Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let Us Now Get Titles Right and the Sources that Begat Them

"Now Let Us Praise Famous men" is the title of a factual book ... intones the editor of the Lake Placid Journal on this cheerful morning.

Sorry, George, it's not.

... he took the quotation from Ecclesiastes.

Sorry, George, he didn't. And, it should be noted, the "factual book" has two authors.

The title has its roots in quite different soil. It's called "Ecclesiasticus," a book much like Proverbs but not included in the King James version. It's not "canonical" among the Protestants. But that's a different blog.

What George probably didn't pick up on is that the phrase is attributed to Chapter 44. Ecclesiastes has only 12 chapters. (The danger of writing from quote finders is relying on them... but that's another blog).

And once we get the title right and get the source right, let's remember why the phrase is so evocative. Anyone who reads beyond the first half dozen words is unlikely to mess up the poetry or the power of what was left unsaid: "Let us now praise famous men and the fathers who begat us." It is the unfinished, unspoken, part that lends its power to this title's call to meditate on the unsung tenet farm families and the nature of journalism that unfold in Jame Agee's prose and Walker Evan's photos (the "factual book" George is trying to describe).

George will be a better editor when he learns to put his literary pretensions aside and just get on with the news. Those he is trying to praise may be moved to clip this little piece for their scrapbooks. But before the children they beget get to the praise of the fathers before them, they will have to wade through George's errors and ego.

Let's not even go into the strange juxtapostion of calling on this proverbial meditation that evokes humility and grace to praise a well-armed posse for pumping 22 rounds into a guy they were chasing on foot.

While George was having his little troubles, the tussle with Our Native Language continued over in the Big House where someone on the makeup desk last night wrestled with a cutline and the language lost.

Port Charlotte has plenty of activities for seniors both outdoors and indoors,
with even more clubs full of other seniors to get to know and attend events with.

1 comment:

  1. Glad You're BackWed Feb 10, 10:09:00 AM

    And that clunker of a hed