Alice Walker’s 1975 article “Looking for Zora” (originally published in Ms. magazine and reprinted in the collection In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens, 1983) follows the author on a journey through Eatonville, FL to find the unmarked grave of Zora Neale Hurston. At the time, Hurston had fallen out of popularity and died in a welfare home. A collection was taken up for her burial and her grave sat unmarked in a run-down cemetery. Walker, pretending to be Hurston’s niece, is accompanied by Charlotte Hunt, who is researching Hurston. Of the ruse Walker writes: “as far as I’m concerned, she is my aunt – and that of all black people as well.” Walker eventually finds the grave and buys a small marker for it; all the while she interviews people of Eatonville for any information about Hurston’s life. The article is interspersed with excerpts from Hurston’s writing, as well as quotes and articles about her.
The article is beautifully written and the storytelling aspect of it is a worthy tribute to Hurston, to say the least. I had intended to use it as part of an introduction to Their Eyes Were Watching God which I’m teaching right now (last book of the year!), but we ran really short on time. Now I wish I had worked it in somehow, because it’s such a pleasure to read. Not to mention the fact that it focuses very heavily on Their Eyes. Maybe I’ll shoehorn it into the curriculum somehow, if not it will definitely be used next time I teach the novel.
Note: The first paragraph of the page was written to be added to the Wikipedia page for Their Eyes Were Watching God under the “Critical Analyses” heading. I intend to add more articles later on, so hopefully it will “stick” as it were. I always worry that my Wikipedia edits will get tossed out for some reason. Also, why don’t all books have a critical analyses section on their Wikipedia pages?
Like everyone in the American public school system (presumably) I read The Great Gatsby for the first time in High School. Now that I teach said High School I had my Juniors read it and we just wrapped it up yesterday. Most of them hate it, but I hated everything then too so that’s normal. We all know that story. If you count the concurrent readings that I did, out loud, in class, I have now read The Great Gatsby five times. Not bad!
In The Great Gatsby Nick Carraway (our narrator) moves to West Egg and next to the mansion of Jay Gatsby, the don of parties most fabulous. Nick spends time with his cousin Daisy, her horrible husband Tom Buchanan, and their chum, Jordan Baker. Also Daisy and Tom have a daughter, her name is Pammy, by the way, and she’s barely mentioned. Tom is openly having an affair with Myrtle Wilson, who is a nag, and has beat down her husband George Wilson. Daisy stops caring about this when she starts her own affair with Gatsby, because they knew each other five years before, and also Gatsby has joined an organized crime syndicate to win her away from Tom. That always works. Of course Daisy doesn’t know that last part and when it comes to light she runs back into Tom’s arms and over Tom’s mistress (with Gatsby’s car no less). Tom then blames Gatsby for the crime and (at least gently) encourages Wilson to kill Gatsby, which he does, before committing suicide. If only Gatsby hadn’t replaced all his servants with mafia foot soldiers this wouldn’t have happened. Daisy and Tom leave town before they even find out Gatsby is dead and Nick breaks it off with Jordan because now shallow people gross him out.
ATC #1305 “Witch”
Paper Collage, 2.5″ x 3.5″
I got really lazy about scanning collages at the end of last year so now I have some stragglers to post. I was making so many all-pastel collages that when I saw a WordPress challenge about witches (back in November 2013) I decided to make something really dark for a change and this was the result. The dress, which I love, is Roberto Cavalli Fall 2013 ready to wear. I usually like to obscure model’s faces in my collages, but this time I really felt like I shouldn’t. Instead she’s obscuring the face of the sheep in the background (if you were wondering what the heck that thing was).
I really enjoyed the Mara Hoffman Fall 2013 ready-to-wear runway presentation, um, a year ago, which is when I drafted this post. I have no idea why it took me so long to post this, maybe because I can’t think of anything to say about it aside from that I like it. Anyway, the chaotic use of print and neon is really charming and I still have to smile when I look through these images.