Tuesday, March 23, 2010

mrs. stowe and DL&CS

What is the Dreamland Literary and Cinematic Society?

Let's forget for a moment that this is just another blog, a stopping place in the metaverse visited by a mere handful of sympathetic readers. It has always been my plan to eventually create a kind of Honor Roll. The Society can be thought of, in part, as showcasing a virtual assembly of people I appreciate. It is this facet of DL&CS I will talk about today.

Exceptional people both young and old, men and women, serious and playful, living and non-corporeal, will over time be given special recognition here.

Now and then I will induct people into DL&CS, gifted individuals who I feel should be honored and placed on the member roster. I will not pretend there is any kind of science behind my choices-- they will reflect my personal values and interests.

There are no dues, rituals, exploitations, or obligations; there is no tomfoolery or fine print or hidden agenda. I seek only to recognize, over time, a varied group of people and their special contributions.

Obviously enough, those who have already passed from this earthly realm will never learn they have been named as members. Nor will they give me explicit permission to fuss over them. But because they are such special folks, I'm confident they would understand, and perhaps even approve.

These extraordinary people travel through both time and space with something to share with us.

Who will these Society members be?

For quite some time, I've been mentally assembling a list.

The first person I would like to induct into the Dreamland Literary and Cinematic Society is the author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who I referred to in a recent blog post (a place to write).

A small photo of Mrs. Stowe is also featured in a diorama I designed and installed, by invitation, for the Oakland Museum of California, for a new permanent exhibit in the California History wing.*
My museum diorama was not exclusively about her, it should be noted, but I included her for her role in my life as an inspiring figure.

My beloved "Aunt" Harriet is being given a place in DL&CS for many reasons. Most significantly is for her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, a work that had tremendous social/cultural effect on the United States and beyond.

The work is occasionally derided for, among other things, certain perceived patronizing or condescending attitudes, an unfair evaluation that dismisses the context of when it was written and fails to fairly acknowledge the work's tremendous impact. The work played a key role in our history.

Another way to admire this woman is to acknowledge her focus and productivity as a writer, and her considerable skill as a literary artist.

Parenthetically, I'm pleased to be in the same family tree as Mrs. Stowe, on my mother's side of my family. But I know I would be honoring her here even without the family connection.


Inducted into the Dreamland Literary and Cinematic Society on this day, 23 March, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,

Brenda Cox Giguere

*The Oakland Museum of California will reopen on May 1 of this year after extensive refurbishing and redesign.

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