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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu LXXVI

Eartha Kitt’s “independence and sense of self influenced the coming generations of young female entertainers and personalities from Oprah to Beyonce to Madonna. They owe her a debt of gratitude.

“But even that side of Kitt obscured the Kitt who was passionately devoted to and supported peace and civil rights causes. The clash with Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson at the celebrity women’s luncheon in January 1968 gave the first public hint of that.”


William Calvin, author of Global Fever, attempting to answer John Brockman’s question, “What will change everything?”:

Climate will change our worldview. That each of us will die someday ranks up there with 2+2=4 as one of the great certainties of all time. But we are accustomed to think of our civilization as perpetual, despite all of the history and prehistory that tells us that societies are fragile. The junior-sized slices of society such as the church or the corporation, also assumed to outlive the participant, provide us with everyday reminders of bankruptcy. Climate change is starting to provide daily reminders, challenging us to devise ways to build in resiliency, an ability to bounce back when hit hard.


In That Shakespeherian Rag, Steven W Beattie posts about the results of a survey which concludes that, “Almost half of Canadians could not name a single Canadian author unprompted.”
But I seriously wonder if the results would differ significantly in any other country. What do you think? Do you live in a stimulating literary culture?


The top 100 books of all time, alphabetically by author, as determined from a vote by 100 noted writers from 54 countries as released by the Norwegian Book Clubs. Don Quixote was named as the top book in history but otherwise no ranking was provided.


The Telegraph reports on a man whose home was full of rubbish which he navigated through an intricate network of tunnels. He died after losing his way in the labyrinth. Police called in a specialist team – equipped with breathing apparatus – to search the two-storey house. They discovered a confusing system of tunnels networking around the interior of the building, with Mr Stewart lying dead inside.

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