Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meander into the Solstice

It's a little early, but this is from a Solstice morning in Ames, Iowa. I'll be bringing in greenery this weekend and lighting candles on the 21st in hopes of bringing the sun back to its northern path.

94 comments:

  1. This Day in History is interesting. The link takes you to a wikipedia article. There you will find, among othe things, a list of mishaps involving the steamship, General Slocum. One entry references 900 intoxicated Paterson anarchists.

    I found an article in the New York Times historical archives about the event. Oddly enough, there is no mention of anarchists. Rather, the intoxicated men from Paterson were members of the Dougherty & Wadsworth Ironwrokers' Association, a union. I guess all unionists were also considered anarchists back then?

    ReplyDelete
  2. One man's unionist is another man's anarchist?

    Taking a different meander, my local independent bookstore surprisingly didn't have a copy of Stegner's Spectator Bird. I hate shopping at B&N, so if the university bookstore doesn't have it I may wait until Monday and just get a copy at the library, which does have a copy. It also has a tape of Stegner reading it -- wish I could check that out to listen to in the car.

    I just finished listening to 25 CDs on Jefferson and the Hemingses. That book was amazing, as I've said here many times I'm sure. I look forward to reading it myself at some point just so I can see how she uses sources etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've checked a couple local bookstores and they have Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose. But I went to Atlanta Book Exchange, which is a very cool secondhand store in an old house in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood (a trendy in-town area where half the population seems to be under 40 and driving either a BMW or an Audi) and found copies of just about everything Stegner ever wrote.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I checked my local used bookstore, too, and they have a big selection. Just not The Spectator Bird (of course).

    Most of my paperback novels are still in boxes in the garage. At some point I need to pull them out, keep the ones I want, and get rid of the rest. The nice thing about the used bookstore here is that they operate as an exchange, so you can bring books in and get credit. I think it's time to start doing that with some of them. I'm sure I"ll come across a big stack of Stegner novels in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I liked both those Stegner books very much, particularly Angle of Repose. Still have Big Rock Candy Mountain sitting on my shelf unread.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Big Rock Candy Mountain is my favorite by far. I think I've read it three times now.

    The best book I've ever read about the West and that constant urge to keep searching for that dream.

    ReplyDelete
  7. While in B & N looking for Stegner books, I had to listen to Susan Boyle's new CD on the PA system. As first I didn't know who it was. So I asked a passing sales associate.

    "That's Susan Boyle. Not a fan?"

    "Not if that's what she sounds like," I said.

    He went on to explain that in the past week they had sold more copies of her CD in one day than all other CDs combined.

    It's amazing what people will listen to.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yet another reason to avoid B&N.

    ReplyDelete
  9. After you read Big Rock Candy Mountain you should read Recapitulation which features the younger brother Bruce Mason returning to Salt Lake City 45 years after he fled it to attend the funeral of an aunt.It jumps between the present and the past and is almost as good as the original.Angle of Repose comes in a close 2nd to Big Rock in my reading.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Marti, I think your gmail account has been hijacked. I just received a weird spam mail with your name on it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Trippler:

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap020114.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. One of the things I don't like about this new posting window is that it seems to skip a line when inserting pictures. Otherwise, it is more user friendly, allowing you to upload links without going to HTML.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Changed my password in gmail on Sunday. Google advised that and said there'd been suspicious activity (all while I was asleep). Got way too many email responses asking if I'd sent that to them. My brother Stan texted me about it. No other problems though since then.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, yeah, it was obviously not from you ... Buy good computer, ship from Korea. Always good review. Click here. You be very surprised.

    Fortunately it was just text.

    I may have blocked you permanently. I'll see if I can fix that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have to love all the self-righteous indignation the Republicans are kicking up over "The Nebraska Compromise,"

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/34515577

    At least 7 states plan to file charges, claiming the concessions Ben Nelson got for his vote are unconstitutional.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Any way to obstruct change. What I wonder is how they have convinced their constituencies to continue to support them. Do they simply not want to have the uninsured in their states to have access to health care?

    I had a terrible vision last night when I picked up Stegner's Spectator Bird and started to read it. From those who knew him, he apparently became very bitter and conservative later in life and couldn't understand the anti-war student protest movement. This conservatism is sort of suggested in this book (as well as in Angle of Repose).

    It got me thinking what might happen when this bill goes into effect and young healthy people are mandated to purchase insurance. I can see it all now -- a new generation of republicans marching, demanding "liberty" (although if they are college students, they already have that mandate).

    We may soon be living in even more interesting times.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rick, thanks for the heads up on the Stegner book. I had to go to the library yesterday, so picked up a copy there. I started reading it waiting for my daughter and am already hooked.

    He is such a good _simple_ writer -- something about the way he communicates makes it seem as if I'm sitting there with him as he tells the story. I look forward to finishing it (and then I'll get back to Wills, who isn't nearly as convincing a writer, although I'm fascinated by the topic).

    ReplyDelete
  18. And in the spirit of Stegner, why do people (college students in this case) feel the need to mark up novels? It totally destroys the reading experience to find underlines and stars in the dumbest of places. Fortunately it's only in the opening of the book or I wouldn't have bothered to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Regarding Stegner's conservative streak, it's on full display in "All the Little Live Things." I would still recommend the novel although it does veer into polemic a bit.

    Like you say, Diane, he is a good, simple writer. Nothing fancy. He obviously did much reading because he sprinkles quotes and references liberally. One "borrowing" in ATLLT that he doesn't acknowledge is Robert Frost's quip that "a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."

    I am eager to learn what you thought of "The Spectator Bird" once you've finished it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I look forward to reading it -- as you noted earlier, it's short, so hope to have time today and tomorrow to read it through. Nice break from history. And I enjoy his world (at least so far anyway).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Without spoiling it for others here who might want to read it (and the should), all I can say is that was some book!

    I had read the first chapter but then sat and read the rest of it in one sitting last night. Once the story starts to unfold it is near impossible to put the book down.

    Frankly, I didn't think Stegner had a book like that in him. The characters and the situation were familiar but then it sort of took off in an entirely different direction. I'll be trying to put all those pieces together in my mind for a long while.

    It was interesting though that his other award winning book used an almost identical format: elderly curmudgeon with problems with his son encounters the past through a series of letters from his grandmother. Stegner must have been in some ways a very unhappy man later in life.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Now back to Wills and Henry Adams, who had demons of his own to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It sounds like your reaction to The Spectator Bird is about like mine. As I rapidly neared the conclusion I found myself thinking, this was written by Wallace Stegner?

    My only criticism of the book . . . oh, wait a minute, someone might want to read it. Never mind.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The characters were all so familiar that he lulls you into a sense of security (or safety as he refers to it a few times) and that sort of unravels when you hit the midsection of the book. And yet, because of that sense of familiarity he creates, I think he pulls it off. I may not like the world he reveals, but I believe it. Heck, even Karen Blixen lives in it.

    Being a historian and all around snoop by nature, I always wonder what it was about that time that would incline him to write that book. As the wife in the novel says, the war was over (both of them) and life was settling down on campus.

    Besides, if he gave it much thought, the alternative universe he describes really is a counterpoint to the one he says he can't live with, but I don't get the impression that's what Stegner the author was getting at even though he says he misses the wildness of the landscape in Denmark. I have a relatively new biography of Stegner that I guess I'll have to read now.

    I'm curious about your thoughts, Rick. Email me so we don't spoil the central story to others who might want to read it. Not knowing what to anticipate is what makes this book such a stunner.

    Bo, have you read it?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Enjoying the Stegner discussion. I was sorting through books this week and found I had The Uneasy Chair, a biography of Bernard De Voto.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yes, as I recall, De Voto was his mentor.

    Maybe we can get something going here on Stegner at some point. I know John is a big fan, as am I, and looks like Rick is becoming one, too. I think the Stegner bio was one of the top books of the year at the Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/books/review/Wilson-t.html

    The Spectator Bird is a fascinating novel if you come across it. As I told Rick, I probably would have missed it if he hadn't alerted me to it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Another day, another novel. Just read Amigoland -- the name of a nursing home in Brownsville, Texas, which is where the author is from.

    It has been described as a Mexican old guy's Thelma and Louise, which seems to miss the point now that I've read it -- although there is a road trip into Mexico involved.

    What I really like about Cesares is that, unlike other clever young writers from the Iowa MFA program, he never condescends to his characters. Really makes them believable and, though difficult people, still sympathetic and worthy of our respect. A fun book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I did read "The Spectator Bird" maybe ten years ago an oddly don't recall all that much about it.It did not stick with me like Big Rock or Angle of Repose and that may be because it took place in more recent times.I read it right after another lesser one,Crossing to Safety I think was the title.

    ReplyDelete
  29. My bad I just looked and I confused All the little Live Things with The Spectator Bird.I haven't read The Spectator Bird then.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You should give it a try. It's not like any other Stegner I've ever read. A little over the top maybe, but still haunting.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I remember enjoying Crossing to Safety, although don't remember much of the specifics.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My wife and I saw the Coen brothers' new film, A Serious Man. Very good, very funny, especially if you are Jewish or, like me, grew up in a Jewish neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm tempted by this one, but I've never liked a Coen movie -- although I did like the music in O, Brother. So I've sort of given up on them.

    I just read Larry McMurtry's latest memoir, which is quick but still completely satisfying. Maybe he is the real Serious Man. A man of letters he has certainly been, even though it appears he has mostly made his living in Hollywood.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh, av, hard to imagine anyone not liking at least one Coen movie, especially since they have covered such a tremendous range. I loved O, Brother, but Barton Fink, with Mahoney's caricature of Faulkner, remains my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Never liked a Coen brothers' movie? I don't know what to say.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I know, this is the burden I must face in life.

    But their movies always seem to condescend to their characters without giving them any redeeming features. I can see why someone like Clooney enjoys being in one, since he can act dumb and look stupid, which I'm sure is a relief, but there doesn't seem to be anything else to the characters. Nothing that helps them rise above the characterizations (with the possible exception of the one black guitar player in O Brother).

    I walked out of Raising Arizona and Fargo for that reason. Way too condescending.

    It's like reading novels where the author thinks he or she is so much smarter than the characters. It's why I can't read Annie Proulx or most of McGuane. They strip these people of their dignity so we can all laugh at them at their expense.

    Haven't seen all of the Coen movies -- there is a long list of them -- but I've sort of given up on them.

    ReplyDelete
  37. So instead I just read another book -- a novella by David Lodge which had its charms (about fame and notoriety). Two in one day, and the day is still not over. I'm looking around for something else good to read.

    So nice to take a few days off.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Don't go to A Serious Man. You'll hate it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yeah, I kinda figured as much.

    ReplyDelete
  40. avrds: Did you see "Blood Simple"? That was the first Coen Bros. movie I saw and I thought it was very effective movie making so I've seen almost all that followed, except "Miller's Crossing" (which I keep getting reminded is a must-see).

    I guess satire in general can be said to condescend to its characters in that it holds out their flaws to ridicule, and farce depends on easily recognized types. What comic movies do you like?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I wasn't a big fan of Fargo either, but loved Raising Arizona. Saw it as mostly slapstick.

    I don't think the Coens condescend to their characters so much as they do have fun with the situations they create. O, Brother was a great send up to that time in America, capturing the great Mississippi flood, the hollowness of small town values, evangelicals and KKK alike, as well as the music industry. They packed a lot into those two hours, much of which I found very memorable. I thought Clooney was great in it, as was everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  42. NY, that's such an interesting question... what do people find funny? And then why? As a professor of mine once explained, when a truck tips over and hits a car, that's terrible. When a bus tips over and squishes a volkswagen, that's funny.

    Well, he had a weird sense of humor, but his point was that there's something in extreme situations that makes us laugh and hopefully laugh at ourselves and/or the human condition in the process.

    I almost always go to comedies when I go to movies. I like to laugh out loud. I'm not a thriller/sci fi kind of person, and a "drama" has to be pretty compelling and well written for me to be interested in it (e.g., I like classic plays). I prefer European films because they seem much more human to me in general.

    Some of my top favorite comedies are older ones like To Be or Not to Be and Some Like it Hot. I really like the Producers, in which that bus metaphor spins way out of control, which is where its humor lies. That's the only Mel Brooks film I really like.

    There's a Bill Murray film, The Man who Knew too Little, which is very funny -- and you could say that the situation he finds himself in is similar to a Coen Brothers film. But he seems to rise above it.

    And more recently there was the one I recommended to Barton about the funeral -- I'll have to look that up. Very funny. But then that's British, I tend to enjoy the English sensibility.

    I was talking to a friend last night about Christopher Guest films, and she commented out of the blue how she really liked them -- not like the Coen Brothers films which always seem a little creepy. Out of the blue, her words not mine. So I guess I'm not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I went to this list of 100 top comedies to see which of those struck me as funny.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI%27s_100_Years%E2%80%A6100_Laughs

    I've seen most of them. Some strike me as funnier than others. I don't think any of the modern ones in there, though, hold up to some of the classics.

    In the spirit of the holidays I'll add National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. And Home for the Holidays -- those actors have a lot of fun with their parts but don't seem to be humiliated in the process. And I don't even like Holly Hunter.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You can't go wrong with James Thurber's autobiography, My Life and Hard Times.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I was just telling Diane about a laugh out loud funny novel, J. F. Powers' "Morte D'Urban." Powers' humor is very dry, however.

    William Trevor's first novel, "The Old Boys," is also funny but hard to find.

    Overall, Zadie Smith's "White Teeth" is quite funny, although I think she took a rather unfunny wrong turn in the last third of the book.

    Barbar Pym's little novels, like Powers', are dryly humorous. "Excellent Women" is a favorite of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love these ideas. I've never read any of these, including the Thurber. Just what we need for the winter doldrums.

    My favorite would be Confederacy of Dunces. I'm pretty sure that would still hold up after forty years. There's a character who holds his own in the most extreme comic situations.

    He's mentioned here:

    http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/whats-the-funniest-novel-ever/

    ReplyDelete
  47. Which reminds me of Wonder Boys (the movie, not the book, which was a bit of a bore). But that may have been because I know the character behind Michael Douglas and writers are always fair game as far as I'm concerned.

    Death at a Funeral was the English comedy I really enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Horse's Mouth, book and movie.

    I love going through these lists....

    I have Russo's Straight Man, but have never read it. I'm in the middle of a James novel now, but may pick that one up next since it's on the shelf.

    ReplyDelete
  49. No, not funny and a bit turgid, but once you get into his world, the language and story all seem to tie together.

    It's cold and gray here. A good laugh out loud movie and/or book sounds pretty good right now.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "My favorite would be Confederacy of Dunces. I'm pretty sure that would still hold up after forty years. There's a character who holds his own in the most extreme comic situations."

    The funny part, av, is I could see the Coens doing this story. Goodman might be a little old to play Ignatius J. Reilly but I'm sure they could find someone perfect for the role.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Although I've tried more than once, I've never gotten far enough into that book to think about who might be a good Ignatius J. Reilly.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I've been known to go through whole batches of comic novels by an author if the first one I read was sufficiently amusing--like those of Peter DeVries, for example, though most likely none were better than the 1st I read, "Comfort Me With Apples." Thurber is still revered, as is David Lodge. I've also loved non-novel works by S. J. Perelman, George S. Kaufman, and even the likes of Richard Armour and Will Cuppy ("The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody"), and whoever it was that wrote "1066 And All That."

    My all time fave comic novel is Stella Gibbons's "Cold Comfort Farm" -- splendid book and even a damn fine movie.

    OK, now I'll go look at the list...

    ReplyDelete
  53. And Gintaras is right, "Confederacy of Dunces" is prime Coen Bros. material.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'd have Thurber, Dunces and Cold Comfort Farm on the list.Also The River Why and Saki especially The Unest Cure and other beastly tales.There are some others but I have to visit the dusty corners first.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I forgot to mention that I found Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "A Man in Full" pretty funny.

    And I forgot to second whoever mentioned "The Horse's Mouth" -- can't remember why I never did get to the sequel.

    I'd wager NYT/Elba forum participant whiskeypriest would add Flann O'Brien's "At Swim Two Birds" and I'd agree, but he wouldn't agree with a fave of mine, William Gaddis's "A Frolic of His Own." Also, if chartres were around, she'd be able to quickly recall the two Southern authors she read, enjoyed and turned others onto a few years back...will sign off in hope's one or both names will come back to me 'fore long.

    And oh, yeah, how about ol' M. Sussman's fave, "Tristram Shandy"?

    ReplyDelete
  56. How could I forget At Swim two Birds or anything by O'Brien.Thanks Temps.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Two offbeat American ones come to mind.Cosmic Banditos by A.C. Weisbecker from 1986 and The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys from the early 90's by Chris Fuhram which was published soon after he died of cancer at a young age.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "I've been known to go through whole batches of comic novels by an author if the first one I read was sufficiently amusing..."

    I've done that too. I think I've read all of David Lodge's books, although some are funnier than others. Ditto Kingsley Amis. And the plays of Oscar Wilde and Shaw.

    I second Cold Comfort Farm (book and movie).

    Haven't read At Swim. Wasn't that one of the monthly book reads that no one read? I tried Tristram Shandy in college but think I was too young to enjoy it.

    Going way back, I remember really liking Bellow's Henderson the Rain King, and Malamud's A New Life -- but I'm never sure if those books hold up or not.

    Looking through the comments at that Times forum, there are several books there I've never read or even heard about. Someone there did mention Powers' Morte D'Urban which is already on my list.

    Here's another list -- I need to get reading!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Library_List_of_Best_20th-Century_Novels

    ReplyDelete
  59. And how could I forget Jon Hassler? He wrote some sweet comic novels about being an English teacher in the Midwest, but also a very poignant one: Green Journey. I think he's my favorite unknown writer.

    ReplyDelete
  60. One of the funniest books I read was Faulkner's The Rievers. Great comic material and also prime Coen Bros. material if they should choose to remake this movie.

    Hunter S. Thompson should be at the top of anyone's list. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and on the '72 Campaign Trail are classics.

    Heller's Catch-22 and the subsequent movie are both gems.

    ... and of course there is Mark Twain.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I understand that the Coen Brothers are working on a film adaptation of Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union."

    ReplyDelete
  62. I've been reacquainting myself with Saki and this morning read for the first time "The Hounds of Fate." Absolutely terrific story.

    ReplyDelete
  63. One of tonight's stories on Selected Shorts is by Saki. I'll try to catch it.

    I was just looking at the schedule and see that there a Stegner tribute is coming up the week of January 14. This program plays here on Tuesday nights, but you can also download them at the NPR site.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I did manage to come up with two of the Southern writers chartres was fond of: Clyde Edgerton (have read 2 or 3 of his) and Lee Smith (haven't read). There's still one more book that's primarily but not entirely comic; I recall much of it, but not the name!

    Many thanks, all, for the reminders and the new recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  65. There is Harry Crews but he is Southern Gothic though his memoir of growing up has some dark humor.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Barry Hannah? Not sure if he's funny or not.

    There's also another of that Stegner group -- Ed McClanahan -- who wrote a book called the Natural Man that's supposed to be very funny.

    Or there's the novel about seeing your life as a movie... I've never read that but remember it was hugely popular when it came out. And something about that sounds funny, although not so sure it is supposed to be.

    ReplyDelete
  67. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy?

    ReplyDelete
  68. That's it! I've never read it. But everyone loves it who has.

    I was just thinking of another one, too. James Wilcox.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Flannery O'Connor had a wicked sense of humor. "Wise Blood" is excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Along the same lines, so did Patricia Highsmith.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I finished the Spoils of Poynton last night. Tried to read the introductions by both James and David Lodge (I read those last), but they threatened to spoil the book for me so moved on to Russo.

    The academy is such an easy target but looks like this one will be fun nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Rick, if you haven't already read it, you might want to give Straight Man a try. He's got the English department down cold. And still manages to wring some humor out of it!

    He has a transvestite character named Finny which reminded me of another book I really liked at the time -- The Planets by James Finney Boylan. One of those perfect comic novels where all the disparate parts fall together effortlessly (or so it seems to the reader). It was supposed to be a trilogy and I always wondered what happened to the other books and to the author.

    Turns out he is now Jennifer Finney Boylan and recently wrote a book about his experience (the woman within, or something like that). I can't help but think s/he must have inspired Russo to some extent. Jennifer teaches in Vermont I think.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thanks for the heads-up.

    I've just finished reading Toni Morrison's Beloved, which I can't exactly recommend but which I did read with a growing appreciation for her story telling technique. It's a far cry from Stegner, that's for sure. I needed something that stretched boundaries after his books. I'm also on a mission to read only books I haven't read before for the forseeable future.

    Next up is either Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier, or Independent People by Halldor Laxness. Both books almost always receive lavish praise.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Well, definitely not in that league but worth a weekend to be sure. It starts with a search committee:

    "[The remaining candidates] represented what was left after we'd winnowed out the applications that were personally threatening. To hire someone distinguished would be to invite comparison with ourselves, who were undistinguished. Not that this particular logic ever got voiced openly. Rather, we reminded each other how difficult it was to retain candidates with excellent qualifications. To make matters worse, we were suspicious of any good candidate who expressed in interest in us. We suspected that he (or she!) might be involved in salary negotiations with the institution that currently employed him (or her!) and trying to attract offers to be used as leverage with their own deans....."

    It takes off from there.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Independent People was my first Laxness novel and I was hooked. I brought "The Virago Book of Ghost Stories" up to Lake Tahoe with me and finally opened it tonight.The entire book is by female authors and runs in time from the Victorian era to the present.The second story"The Old Nurses Story" by Elizabeth Gaskell was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Read my last book of the holidays today -- McMurtry's Duane's Depressed. I also read his latest memoir, in which he said this was his best book. It may be. It's a wonderful novel.

    I had read Texasville a few years ago (the second in the series), but have never read Last Picture Show. May have to go back and do that now.

    He's since written two more, and I have the next one, but not sure I want to read them now since he originally meant Duane's Depressed to be the last of the series. But he may get me to read Proust (recommended to Duane by his psychiatrist).

    Funny, this was a book that Anagram, one of the old NY Times readers, wanted to read because of the Proust, so I sent her a copy to Zurich. I'm curious now what she thought of it... It's a very Texas sort of book. I wonder if it translates.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Nice you still keep in touch with Anagram. Lost track of her after she left. She helped me keep the Russian literature forum alive back in those days.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Anna still posts in Avoice's yahoo group though not much gets posted of late and she's on facebook where I have her as a friend.Gint she might be interested in your Tolstoy blog

    ReplyDelete
  79. Drop her a line. I can always make her a contributor if she wants. You too if you would like. Pretty slow going.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I love reading the Tolstoy blog -- but don't know that much Russian literature or film, alas. Even the link to that beautiful (looking) Christmas film was only in Russian. I once tried to teach myself to read Russian but didn't get very far.

    Watched Wings of Desire last night. Even my German isn't good enough to watch that without subtitles, though you probably don't need to understand too much of the language to enjoy it. What an amazing film that is.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Glad to hear you guys are looking in :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. I comment when I have something to add! But after awhile, "nice," "cool," or "interesting" doesn't seem to do it....

    ReplyDelete
  83. Gintaras, I offered the Russian link but Anagram chose not reply. She must have hated the McMurtry book I sent!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Or, looking through the last few posts at avoice's site, it may be that Bo's right -- the old meander has simply died off. That's too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  85. All things must pass, but it is nice to have resurrected the Am History forum, if only Bob were well enough to join us. Wishing him all the best in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yes, I agree. I keep waiting for Robert to show up unexpectedly here. I haven't given up!

    Anagram did reply (I was reading the messages in the wrong order) but has her hands full with a toddler.

    In the meantime, I tried to find some of those Russian films, but right now the only access I have is my daughter's netflix online which has some great films, but not a lot to choose from. So I'm sticking with Sherlock Holmes (I have become a hardcore Basil Rathbone fan -- although after seeing Peter Falk show up in Wings of Desire I may have to give Columbo a try).

    ReplyDelete