June's Literary Blog
 

A LITERARY BLOG ABOUT BOOKS
How they affect us.
How they shape our lives.

Note
:
Postings made when muses strike.
Watch for blog alert notices
via
email, Twitter, LinkedIn
, and Facebook.

"We read to know
we are not alone."

C.S. Lewis

Copyright 2011-2017


Top 12 Reading
Recommendations

Novels, books, and musicals
June has written and published:
Click a book image to purchase it on
www.amazon.com

"Meditations for New Members is a beautifully written little book...a gem.
The thoughts are striking and orginal--a few are quite profound."
--Fiona  Hodgkin, author of The Tennis Player from Bermuda

B'Seti Pup Publishing
Editorial Services
Proofreading, Editing, Rewites,
Assistance with S
elf-publishing.

"It's the write thing to do."

"I like what you've done with my book.
Makes me fall in love with it all over again."
                 --Olajuwon Dare, author of Eleven Eleven

Contact June at
JuneJ@JuneJMcInerney.com
on Facebook.com, or at
www.BSetiPupPublising.com


Thinking of adopting a pet?
Want to learn the "ins" and "outs"?
Click this link for an interesting article:

 

 

This site  The Web 

  

Please support this Literary Blog
by buying on Amazon.
Thank you.

Archive Newer | Older

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lamentations

My first Basset Hound, Frankie, was a therapy dog for the Alzheimer's unit of a local senior citizen facility. For two years, every other Sunday afternoon, w/he visited the residents—most of whom, forgetful from visit to visit, greeted him with surprised joy each time. Frankie, of course, lapped up the attention, joyously bounding from room to room searching for his favorites. These were bitter-sweet times. Many of the residents, no longer able to remember family and friends, were sadly forgotten by their loved ones. Chatting with the attendants as Frankie enjoyed an ear rub or a back scratch from one of the residents, I learned their stories. Many made significant contributions to society—an open-heart surgeon, a well-known writer, two teachers, and a local politician among them—and were relegated to suffer the numbing effects of a devastatingly cruel disease.

Being unmindful of older members of a dwindling generation is probably the greatest failing of our modern society. How often have we jostled an older Senior Citizen neglecting to offer a smile or a helping hand in our more youthful haste to send the next text or post another inane social media entry? How often have we said to an older family member, "Sorry...but life is too hectic right now...maybe I'll call in a few weeks"? When was the last time we—you—took the time, sat down, asked for, and actually listened to one of their (our) stories? I bet, if you did, you'd be surprised, delighted, and, perhaps, entertained.

I wish I could say that about The Music...Oh,the Music by Francesca Noumoff, whose second entry into the literary world was published in August 2012** While stylistically and lyrically written, this slender volume is neither surprising, delightful, nor entertaining. And I don't think it was meant to be. This is a poignantly sad story of the life of a Nazi war crimes survivor, Elonora, a now very old Russian woman, marginalized and forgotten in a municipal home for the aged. While dying in her white cell, overlooking a lush valley, she is visited by other aged, forgotten residents, as well as memories of people in her past. Their histories are told in thirty-three short, yet complicated, vignettes designed to replicate the more poetic nuances of prose. And, seemingly, to capture the world of mid-Twentieth Century music—of which Elonora was a major part—destroyed by the 1942 Anchluss and the extermination of millions. The unnamed narrator is a supposed "witness", a friend of Elonora, who claims to have found her a decade after World War II and has come to listen to, and record, her tales.
 
Reading The Music...Oh,the Music was as challenging to me as my learning to play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the ukulele. I could pick out the initial single note theme--dah, dah dah, dum!--but to play the complex rifts and ensuing intertwining orchestration was nearly impossible. Noumoff offers an explanatory introduction of Elonora's life: her privileged early years with her sister, Elena, in the courts of Russia; her rise as a famed musician; her marriage; her world-wide travels; and, eventually, her incarcerations in both German and Cambodian prison camps. I was intrigued at first, but was soon lost in Noumoff's flowery prose, heavily overlade with adjectives and disjointed pronouns cached in long, run-on paragraphs. The content was almost annoyingly studded with quotes of famous philosophers, authors, and historians to, perhaps, prove or augment a point in what is a series of sorrowful laments.

The well-taken point of this novel, however, I came to realize, is to rail against the brutal atrocities of the Nazis in an attempt to ensure that the Holocaust and its victims are never to be forgotten. Its second and more profound message is the marginalization of older people, whose earlier lives—richly filled with wonder and dreams—end lost in abject obscurity. Noumoff offers these in a distressingly sad, bitter-sweet, almost atonal disharmonic novel in an attempt to re-capture what is perceived to be forgotten but, with a little effort on our part, can and should be more easily remembered.

~~~~~~
** © 2012 by Francesca Noumoff. 103 pages. Published through Xlibris Corporation (Xlibris.com) in hardback, paperback, and e-reader formats.

 
2:26 pm est          Comments


Archive Newer | Older
June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:


Columbia Hotel: A Novel of Phoenixville during the Early 1900s
the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Forty-Thirty 
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast

Bethlehem

Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood

 

 

Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her fifth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
and 
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA
.

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,