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Culture Watch


And Consider This


Literature/Summer Events

Literary gatherings know no season, but this summer hosts its share: Key West is the setting for Hemingway Days and if you've watch Michael Palin's tour of the Hemingway haunts, Key West is prime on that tour.

  • Oak Park, IL claims Ernest as their own and are holding their a series of events during the year at the Hemingway Museum:

    Hemingway and a Fitzgerald Panel, Session on Hemingway and Contemporary Women Artists,
    Public reading of Hemingway story,
    Paper Presentations,
    and a reception.

  • The town of De Smet, SD hosts the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant recreating scenes from Little House on the Prairie within sight of the and the five original cottonwood trees planted by Charles Ingalls.

  • The Center for the Study of Southern Culture is presenting the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at the end of July will examine the topic "Faulkner and War" through six days of lectures and discussions by literary scholars and critics. When at the site, look at David Wharton's photographs of Ripley, Mississippi's First Monday Sale and Trade Days, a part of that community's life since 1893. Wharton has also done a series of Southern Landscapes, many of them reminiscent of Faulkner's settings and as Wharton describes them as touching upon several themes traditionally recognized as Southern:

" These include the ever-presence and importance of the past in Southern culture; the direct, personal relationship many Southerners have with their physical surroundings; and the omnipresence of religious consciousness in the South."

  • The annual gathering of the Thoreau Society takes place between July 12 and 15th, the 60th Anniversary of the Society. The meeting is deemed the largest gathering of Thoreauvians from around the world takes place each July in Concord, Massachusetts.

  • Tom Sawyer Days is a bit more lighthearted gathering than those of the Faulkner and Hemingway fests. It originated in 1956 with the first Tom Sawyer fence painting contest, sponsored by the Hannibal, MO Jaycees. Not to be outdone, the first "Tom and Becky" contest was sponsored by the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce:

The Centennial Circle of King's Daughters is introducing the Frog Jumping Contest, based on Mark Twains short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." While living in Angels Camp, California, Twain heard the tale and used it for his celebrated story.

If you can't attend the frog jumping or fence-painting contests, climb into the hammock or glider with that lemonade and read Twain's New York Times' articles.



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