Thursday, October 3, 2002

Thursday October 3, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Literary Landmarks

From Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar for Oct. 3:

“On this day in 1610, Ben Jonson’s funniest comedy The Alchemist was entered into the Stationer’s Register.  It involves a servant who when the masters are away sets up a necromantic shop, tricking all and everyone.”

From Literary Calendar for tomorrow, Oct. 4:

“1892 — Robert Lawson, the only author/illustrator to win both the Caldecott Award and the Newbery Award—both coveted awards in the United States for children’s literature, is born.”

As a child I was greatly influenced by Robert Lawson’s illustrations for the Godolphin abridgement of Pilgrim’s Progress.  Later I was to grow up partly in Cuernavaca, Mexico, an appropriate setting for The Valley of the Shadow of Death and other Bunyan/Lawson themes.  Still later, I encountered Malcolm Lowry’s great novel Under the Volcano, set in Cuernavaca.  Lowry’s novel begins with an epigraph from Bunyan.  For the connection with Ben Jonson, see Pete Hamill’s article “The Alchemist of Cuernavaca” in Art News magazine, April 2001, pages 134-137.   See also my journal note of April 4, 2001, The Black Queen.

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