Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When was the last time a Leo Tolstoy story got dropped into the middle of one of my casual conversations? Probably not since the last time I talked to my cousin Bill. My friend Jean never ceases to amaze me. While we were in the pool today yakking about this and that, our talk veered into the current investigation of certain well-known, wealthy trial attorneys in our state.

"It all boils down to greed," we both concluded.

"Just like that man in the Tolstoy story "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" she added. I asked her to refresh my memory, so she did. Did I mention that my 86 year old friend Jean is very well read? I was embarrassed to tell her of my feeble (and futile) attempt to read Tolstoy.

When our conversation turned to my family, and the research I've done of my ancestors, she recalled a Eudora Welty story about a dysfunctional family that reminded her of mine. Again, she refreshed my memory, and they did, indeed, remind me of my family.

I feel so totally illiterate compared to her, and to others who love to read. You would never know I was the daughter of a literature buff, someone who even taught literature for a few years. My sweet daddy would be humiliated with how little I know about the classics. Reading all of Eudora Welty's books and stories is on my "Bucket List." And if I get through those, I may even tackle Tolstoy again. Wouldn't Daddy be proud?
Art: "Books in Winter" by Jessie Wilcox Smith.


Zoilus said...

Not to mention your son and daughter-in-law who also both teach literature and write. . .

Any word on when Rick's going to start his pro flickr account I gave him for xmas?

C J Garrett said...

Haven't discussed Flickr w/ Rick. Why don't you make your illiterate mother a list of 10 classics that every mother of a lit prof should read?