I know I am not alone in mourning the passing of Nell "Harper" Lee. Her book To Kill a Mockingbird
and the movie adapted from that book has its own thread here: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3191&hilit=to+kill+a+mockingbird
I defer to Charles Pierce in trying to express the emotions I have felt today at the passing of Ms. Lee:"There are a handful of movie scenes that make the room very, very dusty for me. It's predictable. I've seen the movies hundreds of times. I know the scenes are coming. It doesn't make any difference. The blurring occurs like an autonomic reflex. The Marsellaise scene in Casablanca is one. So are the last couple of scenes from Bill Forsyth's Local Hero. ("Ah, bugger it. I meant to say cheeri-o.") Dorothy's farewells, especially to the Scarecrow, is another, as is the moment Harry Bailey says, "To my big brother, George, the richest man in town."
And this one:
"Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing."
Harper Lee, who died on Friday at 89, taught so many of us how first to read a book without pictures. (Whenever I am reminded that To Kill A Mockingbird is somehow as equally revered as that unlikable mess, Catcher In The Rye, I despair of American youth.) She taught us what simple humanity was before we were old enough to put a name to it. She taught us–gently, as was the fashion of the times–that there was something very wrong at the heart of the America in which we were being raised. I know it's fashionable now to deride Lee's masterpiece as a tepid depiction of the segregated South in which she was raised. (And let us be charitable and forget the unseemly circus surrounding Go Tell The Watchman.) But, when I consider these arguments, I am reminded always of what Frederick Douglass said in the aftermath of the murder of Abraham Lincoln:'Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.'
It was 1960 when Lee published her book. Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney were still alive. So were Viola Liuzzo and Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Addie Mae Collins and Denise McNair and Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley were still going happily to Sunday school at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. I like to believe that, even if we didn't know it at the time, even if it were only subconsciously, Lee's book gave millions of schoolchildren something to stash away in ourselves to make sense of what was coming to the country and to determine for ourselves on which side justice was arrayed. I believe, given the sentiment of its times, To Kill A Mockingbird became genuinely subversive over the following decade.And, anyway, it was beautifully written, which counts, too. Stand up. Miss Lee's passing."http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a42309/harper-lee-passing/
(Please note that Charlie usually talks politics but this I thought was worth sharing without the politics.)
Thank you, Charlie for capturing my mood so completely.
Stand up, indeed. In all my mid-century modern years, I have yet to find a book or a film that has reached me on the emotional level that this one does.
Stand up, Miss Lee's passing.