Erasing History, or Watch out, Laura!

Rocks, Waves and Figures

  • ‘Since 1954, the American Library Association has awarded a medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature in the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder. …

In February, the ALA announced that it was reconsidering the name of the Wilder Award. Alluding to the depiction of American Indians and African Americans in Wilder’s work, the ALA declared that her legacy put the group in the uncomfortable position of serving children while being unable to model values of “inclusiveness, integrity and respect.” Wilder’s books, it went on, “reflect racist and anti-Native sentiments and are not universally embraced.”’

A sneak attack under cover of darkness took care of “bad” old statues. It’s time to fight “bad” old books now.

I don’t have much to add to what PG said, except perhaps one thing. It’s easy–while shaming long dead authors of fiction–to overlook what’s going on here and now:

“God is on our side! On the side of the children … Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

“Inclusiveness, integrity and respect”?

Enjoyed the post? Share it, like it — thank you.

Image: Maurice Brazil Prendergast. Rocks, Waves and Figures, c. 1902–1904. Watercolor with graphite underdrawing on handmade wove paper, Overall: 11 1/8 x 15 5/8 in. (28.3 x 39.7 cm). BF2079. Public Domain.

 

 

Men & Women of Letters vs. Content Providers, or Writing in The Age of Computers

On the Beach

“The virtues of the ­computer—faster, easier, simpler—are vices when it comes to writing. The pen personalizes the labor of writing, reminding us that we are responsible for what we write.” — from PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE HAND by Mark Bauerlein

Anne Tyler writes in longhand, then revises in sections in “quite small and distinct handwriting – it is almost like knitting a novel”. When the “knitting” is done, she types up the manuscript, then writes it out in longhand — again. The whole thing.

Anne Tyler is not alone in her love for the old-fashioned tools of the trade (in particular, white paper with no lines, and a Pilot P500 gel pen), but some writers take it to the extreme:

“A blank computer screen makes me want to throw up,” says Niven Govinden. “It’s not conducive to good writing.” Or is it? What do you think?

Are you drawn to the old-fashioned? Do you write longhand? Do you find the soft glow of a computer screen exciting and inspiring? Share in the comments.

If you’ve enjoyed the post, do press those “like” and “share” buttons. Thank you.

Image credit: Maurice Brazil Prendergast. On the Beach, 1896–1897. Watercolor with graphite underdrawing on wove paper, Overall: 13 3/4 x 10 in. (34.9 x 25.4 cm). BF695. Public Domain.