Archive for the 'The Library' Category

The Truth at Long Last About The lynching of Emmett Till

Let us hope that all such cruel injustices are revealed in the light of the truth…

 

Emmett Till was 14 when he was killed in 1955. Credit Associated Press

 

From the NYT,

 

Woman Linked to 1955 Emmett Till Murder Tells Historian Her Claims Were False
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

 

“For six decades, she has been the silent woman linked to one of the most notorious crimes in the nation’s history, the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy, keeping her thoughts and memories to herself as millions of strangers idealized or vilified her.

 

But all these years later, a historian says that the woman has broken her silence, and acknowledged that the most incendiary parts of the story she and others told about Emmett — claims that seem tame today but were more than enough to get a black person killed in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — were false.

 

The woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, spoke to Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor — possibly the only interview she has given to a historian or journalist since shortly after the episode — who has written a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” to be published next week.

 

In it, he wrote that she said of her long-ago allegations that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her, “that part is not true.”…”

 

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The invisible forces that make writing work…

For the writers and the readers…

 

“But the greatest, and in some ways, the most satisfying invisibility is that world which neither writer nor reader will ever see, and yet knows exists…”

 

 

From the NYT, Critic’s Take,

The Invisible Forces That Make Writing Work

by Robert Rosenblatt

 

“A couple of years ago, in an essay in The New Yorker, the critic and writer Kathryn Schulz pointed out that we cannot see most of the things that rule our lives. Magnetic fields, electric currents, the force of gravity all work unseen, as do our interior arbiters of thoughts, inclinations, passions, psyches, tastes, moods, morals, and — if one believes in them — souls. The invisible world governs the visible like a hidden nation-state.

 

The same is true of writing. You come up with an image, phrase or sentence. Your head snaps back, and you say to yourself, Where did that come from?! I’m not talking about automatic writing, though that may be part of it. I mean the entire range of invisible forces that produce and affect the work. There are things the writer sees that the reader does not; things the reader sees that the writer does not; and things neither of us ever sees. These, the most entrancing of the lot, have a power of their own. Like the ghost of Jacob Marley, they lead to unimagined, sometimes frightful yet fruitful destinations.

 

What the writer sees and keeps from the reader is the simplest of the three, because it deals mainly with craft. The planting of clues in poetry or prose, for instance. If we’re doing our job, readers have no idea that what they have just read — a name, a place — will be picked up later in the piece, heaving with meaning. The clue is invisible as a clue. In a sense, the whole novel, play, essay or poem is invisible. The reader does not recognize the work (what writers call “work”) that goes into the choices we fiddle with and blunder into before landing on the right ones. That’s as it should be. “If it does not seem a moment’s thought,” said Yeats, “our stitching and unstitching has been naught.”

 

Neither does the reader ever see the first draft, or the second, or the 19th. That the writer knows and recalls these drafts, even if dimly, has an invisible effect of its own…”

 

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The Madeline murals — hiding in the piano bar of a beautiful New York hotel…

…a small piano bar in Manhattan is the only place open to the public to see Bemelmans’ work.

 

 

From Atlas Obscura,

 

Bemelmans Bar
The walls are decorated with whimsical murals painted by the creator of the Madeline franchise.

 

In a bar in Manhattan that is covered in art, lives the last public place Ludwig Bemelmans’ whimsy plays a big part.

 

“The story of the feisty literary heroine Madeline begins in Paris, but the girl with the red hair and big yellow hat travels all around the world in the books written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. Much like his most famous character, Bemelmans’ life began in Europe, in the Austrian Tirol, but he emigrated to the United States when he was nearly 20 years old. After working in the hotel industry and serving in the army, he began writing and illustrating books for children. He found huge success with his Madeline series, the first book of which came out in 1939.

 

He went on to write five books about the spunky seven-year-old and her adventures, and also produced popular artwork for publications like The New Yorker and Vogue. In the 1940s, Bemelmans took on a commission that combined two of his passions: hotels and painting. He was contracted to decorate the new bar that was built in The Carlyle, a luxury hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

 

For this, he was paid not in cash, but received free board for himself and his family for a year and a half, the duration it took for the wall murals to be completed…”

 

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