Wordsmith Wordsmith's Comments (member since May 05, 2012)

Wordsmith's comments from the On the Southern Literary Trail group.

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Aug 05, 2012 03:59PM

63470 One interest of note to add: As I was researching my notes and timelines to review "The Help" due to some issues I had with Stockett's premise, I discovered one event that quite literally floored me. And while I get no pleasure in shining the bright light of shame on my own hometown, neither do I think very much of sweeping history under a rug woven with the threads of personal suffering. Having said that, here is an excerpt from my review with the links underneath. I'm curious? How many of you are familiar with the day, or the moniker—"Bloody Tuesday?"

It took place at the First African Baptist Church on June 8, 1964. The young, slim Minister of that church, the Reverend T. Y. Rogers had been placed there by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King himself. He had planned a simple, peaceful walk to the County Courthouse to protest the fact there was no colored drinking fountain for them to drink from and only one colored restroom in the whole building for them to use. Our courthouse is nine stories high.

This was a very well planned operation that came to be known as "Bloody Tuesday." This is in reference to the Selma marches which are referred to as "Bloody Sunday." Indeed, accounts from eyewitness's that day confirm this event was as filled with as much, if not more brutality and violence as would later occur in Selma. A prominent Negro figure in Tuscaloosa Politics, who had a direct line to Dr. King as well as Bobby Kennedy who is now more forthcoming, when saying, "The Selma police and guardsmen learned from what occurred in Tuscaloosa that morning." Over 50 people were so badly injured they required medical attention at the local hospital. Another 90+ were injured but did not seek medical help. There were reports of victims getting wounds sewn up without being cleansed or numbed. It was also said the attack that day on the Church was planned and executed "with Gestapo like tactics."

Tommy Stevenson, a reporter for the Tuscaloosa News, who first reported this story in 2009 makes the call that as this event was sandwiched in-between the bigger events of the bombing at the 16th St. Baptist Church and the Selma marches it just didn't get much press coverage. He also noted, as there were no State or Nat'l media on hand, it made things easier for our local officials in making this ugly incident "go away." But there are still plenty of local Tuscaloosan's who were actually there that day. Some that were injured. Some that were arrested. Some that DID the arresting.

The Tuscaloosa News had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1959 for an editorial taking on the Klan. It IS confusing that media coverage for, what was referred to as "in the hellhole of Alabama" and "gestapo tactics" and "Bloody Tuesday" would have received such sketchy reporting in what was, a very well written, well run newspaper, for that time. I have NEVER, at any stage of my education or reading, come across this incident. I had to go question my mother. The year was 1964, we, at that time were living in Rolla, Missouri, I had a brand new little sister. My mother's memory is vague, at best, on all this. She does, however, recall her mother writing her about the incident. Just another day in the South.

LINKS: Sorry-Some are duplicates to some links posted above.

Hanging of Harry Mack
Safe House
Selma March
Selma March
Malone Hood Lucy U of A
Civil Rights Timeline 1954-1963
Governor Wallace's Speech at School Room Door
Tuscaloosa Bloody Tuesday
Tuscaloosa Bloody Tuesday
Tuscaloosa Bloody Tuesday
Amazing Article on how high up the corruption went regarding the murder of Viola Liuzzo. Read This.
Interview with activist Maxie
More on Bloody Tuesday and other things as well. Tommy Stevensons Blog.
Aug 05, 2012 03:15PM

63470 Yay! I have both of these already, sitting right here beside me!
Audiobooks (34 new)
May 23, 2012 01:35PM

63470 Oh Mary, absolutely! I've been reading much to long to count on stars, especially now, when money's so tight. If I DON'T feel it in my gut, there's always word of mouth, NY Times Book Reviews, other Literary Reviews... This IS a thing I only concern myself with if the book costs more, say, than a meal for three **ate cheap** lol. Still, I'm glad my gut still speaks to me, despite my body yelling at me, "I hurt!" In the past six months I've read 5 or 6 of the best 'old' books I've ever read in my entire life. Life changing books. At 50! And these, after reading at least 8-9,000 books in my life. Life's weird that way. I'm glad in a way, there were 'old' books left for me to savor. As there will always be new ones coming along.

But as to your reply, that's one thing I finally realized. Readers stars really don't mean much to the overall quality of the writing contained within said book.
Audiobooks (34 new)
May 22, 2012 02:25PM

63470 I love the way you expressed (and acknowledged) that "you experience all books as audio in your own head." I've had little to no experience in Book Club's and have been skirting around this exact thing you said (must be fate!) because I have failed to find the words that could adequately express what I was trying to say, in a way I believed was not coming out a little, let's just say, unhinged? LoL I read most books, as long they will "let" me, almost kinda/sorta like poetry. Then I like to read them again, to that "other" backbeat. Do you know what I mean? I've always wondered if you can get any of that from an audiobook.
Audiobooks (34 new)
May 22, 2012 01:31PM

63470 Well, that is certainly a valid and important reason for these kinds of discussions. My son too, had a LD in Reading but is smart as a whip and as you know, it's not merely dyslexia, there are hundreds of Learning Disabilities, and it takes patience to find out exactly that "one" way to teach them. He's a man now, who still doesn't like reading, being more "visually inclined" to sit and read words, still not getting, they contain worlds. *heart breaking* Belive it or not, ok, believe it, I've yet to listen to a book! I DO plan to, just for the experience.

No, it's just I've seen so many reviews knocked down 1/2, 1 even 1 1/2 stars because the reviewer says in their review that the quality of the audio leaves a lot to be desired. And let's just say, if only 50 people reviewed the book and 20 of these were listeners of that bad audio rendition, rating what would otherwise be a 5 or 4 star read, their 2 and 3 audio rating, then so many people who cruise around for ratings, before they click the "buy me" button, are never going to get the whole picture. Uness of course, they take time to sort through all the reviews.

I understand the VALUE of AudioBooks. Absolutely! Everywhere. I'm talking about something altogether different. As if it's going to make any difference. I understand this as well, that's it's not! I was just opinion seeking, lol.
Audiobooks (34 new)
May 22, 2012 11:46AM

63470 Actually, what I was opinion seeking on was this. Is the star NUMBERING of an audiobook, which CAN bring down the overall rating of an otherwise GREAT book, if it's read by a truly bad narrator, and listened to by a high enough number of listeners as fair as commenting on the audio ONLY in the inside of a review, rather than having it be reflected on the overall starred reviewed? Because is this fair to the inherent quality of the writing by a truly gifted writer? Or, should they just be pickier about their narrator's. Like I don't have other things to worry about! : ) Did I make ANY sense? lol
May 22, 2012 09:40AM

63470 Two or three words are unique to McCarthy. If, like me, one is too caught up in the story, at that moment, to keep forwarding the buttoning to whatever website has all these "McCarthyism's" figured out, then re-reading the sentence, or the paragraph, CAN gain a brain a tad of insight. If not, I just add a note, highlight, and keep on trucking through. I'm in Hopeless, TN, 1952.
Audiobooks (34 new)
May 22, 2012 09:30AM

63470 Can I ask an opinion? Do you think it's fair to the author, or to the piece of work they have produced, to be taken down a notch, upon being reviewed, by NOT a reader but a "listener"? When a person is unhappy with the narrator's inflection, or interpretation and I see this over and over again, I always think, "What does this have to do with the BOOK?" If there is no way possible to separate the two reviews, IMHO, then only the content should be RATED, and the "spoken word" reflected on in the review. Comments anyone?
May 20, 2012 06:09PM

63470 **WERE my first thoughts** And I agree Jessie. That's a passage I highlighted, along with so many others. (it's on my I-Pad) Now the text is all yellow and white!
May 20, 2012 06:06PM

63470 I've had some health issues, and admit, I've been hiding under the covers. But, as unbelievable as it is to me that I've never gotten around to reading any McCarthy before, what's even more unbelievable is his command of language. Oh Lord, when I'm reading I could swear I'm in Word Heaven, a Sentence Spiritual Realm, even if do have to keep referencing Merriman-Webster. These are my first thoughts.
May 20, 2012 05:56PM

63470 I'm going to throw this great read in the hat-it just barely squeezes in by merely less than a year! Published in 1961, Percy Walker's "The Moviegoer." It won that years National Book Award btw.

Also, a note on my nom for post-1962. *not that I'm doing any influencing here. I've already read it, just so you know* But, an also just so you know, this is the one I chose because Ms. Tartt exemplifies how Mississppi is still...still...churning out, even today, women with such a literary, creative, intelligence, it makes one want to channel their water into Alabama. She has followed in some pretty heady footsteps, and didn't even lag a step.
May 06, 2012 04:06PM

63470 Mike wrote: "Tajma wrote: "Kathy wrote: "Tajma wrote: "Kathy wrote: "Thanks for the invite, Mike. I am a relative newcomer to Southern Literature, but I find that the longer I live in Alabama (23 years now), t..."

Remind me not to forget: I have some Zelda stories of a personal nature. I've got a story for just about near every occasion. And mine include such iconic, over the top, star-lit people most think of as immortal, like F. Scott and Harper and Zelda. What I like the most is that the story's I know of to share bring 'em all down here (on earth) with us. At my family's old Lodge. (or in a poets musing garden) Still, the tradition of storytelling lives on.
May 06, 2012 11:06AM

63470 Everitt wrote: "1. Mark Twain
2. Kate Chopin
3. Edgar Allan Poe
4. Charles W. Chesnutt
5. George Washington Cable
6. Frederick Douglass
7. Joel Chandler Harris
8. William Wells Brown
9. William Gilmore Simms

I first read Brer Rabbit tales in the early sixties, and of course then, at that time, and at five, had no concept of a book being "racist." Having lived through all arguments and the counter-arguments, I still believe a book is a book. I'm as hip on censorship as I am on lists, I'm afraid.
May 06, 2012 10:36AM

63470 Jessie wrote: "Wordsmith wrote: "Did you go to the link?..."

I did go to the link, and then to the link of the top 100. That and also something Flannery O'Connor said in one of her essays had me thinking that I..."

Yup. I'm of that generation that grew up under the influence of THAT "dirty wabbit" and survived it, even going so far as becoming a humanist! Imagine that? lol.
May 06, 2012 09:44AM

63470 Larry McCurtry is both comic and touching. Actually, he has a flair for epic westerns as well. : P I pretty much like most of his work. Other than those few misfires.
May 06, 2012 07:35AM

63470 Did you go to the link? Clarification: Which I should of stated above, as it was in MY head. Not that y'all are mind readers, lol. IMHO, that list is good as a starting point, say, for a person new to the genre. No, it's not an Authoritative List. But it does have a wide-range, good for introduction to Southern Lit. Again, however, I'm not much a fan of "Top" or "Best Of" Lists. Once a person reaches a certain level of mastery in their craft, it's all relative.
May 05, 2012 10:42PM

63470 **cough 'Dead' Tree Books cough** "Sorry, I just had to say it." I got an I-Pad when I discovered it would hold 100,000+ books. That's a lot of books. And you get 'em all. The Apps. Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Stanza, Bluefire, I-Books, Google and so on. My goal? Room to move around my house! I'm overflowing with books. Then I learned something. I love BOOKS. I love reading them, yes. I was never aware how much I loved holding them. Or how even the simple act of turning a page could be so pleasant. I hope it's never a thing not known by a future generation.

I have converted maybe three or four of my physical books into e-books, but failing to do away with the hard copy kinda defeats the purpose, you know? And now I've become **I'm ashamed** a cyber-book hoarder. Is there a "group" for this affliction? CYBO-ANON? Sounds like the Terminator. : )
May 05, 2012 09:52PM

63470 I'm not a HUGE fan of lists, but they're inescapable. Here's one I've saved.

May 05, 2012 09:31PM

63470 "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt (Author of The Secret History)
Orange Prize Nominee

From Goodreads:
Bestselling author Donna Tartt returns with a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil.
The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother’s Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents’ yard. Twelve years later Robin’s murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin’s sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson--sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town’s rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family’s history of loss. Filled with hairpin turns of plot and “a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens” (The New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.
May 05, 2012 08:02AM

63470 Having begun at the beginning, as I'm sure most of us did, learning a little of my fellow members here, quite the eclectic group you've gathered together Mike! I did, however, pick up my pace, skip to the end where I myself could leave a posting, a personal thing I just figured out. You, Mike--are me, (except you're a guy) ; ) Really, you, like few others, write "story's" as long as I do. Hometown story's. Hudson Strode story's. Love it. H. L. Mencken Story's. Loving book story's, tall tales, gator tails, and of course, sad love stories. Roll Tide Too. Thanks for inviting me to your party. Mary

p. s. (I COULD say much more, as I was blessed/cursed/inbred/born with desire {not quite choice} that yells "Girl, tell 'em all of it, if it's a novella, so be it, write what you will then get over it.") So be glad I don't feel worth a flip, having woke up on THAT side of bed, the side of the unflowing mind. But later, what a pleasure it will be, trading stories. Nothing better than Southern Literature and tall-tale telling done up right. : ) Looking forward to it.

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