Jul. 17, 2000

Farming In a Lilac Shirt

by Leo Dangel

Broadcast date: MONDAY, 17 July 2000

"Farming In a Lilac Shirt," by Leo Dangel, from Home From the Field (Spoon River Poetry Press).

It's the birthday of Israeli novelist and short-story writer S.Y. Agnon, born Samuel Josef Czackes in the small town of Buczacz, in the Ukraine (1888). He became an active Zionist while still a teenager, immigrating to Israel when he was 20 and publishing his first novel, Forsaken Wives, the next year. His first major work, A Guest for the Night, was published in 1938. His greatest work, The Day Before Yesterday (1945), deals with the problems westernized Jews faced in Israel. In his later years, he was regarded as a national institution in Israel, and when construction caused a disturbance in his neighborhood, Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek ordered a sign put up near Agnon's house reading: "Quiet. Agnon is writing." Agnon received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966.

It's the birthday of lawyer and mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner, born in Malden, Massachusetts (1889), best known as the creator of Perry Mason, the lawyer/detective who first appeared in The Case Of The Velvet Claws (1933). He wrote four thousand words a day, a new novel every six weeks. Even when he was in his 80's, he still churned out four or five volumes a year.

It's the birthday of journalist Erwin Knoll, born in Vienna, Austria (1931). For 21 years he was editor of the left-wing magazine The Progressive.

It's the birthday of American composer and humorist Peter Schickele, born in Ames, Iowa (1935). While a student at Juliard, he created the character P.D.Q. Bach, for whom he composed many works, including the Howdy Symphony, and Royal Firewater Music.

On this day in 1993, three fragments of the comet S-L9 hit Jupiter--each fragment larger than the planet Earth.

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




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