His Family

Ernest Poole, author of The Harbor and Giants Gone was the first novelist to win the Pulitzer Prize and he won it for His Family. In His Family, Roger Gale tries to live out his promise to his dying wife to keep his daughters together, to really know each one. Each young woman is distinct and unless they were sisters they’d never cross paths. Set in New York around the time of WWI, the novel follows Gale and his three daughters through a tumultuous era. Deborah throws herself into her work as principal for a tenement school. Edith obsesses over being the perfect mother making sure her children have the perfect childhood and Laura flits about as a “modern woman,” which by her definition means being a fashion plate who dances a lot.

Roger owns a clipping service, not the usual business featured in novels. His perspective of his daughters and life in this era was perceptive and genuine. He cares and yet feels unable to influence or understand his daughters. Life hands them surprises and tragedy, catching everyone off guard. Roger is as shaped by his daughters, particularly Deborah, as they are by him.

Here are a few favorite quotations:

“He saw each of his daughters, part of himself. And he remembered what Judith had said: ‘You will live on in our children’s lives.’ And he began to get glimmerings of a new immortality, made up of generations, an endless succession of other lives extending into the future.”

“Queer, how a man can neglect his children, as I have done … when the thing he wants most in life is to see each one …happy.”

“He had thought of childhood as something intimate and pure, inside his home, his family. Instead of that, in Deborah’s school he had been disturbed and thrilled by the presence all around him of something wild, barbaric, dark, compounded of the city streets, of surging crowds, of rushing feet, of turmoil, filth, disease and death, of poverty and vice and crime.”

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Let me get this straight

CBS is advertising a new streaming service. For $5.99 a month, you have access to their programs, old and new. Why would people pay when they can watch network TV for free? Why would they pay for online viewing from a network whose current online viewing buffers so much? Is there that much programming on CBS that people would pay for it? Most of their shows are like each other.

As for the old classics, are there that many people who want to rewatch all the Mary Tyler Moore or All in the Families, good as they were?

Does CBS think people will pay for Netflix, Hulu or Amazon and their network, with its smaller set of offerings?

I wonder how this will shake out. I wouldn’t bet on this as a success.

Silent Sunday

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Word of the Week

rhopography, n.
[‘ Chiefly in painting: a depiction of subject matter considered insignificant or trivial, as still life, the domestic interior, animals, etc.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /rəʊˈpɒɡrəfi/, U.S. /ˌroʊˈpɑɡrəfi/
Etymology: < German Rhopographie (1813 or earlier; 1830 in the passage translated in quot. 1847) < Hellenistic Greek ῥωπογραϕία (apparently only recorded as a Greek word in the classical Latin author Cicero), probably < Byzantine Greek ῥωπογράϕος artist who paints petty subjects, such as still life (see rhopographer n.), although this is apparently first attested later + -ία -y suffix3; compare -graphy comb. form. Compare French rhopographie (1840 or earlier).
Art Hist. Chiefly in painting: a depiction of subject matter considered insignificant or trivial, as still life, the domestic interior, animals, etc.Freq. with reference to Ancient Greek art.
1847 J. Leitch tr. K. O. Müller Ancient Art §163. 122 Rhopography [Ger. Rhopographie]..denotes the representation of restricted scenes in nature—a small portion of a wood, a brook and the like.
1880 E. J. Poynter & P. R. Head Classic & Ital. Painting ii. 35 Grotesque interiors, quaint sketches of animals, flower and fruit pieces, and still life generally, seem to have come under this denomination. Rhopography was in fact exactly what we are familiar with in the modern Dutch school.
1959 J. Emmons tr. C. Sterling Still Life Painting from Antiq. to Present Time (new ed.) 11 A still life painting was originally designated in Greek by the term ‘rhopography’ (i.e. depiction of insignificant objects, of odds and ends).
1990 N. Bryson Looking at Overlooked 15 Painting is itself divided into two sectors: one dealing with the exceptional act and the unique individual, with the narrative and the drama of ‘greatness’ (megalography), and another dealing with the routines of daily living, the domestic round, the absence of personal uniqueness and distinction (rhopography).
2007 B. Costello in J. N. Serio Cambr. Compan. Wallace Stevens xii. 178 Stevens unites an interest in the ordinary detritus of life (here pots and vases), which art historians, following the Greek, call ‘rhopography’, with a desire for the momentous or spiritually significant, or ‘megalography’.

Travel Theme: Interior

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Peace Hotel Lobby

Peace Hotel Lobby

Humble Administrator's House, Suzhou

Humble Administrator’s House, Suzhou


Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack invites bloggers to post travel photos each week. This time she’s given us “Interior” for a theme because the first week of August is Simplify Your Life Week.

If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Interior
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

 

Please click to see more Interiors.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

Madam Secretary

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I’ve been a fan of Barbara Hall’s writing since I discovered Judging Amy years ago. I’ve been watching her newest show Madam Secretary since it premiered in September. So far the series shows promise and  entertains. The premise is that the President of the United States chooses professor Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA colleague to replace the Secretary of State, who just died when his plane went down. Téa Leoni plays McCord, a savvy, attractive woman who juggles family and international diplomacy amazingly well given she doesn’t have any hired help. (I would like to see her get a housekeeper because that’s how life would be.)

Elizabeth is loyal to the President, played well by Keith Carradine, and stuck working with an sniping head of staff, and some young rather goofy staff members. If I were her, I’d slowly move these folks out to other jobs as their loyalty is scant, though growing.

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At home Elizabeth is married to Henry, a theology professor, played by Tim Daly. I wouldn’t be surprised if Henry started walking on water. I don’t mean that as sarcastically as it sounds. Henry is smart, caring and loving. He seems to help around the house a lot and is great with the kids. I think Cosby’s Dr. Huxtable wasn’t so perfect. He’s one of the best characters on the show. Certainly, better than the children. The poor middle child is a teenage daughter who whines a lot. She screams and usually runs off stage. The youngest, a son, is a self-proclaimed anarchist, which is funny-ish. The oldest daughter emerged in episode two when she dropped out of college because it was too much to deal with people trying to be her friend or criticizing her now famous mom. “Finish the semester! We paid for it!” would be how I’d handle that. Then if the daughter wanted she could take online courses.

Each week Elizabeth must handle a diplomatic crisis. First she had to rescue two American boys who’d gone over to Syria. Then she had to free an operative who’d been captured and last week Elizabeth’s treaty between Japan and China over a territory dispute just as a Chinese teen visiting the US announces she wants political asylum.

Since I’m a Barbara Hall fan, I believe the show will get on course. It’s got plenty of strengths: Leoni’s performance, Tim Daly, and the arena of the State Department. While she can keep her assistant, most of the rest of her staff is rather wooden. Bebe Neuwirth plays Nadine, the head of staff and we’ve learned that she had an affair with the former Secretary of State.  Nadine’s not terribly diplomatic or international and there’s considerable conflict of interest. If I were the Secretary, I’d help Nadine get her dream job ASAP. The show moves along briskly and has promise. Some of the characters should be more international in their outlook and personalities. The kids in the family could be more engaging as The Good Wife kids manage to be, though I hardly see kids helping the Secretary of State the way the Florick kids sometimes point their mom in the right direct at work. Anyway few network shows seem to now so I’ll stick around.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Originally posted on Here & Abroad:

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Postso that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

New Mexico

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Thailand

Thailand

Cambodia

Cambodia

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced. 2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag. 3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other great photos:

AWESOME!!!!!!!!

smkelly8:

I love to see a young writer’s excitement. Here a friend’s daughter learns she may be featured in Bon Appetit.

Originally posted on 10 Years of Taste Buds:

O.K. people. A few weeks ago I emailed Bon Appetit to find me Tickle Tree Cafe’s pancake recipe and they responded! Here’s their email –

Hi, Ellie —

I think you might be the youngest reader to request a recipe! I looked on Tickle Tree Cafe’s website, and it appears they have a couple types of pancakes. Do you prefer the buttermilk pancakes or the banana walnut pancakes? Thank you! Julia

THIS………… IS………….EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The reason I’m blogging right now is because of them. They inspired me to be a food critic! I might be featured in their magazine! I’m on top of the world right now! I couldn’t be happier even if I won the lottery! :-) I have to thank my Mom for 2 reasons. 1. She pays for the subscription. Thanks Mom! 2. She introduced me to Bon Appetit! Being their youngest reader is such an honor. I…

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Dear Fellows, The State Department has requested that any Fellows who maintain their own blog or website please post the following disclaimer on your site: "This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellows' own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State." We appreciate your cooperation. Site Meter
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