Jan. 23, 2000

Eden's Courtesy

by C. S. Lewis

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: January 23, 2000

Poem: "Eden's Courtesy" by C. S. Lewis from his Poems published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

It's the birthday of French novelist Stendahl (Marie Henri Beyle [mah-REE awh-REE BAIL]), born in Grenoble, France (1783). Popularity in his own lifetime was due more to his drawing room wit and his travel books than the novels on which his modern fame rests: The Red and the Black (1830) and The Charterhouse of Parma (1839). He defined the novel as "a mirror riding along the highway."

It's the birthday of painter Edouard Manet, born in Paris (1832)—who said, "The country only has charms for those not obliged to stay there."

It's the birthday of architect Henry Mather Greene, born in Brighton, Ohio (1870)— who, with his older brother Charles, pioneered the California bungalow-style 'Greene & Greene' home, featuring broad overhanging eaves and large sleeping porches. Most of their surviving houses are in the Pasadena area northeast of Los Angeles.

It's the birthday of experimental poet Louis Zukofsky, born in New York City (1904). He worked hard as a child to master English, a language his immigrant parents couldn't speak. Little known to the public, highly regarded by other poets, he was published only in small magazines, and no collection of his work came out until he was 61. His celebrated poem "A," made up of 24 sections, was about to be published when he died, 74 years old, in 1978.

It's the birthday of jazz guitarist 'Django' (Jean Baptiste) Reinhardt, born in Liberchies [lee-bare-SHEE], Belgium (1910). Growing up in a Gypsy family, he learned young to play violin, guitar, and banjo—but then, when he was 18, was so badly burned in a fire that the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand—his fretting hand—fused together. Undaunted, he devised a new chording technique and continued to be a jazz virtuoso. In 1934 he formed the famous quintet the Hot Club of France with violinist Stephane Grappelli.

It's the birthday of poet and playwright Derek Walcott, born on Santa Lucia, in the West Indies (1930). His poetry collections include The Castaway (1965), Another Life (1973), and Midsummer (1984). The best known of his 30 plays is Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967). In 1992 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

On this day in 1963, Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar was published, under the name Victoria Lucas. Based on her struggle with depression, it came out 19 days before she killed herself in London.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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