Monday, February 15, 2010

Say What?

This is an excerpt from an interview with the great Southern writer Eudora Welty:


Where does the dialogue come from?

Familiarity. Memory of the way things get said. Once you have heard certain expressions, sentences, you almost never forget them. It’s like sending a bucket down the well and it always comes up full. You don’t know you’ve remembered, but you have. And you listen for the right word, in the present, and you hear it. Once you’re into a story everything seems to apply–what you overhear on a city bus is exactly what your character would say on the page you’re writing.

Wherever you go, you meet part of your story. I guess you’re tuned in for it, and the right things are sort of magnetized–if you can think of your ears as magnets. I could hear someone saying–and I had to cut this out–“What, you never ate goat?” And someone answering, “Goat! Please don’t say you serve goat at this reunion. I wasn’t told it was goat I was served. I thought–” and so on, and then the recipe, and then it ended up with–I can’t remember exactly now–it ended with, “You can do a whole lot of things with vinegar.”

Well, all these things I would just laugh about and think about for so long and put them in. And then I’d think, that’s just plain indulgence. Take it out! And I’d take it out.

Interview with Linda Kuehl, Conversations with Eudora Welty, pg. 86-87. H/T from Dr. Somerville (he teaches my Faulkner and 20th century Southern Lit class). I recommend the short story "June Recital," or just the collection ('Golden Apples') in general. She uses a lot of Greek mythical allusions and she writes the absolute best similes and metaphors, which is good, because she writes a lot of them. I had never heard of Welty before this class and now I am absolutely enthralled.

Also, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Miss Vivian Jago, one of the best reasons I can think of for giving up sweets for Lent. She was just accepted to the Culinary Institute of America, into their baking and pastry program! Much to the chagrin and supreme happiness of the Kappa house, she bakes often. Last night we celebrated with a German chocolate cake she baked for herself (it sounds sad, I know, but she is the best and she wanted to do it; also, fun fact: it's called a German chocolate cake because the man who invented it had the last name 'German,' not the ancestry). It was divine. Tonight we'll (partly) celebrate while working crew together and singing loudly to the radio as we clean up from dinner.

My friend Andy came back to Hillsdale from Georgia (where he's stationed) this weekend! It was so wonderful seeing him. He's married Marisa, one of my closest friends at school, this past summer. (He graduated two years ago; she's a senior with me.) Andy and I (and Zach) met in our Great Books and Rhetoric class. We've all been friends ever since. Time goes so fast. Last night I finished my paper due Tuesday quarter before 10, so I thought I'd go over to Marisa and Melissa's for a little bit to hang out since Andy would be going flying the following morning. Zach got there soon after, and we ended up baking cookies, drinking, laughing and playing euchre till 2:30. Morning classes are hard enough to get up for, but it was good to have the old gang back together again, although it is strange to think a good friend is going back to Afghanistan.

Saturday night we went to Cascerelli's for dinner and may I just say? Dark Horse Raspberry Ale ("beer first, fruit second") is delicious. It's made in Marshall, Michigan. Neither Andy or I could taste the raspberry, but it was not a bitter beer, which is most likely where the raspberriness comes into play. BeerAdvocate gave it a B/B-, but I like it. I would give it at least a B+.
I mentioned the rating to Zach, and he thinks it's because "most people aren't surrounded by awesomeness while they drink it." (Here, here!)

Goal of the week: start and finish my midterm paper for my conservative/ libertarian debate class (I'm writing on legislating morality, pros and cons).

Read of today: John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.

quote of the week: "Dogs are my favorite animals. Except for dinosaurs." -Andy

First reading today comes from James 1:1-11 and reminds us to consider it a joy when we encounter our struggles, and that the testing of our faith is to produce perseverance. God never gives us anything we can't handle.

The commentary of the day comes from Saint Padre Pio de Pietrelcina (1887-1968; the first priest to receive the stigmatas, one of 62 total in the history of the Church): “Why does this age seek a sign?” - Believing even in darkness (reflection from today's Gospel, Mark 8:11-13)

The Holy Spirit tells us: Don’t let your mind succumb to temptation and sorrow, for joy of the heart is life for the soul. Sorrow is no good for anything and causes our spiritual death.

It happens sometimes that the darkness of trial overwhelms your soul’s heaven; but this darkness is light! Thanks to it, you believe even in darkness; the mind feels lost, it fears no longer being able to see, no longer understanding anything. But this is the moment when the Lord speaks and makes himself present to the soul; and the soul listens, understands and loves in the fear of God. So don’t wait for Tabor to “see” God when you are already contemplating him on Sinai.

Progress in the joy of a sincere heart that is wide open. And if it is impossible for you to keep that happiness, at least don’t lose courage and keep all your trust in God.

Happy Monday, my friends!

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