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Mandeville, LA – Notes from Pearcing Truth writer/director Mike Church’s screenplay for EPISODE I.
POETRY/NOVEL READING I FOR THIS WEEK
“If there is anything pleasant in life, it is doing what we aren’t meant to do. If there is anything pleasant in criticism, it is finding out what we aren’t meant to find out. It is the method by which we treat as significant what the author did not mean to be significant, by which we single out as essential what the author regarded as incidental. Thus, if one brings out a book on turnips, the modern scholar tries to discover from it whether the author was on good terms with his wife; if a poet writes on buttercups, every word he says may be used as evidence against him at an inquest of his views on a future existence. On this fascinating principle, we delight to extort economic evidence from Aristophanes, because Aristophanes knew nothing of economics: we try to extract cryptograms from Shakespeare, because we are inwardly certain that Shakespeare never put them there: we sift and winnow the Gospel of St. Luke, in order to produce a Synoptic problem, because St. Luke, poor man, never knew the Synoptic problem to exist.
There is, however, a special fascination in applying this method to Sherlock Holmes, because it is, in a sense, Holmes’s own method. ‘It has long been an axiom of mine,’ he says, ‘that the little things are infinitely the most important.’ It might be the motto of his life’s work. And it is, is it not, as we clergymen say, by the little things, the apparently unimportant things, that we judge of a man’s character.” – Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes, 1911
The Mystery Identity of today’s Literary Convert – On today’s Pearcing Truth show & classroom, we’ll review the “Historia” of one of Britain’s most gifted and best known authors. he was born in 1888 Kibworth, Leicestershire England. He converted to Catholicism in 1917 and was ordained a priest 2 years later. One of his signal literary achievements is the sometimes controversial new english edition of the Holy Bible. he died on august 24th, 1957. The New York Times’ eulogy pronounced him “the wittiest churchman since Sydney Smith.” Who is this literary convert, turned priest!?
THIS WEEK’S ERRATA (trivia): In January 1926, for one of his regular BBC Radio programmes, our hero broadcast a simulated live report of revolution sweeping across London entitled Broadcasting from the Barricades. In addition to live reports of several people, including a government minister, being lynched, his broadcast mixed supposed band music from the Savoy Hotel with the hotel’s purported destruction by trench mortars. The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower were also said to have been flattened. Because the broadcast occurred on a snowy weekend, much of the United Kingdom was unable to get the newspapers until days later. The lack of newspapers caused a minor panic, as it was believed that this was caused by the events in London.
A 2005 BBC report on the broadcast suggests that the innovative style of our heroe’s programme may have influenced Orson Welles’s radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” (1938), which foreshadowed it in its consequences. In an interview for the book This is Orson Welles, Welles himself said that the broadcast gave him the idea for “The War of the Worlds”!
POETRY/NOVEL READING II FOR THIS WEEK:
I owe you a deep debt of ingratitude for pointing out to me, when this book was nearly three parts written, that practically nobody would read it, because practically nobody had ever heard of Barchester.
Do you really suggest that we have got to tell people what the title means? To say that there was a man called Anthony Trollope, who was born in the year of Waterloo, and died in 1882 – died of laughing at a new book called Vice Versa? That this man, however much you rank him below the Immortals, is the novelist of the Victorian era, because most of all he was its unconscious spokesman; and that among the great library of his writings, five novels are endeared beyond all others to those who read them, the five which centre round the imaginary Cathedral city of Barchester? Will it be any use to tell them all this, and give them a few more stray pieces of information such as would help them in a General Paper – as, that Mrs.Proudie, the Bishop’s wife, hen-pecked him and tried to run the diocese for him?” – Barchester Pilgrimage, 1935