I am a fan of day-long readings of classics. Such readings usually fall on anniversaries of an author’s birth or the publication of a book. You probably know about Bloomsday, June 16, the day on which James Joyce sets his novel Ulysses. Some years ago, my husband and I popped into a pub where there was a Bloomsday reading of Ulysses. People milled and thronged, drank beer, and listened to the reading. I wonder: did they really read aloud the entire book in a day? Or did it take longer? It was both moving and boring, and we left after a couple of hours.
This weekend there is a similar event for Willa Cather fans. On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Willa Cather Foundation is sponsoring a daylong reading of My Antonia to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of the book. (The official publication anniversary is Sept. 21, but Saturday is obviously a better day for gathering.)
The Willa Cather Foundation reports:
This event is free and open to the public and will take place at Omaha’s Gallery 1516. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end in the early evening, to be followed by a talkback discussion and no-frills closing reception. Attendees may drop in at any time of day or come and go throughout the event. A live stream will also be available on the Willa Cather Foundation’s YouTube channel.
Alas, we will not make it to Omaha for the Willa reading because…
BAD NEWS AND GOOD NEWS
THE BAD NEWS: I have spent a lot of time this week riding the bus back and forth to the hospital. My husband, a bike commuter, was hit by a car on his way home from work. He was riding in the bike lane when a car swerved in front of him to turn into an alley. My husband was pitched over the handlebars and his body slammed into the car. He was hospitalized for a broken collarbone and collapsed lung. Witnesses assured the police that it was the driver’s fault, but the driver is long gone.
Since my husband has never been hospitalized, you can imagine that this did not sit well. It was a battle of wills to get him to sit down: he wanted to give his chair to guests. He wildly talked of driving the car home with his arm in a sling. He also thought he was could saunter down to Starbucks with his arm in a sling and carry back his own tea.
“No, I’ll get your tea.”
He insisted the doctor and I were over-protective!
THE GOOD NEWS. He is home, thank God. I have NEVER been so worried in my life.
I offered to get him a cup of tea. “I’m not an invalid,” he said.
“You are, dummy,” I said.
Anyway, I would prefer him to rest, but he is not used to sitting around. He has, however, promised not to bike or drive for a while. Thank God!
And if anyone has any tips on taking care of an extremely healthy person who has been in the hospital and who won’t sit still, tell me!