Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Puzzle for Memorial Day


     This delicate pencil sketch appears at the end of Ima’s 1907 travel diary. No indentification, no explanation. She was a talented artist, and the portrait was no doubt drawn by her.

     Was this young man killed in World War I?
     Was this perhaps the reason for the sudden changes in Ima’s notebook  in the summer of 1918?

     If so, Memorial Day must have always been a sad one for her, even though only she knew why.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More on Ima’s Reading List, Summer 1918

      The reading list [see earlier blog] comes after a page or pages torn out of the notebook. What had happened? What was on Ima’s mind when she chose these to read?

Outland  (1910) was a utopian novel, some said a socialist tract, about obsessive love, betrayal, and a happy ending.

Iron City, Hedges’s 1919 novel, a “portrait of industrialization in Beloit, Wis., presaged the modern women's movement and contemporary labor struggles.”

Jacobsen’s novel, Marie Grubbe. A Lady of the Seventeenth Century (1917) “is the first Danish treatment of a woman as a sexual creature. Based upon the life of an authentic 17th century Danish noblewoman, it charts her downfall from a member of the royal family to the wife of a ferryman, as a result of her desire for an independent and satisfying erotic life.”

The Prestons (1918) was a humorous novel about an American family in “everyday life.”

James McKaye, Americanized Socialism: A Yankee View of Capitalism (1918) was the author of several books on economics, politics, and philosophy.

Henry Adams’s now-classic autobiography was just out in 1918.

John [St. J.] Ervine was an Irish playwright. His John Ferguson is a 1915 melodrama set in the “1880s, in rural Ulster, Northern Ireland; John, his wife Sarah, and their children Hannah and Andrew, are awaiting a letter from America that will save them from financial ruin.” Foolish Lovers is another Irish love story.

[Maureen and its author remain a mystery.]

Wind Beneath the Worlds: A 1920 novel about the efforts of a mother whose son was lost in the war to communicate with him through spiritualism.

Lilith: An anti-war play (1920).

An article in “Woman” magazine about Jenny Marx, wife of Karl.  Ima may have been thinking of The magazine Independent Woman (1920-1956).

Book of Susan: A 1920 novel about a young orphan girl brought up by a wealthy benefactor in the early 20th century.

Poet/novelist Masefield’s 1920 book with the long poem, “Enslaved” is based on two stories of young lovers challenged by fate.

Ima may have meant Arthur Schnitzler’s Bertha Garlan: “This 1901 novel by the great Austrian writer deals with a young widowed woman who, following the lead of a libertine friend, travels to Vienna and undertakes an affair with a great violinist she had previously known.”

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ima Hogg's Reading List, Summer 1918

From the notebook Ima kept in the summer of 1918, an undated reading list. 
These books range from works on socialism, urban growth, war, --and fiction about lost loves, war, and death. What do they tell us?

“Outland” Mary Austin
“Iron City” M. H. Hedges
“Marie Grubbe Jens P. Jacobsen
“The Prestons” Mary H. Vorse
“Americanized Socialism” James MacKay
“The Education of Henry Adams”
“John Ferguson” St. J. Ervine
“Maureen” Patrick MacLiel
“The Foolish Lovers” St. J. Ervine
“The Wind Between the Worlds” Alice Brown
“Lilith” Romaine Rolland
“Woman” Mag. Marx
“Book of Susan” Lee Wilson Dodd
“Letters of A. Chekhov to His Family and Friends”--Constance Garnett
“Enslaved” John Masefield
“Bertha Lanham” A. Schnitzler

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Derby Day!

Ima Hogg loved horses all her life, especially her beloved Arabian, Napoleon.

She would be watching today's Kentucky Derby this afternoon. Or maybe she is.