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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The things I learn.

He had to stoop a little to accommodate me, but if Miss Stephanie Crawford was watching from her upstairs window, she would see Arthur Radley escorting me down the sidewalk, as any gentleman would do. Harper Lee. Since I first read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird way back when, I have been in love with this book. Periodically, when I happened to think of it at the time, I would peruse the local library catalogue for other books by the same author ~ without success. It never once occurred to me that someone who wrote so outstandingly well would never have published another novel ~ but such is the case.

Now I am doing this novel for the 2nd time [I gave it to Liddy as a Chrissy present several years ago, not as a school study] I thought it high time to acquaint myself with certain issues I have glossed over for several decades. Mockingbirds just don't exist in these parts. The chances of me actually ever seeing one are remote so not a priority, no. Harper Lee looks a lot like I always imagined Scout ~ & it is no surprise to find many of the details in the book are autobiographical & based on fact ~ though I was a bit stunned to find the character of Dill based on Truman Capote. Truman Capote? Really? But such is the case. Boo too was a real person who lived down the street. No wonder the book has such a gritty realism till I can smell the hot summer dust, hear the low, drawling, southern voices carried on the night air, hear the collards rattling in the wind ~ but what, under all heaven, is a collard?!

Member of the cabbage family apparently. Glad to know that. Unnecessary information but nice to know & I will still hear it in my mind clanking more like cattle cane than any collard probably sounds like because collards are another of those things, you know, I'm unlikely to meet.

Harper Lee was 34 when To Kill a Mockingbird was first published. She was born in 1926 so she's over 80 now & I can't help but wonder ~ that 2nd unfinished novel she put aside, & that non~fiction discussion of a serial killer, has she burned her papers or will we be lucky & when she has gone will we finally be able to see the world through the unique lens of Harper Lee's eyes? I do hope so. Not that I actually wish the woman dead or anything but I have waited a long time for that 2nd novel!


Sandra said...

She was great friends with Truman Capote. "To Kill a Mockingbird" overwhelmed her. When your first is your best, it's a hard act to follow.

Ganeida said...

Hm, yes, she started a lot of things & didn't finish most of them, including a law degree. If makes me wonder what she was so afraid of & why she would care. Seriously, If I could write like that I wouldn't give a rats what the critics thought!

Molytail said...

Okay, now I'll have to go find this book at the library and read it. :-P

I've never seen a mockingbird and I don't think I've ever had collard greens ~ but I suspect I'd like them, as I love cabbage. :-)

seekingmyLord said...

No collards in Oz? And no mocking birds? My, oh my!

Persuaded said...

Best. Movie. Ever.

Just the mere thought of the line, "Miss Jean Louie, stand up. Your father is passing," can make me fall weeping into a puddle. Seriously.

Persuaded said...

Louise... not Louie *blush*

Ganeida said...

Moly: Seriously girl, the *only* movie I've ever seen do justice to the book! Both are wonderful. If you don't know either do aquaint yourself. I'm with Persuaded; That line! Which is why I didn't use it! ☺

Seeking: But you don't have platypi & lyrebirds! ☺

Diane: Oh my Yes! For once someone got it right. I also suspect the woman is a staunch Christian ~ on grounds other than Capote. Oh my, my poor old mind is still boggling. And you know, when I saw the pic of a young Capote I thought, "Oh my that is Dill!" I'm oh mying all over the place ~ but the things I learn! ☺

seekingmyLord said...

Speaking of Truman Capote, do you remember this post on my blog: The Reading of A Christmas Memory