Thursday, January 13, 2011

there's a hole in the bucket

If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.

Émile Zola (1840-1902) novelist, journalist, playwright
as quoted in Dreyfus : His Life and Letters‎ (1937)


on january 13 1898 the french newspaper l’aurore published an open letter by zola accusing the government of france of antisemitism in the alfred dreyfus affair. the headline of the front page was a big bold banner which stated j'accuse! over time j'accuse! has become a generic expression of outrage against powerful forces. in light of the latest information about the deepwater horizon catastrophe there is yet another instance when the spirit of j'accuse! could and should be applied.

when I think of zola, I think of my bucket list - one item on my bucket list is to read the twenty novels in zola's rougon-macquart cycle. I fessed up to this goal a couple years ago, unfortunately, I'm no better off today than I was then. let's see it's a new year and this year I'm trying to get off to a good start making reasonable goals: hmmmm, the average life expectancy of women in the u.s. is now approximately 79 years. I only have 17 books left in the cycle, if I read at least one book each year, and I make it to the average life expectancy, I just may be able to cross another item off my bucket list! sounds like a reasonable goal!


all this talk about buckets makes me thing of that song from childhood there's a hole in the bucket. the following version was recorded in 1960 with harry belafonte and odetta, it appears on harry's album, belafonte returns to carnegie hall. I really hoped to be able to post a muppet version, but the sound quality was dreadful. sorry if you have an earworm after listening....



photo: backyard squirrel @ casa mouse, 12 january 2011

7 comments:

Kate Hanley said...

I only read one of zola's stories "Nana" as a french major but I love his writing. There was a French film entitled J'Accuse made after WWI in order to sway the country against another world war. Good luck with the bucket list.

Daisy said...

That squirrel looks sooo cold! But a good image of feeding on uncovered truth instead of leaving it buried.

California Girl said...

Really good post kimy.

Betsy said...

I don't have a bucket list! I better make one before it's too late to do anything! ha.

Adorable squirrel pic!

Angella Lister said...

This is a folk song I grew up with. Thanks for the memories, dear mouse.

Tess Kincaid said...

Best of luck you your booky bucket list. Mine is far too long and leaning ever-so-precariously to the left.

Nicky Schmidt (Absolute Vanilla) said...

I've only ever read Zola's Earth - there are elements of the story that have stayed with me for many years.
Love that squirrel - but I really thinks he needs a woolly sweater, and a hat!