Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Summer: Dive In to a Refreshing Pool of Words!

It's long been confirmed that I'm a little different. This time of year, that becomes readily apparent when everyone else is carting around the Beach Read of the Week and I'm buried in War and Peace or some such lofty tome. I chalk it up to having been an English major: there are so many classics, and so little time, that I just couldn't get through them all! So here I am, x number of years later (no need to dwell on that number), still reading classics. And I read them during the summer, when the pace is slower, so that I can sit on my porch with a glass of ice-cold, sweet tea and savor every word. (Oh, don't I wish it were so!) No, the truth is, I read wherever and whenever I can sandwich it in between the routine tasks of being a working writer, wife, and mother; sometimes, there's a glass of tea and a comfy chair involved but, more often, it's a bed and a pillow!

In any case, my first choice this summer is Eudora Welty's entire collection of short stories. I've read many already, of course, but I'm looking forward to reading the whole body of work, chronologically. Eudora Welty has always reminded me of my Aunt Eula, a feisty, fabulous woman who raised five of her seven brothers, made a career out of being a Pink Lady, could as easily have been a movie star as a drill sergeant, and made the speed of light look downright lethargic. Miss Welty's words flow with a staccato urgency whether you read them in your head or aloud; she does not dawdle in her tale-telling and her characters brook no nonsense. Those sharp-tongued domestic mavens, slightly off-kilter curmudgeons, and endearing innocents are people I have known all my life, for better or worse, and I love them before I even know them (one of the South's best qualities: we love you even if we do know you!).

I figure it will take me a couple of weeks to get through the entire collection, maybe three if I get distracted along the way (I have a bad habit of reading several books at the same time). I'll report back and perhaps we can chat about some specific stories.

Meanwhile, what's on your reading list this summer?

2 comments:

Joan Ellen Gage said...

She sounds so interesting. . .
I read one of her poems in Katheryn Byers blog, I believe. An excellent poem it was!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Jayne,.
Have fun this summer reading the classics. I enjoy reading, too. At this time I'm savoring a book by Beverly Lewis and then I want to read Ann Ross's latest book. I also like to find a cool place during the hot summer days and read.

I've registered as a local student for your class in Aug. at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I hope I'll be able to get into your class. I would like to study under you.