Posts Tagged ‘Alice Munro’

It’s that time of year again. No, not carving pumpkins time and trying to find or create a family-friendly Halloween costume. It’s the Nobel Prize announcement time; time to try and figure out just what the Higgs boson particle really is and how it’s responsible for the secrets of life and our universe, and I am not speaking biblically.

But try to find the 2013 recipient of the prize in physics, Peter Higgs, and you’d be out of luck. The elderly Edinburgh scientist left his cell phone behind and like Garbo, would like to be left alone.  Of course, once that Large Hadron Collider at Cern proved that his theory about the “god particle” was correct, Higgs was considered a shoe-in for the Nobel in Physics.

So maybe we’re closer to knowing “how” we got here, two other winners this year help us understand the “why.” A man whose mission is to heal won the Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology. Since I have a few healers in the family, I was interested in this article I found courtesy of my musical great niece: http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/10/nobel-medicine-winner-says-i-owe-is-all-to-my-bassoon-teacher.html  Dr Thomas Sudhof credits his music teacher with imparting a sense of discipline that helped to forge his “…powers of analysis and concentration.”

I always try to understand everything I encounter—not only in science, but also historical and political events and music and movies—get to grips with the content, meaning, and process. This is immense fun, as strange as that may sound.
Who was your most influential teacher, and why?
My bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.
Science and art, the interconnections are endless. Next is a woman whose elegantly sparse prose helps us to understand the human condition, along with the roles we all play; an artist who is also part of the faculty here at UVA. Congratulations to Alice Munro, recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature! This 82 year old Canadian writer had her first book of short stories published when she was 37…take heed all you late bloomers! She has only taught the occasional writing class in Mr Jefferson’s Academical Village, and was unavailable when I was studying fiction as a community scholar, unfortunately for me.  She is Queen of the Short Story, and has recently published Dear Life.   
Rumor is she will stop writing now, but I find that hard to believe. Here is what Munro, America’s Chekhov, had to say about her attempt at writing a novel, and I feel her pain:“It didn’t feel right to me, and I thought I would have to abandon it,” she said. “I was very depressed. Then it came to me that what I had to do was pull it apart and put it in story form. Then I could handle it. That’s when I learned I was never going to write a real novel because I could not think that way.”imagesSo that’s my problem. Too many years writing 300-500 word newspaper columns. Thank you Ms Munro, for sharing your knowledge and sense of possibility with us.

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