Showing posts with label G.K. Chesterton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label G.K. Chesterton. Show all posts

18 June 2023

Write of Way


As you may have noticed earlier this month, I’ve been paying attention to license plates and signs while idling in traffic. While negotiating neighborhood streets in south Orlando, I noticed a street sign labeled Chaucer and shortly thereafter Voltaire, two favorite classic authors.

This came as a surprise because Orlando is better known for family entertainment, not classical arts. Orchestras, opera, and ballet have died from indifference. WMFE, the local Public Broadcasting studio and station, collapsed. Hereabouts, Longfellow is thought to be the tall, floppy-eared pal of Mickey Mouse.

Upon returning home, I looked up this mysterious literary neighborhood and discovered references to nineteen authors, more precisely, sixteen names, two novels, and an epic poem. Two byways puzzled me, Jordan Avenue and Brice Street. I’m unable to think of significant writers matching the names, which indeed may be naught. You may know better.

So before our book-burning Governor DeSantis bans this defiant neighborhood, check out the names. (Click the map to expand it.) A list of authors follows.

Little known Mystery factoid: Voltaire (real name Fran├žois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778)), arguably was one of the earliest writers of science fiction and detective fiction.
List of Authors
Quintilian Plato Orwell Zola (Nana) Marlowe
Linton Keats Ibsen Hawkes Galsworthy
Forester Dickens Chesterton Longfellow (Evangeline)
Browning Voltaire Chaucer Tennyson Lewis (Arrowsmith)

29 August 2012

Limitation of Statues


I don't know if you have seen this picture of the statue Boston is planning to erect near the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe.  It appears to show the founder of our field going for a stroll with his giant pet raven.
People have disagreed on the quality of this work.  I won't say more than this: it will never be my favorite statue of a bird in Boston.

But it got me wondering which other mystery authors have statues in their honor.  Frankly, I was surprised at how few I was able to locate.  But take a look:

This is Arthur Conan Doyle in Crowborough, England.  It's surprisingly recent, having been created by David Cornell in 2000.
 
And here is Dorothy L. Sayers standing opposite her home in Witham.  I like the cat, don't you?

This bust of Agatha Christie stands in her birthplace of Torquay (which I will forever remember as the location of Fawlty Towers).

Here is Georges Simenon as seen in Liege in Belgium.



And below you will find the creator of Father Brown standing proudly in Chesterton Square.  Can you guess what city this piece by David Wanner can be found in?  Would you believe New Orleans?

And now that we have made it to the United States I would like to show you some photos of sculptures of American mystery authors.  Unfortunately I can't because a search of the web turned up no statues or even busts of Hammett, Chandler, Gardner, or Stout.  What likely candidates am I missing?

I suppose creating sculptures of authors may be more of a European thing than an American, but frankly I was expecting to find at least a bust or two created by schools that had been honored with the archives of one or another author.  If anyone knows of some, let me know.

Meanwhile I have a pedestal just my size if anyone is feeling inspired.  And let me close with what has to be the most coveted sculpture of any mystery writer...