Saturday, December 13, 2008

Library After Air Raid, London, 1940

Paul L. Martin shared this photo the other day as part of the hundredth post to his blog, The Teacher’s View. I’ve been pondering it ever since — the debris, the walls of books, the strangely calm bearing of the three men facing them — calm, or perhaps shocked. Oddly enough, to me, this looks a lot like a painting of a dream I had a few weeks ago.

As the Conversation continues, we briefly explore the Doc Savage supersagas and other Dented merchandise.


S_Allen said...

A very striking picture. In the chaos that was WWII for England these three men take the time out to look at books. That says something right there - the human spirit may become frightened, but it is really difficult to crush it.

I wonder if there is a poem in this picture. I will have to stare and ponder a little longer.

William Michaelian said...

Yes, and be sure to click on it for the larger version. The more I study it, the more I see.

Chrees said...

A fascinating picture. Thanks for posting it and the link.

William Michaelian said...

My pleasure. And I’m still enjoying your work at A Common Reader. Those recently completed write-ups on the Iliad are impressive.

Chrees said...

Thanks...I'm surprised how much I enjoyed the work the first time, and even more this second time.

William Michaelian said...

That’s one of the miracles of reading. And of course when you know you’re going to write about what you read, that affects how you read.

And now you’re into Faulkner. It was interesting listening to his voice. He was certainly racing through that reading of As I Lay Dying. I really appreciate the links you provide.

Chrees said...

Yep, that's the purpose of me writing about reading. I find I read much more attentively in that case.

I love that interview with Faulkner in The Paris Review I linked to, especially some of his movie experiences. Glad you like the links. It is easy to find summary guides, but I enjoy looking for more offbeat links. The high school wiki was a fun find.

William Michaelian said...

I’m nine pages into the interview. He makes some great observations. I can’t resist: tomorrow I’ll highlight one of his answers in an entry, and include a link to your site.

Chrees said...

Thanks. I find Faulkner fascinating. Probably because I associate with him way too much. (Well, except for the whole talent thing...unless you count visualizing business situations in spreadsheet form as talent)

With the "The Sound and the Fury" (re-read just over a decade ago), I haven't read Faulkner since the early 80s during a hedonistic summer in Oxford, so I'm looking forward to reading him again.

From what I remember, I associated too much with Quentin Compson (at the time I thought very much a Faulkner alter ego), who couldn't imagine not loving the South despite how much he hated it. As with "As I Lay Dying" matter how dysfunctional the Bundren family is, there is something to be said for the perseverance they display. Or as I remember from the interview, most people avoid testing themselves regarding how much they can endure. His characters seem to test themselves, almost deliberately.

I had not read Joyce's "Ulysses" when I read "The Sound and the Fury" the first time, and now looking back Faulkner's work seems derivative in many respects. Even so, the second time through I liked TSatF even more. It might be interesting to compare the South at the turn of last century versus Ireland of about the same time. There are many similarities I haven't thought about until now. Faulkner has a nihlism that exceeds Joyce. Some of the Bundrens may believe in God, but God definitely does not believe in the Bundrens. Sorry... just thinking out loud and I haven't even started the book yet.