where the writers are
Connections, two ???

One of my first exposures, if not the first, to some works of great literature came from playing the card game, Authors, with friends in the neighborhood.  The girls across the street owned the game, and we often played it hour after hour on their breezeway in the summer.  For those who have never heard of the game, Authors was rather like playing the card game Fish with specifics. The deck was made up of about forty or so authors; each author's face was on each of four cards that also had one of his (or her as Louisa Mae Alcott was part of the deck) works on the card.  The object of the game was to "collect" the most authors (and each of the works, called, appropriately enough, a book) to win.

From Charles Dickens to Washington Irving to James Fennimore Cooper, this was how I first learned of the authors themselves as well as some of their more famous writings.  From these games, I had a better idea of how Mark Twain and Alfred, Lord Tennyson must have looked like, to name just a few.

I must admit that even now I have not read all of the poetry and books written by these authors (from the game), but when I came across them in classes or referenced elsewhere, I was probably more familiar with them and their works than most people my age. 

In particular, one of the authors was Shakespeare.  On the cards were the following works: 

Romeo and Juliet

Julius Caesar


The Tempest

Of the four of them, I have had the occasion to have read and studied the first three while in school.  The Tempest, however,  I have neither read, nor studied.  But recently, I have read three other books that have referenced this play in some fashion.  The Horseman's Daughter (by Susan Wiggs) had a dog named Caliban, which was named after a character in the play.  The daughter had read the play with her father so was familiar with the characters. The Friendly Persuasion (by Jessamyn West) also had a reference or two to the characters of The Tempest.  And now I am reading Orson Scott Card's Shadow of the Giant, which refers to some of the characters like Prospero and Caliban

Again, there are connections to be found everywhere.  Sometimes it is the use of the same, new word that resonates between books; other times, it is the subject matter or theme, and as in this case, it is the references between the work (and its characters). 

Perhaps, it is time that I read The Tempest to find out what all these other characters know that I don't.   




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Nan, Another connection…After

Nan, Another connection…After I posted my blog this morning, I went to the member page and saw your blog posted 1 minute after and in mine I refer to your first connections blog.

The game you played as a child sounds fun. What a great way to learn about the authors and their work.

Connections, connections—round and round they go!

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Connections, connections

Reb, round and round they go, indeed!  I will have to check out your blog...I was on my way out and didn't do what I generally do...check out the other blogs I read and follow. I never realized how much literature I absorbed from the card game until I started studying it in school.   Okay, at least, the titles and the authors of same.

Nevertheless, some of the best connections I've made are the people here...like you!  The ones I have gotten to "know" through blogs and writings...you, and Mary W., Mara B., and Sue G. and so many, many more.



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Really nice blog Nan and I

Really nice blog Nan and I have never heard of that game but what a good one, wish I'd had it when my boys were young. By the way what is a breezeway? mx

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   According to the dictionary, a breezeway is an open-sided roofed passageway for connecting two buildings, but I am not sure if this qualifies or not.  It was what our neighbors called it.  They had an unattached garage and built a porch-like connector (the "breezeway") that had multiple crank-out windows on either end to the house. It was large enough that they had a table and chairs (where we spent many an hour playing games like Wahoo (a game that their grandfather designed, similar to Parcheesi), Barbie, Queen of the Prom, and of course, Authors.   They also had some lawn furniture (chairs and such), but it had a smooth cement floor so was still rather rustic.

It has been years since I have been in there; don't know if they ever carpeted it or not, but it was nice and breezy in the summer, making a great place to play games with friends.