R. I. P. Elijah E. Cummings

Standard

Elijah_E._Cummings_official_photo

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

America lost a great man today with the death of Representative Elijah E. Cummings from Maryland at the age of 68.

Mr. Cummings, a brilliant orator, was a tireless advocate for social justice, and he spoke for the causes of the poor and the left-behind in the United States of America. Among his causes were fights for health care and justice for all Americans, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

He spoke of the need for civility in the government but also the absolute necessity for the government to serve the people’s needs. He battled for justice and against injustice. He advocated for the defense of democracy. He was a tireless American patriot.

He will be missed.

He was a great American.

R. I. P. Elijah E. Cummings

usa-1177272_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

Rest In Peace, Stephen Hawking

Standard

Stephen_Hawking_050506

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Renowned scientist, philosopher, and author Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76. Mr. Hawking was a brilliant thinker, someone whose accomplishments put him with the pantheon of great intellects, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein.

At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with the disease ALS and not expected to live for more than a few years at most. His longevity, despite facing a terrible illness, demonstrates his tenacity.  He forged new ideas in science and wrote about those ideas in works that brought such thinking to nonscientists, including, but not limited to,  A Brief History of Time and The Universe In A Nutshell.

He remained optimistic about the future of humanity, especially if we can successfully make our way into space.

The human race was fortunate to have had such a mind. They are indeed rare.

Rest In Peace, Stephen Hawking. (1942-2018)

universe-2742113_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

I Stand With the People of Manchester, England

Standard

union-jack-2031255_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

Once again, the people of the world have witnessed another horrific attack, this time on a group of concert-goers, many of them children, in Manchester, England. This terrifying attack and its  consequences are beyond horror. With great sorrow, I offer my prayers and thoughts to the people of Manchester.

Manchester_Town_Hall_from_Lloyd_St

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

R.I.P. Frank Delaney

Standard

frank_delaney_at_book_signing

(https://de.wikipedia.org)

The literary world lost an important figure in late February. Frank Delaney, (October 29, 1942-February 21, 2017) the novelist and historian from Ireland, died at the age of 74. Delaney, who loved history and the writings of James Joyce, had a website, Frank Delaney’s site, in which he spoke of both literature and had podcasts, viewed by millions, about Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Delaney, was also an accomplished novelist with a long list of books to his credit; among them are Ireland, A Novel, Shannon, Tipperary, and The Matchmaker of Kenmare. Delaney’s passing has impact on me because I have used his novel Ireland, A Novel in my Irish  Literature class at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. The students, all of whom are adults, usually enjoy this brilliant work that incorporates both the history of Ireland with a well woven family saga. It is deeply informative and moving; Delaney speaks to the larger historical issues and events that make up Irish history as well as showing the deep connections of family and story-telling within the texts. If anyone has interest in Ireland, I recommend this book with my highest regards.

To Frank Delaney, I hope wherever you are that you have an audience to hear your wonderful tales! And may you Rest In Peace.

 

Rest In Peace Pat Conroy

Standard

PatConroy

The world of letters, of books, of reading, and of writing lost another important figure on Friday 3/4/16. Best known for his books The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, Conroy was a major figure in American literature. Conroy lived in South Carolina, and his books frequently featured a southern setting, but they often dealt with universal themes: family and its difficulties and conflicts, war, oppression, exploitation, love, and violence.

His works also include: The Lords of Discipline, Beach Music, My Reading Life, and South of Broad. Several of his writing were made into successful movies.

Conroy said, “Writing is more about imagination than anything else. I fell in love with words. I fell in love with storytelling.”

Rest In Peace Pat Conroy

R.I.P. Umberto Eco and Harper Lee

Standard

Harper-lee

https://tr.wikipedia.or

The world lost two of its most important writers today, Friday February 19, 2016: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.  I offer this small post in remembrance of their brilliance.

Eco,_Umberto-1

https://en.wikipedia.org

Umberto Eco was a renowned professor of semiotics, the study of language and signs, as well as a best-selling novelist, and he died at the age of 84. He is probably best known outside of the academic world for his novel The Name of the Rose and the successful Hollywood film based on it, which  starred Sean Connery.  The book was, on the surface, a medieval murder mystery that was heavily influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his great detective Sherlock Holmes. It was also a multi-layered exploration of the medieval as well as the contemporary world. Eco incorporated a difficult series of puzzles and codes within the text by utilizing his knowledge of semiotics, and his labyrinthine library was based on the writing of Jorge Luis Borges.   The Name Of The Rose established Eco’s career as a novelist, which he followed up with books like Foucault’s Pendulum.   His writing entertains on  the surface and then challenges the reader to delve deeply into intellectual exploration of the world.

The_Name_of_the_Rose

https://ru.wikipedia.org

Harper Lee,  the novelist whose seminal work on racism and justice in America To Kill A Mockingbird, also died today.  She was 89 years old. Her book focused attention on racism and the lack of justice in southern small-town America as well as the attempt by her hero Atticus Finch to fight for the life of a black man accused of raping a young white woman. This book, and the enormously successful film based on her novel by the same name and starring Gregory Peck, a powerful adaptation, are both beloved and masterpieces of literature and film. In 2015, Lee released a book that can be seen as a sequel, prequel, or adaptation of To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set A Watchman.

tokillamockingbird

http://thereadersreview.org

As a reader, I have loved their writings.  I have also used To Kill A Mockingbird and The Name Of The Rose in my college classes.  Both books presented challenges to my students as well as great rewards for the studying of them.

The world has lost two powerful and deeply important writers.

Rest in Peace: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco.