Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 25, 2018 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

I’m here to confess that I’ve never read Frankenstein, the classic work of literature that just celebrated its 200th birthday. I’m guilty of believing some of the myths about the book. 

            There are many misconceptions about Frankenstein. First, author Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster was not a zombie, pieced together and connected by bolts. Nor is he green in color that films and cartoons have portrayed. This eight-foot tall repulsive creature had skin in yellow tones that tightly fit a body of veins and muscles. His eyes glowed, his teeth shone white and emphasized his long black hair and black lips. Most importantly, Frankenstein is not the monster, but it is the name of the scientist who created the monster who was never named in the book.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Revisiting Ayn Rand

Last summer, I cleaned out a bookcase at home and came across a paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand from my early college days.  It has followed me from my dorm room in the 60’s, to my parent’s home, and thru 2 moves in my married years.   During the busy years of raising children and working, it sat forgotten on the shelf.  What made it special was that it was personally autographed by Ayn Rand when I attended one of her lectures while in college.  I don’t remember what the lecture was about nor do I remember meeting her.   I wish I did.  She was a very vocal and controversial political activist during the turbulent 60’s and her book, Atlas Shrugged, was as controversial as she was.   The chance to see and hear her speak in person would have been a must. 

Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and suffered very negative effects of life under communistic rule until she received permission to visit relatives in Chicago in 1925.   She vowed never to return to Russia and continued to live and work in Hollywood.  I believe Ms. Rand was afraid that communism would follow her to America, and she used her writings and lectures to warn of its dangers.  America in the 60’s was in turmoil; we were in the midst of the unpopular Vietnam War.  In fact, one of reasons they told us we needed to go to war was to fight communism.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Simple Twist of Silas Marner

Charlotte Canelli is the library director of the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood, Massachusetts. Read Charlotte's column in the January 11, 2018 edition of the Norwood 
Transcript and Bulletin.

In the middle of the 19th century, Englishwoman Mary Ann Evans was afraid she wouldn’t be taken seriously as a writer unless she published under a man’s name. Women writers in the 1860s were stereotyped as writing light and frivolous romances. The mid-century was several decades before women like authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie exploded on the literary scene along with Americans Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stow

Mary Ann Evans was thought to be unattractive and not easily married off – so her father saw that his daughter was given an education as a young girl, something not afforded many young women in the 1800s. Her father Robert Evans managed a large estate with its own library. Mary Ann was given free access to the library where she honed her classical education aided by correspondence with her previous tutors from her younger years.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It’s A New Year! Changes Are Coming.

Read Jean Todesca's column in the January 4, 2018 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin. Jean is the Head of Children's Services at the Morrill Memorial Library.

The beginning of a new year brings resolutions.  Losing weight, learning a new skill, donating time, we’ve all made them.  The thought of resolution makes me reflect on the many transitions in life that we all go through.  Whether a welcomed transition or an unwelcomed change, we all need to adjust and grow.

This past year 2017 has been a transition year for my family.  We celebrated my daughter’s wedding in May as well as my nephew’s wedding a week later.  My husband and I traveled to Los Angeles to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son’s future in-laws.  The trip was a major change since I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving at my home for the last 20 years.  My husband retired in April from a demanding position and is changing his focus in life.