Monday, November 26, 2012

I Read Books And Such

Tucson Weather Today


I ran headfirst into the description of a novel (Kindle Edition) titled Gilead. It was written by Marilynne Robinson. a novelist I had never heard of until now. In the Kindle Store I read a bit from it in the Look Inside section that Amazon provides for those of us who need some assurance that what we buy in the way of books, if not clear and direct writing, is at least understandable and not one of those symbolic flights of fancy composed by some self-important intellectual who commands attention to imaginative  fairy tale emotional ramblings.

From the brief sample provided, Gilead seems to be eminently understandable, and although I hesitate to spend the $9.99 asking price, I am pretty sure I will do so, eventually if not immediately. But I have often found that if I do not do it at once, I put it off and put it off until I have lost interest, or some other arising pursuit has dampened the existing urgency. I have missed many opportunities by hesitancy to part with that which is, in overall reality, merely a pittance.

The story of Gilead is the story of a 76 year old preacher who is also the son of a preacher and is writing a series of letters to his seven year old son. And that's enough about the story. But below is a single paragraph excerpted from it.

I saw a bubble float past my window, fat and wobbly and ripening toward that dragonfly blue they turn just before they burst. So I looked down at the yard and there you were, you and your mother, blowing bubbles at the cat, such a barrage of them that the poor beast was beside herself at the glut of opportunity. She was actually leaping in the air, our insouciant Soapy! Some of the bubbles drifted up through the branches, even above the trees. You two were too intent on the cat to see the celestial consequences of your worldly endeavors. They were very lovely. Your mother is wearing her blue dress and you are wearing your red shirt and you were kneeling on the ground together with Soapy between and that effulgence of bubbles rising, and so much laughter. Ah, this life, this world.

Hm. I will probably buy the book.



effulgence [ih-fuhl-juhns]
a brilliant radiance; a shining forth.



Rich Little
Birthday: November 26, 1938
Age: 74 years old

Richard Caruthers "Rich" Little is a Canadian-American impressionist and voice actor. He has been known nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Voices" (a title also bestowed upon voice actor Mel Blanc).

Born: November 26, 1939
Age: 73 years old
Anna Mae Bullock, better known by her stage name Tina Turner, is an American singer whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards. Turner started out her music career in the mid-1950s as a featured singer with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, first recording in 1958 under the name Little Ann with the song, "Box Top". Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in the early 1960s with Ike as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of notable hits including "River Deep – Mountain High" (1966) and "Proud Mary" (1971).

Born: November 26, 1922
Died: February 12, 2000

Charles Monroe Schulz, nicknamed Sparky, was an American cartoonist, whose comic strip Peanuts proved one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium and is still widely reprinted on a daily basis.

Born November 26, 1933
Died: October 30, 2007

Robert Gerard Goulet was a Canadian-American singer and actor. He is probably best known for originating the role of Lancelot in the 1960 Broadway musical Camelot and his numerous appearances in Las Vegas.


"I began what amounted to an effort to reeducate myself. After all those years of school, I felt there was little I knew that I could trust, and I did not want my books to be one more tributary to the sea of nonsense that really is what most conventional wisdom amounts to."
--Marilynne Robinson


  1. Dear Clear and Direct Gene,

    Please, might you offer me the name of an of an author who specializes in creating symbolic flights of fancy composed by some self-important intellectual who commands attention to imaginative fairy tale emotional ramblings?

    I'm chuckling.

    Thanks for the entertainment.


    1. If hard pressed I am sure I could come up with a name for such an author, but since you are chuckling it seems to me that I am merely being gently goaded. Surely an author such as described exists somewhere or somewhen, even if that be within my imagination only. Perhaps as the apotheosis of the type of writing I hold dear but am ever unable to intellectually understand and therefore must criticize.

      Suppose that's it?

  2. No, good friend, I wasn't goading you. I've come to appreciate your outlook on life, as you express it, even when you tickle my funny bone. And Gene, you "intellectually" understand as much as anyone I know. So, I'll give you my example of a writer whose one flight of fancy -- so admired by many a putative expert -- I consider to be absolute nonsense. James Joyce, whose Dubliners as clear and direct as Chekov's work, wrote a thick and incomprehensible weighty tome of a doorstop with Ulysses.