Friday, January 20, 2006

Since I've been asked ...

... by Bonnie Calhoun about what I said to the seniors I gave a talk to yesterday, I suppose it won't hurt to provide a synopsis. So here goes:

We hear all the time about how important it is for young people to develop the habit of reading. But it's just as important to remind grown-ups to maintain the habit. For one thing, our readings skills, I think, get better as we grow older, because we only get out of a book as much as we bring to it. So the more experience we have under our belt the better able are we to connect to the text. I recalled how, when I was maybe 17, John P. Marquand's last novel, Women and Thomas Harrow, arrived at our house by way of the Literary Guild. I tried reading it and couldn't get into it. But decades later I saw the book in a hotel room and decided to check it out. It was terrific. And I knew rioght away why it hadn't grabbed me years before: because I was simply too young and inexperienced. I hadn't held down a real job, paid a mortgage, been married, tried to support a family, etc., etc.
I also talked a bit yesterday about War and Peace and, in connection with my theme, quoted this from it: "... to love life is to love God. The hardest and most blessed thing is to love this life in one's suffereings ..." I pointed out that to read that when you're 20 is one thing. To read it when you're past 60 is quite another.


  1. Hi Arthur,
    Last year, during the local Fringe Festival, one of the productions was an evening of Damon Runyon. It was quite good. And there's always Guys and Dolls.

  2. That was a great talk, Frank! It is hopeful to young people for them to realize that at their age, irregardless of how wise they think they are; there are still things that it takes 'age' to understand.

    "To love life is to love God."

    Never a more profound word has been spoken. AMEN!