Friday, September 25, 2015

William Faulkner - Still a literary force.


William Cuthbert Faulkner, born September 25, 1897 – died July 6, 1962) an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life

My favorite Faulkner quote: "The past is never dead; it's not even past."

Favorite story: Forget "The Sound and the Fury". Slogged through incomprehensible dialogue in high school. Loved "A Rose for Emily". It is so Faulkner; the short story is all you need to read to understand his writing and his mind.

The story opens with the funeral of Emily Grierson, an elderly patrician spinster. Emily is known for her odd behavior. Like others in the antebellum Southern aristocracy, the family fell on hard times. She and her father, the last two of the clan, continue to live in the past, her father vowing that Emily cannot marry a man below their aristocratic status.

When her father dies she becomes friendly with Homer Barron, a Northern contractor that paved sidewalks. He, of course, if far below her standards, and Homer doesn't want to marry anyway.
Meantime, Emily has problems with her cousins and is becoming more erratic.

Emily buys arsenic without giving reasons for needing it. Neighbors suspect she means to take it herself. However, her relationship with Homer lifts her spirits and there is talk of marriage. Homer leaves town to give Emily a chance to get rid of her cousins, and returns three days after the cousins leave. One person reports seeing Homer walk in the house, which is the last he was seen.

Despite her lessened social status, Emily continues flout her long-lost patrician ancestry. She's quite nasty actually and the city council can't bring themselves to confront her about a strong smell coming from her house. Bizarrely, they decide to send men to her house under the cover of darkness to sprinkle lime around the house, after which the smell dissipates. The town council also forgives her taxes as an act of charity, though it was done under a pretense of repayment towards her father to assuage Emily's pride.

Emily becomes a recluse, Never seen out of the house, she rarely lets anyone into it. Her black servant shops for her, and the community comes to see her as an hereditary obligation who must be humored.

Her funeral is a large affair; and her death sparks curiosity about her reclusiveness. Once she's buried, townsfolk enter her house. The door to her upstairs bedroom is locked. Someone kicks in the door to see what has been hidden so long. Inside, among the unused wedding clothes, lies the horribly decomposed corpse of Homer Barron on the bed; on the pillow beside him is the indentation of a head, and a single strand of Emily's gray hair.


So totally Southern Gothic like Faulkner himself.

Gerrie Ferris Finger


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Super Blood Moon Coming Sept. 27

Super Blood Moon Coming Sept. 27

Super Blood Moon Coming Sept. 27

Image by Joel Tonyan

On the evening of Sept. 27, the moon will once again become immersed in the Earth's shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse — the fourth such event in the last 17 months. As with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility for Sunday's blood-moon lunar eclipse will encompass more than half of our planet. Nearly 1 billion people in the Western Hemisphere, nearly 1.5 billion throughout much of Europe and Africa and perhaps another 500 million in western Asia will be able to watch as the Harvest Full Moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball.
The lunar eclipse will also feature the "biggest" full moon (in apparent size) of 2015, since the moon will also be at perigee on the very same day ─ its closest point to the Earth ─ 221,753 miles (356,877 km) away.

Visibility Maps for the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse (Gallery)

Read more in-depth, scientific info about the blood moon lunar eclipse from

And for times in your area.

Submitted by
Gerrie Ferris Finger

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Congratulations to U.S.A.'s Lady Golfers, winners of the Solheim Cup, despite controversy.

In case you did not know, the Solheim Cup is an every-other-year golf tournament for professional women golfers represented by teams from the U. S. and Europe. It is named after the Norwegian-American golf club manufacturer Karsten Solheim, who was a driving force behind its founding.

Julie Inkster (a favorite of mine) captained this year's U. S. team to victory 14 1/2 points over Europe's 13 1/2 points. Carin Koch was captain of the European team. LPGA fans will know most of the European players because they play on the LPGA. But when it comes to winning, friendships are set aside as the ladies go at each other for the crystal.

The tension began with the captains and assistants. It was about giving advice, a golf rule that can cover hundreds of pages in a book called "Decisions on the Rules of Golf." It truly is enough to make one's neck twist. I make it a point to never, ever, give advice. In the Solheim format, only captains can give advice to a player, unless she designates someone to act in her stead. Although participants in this advice-giving quarrel - Inkster, Koch and Sorenstam (an assistant to Koch) - declined to give exact reasons for the dispute, there was some apparent on-camera bad blood.

To add to that tension, when the fourballs began, there was confusion over the revision of tee times for players needing breaks after playing their morning sessions. The pair of Americans showed up for their tee times with two opponents from the European side, but that team was no where to be found.

To cap that, tension boiled to tears when Alison Lee, of the United States, believed she had been conceded a 15 inch putt by Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull on the 17th green. Lee believes (having said later) that she heard the concession and that Pettersen and Hull had their backs turned as if to walk off the green.

But not so fast, Miss Lee.

Pettersen insisted that there was no concession to the putt and that her team won the match 2 up. The rules' official said there was no way they could let Lee replace the ball and putt out. Had the putt been ruled conceded, the Americans would go to the 18th 1 down. A chance to tie.

Both Hull and Lee were crying before leaving the course. (See above link. Strong language advised.)

Pettersen is roundly seen as the villain.

But the U. S. got back. They won the coveted Solheim Cup and stopped Europe's winning streak.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Dame Agatha!

Agatha Christie is the undisputed goddess of mystery for all mystery genre writers and readers the world over.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly 2 billion copies, and her estate claims that her works come third in the rankings of the world's most-widely published books,behind only Shakespeare's works and the Bible. According to Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author – having been translated into at least 103 languages. And Then There Were None is Christie's best-selling novel with 100 million sales to date, making it the world's best-selling mystery ever, and one of the best-selling books of all time. (From Wiki)

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, was born into a wealthy family on September 15, 1890 and died on January 12, 1976.

She was the consummate English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve around the investigative work of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin/Mr Satterthwaite and Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. She wrote the world's longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap. In 1971 she was made a Dame for her contribution to literature.

Christie served in a hospital during the First World War before marrying Archibald Christie and starting a family in London. She was initially unsuccessful at getting her work published, but in 1920 The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the character of Hercule Poirot.


In late 1926, Archie asked Agatha for a divorce. He was in love with Nancy Neele. In December of 1926, the Christies quarrelled, and Archie left their house, Styles, to spend the weekend with his mistress. That same evening Christie disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her car was later found above a chalk quarry, with an expired driving licence and clothes.

Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public. A newspaper offered a £100 reward. Over a thousand police officers and 15,000 volunteers scoured the land. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave a spirit medium one of Christie's gloves to find the missing woman. Dorothy L. Sayers visited the house in Surrey, later using the scene in her book Unnatural Death.

 On December 14, 1926, she was found at the Swan Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, registered as Mrs Teresa Neele (the surname of her husband's lover) from Cape Town.

Two doctors diagnosed her as suffering from amnesia. Why did she disappear? She's never said. She was known to be in a depressed state from overwork, her mother's death earlier that year, and her husband's infidelity. Public reaction at the time was largely negative, supposing a publicity stunt or attempt to frame her husband for murder.

Christie makes no mention of the event in her autobiography, but it is now largely believed that she disappeared to embarrass her husband. They divorced and he went on to marry Neele. Agatha married her second husband, Max Mallowan. She had met the archeologist at an archeology dig.

So, Agatha, the great mystery writer, remains shrouded in, quite naturally, a mystery.

I lay my love for mystery reading and writing at her clever feet. She was, and still is, the best.

Gerrie Ferris Finger



Happy Reading, and
Trust you are resting in peace, Dame Agatha.