Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hot Links

The Department of Defense has big plans to keep our soldiers going on caffeinated jerky. (H/T Via Meadia)

And keeping with the jerky theme, a guy who was in my Boy Scout troop in Memphis is CEO of a company that is producing bacon jerky. Coming to a Walmart near you.

My fellow Faulkner fans will enjoy this story of how the old master got the idea of using plantation ledgers as a plot device in "Go Down Moses". I bought a copy of Faulkner's collected speeches and essays in a used bookstore in Santa Barbara a few years ago. The clerk gave me an arch look and proclaimed, "NOBODY reads Faulkner anymore!"

Enjoy this review of Tom Waits' new album, "Bad As Me".

The Hopi are very unhappy about the quality of water used for snow-making at the Arizona Snowbowl ski area.

Charles Mann wrote this review of Hugh Thomas' new installment in his history of the Spanish Empire, The Golden Empire. It's on my wish list.


M.L. Miller said...

I give tours of Ernest Hemingway's last home to scholars and writers. It is not open to the public for tours, but is open to those with a research interest. I am bombarded with requests to visit--from anglers, from readers of all ages, from people just fascinated with the Hemingway legend.

I receive a striking number of requests from European and Japanese media, film crews and tourists.

This year, I had the opportunity to visit Faulkner's home in Oxford, MS. I talked to the staff there and they receive few visitors, even though it is open to the public.

It's interesting to me to see how two literary legends fare in the public mind. Faulkner remains a staple for English majors. Hemingway remains a celebrity and is of enormous interest to a wide range of people.

I love Hemingway's writing. And I have read piles of books ABOUT Hemingway, and can't recall if I ever read a book about Faulkner. But in my opinion, Faulkner's "The Bear" is the best hunting story ever written, superior to the much more famous Hemingway hunting pieces. Faulkner's hunting works collected in "Big Woods" is one of those books that should be referenced as one of the top sporting classics. It captures the spirit of hunting so well in addition to being great literature.

M.L. Miller said...

I lead tours of Ernest Hemingway's last home for scholars and writers. The home is not open to the public but is available to those with an academic interest.

I am bombarded with tour requests from literary tourists, avid readers and people who love the Hemingway legend.

A striking number of European and Japanese visitors want to tour the home. A Mongolian national park manager who I did give a tour told me that everyone in Mongolian schools reads "A Farewell to Arms."

This year, I had the opportunity to visit Faulkner's home in Oxford, MS. I talked to staff members there and they said interest was very low in the home, even though it is open daily. (And in many respects, it is a much more interesting home than Hemingway's).

It's interesting to compare the two literary legends. Faulkner remains a staple of English majors. Hemingway remains a genuine celebrity.

I love Hemingway's writing, of course. And I have read piles of books ABOUT Hemingway; I can't recall reading any books about Faulkner.

That said, in my opinion Faulkner's "The Bear" is the best hunting story ever written, far superior to any of Hemingway's more famous hunting pieces. Faulkner's hunting stories collected as "Big Woods" should be mentioned as a sporting classic. Few works capture the spirit of real hunting so well (and it's great literature, too).

2nd time I've tried to post this; hope it works this time.

Steve Bodio said...

Matt-- I agree re both writers-- both, and Big Woods, will be recommended & opined upon in the Book on Books. Maybe Pat a bit too -- as you know I know some of the family.

The new Hemingway's Boat is mostly good- not done yet-- and sympathetic. One minor canard is that he recycles the "Boss shotgun" myth-- I thought Silvio Calabi finally disposed of that in Hemingway's Guns.

EH was like Byron in the 19th c or... name the obvious modern contemporaries. I too love a lot of his writing but nobody knows about, never mind cares about, Faulkner's guns or possessions...

Re comments-- they must be approved, which means somebody must read 'em! Since we are a busy bunch give us 24 hours...

Reid Farmer said...

I visited Rowan Oak back in the mid-late 1970s shortly after it opened to the public and it was an awesome experience for me. I really should go back on one of my trips to visit family.

Part of Faulkner's appeal to me lies in the fact that I and my family have roots in that part of the country. But he was an amazing stylist and I agree that "The Bear" (long version) is one of the best pieces of writing ever. That page-long single sentence gives me chills every time I read it.

The only contemporary writer with anything like Faulkner's skill in crafting sentences is Cormac McCarthy IMO.