areadingretirement
areadingretirement
A Reading Retirement
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areadingretirement · 5 hours ago
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Silent Film Tragedies: Jack Pickford (1896-1933), Mary’s younger brother, was Silent Hollywood’s quintessential hot mess - alcoholism, drugs , syphilis, failed marriages, sexual misbehavior, all of course in a “boy next door” package. (Naturally he has hysterical defenders.)
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areadingretirement · 5 hours ago
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Music is of the sunlight, strong and free . . The sun is up, and Death is far away: The first hour is the sweetest of the day.
The Australian Shaw Neilson (1872-1942) is, for my money, one of the greatest lyric poets who ever lived; his lilt is unmistakable.
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areadingretirement · 5 hours ago
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“...it had come at last; George Amberson Minafer had got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled, and running over. But those who had...longed for it were not there to see it, and they never knew it. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it and all about him.”
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areadingretirement · a day ago
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I was very excited to finally obtain my own copy of this classic volume by Cicely Veronica Wedgwood, a model of historically-based literary criticism.
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areadingretirement · a day ago
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Courthouse of the Day: Strafford County, New Hampshire, built 1889
No longer in use as courthouse; still in existence, but altered for the worse. That beautiful arched entrance is gone. For my Courthouses of the Day project, I want to acknowledge the use I make of this excellent website. courthousehistory.com
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areadingretirement · a day ago
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Easy to forget (because few pay real attention to theater) that 1988 saw a production of Waiting for Godot with (drum roll) Robin Williams, Steve Martin, F. Murray Abraham, and Bill Irwin. The production, directed by Mike Nichols, got mixed reviews, but still and all was a real occasion.
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areadingretirement · a day ago
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One of the greatest comic actors now known only to buffs is unquestionably Lee Tracy, who incarnated an American archetype to perfection - the hyperenergetic lovable conning newsman / press agent / shyster attorney. His career imploded by the mid-30s and he seldom gets mentioned.
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areadingretirement · a day ago
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Hortense Calisher’s massive first novel from 1961 is by several miles the strangest book of any kind that I am engaged in at the moment. I don’t think I have any apt words to characterize it. Ostensibly realist, monumentally out there.
I suppose I could say that False Entry is a lengthy first-person Bildungsroman whose narrator views his life in dizzyingly abstract analytic terms.
“…the whole gradual process of my life has been one of using the truth falsely, meanwhile never lying to myself along the way.”
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areadingretirement · 2 days ago
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In Mexico, a tangerine house is an option. 👍
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areadingretirement · 2 days ago
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Same street bookseller in downtown Tlaxcala as the other day, no English books today, so I bought this, 860 large packed pages of Spanish-American short stories! I read Spanish VERY slowly. But hey, as addictions go, this is better than morphine.
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areadingretirement · 2 days ago
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Seeing Wallace Reid in an actual film, The Affairs of Anatol, one realizes that he’s not just as handsome as the day is long, but tall, very athletically built, basically a complete stud, swoonworthy in any generation.
Confirmed: Wally was 6’1” (1.85 m), which was ENORMOUS at that time. Jeanine Basinger wrote that silent film was “a perfect world of beautiful little people. They are all so small!…Where do these teeny people come from, and where are such people today?”
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areadingretirement · 3 days ago
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Democracy in America is the best and most continuingly relevant book ever written about the United States. I recommend the complete George Lawrence translation.
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areadingretirement · 3 days ago
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Malta, this little archipelago at the dead center of the Mediterranean world, exerts a considerable fascination on me. This history is a good read so far!
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areadingretirement · 4 days ago
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Courthouse of the Day: Oneida County, Wisconsin, built 1908
“The exterior features a rusticated ground floor, two-story Ionic columns, classical moldings, and an octagonal, translucent dome of green Tiffany glass.”
The population of the county was 10,000 at that time.
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areadingretirement · 4 days ago
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Silent Film Tragedies: Genuine cowboy and rodeo star turned Western actor, Art Acord (1890-1931). Alcoholic, thrice-divorced, badly burned in gas explosion at his home, had difficulty with transition to talkies, took cyanide.
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areadingretirement · 4 days ago
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A high point for Richard Dix, whom I am constantly getting confused with Richard Arlen, was the Val Lewton / Mark Robson The Ghost Ship, the most underrated of Lewton’s nine thrillers.
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areadingretirement · 4 days ago
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I am reading the chapters in Jean Pierre Lion’s biography of Bix Beiderbecke that describe the Wolverines’ first recording sessions, and listening to each cut thanks to YouTube. Most illuminating! Bix is one of those artists that I feel a fairly intense identification with (F. Scott Fitzgerald from exactly the same time is another), and reading this biography is bringing that home all over again. Kind of shivery.
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areadingretirement · 5 days ago
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Silent Film Tragedies: Russian director Yevgeni Bauer (1865-1917), and this one stings because Bauer was the equivalent of D.W. Griffith. His films are jaw-droppingly original and powerful. Broke his leg on set, died of subsequent pneumonia.
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areadingretirement · 6 days ago
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I moved into an apartment where the previous occupant had left Hilaire Belloc’s book on Marie Antoinette, so I read it. Interesting conservative take, written in the high style. Belloc was an arch-Catholic, with all that implies.
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areadingretirement · 6 days ago
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Pure Fifties cool, featuring a host of good players including Jack Sheldon, Pepper Adams, and Tommy Tedesco. Many West Coasters cycled in and out of Dave Pell’s Octet.
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