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L'Engle

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  • John D Rateliff
    I came across a passing reference to Madeleine L Engle this past weekend that I thought her fans, of which there are many in the society, might find
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 29, 2009
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      I came across a passing reference to Madeleine L'Engle this past
      weekend that I thought her fans, of which there are many in the
      society, might find interesting. Janice and I were on a visit to
      Whidbey Island and the inn where we were staying had a library, mainly
      made up I think of books abandoned by previous guests over the last
      eighty years. One such book was a rather battered copy of a biography
      of John Dos Passos, which I dipped into because he's one once-
      prominent American writer about whom I know almost nothing. After
      reading accounts of his quarrels with Edmund Wilson in the early 1960s
      (in which my sympathies were, surprisingly enough, mainly with Wilson)
      and with Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War (in which I think Dos
      Passos came out the better of the two), I was surprised to find two
      photographs provided courtesy of Madeleine L'Engle, one of which
      included a teen-aged M.L. herself. Checking the index, I discovered
      that the L'Engles were next-door neighbors to the Dos Passos family, I
      think in the early 1930s. There's a brief description of L'Engle's
      mother, and how much Dos Passos disliked her bossiness (he once came
      downstairs to find she'd walked into his house without knocking.
      Seeing him, Mrs. L'Engle remarked that she didn't think his house was
      as awful as people said, then left).

      Anyway, if anybody cares to follow up on this, the book in question
      is DOS PASSOS: A LIFE by Virginia Spencer Carr [1984].

      --John R.
    • David Bratman
      ... Fascinating. Little did I know, when having the already impressive experience of speaking with L Engle at the 1994 Mythcon, that there was now only one
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 29, 2009
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        John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
        >I was surprised to find two
        >photographs provided courtesy of Madeleine L'Engle, one of which
        >included a teen-aged M.L. herself. Checking the index, I discovered
        >that the L'Engles were next-door neighbors to the Dos Passos family, I
        >think in the early 1930s.

        Fascinating. Little did I know, when having the already impressive experience of speaking with L'Engle at the 1994 Mythcon, that there was now only one person between me and John Dos Passos.

        I am still hoping some day to find again the book I once saw including a photo of Lord Dunsany, barefoot with his pants legs rolled up, as I recall, on the beach with a group of children who were either relatives or family friends. The caption indicated that he was known to the children as Uncle Eddie.
      • John D Rateliff
        ... If there s any specific Dos Passos novel you d recommend (MANHATTAN TRANSFER? U.S.A.?), I d be interested in hearing. ... Hmm. Haven t seen that, and wd
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 30, 2009
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          On Jul 29, 2009, at 10:49 PM, David Bratman wrote:
          > Fascinating. Little did I know, when having the already impressive
          > experience of speaking with L'Engle at the 1994 Mythcon, that there
          > was now only one person between me and John Dos Passos.

          If there's any specific Dos Passos novel you'd recommend (MANHATTAN
          TRANSFER? U.S.A.?), I'd be interested in hearing.


          > I am still hoping some day to find again the book I once saw
          > including a photo of Lord Dunsany, barefoot with his pants legs
          > rolled up, as I recall, on the beach with a group of children who
          > were either relatives or family friends. The caption indicated that
          > he was known to the children as Uncle Eddie.


          Hmm. Haven't seen that, and wd be interested in it if it ever turns up
          again. Probably one of the Pakenhams, who were Lady Beatrice's nieces
          and nephews (one of whom, Lady Mary Clive, was still alive two years
          ago, when she was celebrating her 100th birthday). Antonia Fraser is
          the daughter of one of them, but I forget which one. They were a
          literary lot, so I'm not sure which memoir by which of them, or which
          biography of which one, might be the place. But I suspect that's where
          to look.
          Another lost Dunsany reference comes from Taum, who told me he
          once was paging through an account of someone on safari in Africa in
          the twenties that included running into Dunsany in Nairobi or some
          such place -- but he couldn't tell me the author, or title, or date,
          or specific subject of the book.
          Sadly, I was never able to find out if Dunsany read THE LORD OF
          THE RINGS -- he lived just long enough to have done so, but if he did
          there's no record of it. He did read Lovecraft's pastiches of his
          work, but only discovered them in the last years of his life, long
          after Lovecraft was dead. Pity they never invited him to an
          Inklings . . .

          --John R.
        • Lynn Maudlin
          Wow, I love the account of L Engle s mother, although I don t think I d call it bossiness (presumption, maybe? Of course she may well have been very bossy;
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 3, 2009
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            Wow, I love the account of L'Engle's mother, although I don't think I'd call it "bossiness" (presumption, maybe? Of course she may well have been very bossy; this just doesn't strike me as an example of that trait).

            -- Lynn --


            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
            >
            > I came across a passing reference to Madeleine L'Engle this past
            > weekend that I thought her fans, of which there are many in the
            > society, might find interesting. Janice and I were on a visit to
            > Whidbey Island and the inn where we were staying had a library, mainly
            > made up I think of books abandoned by previous guests over the last
            > eighty years. One such book was a rather battered copy of a biography
            > of John Dos Passos, which I dipped into because he's one once-
            > prominent American writer about whom I know almost nothing. After
            > reading accounts of his quarrels with Edmund Wilson in the early 1960s
            > (in which my sympathies were, surprisingly enough, mainly with Wilson)
            > and with Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War (in which I think Dos
            > Passos came out the better of the two), I was surprised to find two
            > photographs provided courtesy of Madeleine L'Engle, one of which
            > included a teen-aged M.L. herself. Checking the index, I discovered
            > that the L'Engles were next-door neighbors to the Dos Passos family, I
            > think in the early 1930s. There's a brief description of L'Engle's
            > mother, and how much Dos Passos disliked her bossiness (he once came
            > downstairs to find she'd walked into his house without knocking.
            > Seeing him, Mrs. L'Engle remarked that she didn't think his house was
            > as awful as people said, then left).
            >
            > Anyway, if anybody cares to follow up on this, the book in question
            > is DOS PASSOS: A LIFE by Virginia Spencer Carr [1984].
            >
            > --John R.
            >
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