Friday, July 29, 2011

Norwegian Songs at Thursday's Listen Live At Lunch

Among other familiar songs - The Ash Grove, and There is a Balm in Gilead, as well as Kum Ba Yah - presented by musical performers with the church - the organ recital for First Lutheran's Listen Live at Lunch on Thursday July 28, 2011 included Norwegian songs and very short comments by Pastor Nesvig. At one point he discussed the shared tradition between Sweden and Norway of two songs, In Heaven Above and Halsa Dem Darhemma). The Norwegian songs were a remembrance of the events of last Friday, July 22, in Norway. This is the description of this section from the Listen Live at Lunch program:

Norwegian Hymns and Folksongs

Two Norwegian Hymns: The norwegian folk melody heritage is well-represented in the Church of Norway's hymnal. Two of these melodies sung today have roots in the Hallingdal and Heddal valleys of central Norway. These folk melodies, along with their texts, are haunting and profound, especially this week as we remember the horrible events of last Friday.

Eg Veit I himmerik ei borg harm. John Lammetun

I himmelen, I himmelen harm. Lars Soraas

In Heaven Above (an organ interlude)

Two Norwegian Folk Songs: The choral tradition is strong in Norway, from kindergarten to church, from home to community. These two folk songs are widely known and sung in Norway. The first represents the longing of a sailor for "the folks back home". The second offers the way to respond as a community when adveristy strikes.

Hils fra meg der hjemme Edith Worsing

La oss leve for hverandre Sundstrom/Friis

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tacoma Downtown Market

Cherries, Corn, Lettuce, and Raspberries at the downtown market today. Nice sun, a walk to the library, my plan is to attend Listen Live At Lunch at First Lutheran Church.

Monday, July 18, 2011

William Makepeace Thackeray, 200

At Northeast 45th and Thackeray Place Northeast, Seattle, this morning a great poster wished William Makepeace Thackeray a happy 200th Birthday. "All is vanity, nothing is fair" he was quoted. According to the internet, William Makepeace Thackeray was born in India. The bus shelter near the poster is on a tree-lined street off busy 45th, which crosses the freeway. The walk was not very long from the University District. It was a few years between a recommendation that I read Vanity Fair in junior high school until I noted a journal entry of me reading that book while at a Hamburg Inn Diner in Iowa City. It was an evening visit, while my usual Hamburg Inn visit was a morning stop for French Toast. Vanity Fair.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Report on Blacklist by Sara Paretsky for the Summer Reading Club


In another book I reported on, STIEG LARSSON: OUR DAYS IN STOCKHOLM by Kurdo Baksi, I learned that among crime novelists that influenced Stieg Larsson was Sara Paretsky. Both use short chapters. Both may have been influced by other crime writers.

In one passage in THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST (2009) when Michael Blomkvist needs a different car because there is a tracking device on his car, he has recognized her car key among things in a bag she dropped - during their brief encounter while someone was chasing her - and he can go to Elizabeth Salander's neighborhood to drive her car from Stockholm to Goteborg. In BLACKLIST(2003) V.I. Warshawski has retained the car key when, hired by the family of the victim, she has gotten a locksmith to open his car. She can drive a youth she is hiding from the Patriot Act to a new location.

At times I have found the Sara Paretsky narration, nice Chicago description and a reaffirmation of the reader's attention with repeated, reassuring characterization, to include points memorable to me:

I had earliet come upon her novel, TUNNEL VISION, such a point is "I can't say I would have known him anywhere - it had been twenty years since I'd seen or thought of him. But knowing to expect him I recognized him at once."(page 79) This word choice in this observation about cognition states something we have known without words.

In BLACKLIST, the narrator remembers her mother saying, "We don't give into our worries...we do some job, like this, we do it well, we make the worries leave us alone..."(page 170)

Of BLACKLIST, the book's blurb: "As she retraces the dead reporter's track, V.I. is sucked into the middle of a gothic tale of sex, money and power." There are fewer than usual scenes, in this gothic, in which V.I. Warshawski is kidnapped or attacked. My observation about this is that as her female characters' histories reflect romance, a less violent story is appropriate.

In the post- 911 times of the Patriot Act, the characters' background with McCarthy era blacklists in the mid-nineteen-fifties includes African-Americans. The frequent chapter titles include familiar references to culture, including to Brer Rabbit and Joel Chandler Harris.

The dead reporter's name was Marc Whitby - I wonder if the name is a woven-in reference to the idea that the blacklist was a list of people with a black mark made against their name. One reference to Stockholm Syndrome at an important point in the book reminds me how proximity to others can blur borderlines. At the same time it reminds me that proximity and blurred borders are dangerous combined with weapons.

Report on a Biography of Stieg Larsson for the Adult Summer Reading Club

Stieg Larsson: Our Days In Stockholm by Kurdo Baksi.

Part One

For the Adult Summer Reading Club I earlier reported on A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of the Mother of President Barack Obama. She died in the mid-nineteen-nineties and did not witness her son's achievement. She was fifty-two. Stieg Larsson died in 2004, after he finished three volumes of The Millenium Series but before their publication and success. He was fifty years old.

In these two books I found a similar construction: What drove her? asked Jenna Scott. Stanley Ann Dunham Obama Sotoro worked through difficult conditions, neglected health concerns to pour energy into anthropology field work and jobs that applied her studies. She did detailed field work on crafts in Indonesia.

Who was Stieg? asks Kurdo Baksi. "No human being is capable of working like Stieg did. Did he do it in an attempt to achieve ambitious goals he set himself, or was it some kind of escapism?"

In Stieg Larsson: Our Days In Stockholm, we learn how Larsson approached Kurdo Baksi to share publication of their magazines Expo and Svartt Vitt. On page 48 - "What the force was that drove Stieg was Justice - irrespective of class, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation".

Part Two

From Sunday to Monday after I worked on this report, at church and at a garage sale I reflected on this from the lesson in Romans: Romans 8: 5-6 - "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."

Dedication for these two people overrode a watch on self-management and self-care. At the garage sale a Floe Blue covered dish and batiks, a collection focus for Stanley Ann Dunham Obama Sotoro, bring clearly the image of practical life spiritually enhanced by decorated or hand made beauty. Within the practical texture, color, images brought an immediate experience of the Spirit.

Part Three

In the Stieg Larsson memoir I learn that Larsson included Kurdo Baksi as a character in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Kurdo Baksi refers Michael Blomkvist to an immigrant who can work for him. It was important that none of the work will be illegal.

(One element of the experience of the two as colleagues was that Svartt Vitt, the magazine of Kurdo Baksi, had lost funding. When I read of this I remembered a news article about friction between the refugees and the government in Sweden. I read in a book that immigrants could lose funding if Sweden suspected a link to militancy in the former country. Sweden's funding of refugee groups was for survival in Sweden. Sweden was not funding militancy.)

In Kurdo Baksi's book we learn about the journalist colleagues' experience with the racism that afflicted them as a voice for justice.

There is a chapter on feminism and a chapter on Stieg Larsson's fiction.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Downtown Market Today

At the downtown market today peas, broccoli and strawberries. This followed Listen Live at Lunch at First Lutheran Church with Dr. Duane Hulbert on the piano and one of the talented musicians in the family, Evan Hulbert on the Double Bass.