Monday, 26 November 2018

The Train (Jill's Theme)


The Train (Jill's Theme)

A lyric response to Ennio Morricone's melody...

If we are to embrace cinema as an art, well, that means that we must wrestle with westerns...

My own view is that a critique of western movies starts with the western as a 'version of pastoral...'  But that is by the by...

My generation watched SO many westerns, as we grew up.  I have seen so many westerns and I have seen some westerns so many times that often I can recognise the horses.

Of course we were intrigued as we watched the Italian film maker Sergio Leone wrestle with the western.  We can leave, for elsewhere, comment on the 'spaghetti western', the critics' readiness to sneer and the simple cineaste's willingness to marvel.

We immediately knew, in 1968, that Sergio Leone's Once Upon A time in the West was an outsider's meditation on the western.  We spotted the citations.

And we still remember that moment when that crane shot introduced Jill's Theme.

And we realised that we were also exploring the power of melody...

So, some 50 years of meditation later, I have put my lyric for Ennio Morricone's melody on my Soundcloud, and I have put a version of my vision on Youtube...

Youtube

Soundcloud

Before I start work on a lyric for a pre-existing melody I need to do a lot of thinking - thinking and, let us call it, research.

I need to be convinced that I can bring something to this, that there is something for me to do and say.

Even if the work is a song translation - like my version of Papa Joachim Paris - I still need to be convinced that the new entity in the English language is good, that we have brought something worthwhile into the world.

So...  Let us call it research...

1.
I remember asking Heather Farrell-Roberts, our autoharp star, some time ago, if Morricone, Jill's Theme, might be autoharp friendly.

The chords are simple, but the range is great.

There is some musicology, giving the chords, I-IV-V-I here...


Ennio Morricone’s Score for Once Upon a Time in the West (Part 1 of 3): Jill’s Theme (Main Theme) by Mark Richards
  
In the movie Jill's Theme is one of the leitmotifs.  Unusually for film music, Morricone's music for THIS movie was written before the film was made...

So, the melody is used in the movie in a rather scrappy way - the leitmotif floats in and out.

When we were working on my lyric for the melody Stephanie Hladowski and I had to find a song structure.

2.
It has become a bravura piece for sopranos in posh frocks...

Patricia Janeckova - Once Upon A Time In The West (Miss Reneta 2012)

Don't you feel sorry for all the other pretty ladies in posh frocks - who have to stand around looking interested?

Steffi Vertriest

This version is really worth looking at - simple piano and voice.  The structure is odd.  But there is a structure.
(The Chords are in Chordify...)

Susanna Rigacci - Once Upon a Time in The West Ennio Morricone 2002 Arena Concert 1

André Vásáry - male

etc....

3.
The melody is so attractive - there have been attempts to write words to the melody...
Two examples on same Youtube video
Mireille Mathieu and Dulce Pontes ...

Once Upon A Time In The West
Mireille Mathieu Starts at 1.44
Dulce Pontes starts at 6.05

Text Mireille Mathieu at

In French

Text Dulce Pontes at

Andrea Bocelli Your Love (Once Upon a Time in The West)

Standard love songs that do not engage with the narrative of the movie, and the melody as it appears in the movie.

But they do show how a text might be structured.

4.
My words engage with the film's narrative.  It is a response to what we hear, and what we see on screen. 

It is very existentialist.

Of course.

I did ask Danny Yates for some electric guitar at the beginning of our recording, to reference that distinctive Morricone guitar sound from A Fistful Of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More...

Patrick O'Sullivan
November 2018


Monday, 19 November 2018

Decorate the Day - Wedding Oratorio



There are a number of versions of Decorate the Day, my Wedding Oratorio.

Some versions live only in our memories...

This is a link to my Soundcloud, which I use mostly for Works in Progress, to share with chums...

https://soundcloud.com/saltduck-1

This is the direct link to Decorate the Day, the Clayton version, on Soundcloud...


The Singers are Patrick O'Sullivan and Stephanie Hladowski

Piano Danny Yates
Guitar Danny Yates
Mandolin Gene Dunford
Autoharp Patrick O'Sullivan

And here, on my blog, Fiddler's Dog, are some notes...

People who want to retain the mystery of the creative processes should read no further...

1.
My elder son has long watched my attempts to play a musical instrument with amused detachment.  And has long said that he would like me to perform at his wedding.

I could never make out if this was a dare, a challenge, or a tease...

Neverthelesss...

My autoharps and my mountain dulcimer to hand...

As the day of the wedding loomed...

I wrote a song - almost a Wedding Oratorio, 6 minutes long.

And I did perform at his wedding.

Video grab photo, above....

Autoharper, me, on left. Chorus of wedding guests. My elder son and his lovely bride, extreme right.

2.
The wedding was in September 2018, a glamping wedding, with a festival vibe - oh yes.  In rural Norfolk.

Loving families were involved.

In our case...

My younger son made the wedding rings - moving on from the simple joys of silver to the seductive lures of gold.

My wife had grown the flowers.  Not an easy thing to do, to turn a part of the garden into a wildflower meadow - and persuade those wild flowers to bloom in September.

John Clare writes of The Fear of Flowers - 'The nodding oxeye bends before the wind...'  And the nodding oxeye did bend before the wind.

And Dolly Parton sings, 'Wildflowers don't care where they grow...'  Not true, Dolly - they are fussy.

My wife made the bouquets and other floral wonderments for the wedding.

So, I watched my younger son and my wife, and determined that I had to do something - effort not like or equal, but something.

I had to write the song...

For the glamping wedding, with the festival vibe...

And already I was thinking about the LOOK of the flowers, on the wedding day...

3.
When it comes to songs I am very clear about roles.

I am the lyricist.  I write words.  I don't write the music, I don't perform the song, I don't play the music.  I leave these things to other, good people.

However, as I tried to plan the wedding song, none of the usual suspects stepped up to the plate...

So, there had to be made...

Decorate the Day, Wedding Oratorio
Words AND music by Patrick O'Sullivan
With a little help from Shakespeare, Beethoven, and John Hughes' Cwm Rhondda

I had no clear idea what resources I would have - in rural Norfolk - to actually present and perform the song.

I called, for help, on Danny Yates, ever patient and skilled...
http://www.citysoundstudios.com

and, of course, on our muse, Euterpe, the muse of music and lyric poetry, the bringer of delight...
I have to say, I had my doubts.  I asked, Is this wise, Euterpe?  I mean, Euterpe, six minutes?

Danny Yates and I made what I call a 'spine recording' - which gave a structure, simple piano, with me singing. In effect, the sort of thing that a good backing band might do, if you had a good backing band.

The song was always designed to be very pianistic - we have piano-players in the family.  Words, chords and music were sent to possible piano players.

In the event there was a decent sound system at the venue, into which I could stick my usb.  There was electricity.  The electric autoharp is great for faking it.

Two piano players stepped up - Joseph Attenborough and Michael Benaim - and were magnificent.  We played, and sang along to the spine recording.

4.
The song has four main parts...

a. 
'We need not count the miracles...'
A philosophical, meditative prelude.  Lyrical, flowing, pianistic - a long line.  The lines are fourteeners, iambic heptameters - which are not often used in English verse, and have had a bad press.  I wanted a long lyrical line.  

b.
'And here on the day of the marriage...'
A jolly folk song, changes the mood...

This poetic conceit ignores all my wife's hard work, the months of worry and hard work...

And imagines that we have wandered the fields just before the wedding, and we have gathered the wild flowers, to make our chaplets and buttonholes and bouquets...

It is about the look of the day.

c.
'Ox-eye daisy, black eyed Susan...'
The Flower Chant
And what flowers have we gathered?  Everything.

I had been making notes about my wife's plants plans, and she had given me a list of the flowers that she would be taking to the wedding.

But the list was not long enough for the Flower Chant gag to work. 

The point of the gag is that the list just has to be preposterous.  See point 5, below...

There is a hint of Beethoven, but that is because Schiller and I use the same rhythm for a lyric...

'Freude, schöner Götterfunken,'

'Ox-eye daisy, Black eyed Susan'

The Shakespeare gag, half way through the flower chant, was just too good to leave out.  Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon speaks.  The quote takes us from Cupid to 'Fetch me that flower...'  So, it summarises our song.

A more considered version of the song might put in a bit more business here.  For the song and the singers obey Oberon's instructions.  They fetch that flower.  The flower that maidens call 'Love in Idleness' is also called Viola Tricolor and Heart's Ease.

And the Flower Chant begins anew...

'Viola Tricolor, (Heart’s ease), Wood spurge...'

d.
A final football chant, to Cwm Rhondda/Bread of Heaven

Selected wedding guests had been primed, and were ready to join in.

But, in fact, all the wedding guests got the idea, without trouble.

The moment caught in the photograph, above, is the final chant...


5.
Wild Flowers

Some background...

I was a minor poet of the late twentieth century.

Why only a minor poet? you ask.

There were many reasons - but the most significant for our discussion here today is the fact that I can never remember the names of flowers.

Actually, it is worse than that.  I find it difficult to be at all interested in flowers.

I watch the bumble bees.

We have in the autoharp community a song, Wildwood Flower - which everyone can play, but no one can remember the words.  Why? - because it is a half-remembered 1860s lyric full of the names of flowers.

The connection between flowers and poetry is one of those underlying structures that shape knowledge and create traps for the unwary.

It is a special problem for us peasant poets.  I have written elsewhere about my fellow peasants - for example, Patrick MacGill and Robert Story - and I have studied, for example, Patrick Kavanagh and John Clare.

Generally the market for poetry is not amongst peasants.  So, the peasant poet and his muse must produce stuff that will appeal to the un-peasant audience.  (This is just one example of the ways in which markets shape the arts.)

A little while ago I was at a conference in University College, Dublin - where I did what I always do when travelling...  I popped into the library.

There was an interesting - and moving - Patrick Kavanagh exhibition in the special collections section...

https://www.ucd.ie/specialcollections/archives/kavanagh/


And, on display, was one special poem by Patrick Kavanagh, which partly addresses that peasant poet problem, On Reading a Book on Common Wild Flowers...

'...I knew them all by eyesight long before I knew their names
We were in love before we were introduced...'

And Kavanagh's very own copy of that book was there, Common Wild Flowers, by Dr John Hutchinson - it is a little blue Pelican book.

There is a note in one of Kavanagh's manuscripts which more directly addresses the peasant poet's predicament...  '... to progress into print he does not write out of his rural innocence— he writes out of Palgrave's Golden Treasury.'

Now, Palgrave's Golden Treasury is a major influence on my own thinking about verse techniques - and would have had even greater influence, if I could only remember the names of flowers...

On Palgrave see...

Spevack, M. (2012). The Golden Treasury: 150 Years On. EBLJ. Retrieved from https://www.bl.uk/eblj/2012articles/pdf/ebljarticle22012.pdf

Sullivan, M. J. (2016). Tennyson and The Golden Treasury. Essays in Criticism, 66(4), 431–443. Retrieved from
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/escrit/cgw023

The flower names in my Decorate the Day are based on a book I found in a local charity shop for £4...

Maurice Burton, Field Guide to British Wild Flowers, 1982.  Whose flower names list is based on English Names of Wild Flowers, Botanical Society of the British Isles

Now known as
Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland

https://bsbi.org/

The melodies are by me - except, thank John Hughes for the final football chant, Cwm Rhondda...


I use just the chorus, of course.  We had to have something that everyone already knew, even if they did not know that they already knew it...

A more considered version of Decorate the Day might give the song - as one friend has put it - 'room to breathe...'  In particular, the Clayton Version transitions are very abrupt.  But we had to try and control the length.  I mean, Euterpe, six minutes...?

Patrick O'Sullivan
November 2018




Friday, 9 November 2018

I am a footnote in Tolkien Studies...


Surely something that is on everyone's bucket list...?

And at last I can it say it...

I am a footnote in Tolkien Studies...

Stuart Lee's article about the 1968 BBC tv Leslie Megahey film is now visible on the Project Muse web site.

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/707035

And downloadable - for those with access.

Patrick O'Sullivan (me) appears first on page 121, on a number of pages thereafter, and in the footnotes.

The article also cites my notes on this blog, Fiddler's Dog.  (Search for the Tolkien items, below.)

I have sent an email to the BBC History email group, updating them about the publication of the article.

It is an amazing relief to see Stuart Lee's article now out there, and I thank him for it.

It is an example of the sort of thing that a lot of us find ourselves doing, at a certain time of life - and there is, undoubtedly, an element of frustration in all this.  That is, instead of getting on with the new work, that fills our brains, we are having to give time and energy to the rescue of old projects, and somehow finding ways to place them in the research record.  The final rescue of a 1968 project in 2018 is perhaps an extreme example, but it is a good example.  There was luck here - in a few more years we would not have been able to call on the networks and the influences that helped Stuart Lee to put his research in place.

It is done.  

Yes, I am busy, yes, the next rescue...  Yes.

Patrick O'Sullivan
November 2018

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Visiting Scholar, Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, 2018-19


Visiting Scholar, Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, 2018-19

I can report that, once again, the Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, has negotiated on my behalf the processes within NYU - and I am now, again, still, one of NYU's Visiting Scholars, in the year 2018-19.

As ever I acknowledge the patient encouragement of Miriam Nyhan Grey, Director of Graduate Studies, Glucksman Ireland House, and of Eli Elliott, Administrator, Glucksman Ireland House, who choreographed the process.  And thank all the team at Glucksman Ireland House - who understand how people like me fit in to the Universe.

And, once again, as ever, I take all this as an Instruction from The Universe that I should continue to do academic, scholarly work, and make myself available within the scholarly networks, as best I can.

I am now at that September/ October stage, seeing what projects have firmed up for the coming year - and what resources I have available.

Still doing the other kind of work, of course...  For example, doing a lot of work in the recording studio, tidying the song lyric record - in every sense - and working on new songs.

In recent times I have tried to be a better Visiting Scholar, and - despite my notorious aversion to travel - do some actual visiting.  For example, I attended two major conferences in Ireland, the Global Irish Diaspora Congress, Dublin, August 2017, and the American Conference for Irish Studies, ACIS, Cork, June, 2018.  At both conferences I was able to informally confer with NYU colleagues.  I have established informal contact with New York University, London, England.  I have attended meetings with the British Association for Irish Studies (BAIS), here in England, and meetings with other Irish centres, including meetings at the Irish Embassy, London.

I will note that one of the events I attended this year, 2018, was a valedictory celebration of the career of Professor Joe Lee, the retiring Director of the Glucksman Ireland House, NYU, in the Glucksman Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland – as part of the gathering of the American Conference for Irish Studies 2018.  I would like to record my appreciation of Joe Lee’s friendly interest in my work and his support over the past decades.  Joe, I was there in June 2018 - mine was one of the hundreds of glasses raised, to wish you a long, happy, productive retirement.

And I welcome the new Director of Glucksman Ireland House, Kevin Kenny - whose strengths I know, and whose strengths will be needed.

Patrick O'Sullivan
October 2018


Friday, 18 May 2018

Papa Joachim Paris - Cabo Verde song, English language version

We are in another country.  And we hear a song.  Or we are driving through the night, and the radio picks up something unexpected.  Or we browse through the record collection of a friend...

We hear a song.  There is something about the melody and the performance that grips us.  And the words?  The words are in a language not our own.

But something of interest is going on, in those words.

What steps are needed to take that experience and turn it into a song that works in our own language, the English language?  As the steps turn into a journey where does the journey end?

That is the starting point for my series of song translations.  The aim is to produce an English language lyric that sits comfortably on the original melody, and is faithful to the twists and turns of the original text.

And on my Soundcloud, an example - my English language version of the much loved Cabo Verde song Papa Joachim Paris, from the original Cabo Verde creole/Portuguese.

https://soundcloud.com/saltduck-1/papa-joachim-paris

Sung by Stephanie Hladowski, piano Stephanie Hladwoski, concertina Michael Hebbert, guitar Gene Dunford.

English language text by Patrick O'Sullivan.

Papa Joachim Paris, Papa Joquim Paris (you will find various spellings of the name...) is almost a second national anthem, on the Cabo Verde islands and throughtout the Cabo Verde diaspora...

Cabo Verde is the island nation, an archipelago in the Eastern Atlantic, off the coast of West Africa.  Its history was shaped by slavery, and by shipping patterns.  An important Cabo Verde settlement is in New Jersey, USA - follow the trade winds north and west.  Music is an essential part of the national identity, and the diasporic identity - and the music is an intriguing amalgam of African, Portuguese and other influences.  I swear that in some Cabo Verde songs
we can hear the remnant of an English sea shanty.  Most Cabo Verde lyrics are fairly straightforward - our beautiful island, the beautiful women of our island, the sadness of exile.

Papa Joachim Paris has all that, but suddenly goes into a stranger place - with the fear of a witch's curse.  That curse is there in the music - at the begioning of the second quatrain, with the word 'futecera', Portuguese 'feiticeira', on the BbM, a word that is usually translated by the English word 'witch'.  Or hag, sorceress - it really means fetish-maker, of course.  I tried and I tried to get my witch word at the beginning of the line, on the BbM - but decided on another route.  Once you are given the English word 'witch' you do not lightly abandon it - it brings a package.

Not a sensible choice of text for this project - the lyric lives very much in the oral world, passed on from voice to ear.  And, of course, a mix of personal names, place names and local idioms.  It took us ages to establish the text - which was finally found for us by Edmundo Murray, words AND music in...

Tavares, M. de J. (2005). Aspectos evolutivos da música cabo-verdiana. Praia, Cape Verde: Centro Cultural Português.  (There is also a Lisboa printing.)

Manuel de Jesus Tavares, p84, says that Eugenio Tavares considered this morna one of the oldest from the Ilha Brava, author unknown.  And there is certainly a feeling of an old song, and an old story, compacted by time,






Sunday, 13 May 2018

Jana Bokova, 'Havana', 1990


Jana Bokova, 'Havana', 1990

With little notice - and little fanfare - an extraordinary documentary from 1990 turned up on BBC4 television last Friday, May 11, 2018.  Jana Bokova's, 'Havana'.

For those with access to the BBC iplayer it is still available for a further month.

I don't want to be involved in campaigns - but surely there is a better way of giving us access to important BBC work of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s - in this case, the important documentaries of the ARENA series?

What is important about these works is not just skill, technique, subject matter - but the ways in which these documentaries have become part of the dialogue between generations.

Filmed in Havana, and in Little Havana, Miami, in 1989, Jana Bokova's documentary is purest Bokova - the patience, the unblinking eye, the interest in ordinary, and complex, lives, the respectful regard...  And the material knitted together, most skilled film-making, with many different levels.  Most obviously, in 'Havana', the careful use of the words of the Cuban poets, the respectful use of the words - the words are given their own screen time.

Jana Bokova's 'Havana' has since become best known for the interviews with the exiled Cuban poet, Reinaldo Arenas.  The story is that a bootleg - it shouldn't have to be a bootleg - fell into the hands of Julian Schnabel, and inspired his 2000 movie, 'Before Night Falls',  starring Javier Bardem...  And now we can put the Bardem performance alongside the original Bokova interview...

There is this helpful article about Reinaldo Arenas on the New Yorker web site...

The Literature of Uprootedness: An Interview with Reinaldo Arenas
By Ann Tashi Slater December 5, 2013

Some Julian Schnabel links...



Some Jana Bokova links - but search the web...



Going back to the 1990 Jana Bokova documentary, 'Havana' - and how marvellous to be able to see it again...  There is always a sequence in a Jana Bokova documentary when the men being interviewed - usually older men, but still afflicted with that roving eye - become fascinated by the pretty girl behind the camera.  Whom we never see.

You hear her voice, and you can see the effect.

Patrick O'Sullivan
May 2018


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

On first looking into Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy


On first looking into Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy

1.
There is a little piece of mine that has proved popular, and useful...
O’Sullivan, P. (2004). On First Looking into Mercier’s The Irish Comic Tradition. New Hibernia Review, 8(4), 152–157.

It can be downloaded from my Archive at...


It looks at the importance of a specific book, Vivian Mercier’s The Irish Comic Tradition, in my own life - it is part book review, part autobiography.

I could write a companion piece, On first looking into Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy.  In fact, astute readers have already spotted that Richard Hoggart is there in my Mercier article - and I will leave it to new readers to spot the relevant sections.

So...  Hoggart, The Uses of Literacy - part ethnography, part autobiography.

2.
I am prompted to think again about Hoggart and his Uses, by - at last - getting round to reading the biography by Fred Inglis...

Inglis, F. (2014). Richard Hoggart: virtue and reward. Cambridge: Polity.

The book is visible here...


There are many reviews...  See, for example...


Fred Inglis's book is, in its own way, as unique a thing as Richard Hoggart's, and - as reviewers have noted - has its own oddities.  Inglis, p 228, comments on later Hoggart offering, 'the kind of thing old buffers say as they switch off the ten o'clock news...' - but himself gives us more than enough old bufferisms.  In a sense fair enough - for he clearly feels  he must at least comment on the destruction of the kind of university, and the kind of public life, that Hoggart helped shape.

3.
Looking at my own notes about Richard Hoggart...  Let me just mention Laurie Taylor's Thinking Allowed BBC radio programmes, Wed 26 Aug 2009...

Richard Hoggart
'Laurie Taylor discusses the life and work of leading cultural commentator Richard Hoggart, asking why his time is coming again.
Hoggart's evidence in the Lady Chatterley trial changed censorship for ever, his influence on the Pilkington Committee established the norms of public service broadcasting still in operation today and his academic work led to the invention of cultural studies in the UK.'


Laurie Taylor is particularly nonplussed by the Uses of Literacy's attack on milk bars - and milk bars, from this distance, do seem a comparatively innocent 1950s experience.

(There is an appreciative comment from Laurie Taylor on the back cover of Inglis, Richard Hoggart: virtue and reward.)

Milk bars also haunt a nice article by Joe Moran...
Cultural Studies
Volume 20, 2006 - Issue 6
MILK BARS, STARBUCKS AND THE USES OF LITERACY
Joe Moran
Pages 552-573 | Published online: 17 Feb 2007


4.
Fred Inglis does touch, a little bit, on the international significance of Hoggart and Uses of Literacy.  He is good on Claude Levi-Strauss's appreciation of Hoggart, p 126-7, p 174.  He puts Uses of Literacy alongside Tristes Tropiques.  But, p 127, he quotes another commentator who, in 1957, praises Hoggart in order to disparage Camus (and Sartre).  The logical thing would be to put Hoggart alongside Camus.

And there is, indeed, a tradition of doing just that...  

See...

The two (or three) careers of Richard Hoggart
From the foundation of cultural studies to the appropriations of French sociology
by Claire Ducournau


And I do like this thesis by William Nicholas Padfield - which outlines a French tradition of ‘intellectuels de première génération’, that is writers and intellectuals from relatively 'humble origins', and again puts Hoggart alongside Camus.  And alongside Bourdieu.

Padfield, W. N. (2015). “L”ascension sociale’ and the return to origins: reconstructions of family and social origin in the writings of Albert Camus, Annie Ernaux, Didier Eribon and Édouard Louis. Manchester Metropolitan University. Retrieved from

5.
What seems to have gone un-noticed, in discussions of Hoggart, his critiques of the 'Americanisation of British youth culture' (including those wicked milk bars), and his naming of 'scholarship boy ambivalence', is the Americanisation of Richard Hoggart...

Our entry point there is Richard Rodriguez...

There is an article, 1974, which anticipates the book of 1982...

Rodriguez, R. (1974). Going Home Again: The New American Scholarship Boy. The American Scholar, 44(1), 15–28.


Rodriguez, R. (1982). Hunger of memory: the education of Richard Rodriguez, an autobiography. D.R. Godine.

(The book is now widely visible, and increasingly visible in the secondary literature.)

The article introduces Hoggart and the Uses of Literacy, p 17, as Richard Rodriguez tries to find a perspective on his own experience...  'For the child who moves to an academic culture from a culture that dramatically lacks academic traditions, looking back can jeopardize the certainty he has about the desirability of this new academic culture. Richard Hoggart's description, in The Uses of Literacy, of the cultural pressures on such a student, whom Hoggart calls the "scholarship boy," helps make the point...  ...he must choose between the two worlds: if he intends to succeed as a student, he must, literally and figuratively, separate himself from his family, with its gregarious life, and find a quiet place to be alone with his thoughts...'

Richard Hoggart is quoted at length in the book, and becomes a sort of guru figure, commentating from the past as young Richard Rodriguez shapes his future.

There is a Wikipedia entry on Richard Rodriguez...

And this recent Paris Review is helpful...


And, of course, our scholarship boy is also our scholarship girl, and perhaps faces even more complexity than her male counterpart...  Let me recommend this nicely written, beautifully paced, article by Laura Rendón...

Rendón, L. I. (1992). From the Barrio to the academy: Revelations of a Mexican American “scholarship girl.” New Directions for Community Colleges, 80(80), 55–64.

'It was during my first year of graduate school at the University of Michigan, far away from the Laredo, Texas, barrio where I spent my youth, that I read
Richard Rodriguez’s (1975) poignant essay, “Going Home Again: The New American Scholarship Boy.” Reading this story of how the academy changes
foreigners who enter its culture (more than it is changed by them) inspired a powerful emotional response in me. My own odyssey through higher
education had taken me along an unusual path...'  And she quotes from Richard Rodriguez essay the very lines that I have just quoted, above, about chosing between two worlds.

Rendón finds Hoggart through Rodriguez...

Oddly enough, I found Rodriguez through Irish Diaspora Studies - I was following some thoughts about nuns and Irish Christian Brothers...  And Rodriguez says, Hunger of Memory, p 122, his mother's family name is, 'inexplicably Irish', Moran.

Patrick O'Sullivan
April 2018

Note
September 2018

My attention has been directed towards Joe Moran's web site...

The full text of his article,
Milk Bars, Starbucks and the Uses of Literacy
is available there...