Friday, 2 August 2013

22 - Saki/Whitman/Eiseley

Loren C. Eiseley. The Fire Apes. This is one of the essays Ray Bradbury mentioned in his talk, and I found it online here.* I can quite understand why Ray was so impressed by this essay - it grabs you from the opening paragraph and then won't let go. Eiseley was a brilliant writer, and the anthropology - about Australopithecus, and about our own extinction - is fascinating. I'll definitely be reading this one again.

Short story
Saki. The Unrest Cure. In a train carriage, Clovis overhears a conversation between J.P.Huddle and his friend. Huddle is feeling old before his time and his friend suggests an 'unrest cure,' which is a cure for people 'suffering from overmuch repose and placidity.' Clovis gets an idea for an unrest cure Huddle will be unable to forget. A very entertaining story as always from Saki.

Walt Whitman. O Captain! My Captain! (1865) An interesting poem of a fallen ship's captain. Or is it a metaphor for something deeper? Well, I just checked it out and found my suspicion was correct. It's apparently about the death of Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, the captain of course; the ship is a metaphor for the USA and the fearful trip is a metaphor for the civil war (1861-65).

*The link no longer works, but I've found another copy here: (And yes, I have read it again.)

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