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|Ernie Wise (b. 1927) – U.K. comedian|
Read about Ernie Wise here
Watch the Morcambe and Wise skit “Mastermind” here
Born November 27
Twista (Carl Terrell Mitchell) (b. 1972) – U.S. rapper
|Kinoko Nasu (奈須 きのこ Nasu Kinoko) (b.1973) – Japanese graphic novelist, manga, anime – Kara no Kyoukai series|
Born November 28
Jonathan “Jon” Stewart (b. 1962) – U.S. comedian – The Daily Show (TV program)
Linda Lucero Fragua (b. 1954) – U.S. (Jemez Pueblo, Corn Clan) pottery artist
Alfonso Cuaron (Orozco) (b. 1961) – Mexican film director, screenwriter – Children of Men (2006)
|George Szirtes (b. 1948) – U.K. / Hungarian poet, translator|
Read an interview with George Szirtes here
Q: I’ve heard you talk about arriving in Britain with nothing but a book of photographs, and anyone familiar with your poetry will be aware of how important a role the captured image plays in it; there seems to be something of Keats’s Grecian urn figures at work, characters frozen in artifact. What do photographs mean to you?
Szirtes: I still have the case of photographs, though I have shared the actual photographs with my brother. My own mother was a photographer, and as a child, I remember watching her work at the light-box, retouching and hand-colouring. I wrote about these activities before I became as involved as I now am with photographs and photography.
Q: The collection for which you won the T.S. Eliot Prize was Reel. I’ve always liked how tercets look on the page, and in that collection their spacing gives me the impression of a slide projector. How did you see that particular form working in relation to the other aspects of the poems?
Szirtes: The title poem of Reel is written in terza rima, as is a good part of the book —- practically the whole of the first half, including “Meeting Austerlitz”, “Noir”, “Sheringham”, and “Flesh: An Early Family History”, a terza rima sequence with some eclogues in between the sections. I adapted Dante’s terza rima because it is an ideal episodic narrative form, (as in the Commedia) each verse clipping into the next, each section sufficient to articulate a central event. The slide projector effect you mention is for me a film clip that contains its own brief narrative, each episode part of a broad theme.
With a firm hand, she dabs at two pink pancakes
and smooths herself right out. The man next door
crushes his cigarette in the ashtray and makes
a call. A car draws up below. There are more
cars by the curbside, waiting with lights on.
Everything is ready. Lights on the floor
above snap off. Whatever business was being done
is done. It’s time for bed. Boys stir in sleep
to the sounds of drumming that might be a handgun.
The plot is too complex and runs too deep
for neat solutions. There are only cars
and endless cruising. There are secrets you keep
and secrets you don’t yet know. There are scars
below scars and, eventually, daylight over the hill
to wipe the windscreens by the all-night bars
but shadows remain on the lung and the grille
of the sedan parked by the gate. What troubles you?
Why so anxious? Why do you stand so still?
Goerge Szirtes reads two sections from his poem “Metro.” These sections are about his mother and father.
Visit the George Szirtes website
Born November 29
Carlo Levi (b. 1902) – Italian writer, painter, anti-Fascist activist – The Future Has an Ancient Heart
Timaya (b. 1977) – Nigerian singer / songwriter
|Gordon Parks (b. 1912) – U.S. photographer, filmmaker, poet, novelist|
At 25, he bought a used camera for $7.50 and began working as a self-taught freelance photographer, focusing on everything from fashion to the effects the depression in Chicago’s slums. By 1944, he was the only black photographer working for Vogue, and in 1948 he became the first black photographer at Life, the most prestigious magazine of its day for photography.
His autobiographical novel The Learning Tree, covering his rough Kansas childhood, won rave reviews and strong sales. When Warner Brothers expressed interest, Parks told them he would direct the film himself, and he became the first African-American to direct a film for a major studio. He went on to direct Shaft and its sequel Shaft’s Big Score, Half Slave, Half Free, and several other movies. His biography of bluesman Leadbelly was perhaps his best film, but it was Shaft that had the most impact on American culture. Black audiences had never before been offered a major-studio action film with a black hero.
Read excerpts from The Learning Tree here
Born November 30
Lucy Maud Montgomery (b. 1874) – Canadian Novelist – Anne of Green Gables
David Mamet (b. 1947) – U.S. Playwright/screenwriter – Glengarry Glen Ross
Chris Claremont (b. 1950) – U.S. comic book writer – Days of Future Past (The Uncanny X-Men)
Marina Abramović (b. 1946) – Yugoslavian / American performance artist
|Candace Bushnell (b. 1958) – U.S. columnist, novelist – Sex and the City|
Candace Bushnell looks back on 20 years of Sex and the City in this 2017 Guardian interview
Watch an interesting and thoughtful interview with Candace Bushnell here
Interviewer: What manifestations of sexism, in the urban scene you write about, bother you most?
Candace Bushnell: I think women are much more targets of their looks. And unfortunately women can be very harsh towards each other. I think, as women, the number one thing that you can do to combat sexism is just don’t say nasty things about other women. It starts there. We have to have pride in ourselves and have pride in other women. It starts with our attitudes. When we change our attitudes, it certainly would go some way towards changing the attitudes of men.
Interviewer: I’ve often felt that, about the reviews that you get or the reviews the movies get, there is a tendency to trivialize the world that women occupy because it’s an emotional world.
Bushnell: There’s the term Chick Lit. So many books by men are thrillers which are, let’s face it, not terribly literary. But men are somehow cut a little bit more slack. We have ridiculously comic, over-the-top, just dumb male movies in the States, and nobody seems to bat an eye. But if a woman makes a movie like that, Oh my goodness!”
Born December 1
Rex Stout (b. 1886) – U.S. Crime/detective fiction writer – The Doorbell Rang
Woody Allen (b. 1935) – U.S. Comedian / screenwriter – Annie Hall
Richard Pryor (b. 1940) – U.S. comedian, actor, television and film writer
|Jüri Reinvere (b. 1971) – Estonian poet, composer – Requiem|
“The modern and evocative „Requiem,“ composed by Jüri Reinvere, brings to life, for a brief moment, the now-deceased Estonians shown in the companion film made by Australian director Catherine Jarvis. The film is composed of archival footage from 1911 through 1944. It is an hommage to generations of Estonians—their dreams of a better future for their children; their everyday lives; their losses; their remarkable resilience…”
Listen to an excerpt from Requiem here
Read about Juri Reinvere’s production of Peer Gynt:
“Estonian composer Juri Reinvere was asked to create the music for the new opera and write a new libretto for Ibsen’s screenplay. That has stirred controversy, given the artistic license Reinvere gave himself to also change the story behind Ibsen’s work.”
Born December 2
Botho Strauss (b. 1944) – German playwright, novelist, essayist – The Hypochondriacs (Die Hypochonder)
Elizabeth Berg (b. 1948) – U.S. novelist – Home Safe
|Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930) – French filmmaker|
Read about Jean-Luc Godard here
Born December 3
Joseph Conrad (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) (b. 1857) – Polish/British novelist – Lord Jim
Daniel Bedingfield (b. 1979) – New Zealand – U.K. singer / songwriter
Alaíde Foppa de Solórzano (b. 1914) – Guatemalan / Argentinian poet, human rights activist – Las Palabras y el Tiempo (1979)