THE SUMMER OF THE GREAT-GRANDMOTHER

Great-Grandmother is or rather was Madeleine L'Engle's mother and this is the summer of her 90th birthday and her "swift descent" before she died although she had already lost so much — her memory, her physical and emotional faculties, herself — everything except her ousia defined here as the essence of being. Mrs. L'Engle admittedly advances her new old word as enthusiastically and repeatedly as she did "ontology" in her last book — A Circle of Quiet. The experience she shares is of course the death of a parent with its simultaneous, threatening portents for the next to come, the next to go. In part she attempts to reconcile it (and fails); in part she avoids it (along with passing mention of all the indignities of senility from nursing to funeral home) by writing around it to the degree that most of the book is a retrospective of her own childhood, of great-grandmother's, and of still more distant forebears while returning again and again to her own very complete home at Crosswicks with "its fullness of life" — husband, children, grandchildren. If you are attuned to Madeleine L'Engle's ousia with all its expansive subjectivity/sentimentality ("my heart weeps"), you won't get away scot-free. She's dealing, after all, with that unconditional fact of life which faces us all sooner or later.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1974

ISBN: 006254506X

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1974

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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