Monday, October 10, 2016

Don't Sleep, There are Snakes

 If I figured out how to use the new feature on this blog site, you're seeing a previous post on Garcia Marquez's novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold to the right.  If I didn't figure out how to turn on the feature, these comments will be senseless.  My LaDeDa book group has selected the Marquez novel for this Friday's discussion and I know that Mary, and sometimes Valerie and Karen like to get a sneak peek at what I thought about the book (Hi Mary, Karen and Val!)  

I found the book a little confusing this time around, but I'm blaming it on the translation, the overuse of pronouns with hard to find antecedents, and my distraction due to excitement about the pending Sunday night debate.  

Out next book group choice is Little Women; that's a long book, but should be a quick read because we all pretty much know the story. Who hasn't spent pre-adolescent hours repeatedly watching and sobbing over one of many film adaptations?  My favorite - Katherine Hepburn as Jo.

The book pictured about has intrigued me for a while, and so it's next on my list.  Words, language, linguistics, and the history of language caught my attention way back when I had a college professor who allowed (at the time I would have used the word "forced") us to read Beowulf in Old English and The Canterbury Tales in Middle English.  We studied word origins and evolutions, and the grammar system evident in each piece.  My inner nerd couldn't have been happier.  Apparently, I was a star at reading these languages and so she cooked up a performance opportunity called "Culture Corner".  Our first performance - my first performance - was one Friday during lunch.  Sr. Salome set a mic up in the cafeteria and I read from Beowulf in a crazy, growling, Germanic type delivery.  We did it again the following week. just me.  I read from The Canterbury Tales that week. A little less silly, but still awkard for me, and annoying to those trying to each lucnh peacefully. On the Third Culture Corner Friday, we entered  the forced stage.  Salome made me read original poetry while my friend Steve Heise played guitar and Wayne Wolfmeyer played bongos.  True!  Steve and I still laugh about it. I wish I could find Wayne to see how far back in his memory bank he pushed that incident.  That incident, by the way, was the last Culture Corner ever.  Lunch and literature.  I guess we were just ahead of our time.

Back to the book.  That explains my interest, but since I haven't started it yet, here's what the back cover tell us:

Daniel Everett recounts the astonishing experiences and discoveries he made while he lived with the Piraha, a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil.

Daniel Everett arrived among the Piraha with his wife and three young children hoping to convert the tribe to Christianity.  Everett quickly became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistics implications.  The Piraha have no counting system, no fixed terms for color, no concept of war, and no personal property.  Everett was so impressed with their peaceful way of life that he eventually lost faith in the God he'd hoped to introduce them to, and instead devoted his life to the science of linguistics.

The Chicago Tribune called it "A scientific grenade that Everett lobs into the spot where anthropology, linguistics and psychology meet."  I also understand that the book, Everett, and his assertions really ticked off Noam Chomsky.

Big week...mural work continues on Tuesday...not that I have to do anything other than watch, and feed pizza to the artists.  Wednesday, a meeting with Karla, Regional VP of the American Heart Association-Wisconsin Affiliate. Lots of Heart-A-Rama ground to cover with her.  We are so lucky that she is available for advice and support whenever we need her.

Thanks for stopping by.