Thursday, January 20, 2011

"The Sun Also Rises"

Reading "The Sun Also Rises"

Grandpa loved to read. He'd read at last a few newspapers before going to work each day, and plenty more on the weekend.

It was through his reading of Vincent Van Gogh's biography in 1928 while living in Paris, where he envisioned his life as a supporter of artists.

In his later years he loved to read Hemingway.

I filled the shelf with all his classics: A Moveable Feast, The Old Man and The Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. When I made this photograph towards the end of 2009, at the age of 106 and a half, he was working his way thru The Sun Also Rises for the fourth or fifth time. He read voraciously, for hours and hours at a time. He took a journey into these novels of Paris and Africa, adventure and daring. If you disturbed him in the middle of a riveting section, he would good-naturedly shoe you away and dive back in. 

1 comment:

  1. The last chapter of grandpa's memoir "So Far So Good, The First 94 Years" is "A LITTLE READING GOES A LONG WAY":

    "It's sad to see that so many American households have become increasingly bookless. I have learned more from reading than from formal education."

    "Books not only broaden our horizons, they help is make practical choices. I don't mean the how-to manuals. I mean the books from which we gain knowledge - as I did from the biography of Van Gogh - that inspire us to action."

    "Books are the closest to my heart. Many of the milestones of my life are marked by the well-worn books still on a shelf in my office including a first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses. I associate each of those books with a major turning point in my life. Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay On Compensation helped me recognize that the person who gives receives even more than the person who receives."

    I am sure that grandpa's own books are on someone's shelves and his life story will be a helpful signpost in someone's lives along the way.