Author Topic: Holiday Drop In Open House  (Read 5169 times)

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #160 on: December 27, 2016, 10:27:04 AM »










Welcome, welcome, ALL to our Annual Holiday Drop in, our 20th Anniversary Special!

Come as you are, have a glass of egg nog, and greet old friends. We hope to make this a Homecoming for old, and we hope, brand new friends, and that you will each bring the gift of sharing a memory, a recipe or a thought for the holidays.

We have a  Raffle, too,  and just by posting here you are in the contest. Winner to be announced the 23rd of December.

So come on in, and note the Topics du Jour as we count down to the 25th:



December 1-2:  Come on home and tell us the best book YOU read this year and why.
December 3-4:  Give us the gift of your favorite Holiday  Recipe
December 5-6:  What Christmas or Hanukkah do you remember best and why?
December 7-8:  Did you ever have a disastrous holiday you laugh about now? The dressing that ran, the turkey which never cooked? Tell us about it.
December 9-10: Are you giving a book for Christmas or Hanukkah? If so, what is it?
December 11-12: What is your favorite book with a holiday theme? Can be a mystery, etc.
December 13-14: What one thing do you absolutely have to have at Christmas or Hanukkah or it wouldn't be right without it?
December 15-16: What's your all time favorite holiday sweet treat?
December 17-18:  What's your favorite TV holiday program?
December 19-20: - What one symbol of the season  do you have to have  every year?
December 21-22: Who is the best Scrooge in all the movies and plays you've ever seen? Why?
December 23: Raffle winner announced


December 26- 31: Till January we'll we'll discuss  this charming short story, an allegory of virtues, A Kidnapped Santa Claus  by  L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum (15 May 1856 – 6 May 1919) was an American author of children’s books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A Kidnapped Santa Claus is a Christmas-themed short story written by L. Frank Baum. It is a continuation of the story set forth in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, telling how Santa Claus was kidnapped by “Daemons” in a plan to make children unhappy. It has been called one of Baum’s most beautiful stories and constitutes an influential contribution to the mythology of Christmas.

http://www.aesopfables.com/kidnap.html


Everyone is welcome!







Thank you Mkaren, I like your interpretation as well especially pointing out, "Repenting is not an easy thing; it is a daemon in itself."

How many people go through life refusing to repent, refusing to acknowledge there part in doing wrong and live a life of misery carrying around the burden of an unrepentant heart.  I have relatives and friends, and I will admit even myself, who refused to enter that cave of repentance for years, refusing to say I'm sorry.  It is not easy at all to face the demon of repentance because it shows us our weaknesses, our flaws, our wrongdoings.  It's not easy at all because, I think the demon of arrogance, and self righteousness get in our way as well.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #161 on: December 27, 2016, 01:57:34 PM »
I am so enjoying thinking about this small piece, it's a good thing to think about in the new year, I didn't expect this out of a Santa Claus story.  I think, however, that repentance and redemption may be two different things; at least they are to me.

But to me, the chain of Daemons and their caves  is flawed, in that I don't think one necessarily causes another in the sequence outlined here. I have spent a lot of time thinking about  Envy. I don't think Envy comes from Selfishness, almost the opposite.

This is the definition of selfish from Webster's:

 1 :  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

2
:  arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>


I think in order for envy to be present, the person feeling envy must feel inadequate in some way, and since he cannot have what he perceives another does, he envies that person, and when it's taken too far, beyond anger, and hurt, it turns into hatred and wishing malice.

For example, if somebody comes in here and says oh I have won the lottery, 10,000,000 dollars, I would be totally  glad for that person, not because I have 10,000,000 dollars but because it doesn't threaten  me or my life in any way: I don't care. It's not a hole in ME that I envy that person having filled for himself. I'm happy for him.

Bellamarie, "Each of them would be considered venial sins."

Envy,  I believe, is actually a  cardinal sin, isn't it? It's one of the 7 Deadly Sins, unless I am mistaken.  I think it's worse than selfishness.  Because in order to be envious you have to begrudge the other person what you perceive he has, or is, or possesses; he has something you want which you do  not have, but which  really means something to you.  It's your own inadequacy, your own failing, is envy, to me.

I would have put Envy first, but I didn't write this little parable of every- man struggling with life.  I can see how envy leads to malice and hatred, but it's the person's own struggle with himself and his inability to overcome his feeling of not being as good as somebody else.

And that leads to selfishness. I love this type of thinking, I may be alone in that, but I didn't expect this little boon from the story and am enjoying working it out.  I am not sure, now, that malice comes before hatred.  Going to have to think about that one next.

What do you all think, if you care to say? On this subject or any other the story touches on?




Mkaren557

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 821
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #162 on: December 27, 2016, 03:12:46 PM »
Well, since you asked, I think that selfishness is the beginning of all sin.  You chose to do what you want rather than what God wants.  Like the story of Genesis:  God said,"Don't eat from this particular tree." Eve ate.  Then, believing that the fruit would make him equal to God, Adam ate as well.  Perhaps envy compelled Adam to chose, but they both chose to do what they wanted rather than what God wanted--selfishness. Whether it is envy, hatred, malice, lust, gluttony, I think it starts with "I".

However, I am so confused now that we may be saying the same thing, or at least we are not far apart.  . It seems to me that repentance is the way out of the cycle of sin.  Than there is the kidnapping of Santa by the daemons?  What do you think is going on here?


bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #163 on: December 27, 2016, 07:50:24 PM »
When I said all these daemons/evils/sins would be considered venial, I meant they were lesser than mortal sins.  Venial sin according to the Roman Catholic teaching is a "forgivable" sin, a lesser sin that does not result in a complete separation from God and eternal damnation in Hell as an unrepented mortal sin would. 

The seven deadly sins, or as mentioned cardinal sins are lesser than mortal sins.  The word "cardinal" is defined as a serious lack of judgement, as are the seven deadly sins.

I see selfishness as the first step to the other sins.  But I don't think either of them are of any greater level of evil/sin.  They all can lead us to one of the others.

And yes MKaren, this story does indeed show that the cave of repentance is the way out, freedom.  But where I may disagree, is that repentance may free us from whatever sins we are repenting for, acknowledging, and asking for absolution at the time which does indeed break the cycle, but...I do also feel it is our human nature to sin again, so the cycle begins again.  Which is why we need to continue to ask for forgiveness. 

Where I see a flaw in this allegory is that Santa was kidnapped by these daemons while he was only doing good for others.  I did not see where Santa needed to pass through the cave of repentance, because at this time he had not given into the temptation of the daemons.  In the story no where does it say Santa is in a state of sin, needing to repent.  My only conclusion, is that I saw Santa as the symblance of God, showing us the way through our caves of sins, is to pass through the cave of repentance which is the symblance of Jesus the redeemer.  The true meaning and reason for Christmas.

I really liked this story.  I plan to give a copy of it to Fr. Miller so he may adapt it into his homily, and I will also use it in my CCD class.  It's a great lesson for teaching the children, with Santa being a character in it. 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

PeggyCasing

  • Posts: 159
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #164 on: December 27, 2016, 09:24:55 PM »
I'm coming a little late to the conversation, but enjoy the insights. I would have to say that even a "little" sin, like selfishness can be upon occasion, can turn into mortal sin. It isn't the type, but instead the intensity, of sorts, that morphs it. Selfishness can look good and be revered in any culture. I think that's why that one cave is attractive. I think of all the times that I have heard someone say, "you deserve it" in regard to an expensive trip, or gift, or pampering... that statement has always bothered me. It seemed to be a way to justify selfishness. The sense of an attractive gateway toward more serious sin is an appropriate one in my mind.  I'd think few individuals start off with one of the more deadly sins like envy, but we've all had to wrangle with selfishness.

It was mentioned that it made sense for Repentance to be a daemon, of sorts, and that we have to wrestle with it. I appreciate the thought.  I know, however, that it rubbed me the wrong way to think of Repentance sitting around hoping for people to be led astray, just so they'd have the opportunity visit his cave. Humm. It has been said that "God loves a repentant heart," but God, who is love, according to my understanding, brings no evil into the world, so the evil of sin comes not from a perverse motivation of God, but through choosing evil as one of the choices afforded by free will. Even Satan was afforded free will, ultimately choosing his way to becoming a fallen angel. In this story, Repentance- a good thing- is tinged by selfishness. I think, as I ponder, that much, if not all of repentance is tinged with selfishness, after all, what is it when we feel"bad" about hurting someone? (Or any other example) Our bad feelings can be embarrassment, or fear of discovery, or fear of punishment, etc. All of those examples are, ultimately, hinged on  selfishness.  Repentance, then, could be that same jumble of good, and not so good, motivations, feelings, etc., that make up any experience of repentance. - just some thoughts.

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #165 on: December 28, 2016, 08:49:31 AM »
I think those are wonderful thoughts, Peggy and they make total sense, to me. I especially like the reason that the Cave of Selfishness is so attractively carved.  I loved your thoughts on repentance being tinged with selfishness.

So why kidnap Santa Claus  in the first place, super question, Karen.   It's clear that Santa represents different things to each of us.

There's no question that the Daemons of the Caves are referred to as evil, even the Daemon of Repentance: "the wicked Daemons of the Caves."

Bellamarie, I am glad that you like the story. I am really pleased at how well it has turned out.

All last night all I could think of was the Gesta Romanorum. In the 13th century it became the fashion to take the old tales, not only of the Greeks (Aesop) and Romans but of other cultures and meld them into the Church by creating little moral tales or  explanations or homilies by monks on them. These are known as the Gesta Romanorum and the intent was positive and pure, but the result was often a bit forced or strained, as you can probably imagine,  or made absolutely no sense at all, but the INTENT is what you grasp. You can see that if you read any of them for any amount of time.

I think the intent here, what  Baum was trying to do here (this is my own Gesta on it) was to present a moral tale based on the Santa myth so that we might have a shot at what Socrates called the Examined Life, a philosophical challenge to each person (sort of like the British National Health quiz in the paper today)...presenting a situation which could be interpreted many different ways --- sort of a litmus test toward self examination wherein the reader emerges refreshed by his ruminations and by the thoughts others offer.

So the broader the interpretation, the better. That does not mean we will all agree?  That's not why we discuss books here, we need not agree, (and we do not on this one which is fine).   I have loved the challenge of trying to THINK outside the box of the simple little story and to learn  what the symbolism might be seen here among  intelligent thinkers,  and what he's saying.

I think it's Everyman. Pligrim's Progress through life.  The temptations and what it takes to stand up to them. It's kind of like that quiz this morning by the British National Health, it makes you THINK about the choices you make in eating or exercising and it's funny and disarming in the process.

What a work, reminiscent of The Screwtape Letters, Pligrim's Progress, and the Gesta Romanorum, all rolled into one!

I'm sure we will all  be enlightened by the musings of our fellow thinkers here. I know I have been. Who KNEW this short little thing held so much? As far as Envy, I am seeing that  that is a concept that far more erudite minds than mine have been arguing over the import of  since it was added in 590 A.D., (and coming to completely different conclusions),  and its inclusion here, I don't think is a mistake.

What else are you all seeing in this story? There are no right or wrong answers, just your thoughts and opinions.


bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #166 on: December 28, 2016, 11:09:07 AM »
Peggy,  Welcome!  I am so glad you stopped in, late or not you touched on something I knew I had thought about earlier on when I read the story and for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was with all the hustle bustle still going on in my house watching the grandkids during Christmas break.  Your statement,  "I know, however, that it rubbed me the wrong way to think of Repentance sitting around hoping for people to be led astray, just so they'd have the opportunity visit his cave."

When I read this story I did wonder why "Repentance" would be considered a daemon.  I do feel like the moral of the story was to acknowledge the other daemons in our life and to repent, but I felt that the cave of Repentance should not have been looped in with all the other evils since repentance is a good thing, not bad, and certainly not a daemon or evil. 

I see Santa and Repentance as the main characters in this story.  Santa as God, and Repentance as Jesus, so kidnapping Santa, and Repentance freeing Santa from the evils, reminds me of the soldiers capturing and crucifying Jesus for doing no wrong.  Through his Crucifixion we have repentance, are freed of our sins, and have everlasting life.  So in a sense I can see why Repentance would sit waiting for you to pass through his cave, just as God/Jesus sits and waits for us to come to HIM through absolution.  Since God and Jesus are ONE in the same, I can finally see where the author was going with the kidnapping of Santa. 

Ginny good reminder, there are no right or wrong answers or ways to see this or any story, we share what we individually think so as to bring interesting thoughts to others.  Many writers be it poems, novels, plays etc., seem to draw from Biblical scripture/parables, it's an excellent source for allegories.

I conducted a little experiment today.  I have my eight and five year old grandson and granddaughter with me today, I read them this story to see what their first impression is of it.  I was curious to see this story through the eyes of a child. After I finished reading it I said, "So what did you think of the story?"  Their first responses were, Zoey, "I like how the daemons decided to be nice." Zak, "I like how all the little people were going to help Santa." Zak, "It's good there was the cave that freed Santa."  Then my five year old Zoey said, "This story reminded me of The Year Without Santa."  Zak said, "Oh yea and it also reminds me of the movie Trolls we just went to see with you Nonnie."  Zoey said, "Oh Zak and it's also like, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!"  Zak asked me when this story was written and who wrote it, and I told him the author and when it was written. He replied, "I think a lot of people used stories like this to make movies we see today."  I asked, "So what was your favorite part of the story and they both liked how everyone was nice.  Zak also said, "There were a lot of words in the story that I did not understand, like the word of the cave that let Santa go."

My conclusion is, children at least my grandchildren, can determine the nice parts of a story or movie, even when they can not understand some of the more mature words or parts in them.  They overlooked the bad/evil, and concentrated on the good/niceness. 

 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Kristen

  • Posts: 565
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #167 on: December 28, 2016, 11:48:14 AM »
As a Catholic, I believe that only Jesus and Mary were without sin.  Even though Santa was doing good and seemed to be perfect, perhaps he had a slight stain of sin from the past that needed repentance.  Maybe one thing the story shows is that no matter how good we may seem to others, there may be something hidden, even if it is very small, that needs repentance.  All the Saints had imperfections.  Some of them were very great sinners who became very great saints.

I'm almost sorry I wrote the above and wonder if I should post it, but it did occur to me so I will put it out there as an idea.  Mrs. Santa might know some of Santa's faults. :D

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #168 on: December 28, 2016, 01:46:12 PM »
Yes I know what you mean. I myself not only don't see Santa as God, I am having quite a time seeing Jesus as the "wicked  Daemon" of the Caves, aka the Daemon of Repentance. Baum, the  author,  has labelled the Daemons thus, not me.

That doesn't mean the theory put forward is "wrong," it means I can't see it personally.


bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #169 on: December 28, 2016, 04:12:48 PM »
I see different points of views from each of you, and it opens me up to even more insights.

Kristen, I too am Catholic and believe only Mary and Jesus were without sin, so seeing Santa with some sort of sin, and maybe Mrs. Claus would know is a good point. I'm glad you posted, it made me stop and go back to read the story again, in doing so, there is a point where I do think Santa shows a weakness:

It is possible that Santa Claus was not as merry as usual during the night that succeeded his capture. For although he had faith in the judgment of his little friends he could not avoid a certain amount of worry, and an anxious look would creep at times into his kind old eyes as he thought of the disappointment that might await his dear little children. And the Daemons, who guarded him by turns, one after another, did not neglect to taunt him with contemptuous words in his helpless condition.

I personally felt the author portrayed Santa as sinless, thus causing me to see him as a semblance of God/Jesus, yet he also gave Santa the need for repentance, which seemed ironic, and contradictory, yet this paragraph did show Santa falter. 

This part of the story puzzled me:

"Do you never repent, yourself?" asked Santa Claus, curiously.

"Oh, yes, indeed," answered the Daemon. "I am even now repenting that I assisted in your capture. Of course it is too late to remedy the evil that has been done; but repentance, you know, can come only after an evil thought or deed, for in the beginning there is nothing to repent of."

"So I understand," said Santa Claus. "Those who avoid evil need never visit your cave."[
/i]

The author has made Repentance a character who not only is a daemon/evil, who admits to his sin, needing repentance, yet this character/daemon also can absolve sin, which is contradictory in itself.  So, in this aspect Repentance can not be a semblance of either God or Jesus.  Yet through Catholic belief and teaching, it is ONLY through Jesus, we can receive God's grace of repentance. 

Talk about a puzzle.....  this has got me going in twists and turns each time I go back and read it.  Makes me wonder how well versed this author Baum was in the church's teaching of repentance.  I think the author attempted at an allegory with a moral of forgiveness, with also pointing out how Christmas can be commercialized in the manufacturing of many toys, and that material things bring happiness to the children on Christmas morning, with Santa being the only person who can accomplish this mission.  Here is where I think it's a good story to use in religious classes and homilies, to gear us more toward the spiritual reason for the season. 

It does make you think, as we have done here. 

 

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Kristen

  • Posts: 565
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #170 on: December 28, 2016, 07:00:08 PM »
"It was well known that no harm can come to Santa Claus while he is in the Laughing Valley, for the fairies, and ryls, and knooks all protect him. But on Christmas Eve he drives his reindeer out into the big world, carrying a sleighload of toys and pretty gifts to the children; and this was the time and the occasion when his enemies had the best chance to injure him. So the Daemons laid their plans and awaited the arrival of Christmas Eve."

Perhaps Santa should have planned more carefully for his safety when he left the Laughing Valley.  A sin of omission? Santa was captured by the Daemons because he was not observant or prepared.    Put on the armour of God!  Get a bodyguard, Santa. 
The Daemons "laid their plans and awaited" just like Satin and the evil spirits.   




Kristen

  • Posts: 565
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #171 on: December 28, 2016, 07:14:28 PM »
I know that you cannot believe everything you read on the Web but I still use Google quite often.  I wondered if Baum was Catholic.  Wikipedia says he was born into a devout Methodist family. 

And, I found the following on another site:

"Although the Wizard of Oz is widely perceived as an innocent children’s fairy tale, it is almost impossible not to attribute a symbolic meaning to Dorothy’s quest. As in all great stories, the characters and the symbols of the Wizard of Oz can be given a second layer of interpretation, which may vary depending on the reader’s perception. Many analyses appeared throughout the years describing the story as  an “atheist manifesto” while others saw  it as a promotion of populism. It is through an understanding of the author’s philosophical bckground and beliefs, however,  that the story’s true meaning can be grasped.

L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz was a member of the Theosophical Society, which is an organization based on occult research and the comparative study of religions. Baum had a deep understanding of Theosophy and, consciously or not,  created an allegory of Theosophic teachings when he wrote the Wizard of Oz."

If these are true of Baum and "The Wizard of Oz", then trying to match his Santa story with Christianity in general and esp. my Catholic beliefs may account for some of the problems.




bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #172 on: December 28, 2016, 08:48:36 PM »
Kristen for me personally, I do see the story aligning with the parables and scripture, even if Baum had no intentions for it to.  I have a tendency to see many stories, especially children's stories and movies to be allegories with Biblical undertones.  I watched The Lorax and was amazed at how much it can relate to scripture.  I sat with my ten year old granddaughter and she and I were picking things out left and right that we saw Christians could see as a significance to moral, Christian teachings.  This Santa story has so many different underlying tones religiously, politically, societal, and commercial.  It's not a problem for me, it's fun discovering them!  As a religious teacher, writer, and member of a Bible study group with my church, I am always searching for signs or symbols that jump out relating to biblical events and scripture.  It's just the curious George in me.

Wouldn't it be a hoot if Baum purposely wrote this allegory with the contradictions knowing they would be spotted? Just a thought!  I have always loved The Wizard of Oz, but like this story, it did leave me questioning things, especially the trickery of the almighty Oz. 

I did a bit of research on Google today out of curiosity about our author as well, and it appears this story was not so much a favorite, and was seen more geared to an older audience rather than small children.  Interestingly, not ONE review or mention out of hundreds, did I find a spiritual/biblical comparison in this story.  It could just be me!  Oh what fun!!!!    ;) ;) ;)
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Kristen

  • Posts: 565
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #173 on: December 28, 2016, 09:20:17 PM »
For me, especially the wide path and ornate entrance seems Biblical.  Enter through the narrow gate to Heaven as opposed to the wide and appealing path to Hell.  It might be that Baum's devout Methodist upbringing stuck with him and came out in his stories even though he explored other paths as an adult. 

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #174 on: December 28, 2016, 09:41:23 PM »
I agree with you wholeheartedly! 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #175 on: December 30, 2016, 02:51:34 PM »
I've been reading a book, Because of Bethlehem, and came across this which made me think of our short story about Santa, and the evil daemons, and wanted to share:

"How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it," wrote G.K. Chesterton.  "You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theater in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky." 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #176 on: December 30, 2016, 04:52:55 PM »
  Oh I just lost a big post, I hate that, I'm pretty sure I can't resurrect it. Just to say I love that, Bellamarie, and I think it's a grand thought to end an old year and begin a new one. I think it's useful to think about things beyond ourselves this time of year, and we've certainly done that in this discussion.

I did not know that about the Wizard of Oz, Kristen, thank those of you who brought background here that illuminates the story. It really does open up lots of new ideas, which is perfect for our purposes.

It's amazing what  one  can see in a story. For instance  I am still reading (very slowly) Bleak House,  and I was stunned last night to see that the commentary for Chapter 13  reveals that many of Dickens's magisterial lines are Biblical in origin, it's  absolutely full of them. It's not a religious section yet it's almost verbatim line after line. It's lovely to read a good provocative story or book in a good thoughtful book club, because that also  brings out so many elements  one might never have seen. I know Adoannie is yet to come in, so if anybody has any more comments, feel free to express them.

I really think you've all done this one proud and it's a wonderful way to end our 20th year in book clubs and book club discussions. As the year closes I find myself thinking of our DL's  who have passed away over this  long period:  Ella, Pat Westerdale, Maryal (Deems), Éloïse De Pelteau, Joan Grimes, Theron  Boyd, Babi, Gumtree, Lorrie,  FairAnna, Charlie Wendell,  and  L J Kline.  I hope I didn't leave anybody out?

Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

    CHORUS:
    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    for auld lang syne,
    we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
    for auld lang syne.

Song always makes me cry,  but it shouldn't, especially in the case of these people who individually and collectively added so much to the last 20 years here. So here's a cup of kindness   to them,  and to those of you  still here who have labored so generously, selflessly and tirelessly  all these years to bring cordial, intelligent, meaningful,  and insightful book club discussions online.  We've made a difference in many people's lives in the last 20 years. Thank you.




bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #177 on: December 30, 2016, 07:02:40 PM »
Oh Ginny what a perfect way to end this discussion, celebration of our twenty years, and tribute to our dear members we have lost along the way.  They are gone, but never forgotten.  Thank you, and all our members who make our book club discussions interesting, fun, insightful, and filled with knowledge.  I look forward to our next book, Cranford.

May you all have a Happy, Healthy New Year!  🍾🍷
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

BarbStAubrey

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 8985
  • Life is finding the magic that makes our soul soar
    • Two Sisters and a Hound!
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #178 on: December 30, 2016, 09:58:25 PM »
Nostalgia - the web site Charles kept until he passed - https://chazzw.wordpress.com/

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #179 on: December 31, 2016, 10:54:55 AM »
Thank you,  Barbara,  for remembering  Charlie,  and for putting in his beautiful blog page, I am glad it's still up. What a mind he had.  My best friend's husband just died of the same thing Charlie had and I had used Charlie's example to encourage them as long as it could. I hate I left his name off.

Thank you, Bellamarie, and a Happy New Year to all of you!

bellamarie

  • Posts: 3144
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #180 on: December 31, 2016, 02:04:32 PM »
May you all have a very Happy & Healthy New Year!

“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

BarbStAubrey

  • BooksDL
  • Posts: 8985
  • Life is finding the magic that makes our soul soar
    • Two Sisters and a Hound!
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #181 on: January 01, 2017, 03:19:13 PM »
Reminding Everyone - We open the pre-discussion to Cranford this week.



We are trying something new by way of an introduction to our discussion leader for Cranford, Karen.
So let's have some fun learning a bit more about Karen and her love of Victorian Literature.

Barb: Karen how did you become interested in Victorian Literature?

Karen: My mother joined a book club for me when I was eleven years old and each month a new book came for me.  I fell in love with Victorian novels through that book club: Black Beauty, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Around the World in 80 Days, Alice in Wonderland, and Little Women. 

I loved stories about the rich and the poor, about the "olden days" and about overcoming problems.  I also, in those days, loved adventure stories and strange characters.  I also loved fairy tales with the lords and the castles, the princesses, and even the wicked witches.

     My first assignment in high school was to complete David Copperfield during the first quarter.  That was my formal introduction to the Victorian novel.  In spite of its being the longest novel I had ever read, I loved it and went on to read poems, essays, and novels  from that age as part of my formal education. My love for literature from this period kept growing.


Barb: Looks like you were drawn to the Victorian Period - did you continue this love with scholastic study?

Karen: I taught world history to 9th and 10th graders and had to do much preparation because my undergraduate work had been mostly in speech and English.  At the same time the National Endowment for the Humanities offered a summer program in teaching the humanities using an integrated approach:with history as a base, bringing in the literature, art, and the music from the time period. 

I went on to be accepted into two NEH six-week workshops: one was on Chaucer and the Medieval World and the second was at Oberlin College and was on 19th century women writers.  I developed a medieval unit and a 19th century British history unit, incorporating literature art and music from both the romantic and the Victorian age.


Barb: Ah - So both the Romantic and the Victorian period was on your radar?

Karen: Yes, and at this same time I started a Master of Liberal Studies degree with a focus in Victorian Literature.  I actually wanted to design a Victorian Studies elective for my high school students.  I took courses in the essay, poetry, and the novel and completed the coursework I needed.  However, as school reform kicked into high gear, electives were no longer part of the curriculum, so I never had a chance to put my plan into action.   But my interest and love for the time period and the novels from the period led me to agree to lead a discussion here on Cranford as an excellent example of a Victorian novel.

Barb: How special for us. Of course there is an entire discussion in itself about the wisdom of eliminating electives however, we are going to really benefit from your love and study of Victorian Literature. What would you say is special about the Victorian period? Give us a glimpse into the life lived during this time in history.

Karen: The Victorian Age in both history and literature refers to the time that Victoria ruled 1837-1901.  In literature it was preceded by romanticism and followed by realism and modernism.

Historically it was a time of peace and prosperity for the upper and middle classes.  The population of England doubled during this period and improvements in transportation opened up the rural areas to the urban dwellers.  The industrial workers in the cities, in contrast, lived in squalor and poverty.  Frequently the whole family had to work with the smallest children chained to the weaving machines pick up bobbins that fell underneath. 

During the age, improvements in sanitary conditions, medical treatment, and the coming of electric power and lights improved the quality of life in the cities, but poor houses and orphanages abounded.


Barb: Wow! Although typical of Victorian life, the hardships of so many sound like realism enough doesn't it - Like all difficult life situations, authors can find the goodness beneath the rough veneer. It sounds like the readership was encouraged by reading how various improvements were making change and so they wanted more of this genre. Is this the difference highlighted in a story between earlier and later Literary periods? 

Karen: Romanticism grew out French Revolution which sought to cast off the the institutions of the Old Regime:  the Church, the aristocracy, the absolute monarchy and put power in the hands of the common man. 

Poetry which expressed strong emotion and an awe for nature, broke the forms and the rules of classicism.  The poets looked at the world with optimism, espoused strong nationalism and interests in the past and in the bizarre. 

In summary, it was a revolt against the rationalism of the classical period.


Barb: Thank you Karen - you have now opened our eyes and hearts to this time in history. Cannot wait to get started with Cranford - So glad you agreed to guide us through this story and now we have historical happenings to look for before we even start our introduction to the characters.

ginny

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 56907
Re: Holiday Drop In Open House
« Reply #182 on: January 03, 2017, 08:32:09 AM »


Here on the 9th Day of Christmas (quick what was happening in the song, drummers, maids a milking,  swans a swimming?) hahahaa I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who dropped by and shared your memories and thoughts with us this holiday season.

I hope it added a little bit of amusement or joy to your holiday.

This discussion is now closed and will be archived.

A very Happy, Prosperous, and Healthy New Year to You!