TrumboOn November 6th the movie Trumbo (starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren) will be released in the United States. It is the story of Dalton Trumbo, once the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood, who was jailed for ten months then blacklisted by Hollywood in 1947 because he refused to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee which was looking for Communists. After his release from prison he wrote screenplays under assumed names for years to make enough money to support his wife and three children. He wrote the screenplay for Otto Preminger’s movie Exodus under an assumed name, but Preminger later admitted that Trumbo had penned the script. Michael Dirda, my favorite book reviewer, talks about Dalton Trumbo and about a biography that author Bruce Cook wrote about Trumbo in the 1970s. Two versions of Cook’s book have recently been rereleased. The book pictured above has photos from the original 1970s release of the book. The other edition is a movie tie-in version that uses photos from the movie in place of the original photos.

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Emilie Wapnick is a self-described “multipotentialite.” If you are one too, she urges you to celebrate that fact and to “embrace your inner-wiring.”

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In an interesting article The Washington Post presents a collection of drawings from around 1900 that show what some French artists imagined life would be like in the year 2000. You can view the drawings here.  Click on the image to enlarge it.

There were some other predictions from around 1900 that were totally wrong and others that were, in some cases, amazingly prescient. A 1900 Ladies’ Home Journal article by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., though somewhat difficult to read, is particularly fascinating. Watkins predicted that in the year 2000 there would be black, blue and green roses, but no mosquitoes or flies. He also predicted that photographs would be telegraphed any distance: “If there be a battle in China a hundred years hence snapshots of its most striking events will be published in the newspapers an hour later.” (I wondered if the word “snapshot,” in the sense of an informal photograph, really existed in 1900, and indeed it did. It was used at least as early as 1890.) A Wikipedia article critiques some of Watkins’ predictions.

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You read a lot, I’m sure, but do you ever think about the typefaces that are used for headlines, body text, etc.? Do you wonder why particular typefaces appear over and over while some others are never used? The Daily Beast offers a primer that will thoroughly explain the subject.

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GWTWEach Wednesday night in November Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will feature films spotlighting the works of Southern writers. Each film will be introduced by John Grisham. Even if you don’t have access to TCM the list of featured movies should interest you because the books upon which the movies are based represent an excellent cross-section of Southern literature. The featured films and the authors represented are listed below.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
  • The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Claudelle Inglish by Erskine Caldwell
  • Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  • A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  • The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormack McCarthy

At the TCM website you will find an interesting article about this series by noted film director Martin Scorsese as well as a complete listing of the movies to be aired in November (the listings for November will be available beginning on November 1).

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Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novella, The Old Man and the Sea, tells the story of an aged Cuban fisherman named Santiago who lands a huge marlin and then fights sharks and exhaustion for two days in an attempt to get himself and the fish back to shore. Though banned at times in the past, the novella is currently highly regarded by both dissidents and the rulers of China. An article in ChinaFile explains its appeal. The article also recounts a 1941 visit to China by Hemingway and his then-wife, the dauntless (and revered) war correspondent Martha Gellhorn.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, November 1, 2015 from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET. The featured guest will be economist and author Walter Williams. His books include American Contempt for Liberty, Race & Economics, and Up from the Projects.

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