Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Frank DeFord's Wednesday NPR remarks on the Olympics

This morning (7/27/11) on NPR, Frank Deford made the following statements about the Olympics, which really startled me, and I am sure that there are millions of folks out there who are not aware of these facts.

And I quote from Frank's Wednesday morning editorial:

Rather, the '36 Olympics were celebrated worldwide as a German triumph. Hitler, who had no interest in sport, originally had to be convinced not to give them up. But then the Nazis dolled up Berlin, tucking away much of the visible signs of hate, and made far more of a glorious spectacle of the Games than had ever been seen before. The torch relay, for best example, was no ancient Greek rite; the Nazis dreamed that up out of whole cloth.

The German team won the most medals. Visitors were charmed by Berlin and the Nazi achievements. The general consensus was, 'Well, those fellows can't be all that bad.'

And the closing ceremony –– the last memory sports fans took away –– was the culmination of the ripest Nazi symbolism, like some great pagan festival: flags and sabres; Beethoven; searchlights playing across the heavens; 52 tall blondes dressed all in white, representing the Olympic nations, marching like vestal virgins.

And then, at last, the '36 Olympics closed, the stadium silent until, spontaneously, the 120,000 people began to chant, "Sieg heil, sieg heil," their right arms outstretched.

It was, from all accounts, mesmerizing. The '36 Olympics had done their job. After that, it was the deluge.

And after that, too, the Games would never be the same. Like it or not, it was the Nazis, 75 years ago this summer, who bequeathed the glitzy modern Olympics to the world.

I only bring this up, as London is now in the count-down process towards the 2012 summer games, many of the venues are now being opened for the public to view, and once again there will be the competition to see if London can outdo the Beiing games..........

Friday, July 22, 2011

"New and Selected Poems, volume one", by Mary Oliver

Several years ago, I attended a dear friend's memorial service, poems by Mary Oliver were read at the service.

It had been years since I seriously read any poetry, however the "voice" of the poems read at the service haunted me for days afterward.

So, I purchased the above collection, have it sitting near my chair and skim through the book often to read a random poem. I do enjoy her writing - the only "current" American poet that speaks to me.

Hope you will consider reading her work.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Home" a novel by Marilynne Robinson

"Home" a companion novel to "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson.

In an earlier blog, I posted about Marilynne's book being discussed on "The Diane Rehm" show on NPR, this morning (7-20-11) Diane and her panel of three guests were discussing "Home" the companion novel. According to the discussion "Home" was the Orange award winner.

While I read this book, and found it very interesting, I will not review it here. I would encourage you to read this one.

As the panel noted this morning, "Gilead" and "Home" are simply companion books, about the same group of people from different perspectives - you do not need to read one to read the other, however, reading both provides the reader with the different perspectives of so many of the same issues. "Gilead" is written as a "letter", while "Home" is written as a narrative.

So, once again, I would encourage you to consider reading either one, the other, or both.

Happy Reading.