Literary Memories 23 July: Raymond Thornton Chandler

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Raymond Thornton Chandler 

Raymond Thornton Chandler

 

Author: Raymond Thornton Chandler

Dates: 23 July 1888 – 26 March 1959

Nationality: British -American

Title of Book: The Little Sister

I had been stalking the bluebottle fly for five minutes, waiting for him to sit down. He didn’t want to sit down. He just wanted to do wing-overs and sing the prologue to Pagliacci. I had the fly swatter poised in mid-air and I was all set. There was a patch of bright sunlight on the corner of the desk and I knew sooner or later that was where he was going to light. But when he did I didn’t even see him at first. The bussing stopped and there he was. And then the phone rang.

I reached for it inch by inch with a slow and patient left hand. I lifted the phone slowly and spoke into it softly: “Hold the line a moment, please.”

I laid the phone down gently on the brown blotter. He was still there, shining and blue-green and full of sin. I took a deep breath and swung. What was left of him sailed halfway across the room and dropped on the carpet. I went over and picked him up by his good wing and dropped him into the waste-basket.

Brief Biography: Chandler was a novelist and screenwriter. He became a dectective-fiction writer after losing his job as an oil executive in the Depression. Chandler is said to have had an immense influence on American popular literature.

Artistic Memories 22 July: Edward Hopper

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Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper

 

Artist: Edward Hopper

Dates: 22 July 1882 – 15 May 1967

Nationality:  American

Title of Piece: Blue Night

Blue Night by Edward Hopper

Blue Night by Edward Hopper

Brief Biography: Hopper was a realist painter and printmaker. His urban and rural scenes combined with his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of American life.

Parnassian Moments 22 July: Carl Sandburg

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Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg

 

Poet: Carl Sandburg

Dates: 6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967

Nationality: American

Title of Poem: Adelaide Crapsey

Among the bumble-bees in red-top hay, a freckled field of brown-eyed Susans dripping yellow leaves in July,
I read your heart in a book.

And your mouth of blue pansy—I know somewhere I have seen it rain-shattered.

And I have seen a woman with her head flung between her naked knees, and her head held there listening to the sea, the great naked sea shouldering a load of salt.

And the blue pansy mouth sang to the sea:
Mother of God, I’m so little a thing,
Let me sing longer,
Only a little longer.

And the sea shouldered its salt in long gray combers hauling new shapes on the beach sand.

 

Brief Biography: Sandburg won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for poetry and one for his biography on Abraham Lincoln. He is the only poet to have addressed a joint-session of Congress. As a civil activist Sandburg was the first white man to be honoured by the NCAAP.

Parnassian Moments 21 July: Robert Burns

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Robert Burns

Robert Burns

 

Poet: Robert Burns

Dates: 25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796

Nationality: Scottish

Title of Poem: Ye Banks And Braes O’Bonnie Doon

Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu’ o’ care!

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o’ the happy days
When my fause Luve was true.

Thou’ll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o’ my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka bird sang o’ its love;
And sae did I o’ mine.

Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose
Frae aff its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw the rose,
But left the thorn wi’ me.

Brief Biography: Burns was a pioneer of the Romantic Movement and is Scotland’s national poet. His poetry whilst intensely tender was radical and often touched on Scottish issues of the day, such as repulicism, poverty, class and inequality. The intense emotional highs and lows of his work and his own references to blue devilism suggest Burns was a manic depressive.

Flashbacks of Rock and Pop 21 July: Cat Stevens

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Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens

 

Artist: Cat Stevens

Dates: 21 July 1948

Nationality: English

Title of Song: Morning Has Broken

Brief Biography: Stevens is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.  He is a prominent convert to Islam and has left his musical career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes within the Muslim community. Stevens has received numerous awards for his work promoting world peace.

Classical Memories 21 July: Jerrald King “Jerry” Goldsmith

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Jerrald King (Jerry) Goldsmith

Jerrald King (Jerry) Goldsmith

 

Composer: Jerrald King “Jerry” Goldsmith

Dates: 10 February 1929 – 21 July 2004

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: The Gremlin Rag

Brief Biography: Goldsmith is best known for his television and film scores. He studied the piano with the legendary pianist Jakob Gimpel. Goldsmith’s career started as a clerk typist in the CBS music department. His music was influences by the classical styles of the 20th century but was unique for its use of ethnic instrumentation.

Literary Memories 21 July: Ernest Miller Hemingway

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Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway

 

Author: Ernest Miller Hemingway

Dates: 21 July 1889 – 2 July 1964

Nationality: American

Title of Book: the Old Man of the Sea

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with floor sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.

The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck.  The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless dessert.

Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same colour as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

Brief Biography: Hemingway was an author and journalist. His understated style had a strong influence on 20th Century fiction. Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

Artistic Memories 20 July: Gustavo ‘Ciruelo’ Cabral

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Gustavo 'Ciruelo' Cabral

Gustavo ‘Ciruelo’ Cabral

 

Artist: Gustavo ‘Ciruelo’ Cabral

Dates: 20 July 1963

Nationality: Argentine

Title of Piece: Hobsyllwin and Kume

Hobsyllwin and Kume by Gustavo 'Ciruelo' Cabral

Hobsyllwin and Kume by Gustavo ‘Ciruelo’ Cabral

Brief Biography: Cabral is a fantasy artist. His work focuses on dragons. Cabral’s work is represented in the Paper Tiger Fantasy Art Gallery.

Artistic Memories 19 July: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

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Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

 

Artist: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

Dates: 19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917

Nationality: French

Title of Piece: Madame Camus with a Fan

Madame Camus with a Fan by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

Madame Camus with a Fan by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas

Brief Biography: Degas was a painter and sculptor. He is especially identified for his subject of dance. Degas is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism.

Parnassian Moments 19 July: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

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Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

 

Poet: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

Dates: 30 July 1304 – 19 July 1374

Nationality: Italian

Title of Poem: Gli Occhi Di Ch’ Io Parlai

Those eyes, ‘neath which my passionate rapture rose,
The arms, hands, feet, the beauty that erewhile
Could my own soul from its own self beguile,
And in a separate world of dreams enclose,
The hair’s bright tresses, full of golden glows,
And the soft lightning of the angelic smile
That changed this earth to some celestial isle,
Are now but dust, poor dust, that nothing knows.
And yet I live! Myself I grieve and scorn,
Left dark without the light I loved in vain,
Adrift in tempest on a bark forlorn;
Dead is the source of all my amorous strain,
Dry is the channel of my thoughts outworn,
And my sad harp can sound but notes of pain.

 

Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Brief Biography: Petrarca was a scholar and poet. He is often credited with initiating the 14th Century’s Renaissance. Petrarca is often referred to as the father of Humanism. His sonnets were imitated throughout Europe and became the model of lyrical poetry.

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