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[i] Buckels, Erin E., Paul D. Trapnell, and Delroy L. Paulhus. "Trolls just want to have fun." Personality and individual Differences 67 (2014): 97-102. They conclude, "Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism" p. 97.

Volney Gay's central thesis that slaveowners took pleasure in owning slaves provides fertile ground for future scholars and artists to till. This is a necessary book, born out of Gay's experience as psychoanalyst practicing for three decades in the South. This volume will provoke significant conversations; it provides a new lens to examine events, artifacts, and writings from the antebellum South. -- Alice Randall author of The Wind Done Gone

Fascinating and original. It is consistent with two observations I make as a teach of ethics: most people do what they want to do as often as they can; most people also need a view of themselves as morally good to sustain themselves, and will go to great lengths to confirm this self-righteousness. Volney Gay's book is in a noble tradition of uncomfortable truths.  --  Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D., Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

It is a sin, she said, to damage the spine. My elementary school librarian showed us a cracked book. The creases and wrinkles looked like an exposed skeleton. After her elegiac presentation, we were sent to the stacks to find books. I handled them with more fear than care. When I got the nerve to peek inside, I eased open the pages as if each text would crumble to dust.

My librarian had good reason for her method: she had to preserve books for years of students. Unfortunately, her warnings made me think that books were meant only to be borrowed. As a reader, I want to inhabit a book as a form of communion. Most books took years to write—and likely a few more years to rewrite. They deserve more than a single read before being consigned to silent prison among their cousins of other genres on untouched bookshelves. Some books become part of my weekly, daily life. Those books are inevitably flattened on my desk. Dog-eared. Highlighted. Circled.

I remember the first time I broke a book. I was reading In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William Gass as an undergraduate while sitting in the waiting room of a dentist office. My fiction professor said that I needed to read “The Pedersen Kid,” so I combed the text, hoping for some divination that would help my own stories. I enjoyed one phrase so much that I boxed the words as if to catch them. My pencil punctured the page. It felt wrong.

[i] Buckels, Erin E., Paul D. Trapnell, and Delroy L. Paulhus. "Trolls just want to have fun." Personality and individual Differences 67 (2014): 97-102. They conclude, "Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism" p. 97.

Volney Gay's central thesis that slaveowners took pleasure in owning slaves provides fertile ground for future scholars and artists to till. This is a necessary book, born out of Gay's experience as psychoanalyst practicing for three decades in the South. This volume will provoke significant conversations; it provides a new lens to examine events, artifacts, and writings from the antebellum South. -- Alice Randall author of The Wind Done Gone

Fascinating and original. It is consistent with two observations I make as a teach of ethics: most people do what they want to do as often as they can; most people also need a view of themselves as morally good to sustain themselves, and will go to great lengths to confirm this self-righteousness. Volney Gay's book is in a noble tradition of uncomfortable truths.  --  Larry R. Churchill, Ph.D., Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

 
 
 
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