the acid, or maybe a revelation that would have occurred without the blessed drug, but he realizes exactly what it is about her that thrills everyone: “It was the hunger of her voice . . . a cry for help a cry for love. She was starving for love, like I was. She needed love desperately, she was suffering from the same all-consuming hunger, a hunger that could kill.” Then: A blow on my head knocked me senseless. One of the Angels had thrown a snowball made of crushed ice. I picked myself up and got another one in the face. The Angels were laughing. People started moving away from me. It wasn’t good when the Angels singled you out. In the end, the road leads back to Austin. And for Hauptman, on to the Yale School of Drama and then to New York where he now earns his living as a playwright. Recently, he won a Tony Award for Big River, his musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn. “Pure Sex” and “Moon Walking,” the two stories set in New York, are more emotionally austere and hardly as fecund and freewheeling as the four Nortex chronicles. But Hauptman’s sense of small domestic tragedy with a city as cold and mean as only New York can be in winter serving as a backdrop provides for urban/urbane fiction as good as anything he has set back in Texas. Here again it is evident that Hauptman is writing of what and where he knows; both stories develop on the periphery of the New York theater scene. Yet the best story in the collection is “Sierra Wave,” a short piece of derivative fiction that moves the triangular plot of Hemingway’s “Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” from Africa to age-of-Reagan Southern California. The story is sustained by a growing undercurrent of dramatic tension that Hemingway perhaps never achieved. Technically and dramatically. “Sierra Wave” is nothing less than excellent. Only William Goyen, among this state’s writers, has come close to anything like magic realism the Latin Americanficcion by which the boundaries of the real and the imaginary disappear. Others have to settle for extending the boundary always watching out for that point where character becomes caricature. Larry McMurtry, though he occasionally crosses the line, does this as well as anyone. Hauptman here approaches the limit, particularly in “Rockin’ Tonight” and “Stormchaser,” both Nortex stories where amiable Texcentrics define what we’re about. But BY GREG MOSES BLAMING THE VICTIMS: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question Edited by Edward W. Said and Christopher Hitchens New York: Verso, 1988 WHEN JOSHUA fought the battle of Jericho, destroying everything, putting everyone to the sword “men and women, young and old, and also cattle, sheep, and asses” the prostitute Rahab and her family out of gratitude for services rendered, on that mythical day God’s righteous army was just beginning its campaign against the kingdoms of the hill country. “It was the Lord’s purpose that they should offer an obstinate resistance to the Israelites in battle, and that thus that they should be annihilated without mercy and utterly destroyed, as the Lord had God’s grace, and according to His battle plans, “Joshua massacred the population of Here in the Judeo-Christian West, where children are taught their traditional moral values to the accompaniment of a lilting melody about Joshua and Jericho, it is really too easy to be deliberately confounded. Hence the need for Edward W. Said and colleagues \(in to remind us that Palestine is “the birthplace of urban life. It is ‘the only place in the world where a town is known to date back nine thousand years.’ Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, being ‘four thousand years older than any other urban settlement known at present.’ It is one of the greatest ironies of history Greg Moses, a longtime Observer contributor, lives in Austin. he doesn’t cross it. And Hauptman the playwright obviously has developed a remarkable ear for dialogue, an ability to quickly develop a character, and a sense of place. It could be his experience in the theater by which, without a single line of description, he evokes a place as real as the Panhandle town of Nortex. “As promising a book as I’ve seen come out of Texas in a long while,” McMurtry writes in a publisher’s blurb. That is not terribly overstated. that in the middle of the twentieth century in the golden age of people’s rights to self-determination Palestine was dropped from the map of the world.” By way of ancient habits and modern manipulations, we Americans have a way of turning our ugly side toward the Arab world. To begin with, we have inherited through our intellectual institutions a bias for the Greek as opposed to the Persian \(Gore Vidal’s crafty subversion of such bigotry in his novel Creation reminds us how our own West European stock for at least a millennium has been scandalously over-zealous in its brutality towards the Moslems. Hence a disgraced Catholic Church was forced to disown its own crusades. And when our Puritan Fathers set up their fortress of religious tolerance, they could take the story of Joshua as an allegory for their own destiny. The native infidel must die; God’s righteousness must prevail. By a process of double validation, our Fathers affirmed the worthiness of Joshua’s mission as he kindly confirmed ours. Did no one ever kneel along the way to pray as Augustine suggested: “Deliver me from my necessities!”? Today, writes Said, “Israel is the recipient of more U.S. aid than any state in history. It is estimated that every Israeli citizen today is subsidized by the U.S. at roughly $1,400 per annum; each member of the Israeli military is underwritten by the U.S. at about $9,750 per year.” Furthermore, “because attention to Israel has been institutionalized and because its valence is so positive in Western public life, there has been a tendency, in the U.S. especially, to associate resistance to Israel not simply with ‘terrorism’ and `communism,’ but also with antiSemitism. ” The latter tendency was confirmed most recently in Austin when pro-Palestinian The Irony of Palestine THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19