Monday, November 08, 2010

Margaret Mitchell Was Born with the Wind 110 Years Ago

Today, November 8th, exactly, 110 years ago,  Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born. What did she do? Well, she wrote only one novel, and for that she got her Pulitzer Prize (1937).

They made a movie out of that novel in 1939 with the same title: "Gone with the Wind," the first movie ever that received 10 Oscars.

A movie, which I had the pleasure to watch it with the dearest girl of my entire whole life during very difficult times for both of us.

A movie, wrote from the memories of this woman who was raised among many survivors of the American Civil War.

The setting was Atlanta, Georgia, in Clayton County; the main character, also a woman, better known by the name of Scarlett O'Hara, but whose complete name in the novel, as in the movie was: Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler, a long name derived from her three marriages, the first two husbands died (Hamilton and Kennedy) and the third (Butler) incidentally, was gone with the wind too. 

She portraits a tough and spoiled daughter of a nice plantation owner, if there were possible such a man, where  slavery was part of the industry in the beginning of the American capitalism, a system based on the exploitation following that illogical dictum: Homo Homini Lupus.  

There are many experts who think that in reality Scarlett was Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt.  

The movie and the novel describe the time of the American Reconstruction (1865–1877), after precisely so much pain, war and destruction.

Irregardless, Mitchel borrowed, a part  from the third stanza of the poem "Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae" written by the not too popular English poet, Ernest Dowson, who, by the way coined the word "soccer", which reads in this way:

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

How do we know?  Because we are told by Margaret Mitchell herself. She confirmed her inspiration for naming her title stating that came about when she was reading those words in the first line of this third stanza of this poem, whose title in English is something like: "Far Away, Faintly Sad Sound I Wanted" 

I would write this word again: "Reconstruction;" this is something that we need to learn to do at all the times. 

So  have I gone with the wind too?

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