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Welcome to the Mississippi Writers Page Newsletter for Jan. 4 - 24, 2002.

Editor’s note: Because of technical difficulties, newsletters could not be sent out for the past two weeks. Our next scheduled newsletter will be for the week beginning Jan 25, 2002.

In this issue:


THIS WEEK in MISSISSIPPI LITERARY HISTORY

The following events all happened during these three weeks in Mississippi history.

Year:
1700: Iberville returned to Fort Maurepas, named “Biloxi” by the settlers, with more settlers and an appointment for Sauvolle as governor. (Jan. 6)

1700: Henry de Tonty arrives at Biloxi from upriver to help with the building of the settlements and fortifications. With his arrival, the two French colonies on the North American continent are linked for the first time. (Jan. 16)

1815: Joseph Glover Baldwin was born at Friendly Grove factory near Winchester, Virginia. (Jan. 21)

1861: The Mississippi legislature voted to secede from the Union. (Jan. 9)

1893: L.Q.C. Lamar died in Georgia. He was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford. (Jan. 23)

1907: Hubert Creekmore was born in Water Valley, Mississippi. (Jan. 16)

1919: William Faulkner was discharged from the Canadian division of the Royal Air Force “in consequence of being Surplus to R.A.F. requirements.” (Jan. 4)

1929: Turner Cassity was born in Jackson, Mississippi. (Jan. 12)

1931: William Faulkner’s daughter, Alabama Faulkner, was born prematurely on this day. She died nine days later. (Jan. 11)

1936: Stephen E. Ambrose was born in Decatur, Illinois. (Jan. 10)

1939: The Wild Palms, a novel by William Faulkner, was published by Random House. Faulkner’s original title for the book, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, was changed at the request of the publisher. (Jan. 19)

1942: Walker Percy’s second cousin (and guardian) William Alexander Percy died in Greenville, Mississippi, from a stroke. Later that year, Walker would begin a three-year bout with tuberculosis. (Jan. 21)

1946: Author John A. Williams was discharged from the U.S. Navy after having been one of the first blacks to be admitted to the hospital corps during World War II. (Jan. 4)

1946: It is announced that Richard Wright’s Black Boy has sold 195,000 copies in the Harper trade edition and 351,000 through the Book of the Month Club, making it the fourth best-selling nonfiction title for 1945. (Jan. 19)

1954: The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty was published by Harcourt, Brace and Company. (Jan. 7)

1954: William Faulkner arrives in Rome after visiting England, France, and Switzerland. He is working on Land of the Pharaohs for Howard Hawks. (Jan. 19)

1958: Two plays by Tennessee Williams, Suddenly Last Summer and Something Unspoken, opened under the collective title Garden District (after their shared New Orleans locale) Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in New York. (Jan. 7)

1963: Stark Young died in New York. He was buried in Friendship Cemetery in Como, Mississippi. (Jan. 6)

1963: The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway. The play closes after 69 performances. (Jan. 16)

1979: A Lovely Sunday for Creve Couer by Tennessee Williams opened off-Broadway at the Hudson Guild Theatre in New York. It performs only 36 times. (Jan. 17)

1985: Borden Deal died of a heart attack in Sarasota, Florida.. (Jan. 22)

1989: Photographs by Eudora Welty, with a foreword by Reynolds Price, was published by the University Press of Mississippi, Jackson. (Jan. 6)

 


NEWS about MISSISSIPPI WRITERS

Jimmy Faulkner, nephew of William, dies at 78

24 December 2001

 

OXFORD, Miss. — James Murry “Jimmy” Faulkner, 78, died Monday, Dec. 24, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

The widower of Nancy Watson Faulkner, he was a retired architect and contractor with Faulkner Construction, and lectured throughout the United States on the life and times of his uncle, William Faulkner.

He served with the U.S. Marines during World War II and the Korean Conflict before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. For his service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the World War II Victory Ribbon, and the Pacific Theatre Ribbon. He was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Survivors include his daughter, Meg Faulkner Du Chaine of Oxford; two sons, James Murry Faulkner Jr. of Jackson and Thomas Wesley Faulkner of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; a brother, M. C. “Chooky” Falkner of Oxford; and four grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

A memorial service titled “The Burial of the Dead: A Celebration of the Life of James Murry ‘Jimmy’ Faulkner, July 18, 1923 - December 24, 2001,” took place at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford on Thursday, December 27, 2001, with the Rev. Wilson Webb officiating. He was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford.

 

Historian Ambrose sorry for copying phrases

January 6, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) — Historian Stephen Ambrose has acknowledged that sentences and phrases in his new book The Wild Blue were copied from a work by another historian.

Ambrose was accused of plagiarism by Fred Barnes, the executive editor of The Weekly Standard, in a column in the magazine’s Jan. 14 issue. Barnes charged that Ambrose borrowed passages from The Wings of Morning by historian Thomas Childers, published in 1995.

Ambrose footnotes Childers in the sections in question, but does not acknowledge quoting directly from the book, Barnes said.

Both books are about World War II bomber pilots.

In a statement issued Saturday (Jan. 5) through his publisher, the Simon & Schuster division of Viacom, Ambrose said, “Dr. Childers is correct. I made a mistake for which I am sorry. It will be corrected in future editions of the book.”

Childers, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times for Sunday editions, “I think it is a classy thing to do, and I appreciate it.”

The two books have several similar passages, according to Barnes. For example, Childers wrote about ball turret gunners: “It was the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the ship. The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed, and was then lowered into position.”

A section in Ambrose’s book, focusing on former Sen. George McGovern, reads: “The ball turret was, as McGovern said, the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the plane. The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed and was then lowered into position.”

Ambrose, a professor emeritus at the University of New Orleans, is the author of more than 25 books. One of his books, Band of Brothers, was made into a television miniseries.


Stephen Ambrose faces more plagiarism questions

January 10, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) — Historian Stephen Ambrose is facing still more allegations of lifting material from other sources.

Forbes.com reported Wednesday that two more books by the best-selling historian, Citizen Soldiers and part three of his Richard Nixon trilogy, contain passages similar to those in other texts.

Four works by Ambrose are now under question. The author’s son and agent, Hugh Ambrose, declined to comment.

Victoria Meyer, a spokeswoman for his publisher, Simon & Schuster, said any errors would be fixed.

“If there are indeed additional passages or sentences that are footnoted, but not in quotations marks when they should have been, we will work with our author to make the necessary corrections,” she said.

Last weekend, Ambrose acknowledged that his current best seller, The Wild Blue, included passages from Thomas Childers’ Wings of Morning. Ambrose footnoted Childers in the sections in question but did not acknowledge quoting directly from the book. Both books are about World War II bomber pilots.

On Tuesday, Forbes.com reported Ambrose’s Crazy Horse and Custer included passages close to Jay Monaghan’s Custer. In Wednesday’s editions of The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, Ambrose said: “There are places where I used some of his words, and I should have put quote marks around them.”

Ambrose was unsure if his other books had similar problems.

“I don’t know. It’s a lot of books,” said Ambrose, author of more than 20 historical works, including Undaunted Courage and Nothing Like It in the World.

In Citizen Soldiers, a World War II book published in 1997, Ambrose includes an author’s note that says he “stole material profitably if shamelessly” from Joseph Balkoski’s Beyond the Beachhead, which came out in 1989. (Ambrose even wrote the foreword to the paperback edition.)

The actual text includes material, without quotation marks, that closely resembles the Balkoski book.

In Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose writes:

“Men from the 3rd Battalion draped the body with the Stars and Stripes and hoisted it on top of a huge pile of stones that once had been a wall in the Saint Croix Church, a block from the cemetery. Howie’s body remained on display through the next day, July 19. GIs and some of the few civilians remaining in the town adorned the site with flowers.”

Balkoski’s version:

“The next morning, the 29ers draped the body with the Stars and Stripes and hoisted it on top of a huge pile of stones that once had been a wall of Sainte Croix Church, one block west of the cemetery. The body remained on display throughout July 19. The 29ers and some of the few civilians remaining in the city adorned the site with flowers.”

Allegations of plagiarism in history books are nothing new. Alex Haley acknowledged he had lifted material for Roots, his 1970s best seller. More recently, Atlantic Monthly Press canceled distribution of the biography I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight: A Life of John Paul Jones, after author James Mackay was found to have been accused of plagiarism in Scotland.

But neither Haley nor Mackay were professional historians like Ambrose, and notable instances of plagiarism within the field are relatively rare. Since 1993, only 14 cases have been accepted for full review by the American Historical Association.

“I don’t think it’s very prevalent,” said Eric Foner, a professer of history at Columbia University and author of the acclaimed Reconstruction.

Foner did say he’s had students commit the same error Ambrose acknowledged: footnoting a source but failing to note a direct quotation.

“I’ve had to tell them that a footnote does not solve the problem of using someone else’s work,” Foner said.

Historians are not questioning Ambrose’s integrity. They believe Ambrose might have so internalized his source material he unconsciously replicated it, or that the problem originates with his team of research assistants. Ambrose is also highly prolific, increasing the chance of error.

“I don’t see anything malicious,” Foner said. “I think what happens is a sloppiness which derives from speed. You kind of throw things together and you lose sight of the difference between your language and someone else's language.”

 
 

Progress continues toward erecting civil rights monument on University of Mississippi campus

January 11, 2002

by Patsy R. Brumfeld
University News Services, University of Mississippi

UNIVERSITY, Miss. — An idea by students in 1995 for a civil rights monument on the University of Mississippi-Oxford campus took a step closer to reality Friday as a national panel of jurors considered artists for the project here.

“What we are doing today is the right thing,” Dr. Gerald W. Walton, provost emeritus, said to art experts who were meeting in the historic Lyceum Building. The group is on campus through Saturday to review applications from artists across America who want to design a monument to be located in the heart of the campus, where violence broke out in 1962 over attempts to admit a black man, James Meredith.

More than 125 applications to design the privately-funded memorial have been received. The art panel will pare that number to five, who then will present models of proposals for consideration this spring.

UM Chancellor Robert Khayat presided over a morning orientation in which former and current faculty members, as well as an Oxford religious leader, talked about their experiences with civil rights events on and off the Oxford campus.

“We see the future in a very bright way,” Khayat said. “We are committed to respect for the dignity of every individual, and this memorial will add to that commitment.”

Dr. Edward Linenthal, a professor of religion and American culture at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, will meet with the jurors at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 12) at Square Books in downtown Oxford and talk about his work advising on the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. The public is invited.

In 1995, organized discussions about establishment of a memorial began on campus involving students, faculty, administrators, staff and Oxford community members.

Now a former student, John T. Edge remains on campus today affiliated with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. He welcomed the jurors and expressed delight at seeing this effort coming to fruition. “I am excited that we are so close to seeing this idea become reality, and I am looking forward to seeing what designs come from the outstanding artists who will be involved.”

Installation of the artwork is scheduled for April 2003.

Announcement of the art finalists is expected soon. The winning design is to be revealed in late September, when the University begins observance of the 40th anniversary of its integration.

Jurors considering artists’ applications are Rene Paul Barilleaux, chief curator of the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson; Annette DeMeo Carlozzi, curator of The University of Texas at Austin's Blanton Museum of Art; Randy Hayes, a Jackson native and nationally-known artist whose work includes public art in the Seattle Center; Barbara Andrews, curator of the National Civil Rights Musuem in Memphis; and Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, W. Va.

The public is invited to observe the jurying process in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory, which houses the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.

For more information or to make a donation to the project, contact the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at 661-915-5993 or by e-mail to: memorial@olemiss.edu.


2002 William Faulkner Short Fiction Contest

Spring 2002

NEW ALBANY, Miss. — As the birthplace of William Faulkner, what better place to offer a short fiction writing competition than the Tallahatchie RiverFest in New Albany, Mississippi?

On September 27-28, 2002, the arts will be celebrated in New Albany. The contest for an original, unpublished work of short fiction (up to 5,000 words) is open to adults 19 years of age of older. There is a $10 entry fee for each work submitted.

Entries must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2002, and should include a cover sheet, three copies of the manuscript, and a copy of the work on disk.

Winners will receive $500 for first place and $250 for second place. Winners will be announced during the RiverFest on September 27, 2002. If winner is in attendance, he or she will be recognized and given the opportunity to read from the work.

For details, visit the RiverFest Writing Competition web site.


2002 Faux Faulkner Contest

Spring 2002

William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway knew just how to write a clean, well-lighted sentence or a paragraph full of sound and fury — but do you? Now’s your chance to find out in Hemispheres’ renowned literary parody contests, the Faux Faulkner and Imitation Hemingway competitions.

For the Faux Faulkner contest, if your entry best captures the sound and the fury of Faulkner, you receive two tickets on United Airlines to Memphis, Tennessee, for the 2002 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference in Oxford, Mississippi (where you read your entry), a rental car, five nights’ lodging at the University of Mississippi Alumni House, and your winning entry is published in the July issue of Hemispheres magazine.

Entries (up to 500 words, typed, double-spaced) must be received via mail, e-mail, or fax by March 1, 2002. Entries should be sent to The Faulkner Newsletter, PO Box 248, Oxford, MS 38655, Tel and Fax: 662-234-0909, E-mail: faulkner@watervalley.net.

For more information or to view past winners of both the Faux Faulkner and the Imitation Hemingway contests, visit the Hemispheres magazine web site.

 

Do you have a news item about a Mississippi writer? Please send your information to mwp@olemiss.edu.


AUTHOR EVENTS: Book Signings, Readings, and Appearances

Jan. 22: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m.
Rebecca Walker, daughter of acclaimed writer Alice Walker, will discuss and sign copies of her autobiography Black White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.

Jan. 22: Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, 7:30 p.m.
Nevada Barr and Greg Iles present a reading and discussion service at the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex. Admission: $10 adults, $5 students. For more information, call (601) 974-1043.

Jan. 23: Lemuria, 202 Banner Hall, Jackson, Mississippi, 5:30 p.m.
Robert Inman signs and reads from his newest novel, Captain Saturday. Signing at 5:30, reading at 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 24: Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, 5:00 p.m.
Robert Inman comes to Square Books to read from his newest novel, Captain Saturday. Inman is the author of three previous novels: Home Fires Burning, Old Dogs and Children, and Dairy Queen Days.

Jan. 26: Grand Village, Natchez, Mississippi, 2:00 p.m.
Eleventh Moon Storytelling. For more information, call (601) 446-6502.

If you know of upcoming readings and appearances by Mississippi writers, please let us know by writing us at mwp@olemiss.edu.


ON THE HORIZON

The following events are planned for the coming weeks and months. You may want to begin planning to attend or participate.

March 21, 2002
Clinton, Mississippi, resident Nevada Barr will return to Square Books in Oxford this time on Thacker Mountain Radio, with her newest novel, Hunting Season. It’s the tenth book in the Anna Pigeon series. Anna investigates the murder of a man at a Natchez Trace tourist spot. The show starts at 5:30 p.m.
www.ThackerMountain.com


March 27, 2002
Edward Cohen returns to Square Books in Oxford to read from his book The Peddler’s Grandson: Growing Up in Jewish in Mississippi. 5 p.m.


April 5, 2002
Richard Ford returns to Square Books in Oxford with a new collection of short stories, A Multitude of Sins. 5 p.m.


The Ninth Oxford Conference for the Book
April 11-14, 2002
The University of Mississippi and Oxford, Mississippi

Check back for registration information.


Interhostel: “Views from the South: Literature, History, and Art”
April 21-26, 2002
E. F. Yerby Conference Center, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi
Short-term academic program for individuals 50 and older (with accompanying spouses or adult companions of any age). Sponsored by the Institute for Continuing Studies. Fee: $845 (includes five nights hotel accommodations, meals, classes and extracurricular activities). Sponsored by: UM Institute for Continuing Studies. For more information, please contact: Lynne Geller at 662-915-7282; or email: cstudies@olemiss.edu


The 29th Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference:
“Faulkner and His Contemporaries”

July 21-26, 2002
The University of Mississippi, Oxford

Information on registration is forthcoming.


If you know of additional news items for this newsletter or if you have suggestions, please write us at mwp@olemiss.edu.

For more information about events in the Oxford and University, Mississippi Community, see the Ole Miss Community Calendar:
www.olemiss.edu/calendar/

The Mississippi Writers Page is online at
www.olemiss.edu/mwp/


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