Author Archives: Roger W. Smith

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Sites on WordPress hosted by Mr. Smith include: (1) rogersgleanings.com (a personal site comprised of essays on a wide range of topics) ; (2) rogers-rhetoric.com (covering principles and practices of writing); (3) roger-w-smiths-dreiser.site (devoted to the author Theodore Dreiser); and (4) pitirimsorokin.com (devoted to sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin).

James T. Farrell on Mark Twain

 

James T. Farell, ‘Twain’s Huckleberry Finn’ – NYTBR 12-12-1943

 

Posted here (PDF above) is an article by James T. Farrell:

“Twain’s ‘Huckleberry Finn’ and the Era He Lived In”

The New York Times Book Review

December 12, 1943

I have been an admirer of Farrell ever since I read Studs Lonigan. (I can thank my wife for calling my attention to it.) Farrell’s novel of boyhood recalls Twain and gave him insight into Huckleberry Finn.

There is an unforgettable passage in Chapter XXXI of Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which Tom wrestles with his scruples, his conscience. He knows he should do “the right thing” and turn Jim, the runaway slave, in, but he just can’t bring himself to do it:

“[I] got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I’d see him standing my watch on top of his’n, ‘stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he’s got now. …

I can’t resist saying: what a great passage!

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   August 2023

 

the complete Jesuit Relations

 

La huictiesme nous arriuasmes aux trois Riuieres, le seiour y est fort agréable, la terre sablonneuse, la pesche en son temps tres-abõdante. Vn Sauuage rapportera quelquefois dans son Canot douze ou quinze Esturgeons, dont le moindre sera par fois de la hauteur d’vn homme. Il y a quantité d’autres poissons tres-excellens. Les Français ont nõmé ce lieu les trois Riuieres, pource qu’il sort des terres vn assez beau fleuue, qui se vient dégorger dans la grande Riuiere de sainct Laurens par trois principales emboucheures, causées par plusieurs petites Isles, qui se rencontrent à l’entrée de ce fleuue, nommé des Sauuages Metaberoutin. Ie décrirois volontiers la beauté de ce lieu, mais ie crains d’estre long; Tout le pays entre Kebec & ceste nouuelle Habitation, que nous appellerõs la Residence de la Conception, m’a semblé fort agreable, il est entrecoupé de ruisseaux & de fleuues, qui se déchargent d’espaces en espaces dans le Roy des fleuues, c’est à dire, dans la grande riuiere de S. Laurens, qui a bien encore en ce lieu là quelque deux à trois mille pas de large quoy qu’il soit à trente lieuës au dessus de Kebec.

On the eighth, we arrived at the three Rivers. We found living there very agreeable; the ground is sandy, the fish very abundant in its season. A Savage will sometimes bring in his Canoe twelve or fifteen Sturgeon, the smallest of which is occasionally as long as the height of a man; besides these, there are also a number of other very good fish. The French have named this place the three Rivers, because there emerges here a very beautiful river which flows into the great River saint Lawrence through three principal mouths, caused by several little Islands which are found at the entrance of this river, which the Savages call Metaberoutin. I would like to describe the beauty of this place, but I am afraid of being tedious. The whole country between Kebec and this new Settlement, which we will call the Residence of the Conception, seems to me very pleasant; it is intersected by brooks and streams, which empty at short distances from each other into the King of rivers, that is, into the great river St. Lawrence, which is, even at this place, fully two or three thousand paces wide, although it is thirty leagues above Quebec.

— Le Jeune’s relation, The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, Volume 8: Quebec, Hurons, Cape Breton, 1634-1636 (1897)

 

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Few passages of history are more striking than those which record the efforts of the earlier French Jesuits to convert the Indians. Full as they are of dramatic and philosophic interest, bearing strongly on the political destinies of America, and closely involved with the history of its native population, it is wonderful that they have been left so long in obscurity. While the infant colonies of England still clung feebly to the shores of the Atlantic, events deeply ominous to their future were in progress, unknown to them, in the very heart of the continent. It will be seen, in the sequel of this volume, that civil and religious liberty found strange allies in this Western World.

The sources of information concerning the early Jesuits of New France are very copious. During a period of forty years, the Superior of the Mission vi sent, every summer, long and detailed reports, embodying or accompanied by the reports of his subordinates, to the Provincial of the Order at Paris, where they were annually published, in duodecimo volumes, forming the remarkable series known as the Jesuit Relations. Though the productions of men of scholastic training, they are simple and often crude in style, as might be expected of narratives hastily written in Indian lodges or rude mission-houses in the forest, amid annoyances and interruptions of all kinds. In respect to the value of their contents, they are exceedingly unequal. Modest records of marvellous adventures and sacrifices, and vivid pictures of forest-life, alternate with prolix and monotonous details of the conversion of individual savages, and the praiseworthy deportment of some exemplary neophyte. With regard to the condition and character of the primitive inhabitants of North America, it is impossible to exaggerate their value as an authority. I should add, that the closest examination has left me no doubt that these missionaries wrote in perfect good faith, and that the Relations hold a high place as authentic and trustworthy historical documents. They are very scarce, and no complete collection of them exists in America. …

— Francis Parkman, Preface; The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (Boston: Little, Brown, And Company. 1867)

 

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commentary by Roger W. Smith

The Jesuit Relations, Relations des Jésuites de la Nouvelle-France, were chronicles of the Jesuit missions in New France written by Jesuit missionaries in the seventeenth century. The reports were written annually beginning in 1632 and ending in 1673. They were originally written in French, Latin, and Italian.

Comprising reports to their superiors in France, the Relations concerned the missionaries’ interactions with various North American tribes and their activities for the purpose of converting the indigenous peoples.

The missionaries made major efforts to study and understand indigenous cultures and to learn native languages.

The Relations included descriptions of the natural landscape and climactic and geographical conditions not encountered in France; also of warfare and martyrdom. An example of the former is Paul Le Jeune’s description of a journey through the woods with a band of Montagnais people, in which he describes physical hardships of carrying a great deal of belongings in the cold, with little food. The latter includes narratives of Jesuit missionaries being killed or maimed. For example: the missionaries Isaac Jogues, who died after being captured by the Mohawks, and Jean de Brébeuf. Much attention is devoted to Indians who became converts to Catholicism.

Beginning in 1896, Reuben Gold Thwaites, secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society, led a project to translate into English, unify, and cross-reference the original Relations. Thwaites and his associates compiled 73 volumes. The Thwaites edition is posted here.

By the Jesuit missionaries, the natives were called sauvages (savages). The designation in many respect seems apt.

The indigenous (Indian) peoples had a rich vocabulary for concrete things, but no words for or conception of (concepts designating) abstract ideas or terms. Most notable (they always took captives, when possible, alive) was their ferocity and cruelty in torturing their captives.

There are passages of beauty in these relations, in which the natural landscape – woods, lakes, and streams; mountain and sky, snow and ice — are described. There is much of interest about native customs and practices. There are moving stories of religiosity, hardship, and courage.

But the descriptions of torture and martyrdom are such that one cannot bear to read them.

I became acquainted with the Jesuit Relations from reading, in its entirety, Francis Parkman’s monumental work France and England in North America. Parkman’s The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867) comprises the second and third of eight volumes.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

  July 2023

 

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individual volumes (PDF)

 

Vol. I
ACADIA: 1610-1613

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Vol. II
ACADIA: 1612-1614

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Vol. III
ACADIA: 1611-1616

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Vol. IV
ACADIA AND QUEBEC: 1616-1629

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Vol. V
QUEBEC: 1632-1633

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Vol. V, pp. 168-169 (defective in above PDF)

vol. 5, pp 168-169

 

Vol. VI
QUEBEC: 1633-1634

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Vol. VII
QUEBEC, HURONS, CAPE BRETON: 1634-1635

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Vol. VIII
QUEBEC, HURONS, CAPE BRETON 1634-1636

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Vol. IX
QUEBEC: 1636

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Vol. X
HURONS: 1636

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Vol. XI
HURONS AND QUEBEC: 1636-1637

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Vol. XII
QUEBEC: 1637

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Vol. XIII
HURONS : 1637

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Vol. XIV
HURONS AND QUEBEC: 1637-1638

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Vol. XV
HURONS AND QUEBEC: 1638-1639

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Vol. XVI
QUEBEC AND HURONS: 1639

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Vol. XVII
HURONS AND THREE RIVERS: 1639- 1640

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Vol. XVIII
HURONS AND QUEBEC: 1640

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Vol. XIX
QUEBEC AND HURONS: 1640

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Vol. XX
HURONS AND QUEBEC: 1640- 1641

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Vol. XXI
QUEBEC AND HURONS: 1641-1642

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Vol. XXII
QUEBEC AND HURONS: 1642

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Vol. XXIII
HURONS, QUEBEC, IROQUOIS: 1642- 1643

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Vol. XXIV
LOWER CANADA AND IROQUOIS: 1642- 1643

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Vol. XXV
IROQUOIS, HURONS, QUEBEC: 1642-1644

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Vol. XXVI
LOWER CANADA, HURONS: 1642- 1644

26 jesuits26jesuuoft

 

Vol XXVII
HURONS LOWER CANADA: 1642 1645

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Vol XXVII (facing pages)

27 facing pages Binder1

 

Vol. XXVIII (page 113 missing)
HURONS, IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA: 1645- 1646

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Vol. XXVIII, pp. 113-115

vol 28, pp 113-115

 

Vol. XXIX
IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA, HURONS: 1646

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Vol. XXX
HURONS, LOWER CANADA: 1646-1647

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Vol. XXXI
IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA, ABENAKIS: 1647

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Vol. XXXII
HURONS, LOWER CANADA: 1647-1648

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Vol. XXXIII
LOWER CANADA, ALGONKINS, HURONS: 1648-1649

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Vol. XXXIV
LOWER CANADA, HURONS: 1649

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Vol. XXXV
HURONS, LOWER CANADA, ALGONKINS: 1650

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Vol. XXXVI
LOWER CANADA, ABENAKIS, 1650-1651

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Vol. XXXVII
LOWER CANADA, ABENAKIS: 165 I – 1652

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Vol. XXXVIII
ABENAKIS, LOWER CANADA, HURONS: 1652-1653

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Vol. XXXIX
HURONS: 1653

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Vol. XL
HURONS, LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1653

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Vol. XLI
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1654- 1656

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Vol. XLII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1632- 1657

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Vol. XLIII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1656- 1657

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Vol. XLIV
IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA: 1656- 1658

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Vol. XLV
LOWER CANADA, ACADIA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1659- 1660

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Vol XLVI
LOWER CANADA, ACADIA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1659- 1661

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Vol. XLVII
IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA: 1661 – 1663

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Vol. XLVIII
LOWER CANADA, OTTAWAS: 1662 – 1664

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Vol. XLIX
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1663- 1665

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Vol. L
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1664-1667

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Vol. LI
OTTAWAS, LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1666-1668

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Vol. LII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS , OTTAWAS 1667-1669

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Vol. LIII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1669- 1670

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Vol. LIV
IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS, LOWER CANADA: 1669- 1671

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Vol. LV
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1670-1672

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Vol. LVI
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS,
HUDSON BAY: 1671 – 1672

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Vol. LVII
HURONS, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1672-73

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Vol. LVIII
OTTAWAS, LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS: 1672-1674

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Vol. LIX
LOWER CANADA, ILLINOIS, OTTAWAS: 1673- 1677

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Vol. LX
LOWER CANADA, ILLINOIS, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1675-1677

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Vol. LXI
ALL MISSIONS: 1677-1680

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Vol. LXII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS, OTTAWAS: 1681 – 1683

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Vol. LXIII
LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS : 1667- 1687

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Vol. LXIV
OTTAWAS, LOWER CANADA, IROQUOIS, ILLINOIS: 1689-1695

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Vol. LXV
LOWER CANADA, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY: 1696-1702

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Vol. LXVI
ILLINOIS, LOUISIANA, IROQUOIS, LOWER CANADA: 1702- 1712

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Vol. LXVI I
LOWER CANADA, ABENAKIS, LOUISIANA: 1716- 1727

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Vol. LXVIII
LOWER CANADA, CREES, LOUISIANA: 1720-1736

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Vol. LXIX
ALL MISSIONS: 1710-1756

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Vol. LXX
ALL MISSIONS: 1747- 1764

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Vol. LXXI
LOWER CANADA, ILLINOIS: 1759- 1791

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Vol. LXXII
FINAL PREFACE, ADDITIONAL ERRATA
INDEX: A-I

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Vol. LXXIII
INDEX: J-Z

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publication announcement, The Burrows Brothers Co. (1895)

publication announcement

 

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Francis Parkman, “The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century”; France and England in North America, Volume Two (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1867)

Parkman, The Jesuits in North America, vol. 1

Parkman, The Jesuits in North America, vol. 2

 

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secondary sources

 

R, Vashon Rogers, “The Jesuit Relations,” Queen’s Quarterly, April 1898

Rogers, ‘The Jesuit Relations’

 

Charles W. Colby, “The Jesuit Relations,” The American Historical Review, October 1901

Charles W. Colby, ‘The Jesuit Relations’

 

William Bennett Munro, The Jesuit relations : their value as historical material (n.p., 1905).

Munro, ‘The Jesuit Relations; Their Value as Historical Material’

 

Joseph P. Donnelly, S.J., Thwaites’ Jesuit Relations: Errata and Addenda (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1967)

‘Thwaites’ Jesuit Relations; Errata and Addenda’

 

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Carl Nielsen

 

 

The link below will take you to all my posts on Carl Nielsen, the Danish composer.

My experience of Nielsen and enthusiasm for his works — such is the case with me — comes from his vocal works.

I realize that I have attained considerable knowledge about him over the years and that my posts about him represent an impressive assemblage.

 

https://rogersgleanings.com/category/carl-nielsen-danish-composer/

 

— Roger W. Smith

July 2023

a Huron prayer

 

relation of Jérôme Lalemant, S.J.

May 19, 1941

IN

The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries In New France 1610-1791, Vol. XXI; Quebec and Hurons: 1641-1642, edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites

Huron prayer

Posted here (PDF above) is an excerpt from Lalemant’s relation. It consists of a prayer in the Huron (aka Wyandot) language spoken by Joseph Chihwatenhwa, a Wyandot (Huron) convert in La Conception, the name of a mission established in 1634 by the Jesuits in the village of Ossossane, which was located on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada.

Jérôme Lalemant, S.J. (b. Paris 1593; d. Quebec City, January 26, 1673) was a French Jesuit priest who was a leader of the Jesuit mission in New France.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   July 2023

parenting

 

Addendum (June 23)

I just thought of something.

This post was inspired by a book I have been reading, the early chapters thereof: George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss.

 

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I am fortunate in the parents and family I had.

They were good people. The highest moral standards and character. So respectful, appreciative of, and kind to other people. Taught their children such behavior by example.

They always said we love you all (four children) equally: the same. This sounded good, but wasn’t really true. Their affections fluctuated and were not consistent. They would admire and favor one of us for some particular attribute at one time or another.

My siblings and I were very fortunate to have had an intact and stable nuclear family with two parents in a stable, loving relationship.

My mother. Beautiful. Great taste and personal qualities. Refinement. The best values. Discretion and tact. Yet by no means a snob. Modest. So genuine with other people. Met them at the most common level, by which I mean sincere and genuine, not that she somehow condescended to be nice to her “inferiors.”

My father. Not easy to get a handle on. My siblings often get pleasure from portraying him as a rake and a boor. He was very far from that — there was a lot to admire. I myself never fully appreciated the good things. He wasn’t a great father. But he was, in his own way, a good role model.

Distant and inaccessible at times. Sometimes the exact opposite (a genial host and a kind of Santa Claus on holidays; gregarious and affectionate at such and other times). Devoted to work and my mother. Great with and well liked by people in general. His behavior in this respect set a very good example. That meant a lot — means a lot — to a boy. I had thereby some notion of maleness and manhood, which are important to have as one reaches adulthood.

 

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I have more to say regarding parenting.

It seemed in many respects that my nuclear family – this was the 50s and 60s – was straight out of the situation comedy Father Knows Best.

But it wasn’t that. My parents were far from perfect, and their insecurities and neuroses were a factor. (Of course, none of this was evident to me then.)

They weren’t snobs, but they were very insecure about, very concerned with, being well thought of by their peers. This was something that, by extension, we children were burdened with.

By all means, don’t do anything that might embarrass them. This was paramount. Doing wrong in this respect would bring disapproval and a tacit withdrawal or withholding of affection.

 

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Re parenting. As I experienced it.

(It should be noted and acknowledged that this was a different time.)

One thing that I think was very fortunate then: and which, in retrospect, is the way I think things should be: My parents weren’t mean, and although they could be critical (not necessarily a bad thing, since they enforced and were setting standards), they were usually loving and kindly. They very much wanted us to reflect credit upon them (as I observed above). So much so that, as my former therapist observed, it amounted to a form of narcissism. But they actually left us alone a lot. Allowed us to just be kids.

I feel a lot of today’s parents don’t do this. Regarding this, I think I myself very much failed and missed the boat as a parent.

In my childhood, we kids went out and played. For hours on end. With no supervision or parental intervention.

Games such as Hide and Go Seek and Giant Step. Later, board and card games. Playing ball. Building snow forts. Going places. Movies. Comic books. The toy store and candy bars. Hanging out on the stoop or curbside. Telling tall tales and being out after dark.

Hardly any scheduled or programmed activities. Until things like Little League. (And, of course, school activities and sports, most of which came later). No play dates. No karate classes, golf or tennis lessons. (My older brother and I were enrolled in ballroom dancing classes; my parents undoubtedly thought young men should be taught how to dance. And my siblings and I all took piano lessons, with varying degrees of success,) Most afternoons and evenings (and summer vacation time) were open for free play and associating with friends, outdoors or indoors.

This in my opinion is crucial. Essential for individual development, for developing one’s tastes, ideas, and a personality.

Parents must let kids be kids. Not proto adults or achievers in residence. Not paradigms. Just goofy, loveable, inchoate little people. Soon to grow up on their own schedule and in their own way.

 

– Roger W. Smith

  June 2023

to note and wonder at each precise fact or thing

 

… the genius of the United States is … always most in the common people. Their manners speech dress friendships—the freshness and candor of their physiognomy—the picturesque looseness of their carriage . . . the fluency of their speech their delight in music, the sure symptom of manly tenderness and native elegance of soul . . . their good temper and openhandedness

— Walt Whitman, Preface to Leaves of Grass, first edition (1855)

 

EMILY: Good-by. Good-by, world. Good-by, my beautiful town … Mama and Papa. Good-by to … clocks ticking and … Mama’s sunflowers. And … food and … coffee. And … new-ironed dresses and … hot baths … and sleeping and waking. Oh, Earth! You’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.

– Thornton Wilder, Our Town

 

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To note and wonder at each precise fact or thing about individual persons.

My parents, for instance:

baked apples

cinnamon toast

lobster

scalloped oysters

Christmas decorations and stockings

Christmas carols

trimming the tree

Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D

Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus

Beethoven’s piano sonata no. 27, opus 90

Jordan Marsh department store at Christmastime

Christmas candles

Thanksgiving

Easter eggs

snow shovels

snow tires and snow tire chains

Massachusetts beaches

Cape Cod

dogs

Tennyson

Hiawatha and Evangeline

George Gershwin

the Gospels

Protestant hymns

My Fair Lady, Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Brigadoon

asparagus

coffee ice cream (my mother)

ginger snaps

autumn leaves

pork strips (Chinese takeout food)

the Late Show

the funny pages (my father)

electric blankets

highballs, gin and tonics

chocolate pudding

Twenty Questions

pencils

dishwashers

clotheslines (my mother)

the four seasons

birthday parties and presents

gift giving

letters, cards, and thank you notes

reading

a summer cottage

conversation

Brueghel

coal bins

blueberry pancakes

French toast

radiators

steam irons, ironing boards

adages

fountain sodas; cherry or vanilla Cokes

frozen orange juice

fried and steamed clams

chowders

gum drops

hot chocolate

raisin bread

apple pie

corn bread

ZaRex

Jello

grape jelly

wax sealed jars

strawberry jam

pop up toasters

lawn mowing

trees (birch, beach)

flowers

people

These are some of the things that preserve the memory of my parents for me. Of others.

I regard it as not worthwhile to comb through the past looking for faults, which all of us have or had. The faults make us human, mean that we are so. Faults of our loved ones and ancestors. When they are or were alive, we have or had to deal with their faults. It is a somewhat different thing when we are talking about departed persons who were close to us.

 

— Roger W. Smith

  June 2023

Bill Dalzell II

 

 

This is an addendum to my tribute

William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)

William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)

It is in the form of an email which I sent last week to a rude correspondent who had contacted me on Facebook. She was interested in Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy. I told her I had a story about how I had obtained my own copy.

The email follows.

 

— Roger W. Smith

   June 2023

 

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Dear Diane.

Please see attached cover of my old paperback edition of The Perennial Philosophy.

It was beat up and ink stained.

When I first came to New York at age 22, I worked for a nonprofit in a brownstone on East 18th Street.

I met a self employed printer there — he was older than me, middle aged — whom I befriended. I have written a tribute to him which is on my site

He came from a somewhat privileged background — had well established, educated parents — but he moved to New York and the Lower East Side, lived in an apartment for which the rent was $29 a month (!),  lived by intuition and was not interested in money or status.

He was into mysticism, very much so; and what might be called New Age stuff. He had no use for doctors (never saw one).

He liked the book Diet for a Small Planet, which he gave me a copy of.

He cooked a lot of beans (delicious), which he bought dried, in a bag. I would visit him in his apartment and we would eat, drink, and talk. I met some of his good friends, who had similar lifestyles and views.

He influenced me a lot. We had great long talks and experiences exploring the City together, going to museums and taking the ferry. Long conversations in his third floor walkup, where we would drink beer, which he always served in a mug, all evening.

He was totally non materialistic and very generous. As a newcomer to New York, I didn’t know anyone and had scarce resources.

One day, we got to talking about the Aldous Huxley book. Here, he said, while I was leaving, and handed me his own precious copy. It was ink stained because when his printer was running, he would sit reading in a serene, contemplative state with a book in his lap.

His hands were inky from the printer. He bought his clothes at thrift shops and made it a point to wear black slacks because, he said, the ink stains on them would be less noticeable.

I already knew William Blake, who is sort of in the mystical tradition. I have read him intensely, but Huxley barely mentions him. I did not know about Meister Eckhart.

I am also attaching a portrait of my friend Bill. He had good aesthetic sense and introduced me to a lot of great films and to painters such as Edward Hopper. He had several artist friends, a few of whom I met.

The portrait was painted by Gregory Gillespie, a friend of Bill’s and well known artist. My wife and I saw the portrait once in a gallery on Madison Avenue. Bill, who is now deceased, was still alive then. The portrait was priced at $40,000.

P.S. — Here is an excerpt from my tribute to Bill:

Bill Dalzell was one of the first people I got to know after moving to New York City. I will never forget his kindness to me. My friendship with Bill was a long and enduring one.

If you got to know Bill well, as I did — if you were privileged to know him — you will probably know the following things about him, and, if you do, will know that they are all true.

He never cared about externals. Dressed simply. Lived by intuition. He followed politics closely but was fundamentally an apolitical person.

He believed absolutely in the spiritual, in mysticism, and in bona fide psychics such as Edgar Cayce and the medium Grace Cooke, author of the White Eagle books. He was interested in the writings of mystics such as Meister Eckhart — in the case of Eckhart, in the concept of detachment or disinterestedness: renouncing self-interest to attain spiritual enlightenment.

 

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Addendum:

the original post:

William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)

William Sage Dalzell (1929-2018)

John Townsend Trowbridge, “Recollections of Emerson and Alcott”

 

‘Recollections of Emeerson and Alcott’

 

Posted here (PDF above) is Chapter XI (“Recollections of Emerson and Alcott’) from

John Townsend Trowbridge, My Own Story: Recollections of Noted Persons (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1903)

John Townsend Trowbridge (1827-1916) was an American author and novelist. He lived for most of his adult life in Arlington, Massachusetts. Trowbridge was a friend of Mark Twain and Walt Whitman.

Also posted here:

 

John T. Trowbridge obituary, Boston Globe, February 13, 1916

Boston Globe 2-13-1916

 

j. T. Trowbridge obituary, Chicago Tribune, February 13, 1916

Chicago Tribune 2-13-1916

 

“Trowbridge and Whitman,” Boston Globe, February 20, 1916

‘Trowbridge and Whitman’ – Boston Globe 2-20-1916

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

  May 2023