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Let me introduce myself and a Question. 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:29 am
Posts: 35
Post Let me introduce myself and a Question.
My name is Chuck Ostroff. I discovered RAH inthe 6th grade with "RED PLANET" I am now 66 years old. Most of my personal philosophy is developed from his writings. I have read and own everything he ever wrote,even posthumously and critiques.
I just stumbled onto this website and feel overwhelmed. For right now a question that I have been wondering about for about 30 years-
in "I WILL FEAR NO EVIL" is Eunice, Black or White. As in all Heinlein thought, it doesn't really matter at all. Some where at some time in the past I read a critical essay that mentioned it. I have not been able to find anything that this was based on. btw I have gone through 7 copies of "STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND". To me personally the most significent book ever written next to the OLD TESTAMENT. This may be the true NEW TESTAMENT.
I don't wish to antagonize any reader of this blog, and would love to converse with anyone by email or phone or in person. I beleive in the positive energy of the universe and I love to tell about my personal life aventures. But I don't belabor or try to inflict myself on anyone who may not agree withy my philosphies. I welcome INTELLIGENT argument, and feel everyone has something to offer. Just down try to ram it down my throat. Happiness is attained by LIVING HAPPILY and letting everyone else do the same. :D


Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:42 pm
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NitroForum Oldster

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:05 am
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
Hi Charles ! welcome to the forum- think you'll enjoy the people and the conversations here immensely- there's some here that genuinely qualify as RAH experts and others, like myself, that qualify purely as fans- like you, i too feel RAH and his writings have been personally formative

your query as to the race of Eunice (in IWFNE) is one that i've never actually considered. someplace in this novel he may have alluded to it but not that i recall- perhaps one of our resident RAH scholars can answer this one for you !

again, welcome !

nick


Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:12 pm
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Centennial Attendee
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am
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Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
Hi, Charles! You've certainly come to the right place! The best Heinlein scholars on the planet are active participants here.

Your experience sounds similar to mine. I'm 63 and read my first Heinlein, "Have Space Suit, Will Travel," at age 8 and have since bought at least one copy of, and read, everything he ever wrote that I could get my hands on. I now also own the Virginia Edition of his complete works. I haven't read all the critiques yet, but I own many of them. The only sci-fi convention I have ever been to was the Heinlein Centennial in 2007, and I loved it.

It never occurred to me to wonder about the race of any of the characters in "I Will Fear No Evil," so I'm afraid I can't help you there. But I look forward to reading what others contribute on the topic.

Regards,

Dan
Sunnyvale, CA

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Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:31 am
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NitroForum Oldster

Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:55 am
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
Charles, welcome. I have a simular background, my first book was Citizen of the Galaxy and I'm 60.
I read somewher that RAH kept 2 pics before him of 2 beautiful woman, one white and one black. If true then Eunice can be either. As the man said
"You pay your money and make your choice."

The big-brains can confirm or deny my faulty memory.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
As TS said, it's reported that Heinlein chose to make Eunice's race ambiguous and worked with two photos of women in front of him, one white, one black.

However, some have read clues in the text that indicate Eunice is black, or at least mixed-race; there is a snide reference to "you people" directed at her, and the colors of skin paint he describes her wearing would look more harmonious on dark skin than light. It is also reported that he asked in conversation over the book, "Did you notice our heroine is black?"

As there is no hard and fast evidence you're free to imagine Eunice with any look you like. My own thought is that while RAH may have intended to make her race ambiguous, the very effort to make her not obviously Northern European biased the outcome towards her being black, or at least nonwhite. (The "only when you don't think of elephants" result.)

Welcome to the forum, too!


Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:21 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
I think Heinlein would say, "I have deliberately left in no clues that she was white," and enjoy yanking our chains. By the time this takes place, "You people" could refer to a slew of other possibilities, so I don't think that's definitive. Of course, if Heinlein said he intended her to be black, that settles it, except that that's cheating.

Welcome to the forum! You'll find exactly the kind of discussion you describe here. We're very live-and-let-live here. Occasionally we've had someone drop by who wanted to impose their own standards on the readership; they crawled off when we didn't take the bait.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
those very few who cared to engage in verbal bloodletting usually left looking very pale :)


Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:25 pm
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
Welcome to the forum!

I'd never thought of the possibility that Eunice might be black til somebody pointed it out. Now I can't "see" her a anything *but* black mentally. She's the same person in either case, though, which was probably Heinlein's point.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
I never gave it any thought, because IWFNE is perhaps the least "visual" of the novels; most of it consists of conventional dialogue as well as, of course, interior dialogue. Very little detail is given about the environment (other than the fact that one needs bodyguards while visiting certain areas, etc.) or about the physical characteristics of anyone or anything - OK, there's a red-haired female, big deal.

[Having only read the two last juveniles in my junior high library, I bought the issue of Galaxy featuring the first part of IWFNE at a drugstore rack (the cover art shows a big giant head, presumably of Johann, with Eunice in the foreground wearing her one-boob-exposed secretarial outfit; see http://www.philsp.com/data/images/g/galaxy_197007.jpg). However, this artwork didn't really influence my image of the characters - I only knew after reading the first part that I didn't want to buy the rest of the serial. Still have that issue, though. It also contains "Goodbye Amanda Jean" by Wilma Shore, which really should have been in one of the Dangerous Visions anthologies; it's the perfect DV story, I've always thought.]


Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Let me introduce myself and a Question.
JJGarsch wrote:
[Having only read the two last juveniles in my junior high library, I bought the issue of Galaxy featuring the first part of IWFNE at a drugstore rack (the cover art shows a big giant head, presumably of Johann, with Eunice in the foreground wearing her one-boob-exposed secretarial outfit; see http://www.philsp.com/data/images/g/galaxy_197007.jpg). However, this artwork didn't really influence my image of the characters - I only knew after reading the first part that I didn't want to buy the rest of the serial.]


The only thing that saved me from the same fate is that my RAH reading, also started about JrHigh age, began in the early '50s, long before IWFNE hit the scene. It is a shame that due to RAH's illness at that time, he never got the chance to do a final edit on it. Even though I snapped it up [on autopilot as it were] when it was released, over the ensuing years it stands alone as my least reread RAH work. [Bit of serendipity that. Since I haven't reread it as many times as all of the others, I haven't memorized blocks of text/action/etc, and thus still have a sense of discovery/rediscovery when I do reread it.]

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Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:03 pm
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