Updated Nov 20, at 6: This is a must see. Currently on display are artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons.
The partly mythic destruction by fire of the Library of Alexandria — the greatest in the ancient world — was often said to mark the beginning of the so-called Dark Ages. Scrolls and codices that contained the memory of an entire civilization turned to ash, among them many works by the major Greek dramatists.
The story of the Alexandrian fire still speaks loudly to the power of written words and their effect on the fate of humanity.
Fast-forward nearly two millennia to April 29,the date of the destruction by fire of the Los Angeles Public Library henceforth LAPL main branch in the heart of downtown.
The fire, the cause of which is still inconclusive, destroyed half a million books and damaged anothermore. In its essence, however, the book is a treatise on the value of our public libraries, the most democratic spaces in our country. It is a call to protect these sacred places of collective memory.
Out of many lauded books Orlean has written among them Rin Tin Tin and now-classic The Orchid Thiefthis book is her most personal yet. She confesses early on that she had retired from writing books, but one day, when taking her six-year-old son to the LAPL, the memory of her own trip to the Shaker Heights Public library in Ohio with her mother during her childhood flooded back in.
Orlean is certain that if her mother could have chosen one career, that it would have been a librarian. Then, she learned of the fire, and a certain creative spark ignited. They are neither chronologically nor thematically linear.
Some chapters read dramatically e. Each chapter begins with Dewey Decimal System descriptions of four materials that can be found in LAPL, previewing the content of that chapter. This ingenious format, while allowing the readers to easily stroll along the multifaceted narrative paths circling the main subject that is LAPL, evokes the nature of the library, the disorder in the guise of order.
Many interspersed chapters are devoted to the only suspect of the arson at the time: Always dreaming of Hollywood stardom, he was lean, handsome, and gay, with a bonfire of blonde hair that people always noticed first when they encountered him. The focus on Harry Peak serves as momentum to the overall narrative.
Yet the thread more intriguing than that of Harry Peak is the beginning of the LAPL main branch and its journey to its present state. This historical account portrays the library as if it were a living entity — covering its conception, its growth and maturity as a keeper of memory encompassing those of immigrants, cross-country settlers, politicians, and the homeless.
Its head librarians included women at a time when few were allowed to head a public institution. Orlean shadowed librarians at LAPL with an unedited, camera-eye view of events inside the library, and learns that it also harbors a great collection of music scores, maps, and even menus.
It was another usual day of library hustle and bustle on April 29, The materiality of a typical book — paper, cardboard, and glue — is prone to quick conflagration.
Many readers will be surprised to learn the existence of the word libricide. Luckily for LAPL, the library fire only reaffirmed the indubitable value of books and the library. Citizens from every social rung volunteered to save the books that were still salvageable.
They carried damaged books to food storage to freeze them and this was followed by the biggest thawing event in US history ; charity events were held, sometimes with the help of a pompous pastor and celebrities, raising millions of dollars to replace the burned books.
Hope is intertwined with the idea of a library. The stories in the world are recorded in the hope that someone else will read them sometime in the indefinite future, in the hope that memory can persist a little longer, a memory that renders comfort. Here is my story, please listen; here I am, please tell me your story.Vicksburg National Cemetery Mississippi in United States > Mississippi > Other.
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Mississippi Burning plays loose with truth, turning the history of the civil rights movement on its head. The filmmakers shamelessly transform what was ultimately a triumph of due process and nonviolent civil disobedience into an ugly might-makes-right spectacle.
Mississippi Arts Hour - Mississippi Arts Commission This week on Mississippi Arts Hour, Melody talks to Monique Davis, the new director of the Center for Art and Public Exchange at the Mississippi . Mississippi Burning" offers an appalling litany of white supremacist atrocities in the guise of a buddy detective thriller.
Gene Hackman gives a towering performance as Anderson, a former sheriff wise to sleepy Southern streets, and Willem Dafoe is understated as Ward, the principled straight arrow in charge of the FBI's search for three missing civil rights .
("Mississippi Burning," and the portrayal of history in movies) (column) USA Today (Magazine) v, n (May, ) (1 page). Bland, Elizabeth L.; White, Jack E.; Corliss, Richard.
"Fire This Time": with incendiary drama and and lightning pace, Mississippi Burning illuminates an ugly chapter in American history - and stokes a .