Another Celebration! In December, we returned to Amica to enjoy our annual Winter Party. CWLC former president Ruth Hilland opened the meeting with a few poignant words of welcome. She reflected on the grand tradition and history of our club. A selection of readings was provided by three fun-loving ladies, Sandra Ens, Shawna Mattison and Moorea Gray who brought the audience to their feet! Encores ensued. Cathy Redfern presented each club member with a Getting To Know You booklet, a collection of member profiles compiled by an energetic Executive, driven by the desire to know each other more fully. By Doloris Duval, President
The club is taking a hiatus, with no formal meetings until the spring. We will reconvene on March 5, 2019 to continue an exploration of the Role of Humor, Satire and Irony in Literature.
The women of the Calgary Women’s Literary Club have been very busy celebrating over the past few weeks!
In November, Christine Gingerick and Robin Padanyi hosted our group on a private tour of the breathtaking new Calgary Public Library. We learned behind the scenes information about the design and construction of the building itself and about the evolving philosophies surrounding libraries today. Our tour concluded with Robin guiding the group to our very own CALGARY WOMEN’S LITERARY CLUB window on which the dedication reads:
Donated by members past and present of The Calgary Women’s Literary Club, established 1906.
“Writing is a splendid sorter of… feelings, better even than paint.”
This past April during our season of “favourite authors”, Lyn Koltutsky revealed the literary side of the now-iconic Canadian artist Emily Carr. Lyn’s talk was interspersed with views of old photographs and stunning paintings. Emily Carr’s talents as an artist went largely unrecognised during a lifetime of sorrow, poverty and many challenges. In spite of — or perhaps because of — her life journey, she shines as a true “original”: adventurous, confident, quirky and complex. Her literary and artistic accomplishments seem even more astounding!
Carr’s first book Klee Wyck, a collection of short stories, wasn’t published until 1941 near the end of her life when her painting career had ended due to a heart attack. Nonetheless, it won the Governor General’s Award for Literature that year! The two subsequent books published in her lifetime, The Book of Small (1942) and The House of All Sorts (1944) were “autobiographical” but she used creative licence which created somewhat of a myth of Emily Carr. Four more books were published posthumously.
Cecilia’s lifelong passion for William Shakespeare was clearly evident in her enthusiastic presentation on October 16, structured in the form of a five-act Shakespearean play.
Each succeeding act consisted of defined topics, such as family and friends who influenced his writing, his humour as well as various characters who inhabited his plays.
Cecilia’s power point presentation (Act IV) in exquisite pictures, detailed her extensive personal experience with Shakespeare’s live theatre as well as journeys to Stratford in the United Kingdom and Canada.
Shakespeare’s words of wisdom, his philosophy of life and humour still resonate with us today.
Note: Regretfully, Calgary’s poorly-timed, record-breaking dump of snow on Oct 2nd caused us to postpone Mary’s presentation, “The Evolution of Humor & Its Role in Society & Literature.
Our season to Laugh Out Loud! Photo by Kah Lok Leong on Unsplash
Welcome to CWLC’s Season of LOL!
Della Mae Wood started her presentation by showing us her notes, done in pencil on yellow lined paper. This is now a tradition of hers, ever since preparing an earlier club presentation on John Steinbeck, in the manner of John Steinbeck who always wrote this way!
Like Steinbeck, using traditional writing tools did not hamper Della Mae’s creativity. She launched our season of humor, irony and satire by talking about Nora Ephron, “a feminist with a funny bone”, who chronicled every aspect of being a woman in our times with hilarious acuity.
Nora Ephron produced an extensive body of work as journalist, novelist, essayist, playwright and screenwriter (e.g. When Harry Met Sally; Julie and Julia.) Della Mae shared some of her favorite passages, and the double-whammy of Ephron’s sharp insight and humor! Two of Della Mae’s favorites are: I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing. Ephron’s publisher, in consultation with the author, celebrated her body of work with a compilation, The Most of Nora Ephron.
Della Mae’s summary delves into so much more about this author, whose own life is a story in itself! Please read on…
Anne-Marie Duma is very fond of the land and culture of the native people in the American Southwest and learned much through Tony Hillerman’s books while on an archeological dig. One of many reasons to appreciate the Navaho, Hopi and Zuni cultures is that people build beauty into everything that they do. For our presentation, Anne-Marie wore some pieces of beautiful native turquoise and silver jewelry.
Born in 1925 in Ohio, Tony Hillerman came from a poor family. As a result, he was schooled with Native Americans. In World War II he was wounded in the D-Day landing. A journalist friend of his mother, having seen letters sent home from the war, encouraged him to pursue writing and he later got a degree in journalism.
Tony Hillerman has been recognized with numerous prestigious literary awards. However, the fact that his novels are part of the Navaho curriculum is perhaps the most outstanding recognition of the truth of his fiction.
Anne-Marie mentioned a few favorites: The Blessing Way (the first book from his Leaphorn and Chee series) and A Thief of Time, a later book in the series.