Saturday, April 15, 2006

Of Buses and Nunneries

Muriel Spark's desk)

Sad news this morning- Muriel Spark, perhaps best known for writing "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", but also the author of many other slyly funny and satiric novels, died at age 88 in Italy. I've always loved "Loitering with Intent", "A Far Cry from Kensignton", and "The Takeover". An often-neglected Spark novel well worth reading is "The Abbess of Crew", a wickedly satiric resetting of the Watergate debacle in an English nunnery. Muriel Spark was in many ways the female Evelyn Waugh of the Vietnam generation. She died Thursday in Italy, where she had lived for the last 30 years in a little village in Tuscany.

Another death in the news today (gee, isn't this cheerful?) is that of retired Los Angeles bus driver Arthur Winston, who died this week at age 100. That would probably not have made the national news this morning, if not for the fact that Mr. Winston worked as a driver for 76 years. He finally retired in March, and a month later he dies.

Food for thought.


catalyst said...

Don't ever retire?

Phoebe Fay said...

I like Muriel Spark's desk. I can match that level of mess. Now if only I could match that level of talent. Pity the one doesn't equate to the other.

And 76 years as a bus driver? I don't get it, but I guess everybody has different things that keep them kicking. And I guess somebody has to like being a bus driver. Not everyone can be professional laze-abouts like me!

Mike said...

I can also match the mess...just not the talent.

I can't imagine working for 76 years anywhere. Of course the people that I owe money too have high hopes that I will.

Colonel Colonel said...

catalyst- that was the message I got from it... luckily, booksellers never retire.

phebe- I know, I got great comfort from the desk.

mike- you load 16 tons, whadda you get?

jgodsey said...

>Muriel Spark was in many ways the female Evelyn Waugh of the Vietnam generation

hmm... i stopped at jean brodie..perhaps i need to try again...thanks