Monday, October 29, 2007

This Week in Reading October 28 - November 3

This week is a time of remembrance for things that began, the Internet, PBS, the marriage of Ariel and Will Durant, and the right of women to vote in America, and things that ended, the life of George Bernard Shaw, trust in live television quiz shows, and the flying career of Howard Hughes' large wooden seaplane, the Spruce Goose.

It is also a time of transitiions, from the good times before the stock market crash of 1929 to the Great Depression afterwards, and from Daylight Savings Time to Pacific Standard Time. Technically it doesn't end and begin until 2:00 AM next Sunday morning, but most of us change the clocks in our houses and cars before we retire on Saturday night. It used to happen by now, but by Federal decree as of this year we Fall Back an hour on the first Sunday in November and Spring Forward an hour on the first Sunday in March.

None of this week's authors won a Nobel prize for Literature -- so the streak is over -- but there are a few names you might recognize from various school and library adventures. A famous multipart adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited helped find a literarily inclined audience for PBS.
This Week's question: Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds scared many Americans who were not at all aware of H.G. Wells famous book and mistook made up scenarios for live news even though the word "dramatization" was announced regularly throughout the program. Do you know the name of the rado series of which it was a part and the theatre from which it got its name? The program actually existed to bring classically famous literature to the general public through radio. Do you know the first book Welles' program dramatized that year, its first?

Answer to Last Week's Question: Moss Hart frequently teamed with George S. Kaufman and the duo created some of America's most performed and most loved comedies such as The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can't Take It with You, and Once in a Lifetime. They both wrote plays and screenplays with other authors but their six play teamwork stands out. Kaufman wrote movie scripts for the Marx Brothers and Moss Hart wrote the screenplay for Gentleman's Agreement based on Laura Hobson's novel.

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