November 24, 2012

Elizabeth Smart's book will be "frank" but "appropriate" and not "salacious."

Says Chris Stewart, who's writing the book and who will be a member of the new Congress.
"She has taken a professional outlook on this and is able to talk in an impressive way about these things frankly... She’s not shying away from this story."
The story is of a 14-year-old, kidnapped, held captive, and raped for 9 months. Tricky to tell that story frankly yet appropriately. How do you ensure that the reader is not titillated? You can't.

40 comments:

caplight45 said...

Will people buy the book if it isn't salacious?

Mitchell the Bat said...

How do you ensure that the reader is not titillated?

Substitute "sexual organ" for "throbbing member."

rhhardin said...

It's got to be for women.

caplight45 said...

It'll have to be a real burqua ripper.

Surfed said...
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carrie said...

I bought the Jayce Dugard book solely because I thought she could use the royalties. I tried to read her book but I just couldn't do it. Elizabeth Smart doesn't need the money, so I don't think that her story needs to be written either.

carrie said...

I bought the Jayce Dugard book solely because I thought she could use the royalties. I tried to read her book but I just couldn't do it. Elizabeth Smart doesn't need the money, so I don't think that her story needs to be written either.

Lem said...

Low in salt.

Forget it.

William said...

In the movie, the part of Elizabeth Smart can be played by Elmo.

wyo sis said...

Why the disdain for Elizabeth Smart?
She recovered without becoming a mess?
She, her family, has money?
She's a Mormon?

Surfed said...

Note to self - Never comment at Althouse before coffee in the morning.
As father of a grown young woman let me say one word - Ugghhh... Ok, two words - yuck. Hell, several more - Why was this book written? Catharsis for Ms. Smart? Money for Ms. Smart? Let the story vanish in the mists I say.

Michael Haz said...

Ah, but if she had had an abortion, or had given up her religious faith, or decided that her faith notwithstanding, gay marriage was really a great thing, well then the book would be so much more worthy of being in print.

Right? Because the book wouldn't be about her, but rather about the readers' perceptions and hopes of what she became.

But a book about a girl who was kidnapped, imprisioned against her will, tortured, raped, rescued and returned to a seemingly normal and healthy life thanks to a loving family...who'd be interested in that

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I have great sympathy for the poor girl, but I'm not sure it is useful to tell another "just go along with your abductor and you'll get away later" tale.

I'm pretty sure it is best to teach people to make a furious resistance at the very first location of the crime.

If the criminal is motivated to quickly take you somewhere else, that's not good for you.

Make your stand precisely where he doesn't want you to.

wyo sis said...
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David said...

"Stewart said Friday that Smart has made a surprising recovery from the brutal experience at the hands of her captor."

I am sure the recovery was difficult but why is it surprising? There are millions of people who have experienced harsh and degrading situations and gone on to loving and productive lives. Elizabeth Smart is likely the norm not the exception.

RigelDog said...

I remember when Family Guy made fun of Elizabeth Smart being raped. Don't know why anyone would think that's OK or ever watch that show again.
It's Smart's story to tell or not; don't know why anyone would have a problem with it.

RigelDog said...

I remember when Family Guy made fun of Elizabeth Smart being raped. Don't know why anyone would think that's OK or ever watch that show again.
It's Smart's story to tell or not; don't know why anyone would have a problem with it.

wyo sis said...

Elizabeth Smart knows what worked for her. Judging from the fact that she survived and returned to her former life she has some basis for her point of view.

Some people seem to be upset by her going public. I don't understand it. She is one of the few people who have gone through such an experience and lived to tell about it. It was a huge media event at the time for whatever reason, being young, white, blonde, Mormon, and from a well off family notably. These are not circumstances she chose, but she did choose to pursue recovery and healing in her own way, and that story is inspirational to many people.

Pastafarian said...

I can see where this book might be pretty important for some people to read -- rape victims, say struggling with the trauma, looking for an inspirational story.

And I don't see how this could be titillating. Clearly they're not going to include graphic details.

Erika said...

A very interesting discussion of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping.

MayBee said...

I really admire Elizabeth Smart and her family. They handled this trauma with dignity. I recall how much of the spotlight was turned against the family, and against the father particularly. His reputation was really dragged through the mud while his daughter was missing.

Elizabeth has grown into a woman with great grace, and I think she has something to teach people.

Michael K said...

"I remember when Family Guy made fun of Elizabeth Smart being raped. Don't know why anyone would think that's OK or ever watch that show again."

I don't know why anyone would watch it in the first place but that's probably just me.

EDH said...

William said...
In the movie, the part of Elizabeth Smart can be played by Elmo.

I was thinking Elisha Cuthbert, but that would be titillating.

Kevin said...

If done right, it would be no different from any POW camp survival story.

I doubt it will be done right. Like Law and Order: SVU it's main purpose will be to publicly pretend to be scandalized while privately getting off on it.

edutcher said...

What wyo sis said about her being a Mormon.

Maybe that's the story to be told.

Or that should be told.

Jason said...

Elizabeth Smart is a great, great warrior.

And quite a good harpist, the harp mafia tells me.

I have tremendous respect for her. If she wants to write the book, I trust her judgment. Way more than I trust most people who are two or three times her age.

There was already a book, but it skipped over the sexual abuse. All that came out at the trial. I suspect she might not be happy with the first book and wants a better telling, now that she's older and can assert more control over it.

Anything Elizabeth Smart wants to do is ok in my book.




mojavehicular said...

I admire her reticence. Watch her being interviewed; she only says as much as she wants to. And remember that it was she who ripped the odious Nancy Grace a new one.

Jason said...

Elizabeth Smart is a great, great warrior.

Mary Beth said...

Michael K said...

"I remember when Family Guy made fun of Elizabeth Smart being raped. Don't know why anyone would think that's OK or ever watch that show again."

I don't know why anyone would watch it in the first place but that's probably just me.


No, there's at least two of us.

Baron Zemo said...

Do you find rape titillating?

Most normal people do not.

McTriumph said...

No one ever recovers from from an ordeal like Elizabeth Smart's. You may achieve a normal life, but you don't fully recover.

ambienisevil said...
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leslyn said...

"How do you ensure that the reader is not titillated? You can't."

From reading the thread: That appears to depend on the type of reader you think you and others are.

Ann Althouse said...

"Most normal people do not."

Most people will not read this book. Who will? There is no way to limit the book to the good people who will read it for good reasons. This Is a book about a child getting repeatedly raped. I'm not advocating banning such things, but it is sensationalistic and many of the readers will be reading it for titillation. Some in denial. Some not.

I can see wanting Smart to get some money, but I would not touch this book.

leslyn said...
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leslyn said...

I wasn't interested in the book, but now I'm mutilated to read it so I can do what a not-good person would do for not-good reasons.

el polacko said...

isn't this the teen chick who was, patty hearst-style, 'being held captive' right up the hill from her parent's house in a tent where she was getting heavily and regularly pounded by the handsome cult leader...then got 'rescued' and went back to playing the harp ?
yeah...can't wait to hear that tale.

leslyn said...

Plus, by buying the book I get to send money to someone who, it's said, doesn't need it. Does that make me a "good" person, or a "not-good" person?

Oh, the ethical dilemmas in reading writing! :)

leslyn said...

Abducted comment:

I wasn't interested in the book, but now I'm titillated to buy it so I can be a not-good person reading it for a not-good reason. Whatever that might be.

leslyn said...

@ el polacko: I wouldn't call him a "handsome cult leader." But to each his own.