AndrewMarvell

Andrew Marvell, Sherwood Anderson, a quarterback’s fall, and another poetry video: newsletter, May 10, 2019

{% if subscriber.first_name != blank %} Hello {{ subscriber.first_name }}, {% else %} Hello, {% endif %} The garden is growing, except for the corn. We planted six rows of sweet corn, and two-and-a-third of those rows came up. What happened to the other rows? We don’t know. Same soil, same weather, same everything. But […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }
SherwoodAnderson

Sherwood Anderson and the revolution in 20th century American literature

Sometimes librarians get it wrong — at least, initially. Sherwood Anderson, the author of the classic Winesburg, Ohio, was from the small town of Clyde, Ohio, and used that small town as the source of the novel. When it was first published, 100 years ago this week, it was praised by a few and panned […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
EdgarAllanPoe

Poems and Paintings — the videos

I have posted two more videos of poetry and painting this week, and I have a request of you faithful newsletter readers: I plan to continue doing these for a while — they’re lots of fun — but I need a name for the series. Poetry and Painting just doesn’t do it for me, and I’m looking […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
CaseattheBat 1

More poetry videos, Casey at the Bat, Richard I, and Foothills Voices (vol. 2): newsletter, May 3, 2019

  The end of April meant the end of National Poetry Month, but the poems and the poetry continue. There is simply too much good stuff to fit into one month, and my awareness of National Poetry Month set me off on a long-term journey of poetry reading, painting, and videos (see below). I hope […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

King Richard and the legend of Robin Hood

Note: This is the first entry in a series about Robin Hood If you had asked me, as a boy growing up in the 1950s and 60s, to name some of the kings and queens of England, I probably could have come up with two. One was Elizabeth II, the then current queen (she still is) […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
CaseattheBat 1

Casey at the Bat, the poem and the video

The most famous baseball poem in history is Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Its subtitle is “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888.” The poem was first published in the San Francisco Chronicle and tells the story of one game of the baseball team of Mudville and its mighty hitting star Casey. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
440px-Self-portrait_in_a_Straw_Hat_by_Elisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Lebrun

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Marie Antionette’s favorite artist and the woman who changed portrait painting (part 2)

When Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun fled Paris with her small daughter in October 1789, she felt that her life might be in danger — and she was probably right. Élisabeth had been the unofficial portraitist for the French royal family. She had painted more than 50 portraits of them and was most especially noted for her paintings […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
440px-Self-portrait_in_a_Straw_Hat_by_Elisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Lebrun

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Marie Antionette’s favorite artist and the woman who changed portrait painting (part 1)

Élisabeth Vigée (later Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun) painted her first exhibited portrait sometime before 1770 — a picture of her younger brother Étienne Vigée, who would later become a playwright and man of letters. She had not yet reached her fifteenth birthday. Élisebeth’s early life was one of extraordinary good fortune. — She had a […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
FV-2g front-cover

Foothills Voices, volume 2, set of launch on May 9

From the Blount County Public Library: The second volume of Foothills Voices: Echoes of Southern Appalachia will be unveiled on Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in the Sharon Lawson room of the Blount County Public Library. Twelve writers from the East Tennessee region tell twelve stories – true stories of love, family, joy, and […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
440px-Self-portrait_in_a_Straw_Hat_by_Elisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Lebrun

Marie Antionette’s female portraitist, videos, Mendelssohn, and the battle of Antietam: newsletter, April 26, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,830) on Friday, April 26, 2019.   This week a few folks — millions, in fact — celebrated World Book Day (April 23), an event begun in the 1990s by the United Nations to commemorate and recognize the importance of books to our world. One part of […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 10.03.51 PM

Watercolors as photography, the would-be Vermeer, Ridge Running, and Charles Darwin: newsletter, April 19, 2016

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,826) on Friday, April 19, 2019.   The scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris this week shocked and appalled anyone with any sensitivity to art. To see such an architectural work of art consumed by flames provoked disbelief and despair. This great building had […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
RidgeRunning-kindlecover7b

Ridge Running: A Memoir of Appalachia

My good friend Chris Wohlwend, an award-winning big-city journalist, has just published a memoir of his life growing up in Knoxville titled Ridge Running: A Memoir of Appalachia. I had the privilege of helping Chris get this thing into print and ebook form, so I can tell you that it is an interesting, humorous, and engaging book to […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin and his way of thinking

Charles Darwin achieved the most important breakthrough in the annals of scientific thinking with the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859. But Darwin did not see himself as a great intellect or even a particularly clever person. His self-awareness was not the product of humility, as Shane Parrish points out in a short […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Notre Dame

Watercolour World: watercolors as the pre-20th century photography

How can we know what something or some location looked like 200 or 300 years ago? If some master painter depicted someone or something and it hung in a museum, gallery, or collection, that would be one means. Usually, these works were done in oil and took much time and training to complete. Consequently, they […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
best_emmaus.jpg_lrg

Han van Meegeren: His Vermeers fooled everyone (part 1)

Han van Meegeren was a con artist who couldn’t complete his con — until his life depended on it. Van Meegeren (1889-1947) did not set out to be a con artist. He simply wanted to be an artist. Born in the provincial Dutch city of Deventer, he grew up with a love of art and an […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
WilliamManchester

The would-be Vermeer, fountain pens, and the sad end of a great writer: newsletter, April 12, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,841) on Friday, April 12, 2019.   It continues to be April, and, among many other things, that means it continues to be National Poetry Month. I wrote a bit about that in last week’s newsletter, but I bring it up again because it struck a chord […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
AndrewCarnegie

Andrew Carnegie, the man and his libraries

No name is more associated with public libraries than that of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie has his name on a lot of things, to be sure — Carnegie Hall and Carnegie-Mellon University, to name a couple — but for most of the 20th century, America and a good part of the world paired the name Carnegie with […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
AndrewCarnegie

Handel, National Poetry Month, Andrew Carnegie and all things library: newsletter, April 5, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,8xx) on Friday, April 5, 2019. Possibly the most fun part of a fun week was pouring the bees. Right. Pouring the bees.  Every spring, whether my beehives survive or not, I order “packages” of new bees. These packages are actually wooden boxes, about the size […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
MichaelConnelly

Michael Connelly, jury trials, NYC’s first female detective, and getting ready for National Poetry Month: newsletter, March 29, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,854) on Friday, March 29, 2019. Gardening has taken me from using a tiller attached to a tractor last week to this week using a smaller motorized tiller, a trencher, and finally a hoe. The result (so far): one row of onions is in the […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
PalaceTheater

America’s first female police officer, Dan Jenkins, lots of emails, and a modest proposal: newsletter, March 22, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,866) on Friday, March 22, 2019.   The tractor came out of the barn and had a pretty good workout this week. We had a string of dry days that allowed me — finally! — to get into the garden with some much-needed sub-soiling and […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Share