Literary Loving On OZY
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The whole weekend can’t just be about food and football – it’s time to nourish our brains with an ode to our favorite connoisseurs of the written word.
Born in England in 1791, Lister eventually inherited and managed her family’s estate, developed coal mines and traveled around the world, becoming one of the first women to climb the Pyrenees. Oh, and she was wildly promiscuous — courting ladies left and right — and kept detailed diary entries about her sexual exploits, which she wrote in a code she made up herself. An extremely fascinating and inspiring aspect of Lister is how comfortable she was about being a lesbian, in a time when the word itself wasn’t even commonly used. “I love and only love the fairer sex and thus, beloved by them in turn, my heart revolts from any other love than theirs,” she wrote on Oct. 29, 1820.
Victoria Ocampo could have gone the way of many aristocratic Argentine women in the early 1900s, playing housewife, producing heirs and spending her inheritance on gowns, jewelry and real estate. Instead, she smoked cigarettes, drove a car, wore pants and used her fortune to foster a literary culture in South America. Just as Gertrude Stein was hosting the Lost Generation at her salon, Victoria invited writers and artists over to her homes in San Isidro and Mar de Plata to listen to music and discuss current events. She founded Sur magazine and publishing house, and many famous South American writers credit her for their education.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show may have revived the career of quintessential L.A. noir writer Raymond Chandler. A few of Chandler’s most famous lines from short story “Red Wind” owe most of their immortality to the Oct. 2, 1976 installment of The Mary Tyler Moore Show entitled “Mary the Writer.” A few minutes into the episode, Mary walks into her boss’s office, anxious for his opinion on an excruciatingly saccharine writing exercise that she’s drafted for a night class. Ed Asner, indelible as Mr. Grant, harrumphs, “Do you know what really good writing is?” He takes a beat-up paperback out of his desk drawer and begins to read: ““There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas…” And the rest, as they say, is history.