Monday, September 30, 2019

Writer’s Almanac for September 30, 2019

I try to listen to Writer’s Almanac every morning. Today’s program was filled with treats. Garrison Keillor reminded me that today is the birthday of Truman Capote. First, after the usual biographical information, he quoted a passage from In Cold Blood—it was a section from the passage I read aloud for last week’s Banned Books night at the Rock Island Library. It was all about the normal sounds of that November morning being punctuated by shotgun blasts that changed so many lives. I had chosen well.

Secondly, Keillor added two quotes from Capote on writing:

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born know them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.”

Good advice for a visual learner.

Finally, learning how George Perkins Marsh delivered the first address on climate change on this date in 1847 was surprising. His observations and conclusions from 172 years ago ring true today in his musical analogy about man as a “disturbing agent”:

“Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discords. The proportions and accommodations which insured the stability of existing arrangements are overthrown. ..."

Such a nice way to start the day.

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