Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Autumn is at full, and trees in town and woods along the highways are beautiful.  But why this temperature during the days into the low-to-mid 80’s?

Sign in a restroom about fifteen miles south of Stoney Creek, VA, on US 301:



On the ferry at Jamestown, VA.  The sky is light blue with shallow banks of white clouds and white wisps of clouds away from the banks.  The river churns beside the ferry.  The American flag flies in strong sunlight.  Passengers gather at the rails for good views of the river and shore and for photographs.

Halloween.  If this year is typical, there will not be trick-or-treaters in my neighborhoods.  I have bought a small bag of candy just in case there are.  In the October, 2014, edition of Harper’s I read these statistics:

Amount Americans spent last year on UNICEF donations to trick-or-treaters: $3,731,057

On Halloween costumes for their pets:  $300,000,000

Reading.  Fiction.  John Steinbeck, Burning Bright (1950).  This short book, which in the introduction the author calls a “play-novelette,” is experimental in form.  According to the writers of “Notes on the Texts” in the 2007 Library of America edition, the book is Steinbeck’s “adaptation of his play of the same name,” which ran on Broadway for 13 performances.  There are four characters, who appear in the three “acts” as workers in a circus, on a farm, and on a ship.  Each “act” shows a progression of the slim plot involving the four characters in different settings as different types of workers with the same conflicts.  The meaning of the story is given in a didactic manner in the final two pages.  Steinbeck, in his introduction, says that he wrote Of Mice and Men and The Moon Is Down as attempts at the same form.  He writes, “I think it is a legitimate form and one that can stand a great deal of exploration.”  Burning Bright is a book that in form and content does not work for me.  I’m glad that Steinbeck did not attempt the form again.

Quotations from readings of the week.

” . . . the world is perfectly designed to make you nuts if you let it.”  Garry Somers, “The Secret Life of Walter’s Mitties,” The Blotter, November, 2014.

” . . . every man if father to all children and every child must have all men as father.”  John Steinbeck, Burning Bright


About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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