May 6, 2000
609 I Years had been from Home
Poem: "I years had been from home," by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).
Itís the birthday of Chilean writer ARIEL DORFMAN, born in Buenos, Argentina (1942). He's the author of several novels and many collections of poetry, but he's best known in this country for his play Death and the Maiden.
Itís the birthday of filmmaker and actor ORSON WELLES, born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (1915). His stage career began at 2, when he appeared as the child of Madame Butterfly in the opera. At 10 the boy entered a private school in Woodstock, Illinois. The 5 years he spent there were the extent of his formal education. He sailed to Ireland, and, smoking a cigar to hide the fact that he was only 16, convinced the manager of the Gate Theatre in Dublin that he was a real New York actor. He landed featured parts at the Gate and Abbey theaters, toured in Romeo and Juliet, and directed a number of plays, including a leftist musical, The Cradle Will Rock (1937). His radio version of H.G. Wellsís War of the Worlds (1938) put him on the cover of Time. Two years later, his meteoric Hollywood career began with Citizen Kane (1941).
Itís the birthday of poet RANDALL JARRELL, born in Nashville, Tennessee (1914). He was one of the "Fugitive" poets, along with John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate and Cleanth Books.
Itís the birthday of roadside poet ALLAN G. ODELL, born
in Minneapolis (1903), creator of the
Burma Shave road signs. Some of the Jingles used:
No lady likes/ To dance/ Or dine/ Accompanied by/ A porcupine./ Burma Shave With glamor girls/ Youíll never click/ Bewhiskered/ Like a/ Bolshevik./ Burma Shave A beard/ Thatís rough/ And overgrown/ Is better than/ A chaperone./ Burma-Shave
Itís the birthday of the founder of modern psychoanalysis, SIGMUND FREUD, born in Freiberg, Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic (1856). An older half-brother living nearby had a child about Freudís age; Freud later wrote that the confusion this caused him as an infant served to sharpen his intellect and his curiosity. He first thought of studying law; switched to medical research after reading an essay by Goethe, which inspired him to go into clinical neurology to support his family. He considered his greatest book The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). He once wrote of himself: "A man who has been the indispensable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success."
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