Friday, July 24, 2009

Meandering

A little early for the weekend, but am sitting here on my deck enjoying an unexpected summer rain after days of near 100 heat. This is not from my deck, but looks like it could be from around here -- maybe the Flathead Reservation.

39 comments:

  1. And unrelated to the weather....

    I'm still dipping into Wilson's early biography as I have a chance and came across a couple interesting education-related stories.

    One is how the "code of the South" resulted in the honor code at Princeton. All the southerners sort of stuck together at Princeton since they were less than 10 percent of the students and regularly met in Wilson's parlor. Wilson's wife was apparently appalled by the flagrant cheating at these elite schools, so the students came up with the code based in part on one at the University of Virginia with Wilson's encouragement.

    It sort of perpetuates the idea of the South as being more gentlemanly than their northern counterparts.

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  2. And the other:

    Wilson believed that humanistic training was being battered down by the rise of modern science "so mechanist and coldly material.... Wilson always stood for general knowledge as the essential foundation for young men who would need to provide leadership to the nation someday; he scorned 'the disease of specialization' and scientific or vocational training that yielded 'a hard technicality and mean contraction of view.' Literature, broad and Romantic, was always his touchstone.... 'We who know literature by sight have the responsiblity of carrying on a war with those to whom so-called 'scholarship' is everything'"

    ... "Universities that turned out young men ignorant of history and past ideas were dangerous 'instruments of social destruction.' Literature ought to lie at the heart of education, and students should read copiously, as at the English universities. 'We shall lose our sense of identity and all advantage of being hard-headed Saxons if we become ignorant of our literature. We must look to the universities to see to it that we be not denationalized' (this was an era of cascading immigration)."

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  3. Here's an interesting take on the Gates' story -- two black men in the wrong house:

    http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/henry-louis-gates-deja-vu-all-over-again/

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  4. I received my new copy of Montana Mag today and the feature article is on Lincoln and the west.Did you read it yet Diane?.I also just watched another flick I had never heard of called Last of the Dogmen about a group of Cheyenne suviving in the far reaches of Montana?I have to do a little reading on it but again the scenery was spectacular and the story line pretty good.Tom Berenger and Barbara Hershey(sp).Berenger is the local misfit home in the wild and Hersey is the prof fascinated with the tribe.They go deep into the wiilderness are captured by the tribe and wind up staying till the modern world threatens and Bergenger has to play the good guy but lose his newfound happiness to do it.Parts were a bit much but It drew me in.

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  5. Well I see from Wikipedia which gives a much better rundown that the movie is set in Northwest Montana in the Ox Bow triangle but that most of it was filmed in Canada.

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  6. I was just at a friend's where I saw the latest issue, and the Lincoln story, but didn't have time to actually read it. Looks interesting, though. I'll try to pick it up in the next week or two.

    Interesting that other than Willa Cather, Tom McGuane thinks Tom Savage is the best writer about the west (see the letters). I still haven't read any of his books but will.

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  7. I've started reading books about the space program. Reading "Rocket Men" by Craig Nelson first. It's not very well written/edited, but I'm going to keep with it. When he quotes someone, he puts their name and a colon (:) and then the quote. He has lots of run-on sentences and dangling participles. I'm reading on Kindle, but the grammar is so consistently bad that it's probably not jut in the Kindle edition.

    I also have Buzz Aldrin's new memoir in Kindle edition and "A Man on the Moon" by Andrew Chaiken in paperback.

    I've also been watching some dvds from Netflix, including "Sputnik Mania" and "In the Shadow of the Moon."

    Amazon has the HBO 5-disk set "From the Earth to the Moon" for less than $11, so I bought that. Also bought the Tom Hanks film "Apollo 13."

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  8. Great series! I have that one too, but didn't get such a good deal on it. The other night I finally convinced my wife to watch "The Right Stuff" with me and she enjoyed it as much as I did.

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  9. Marti, welcome back. We miss you here!

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  10. Speaking of missing, where's Robert? I wonder what he is reading while we wait on TR.

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  11. I think robert is keeping his Internet time to a limit. He pops in once or twice a week.

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  12. Ahh...

    Well, today's the big day for TR. Hoping I can find it in town so I can get started since I'm almost done with Lears (it's a slow read, but a good one). Also reading about the 19th c. demise of the bison, which is TR territory, so I'm ready for him.

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  13. Here's some good news:

    Senate Panel Endorses Sotomayor in 13-6 Vote

    Thank goodness the questioning is over. What an embarrassment for the country that was.

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  14. Indeed. She was appointed to federal judge by H.W. Bush, and here were the Republicans treating her like she was some closet liberal that needed to be outed. My admiration for Sotomayor increased tenfold the way she calmly responded to their ludicrous questions. Even the most cursory examination of her record as a federal judge would have answered these questions.

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  16. Previous comment deleted because of typo.

    Today's "Day in History" reminded me of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's brilliant novel, "The Leopard." Umberto came along a few years after the Risorgimento. If anyone who visits here has not read "The Leopard," I strongly recommend adding it to your reading list. One of those books -- at least for me -- that can be read every year.

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  17. Amazing book -- another one I "discovered" thanks to the readings we did at the Times.

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  18. I had to look up "pillory," only to see that it is the English equivalent of stockades. Fortunately for Defoe, the mob was merciful upon him. I guess many shared his view of the Tories.

    I have Diana Souhami's little book on Selkirk's Island, the story of which apparently served as the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

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  19. NY, wherever you are -- Have moved on from Kingdom (which I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys eccentric England and/or Stephen Fry) and am now a couple episodes into Slings and Arrows thanks to youtube and am loving it. Nothing like a bunch of actors putting on Shakespeare to keep my attention.

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  20. I was unable to pick up TR on publication day -- I thought for sure I would find it in town or at least at B&N -- so went ahead and ordered it from Amazon.

    It finally made it to the BN shelves yesterday, but it's not discounted so I'm glad I went ahead and ordered it online. What a book though! Looks like all my TR research has been done for me, which is great (e.g., there's a chapter on the Bronx Zoo).

    This may be one discussion I'll actually know something about..... or at least a little.

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  21. I've almost reached the end of Rebirth of a Nation, and came across an interesting little bit on imperialism: we stayed in Cuba not for territory but to stabilize the capital. Seems like they don't even attempt to change the language when they do these things.

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  22. "NY, wherever you are..."

    Here after a getaway up the Redwood Highway & along Ore. coast, happy to see you are enjoying "Slings and Arrows" (youtube--really?!?) and to be reminded I have more episodes of same on DVD to enjoy--thanks!

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  23. BTW, avrds, how came you by "Kingdom"?

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  24. The first season is here:

    http://www.hulu.com/kingdom

    After that, you can buy season 2 (it's weird -- but that's the only one I've found for sale), but I watched it on youtube, along with season 3. You sort of get used to watching it in short increments.

    (Or if you meant how did I find it, my daughter recommended it -- even though she didn't watch it. Just sort of sensed it was my sort of show.)

    Watching Slings and Arrows on youtube, too, since I never found the DVDs I purchased. Just saw the final production at the end of Season 1 with Hamlet. Great show. Look forward to the next season.

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  25. I noticed mention up above of the Ox Bow triangle. Anyone besides me never read "The Ox-bow Incident"?

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  26. Me...

    At the community college I went to, one of my English teachers was a huge fan of Walter Van Tilburg Clark. I'm not sure if he had been a student of his, or if he had just taken Clark as some sort of model of a "western" writer, but his enthusiasm led me to read City of the Trembling Leaves and two of the westerns.

    I wonder how City would hold up now. I suspect Track of the Cat still works as one of those model westerns.

    Bo, have you read him?

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  27. I used to see a little Signet paperback edition of that book all the time at charity books sales and such. Seldom see it anymore.

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  28. Thanks again/more avrds--I suspect it's my kind of show, too.

    Never read "Oxbow Incident" but the movie sure made an impression, tho' I can't recall what impressionable age I was when I saw it.

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  29. I read the Ox Bow Incident way back after watching the movie on PBS way back in the early days of PBS.I'd forgotten all about it.Speaking of which I saw a copy of Earnest Gaines"A Lesson Before Dying" on the table at Barnes&Noble the other day so I assume it's been reissued if it did indeed go out of print.

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  30. OK A senior moment.I have not read The Ox Bow Incident but I have seen the movie several times.I confused it in my mind with the Ambrose Bierce story"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" which was the PBS film I saw.I do think that the Bierce story was in a Scholastic Reader back in 68 or 69 or around the same time I saw it on PBS though the film is from 1962.

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  31. Blight noted Bierce as perhaps the best writer to emerge out of the post-Civil War literary era, certainly the most honest. He noted "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," and other stories, as perhaps the best effort to reconcile the war in human terms, even if Bierce was perhaps too obsessed with death.

    There was a half-way decent movie made not so long ago of Bierce in Mexico at the time of the revolution. I believe Gregory Peck played Bierce.

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  32. That's it! As I recall, it was based on a Carlos Fuentes story.

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  33. I am starting to worry about Robert. Haven't heard a peep from him in two weeks now. Hope all is well.

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  34. Me, too! I hope he already has his book in hand is reading away and can join us here.

    Have you emailed him?

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  35. Av, curious if you have read Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides. The book caught my eye at amazon,

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400031109/ref=s9_simb_gw_xu_s0_p14_t4?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=0SFSYEFMHJQ7STE03N40&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846

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  36. I have the book, but have only read a few excerpts. In fact, it's on the bedroom table stack at the moment. You wouldn't know it by looking at it, but it's about Kit Carson.

    John may have read it.

    I bought it based on this review:

    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/10/09/061009crbo_books

    In my spare time I'm working on this book -- and Sides' book covers some of Garcia's country:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tough-Trip-Through-Paradise-1878-1879/dp/0893012505

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  37. ROBERT, where are you?!

    TR has arrived. We need you here!

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