Monday, August 25, 2008

The Quote Industry


There is a cottage cluster of web sites focused on quoting famous lines and sage advice, where Nash's verse fits well and can be found in abundance. Type in "ogden nash breadlines headlines" to your favorite search engine and dozens of virtual quote repositories pop up. These are great if you need to find a witty Nashism in a jiffy. (What would make them even better would be if they were able to attribute the work and the year) One gentleman's blog, The Cynics Almanac , in honor of Nash's birthday, cited the entire verse as follows:

They take a paper and they read the headlines,
So they've heard of unemployment and they've heard of breadlines,
And they philanthropically cure them all
By getting up a costume charity ball

This blog also notes that Dorothy Parker's birthday occurs on 8/22. Which interestingly enough, is three days after Nash's. (Nash 1902, Parker, 1893) Parker and Nash were friends and greatly admired each others work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The 106th Anniversary

...Of Ogden Nash's birth passed this week on August 19th. During his life he often said that, from the time he could form words, he always thought in rhymes. If alive today, I suspect that apart from enjoying late summer on the New Hampshire seacoast, he would delight at the longevity and applications of his legacy. This week's press clippings show that Nash continues to impact American cultural life:

Maureen Mullarkey of The New York Sun opens her article about the one-dimensional, negative philistinism of artist Tetsumi Kudo with a Nash quote. "Any kiddie in school can love like a fool, / But hating, my boy, is an art." Nash's popular and colorful verse has provided a generative spark for thousands of journalists as article openers.

Nash's "Don't try to rewrite what the moving finger has writ, and don't ever look over your shoulder." is the quote of the day for the UPI world almanac. I'm curious about the context and attribution...

London's Sunday Times puts pianist and versifier John Fuller in the same artistic sphere as Ogden Nash. Although Fuller seems more deranged than 'light' to me, who am I to argue with the Times' literary luminaries...

For anyone in Lynchburg, VA area next weekend the Nash infused children's staple 'Carnival of the Animals' will be performed
at the Academy of Fine Art’s Joy and Lynch Christian Warehouse Theatre:

"At 3 p.m. that afternoon, a Concert for Children of All Ages begins.

The first part will feature Camille Saint-Saen’s “Carnival of the Animals,” with Ogden Nash’s poems about animals arranged for two pianos — with Romero and Nicholas Ross at the keyboards — and chamber orchestra. Lynchburg area musicians who will play are Jana Ross, Laura Webb, Amy Corbett, Ralph Jaxtheimer, Bob Bowen, Mariam d’Eustachio and John McClenon. James M. Elson will narrate."

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