Sunday, November 13, 2005

Literary Oakland

So, I'm here in Oakland, California attending a conference. Most people don't realize how truly literary this place is. Novelist, essayist Jack London (left) is from Oakland. Mr. London died at 40--an age I'm fast approaching. By the time he died, he had published 50 volumes of novels, short stories, and essays! (Okay, I'm feeling inadequate.)

The other famous Oaklander is Gertrude Stein. I don't think Oakland is praising her, however. (Jack London has a square named after him here). Ms. Stein famously insulted the City of Oakland. She said, "There's no there there."


Cheryl said...

I've always heard that quote attributed to LA and some other writer (can't remember who). It's good to know that we're not the only "there" without a "there."

Sundry said...

The quote was used to great effect by Greg Simon in his song, "The Great Out There." I know it from a Susan Werner recording:

When you get there
is there a there there?
Do people care there?
Are people aware there?
Do the boys and girls do more
than wreck their cars
and perm their hair there?

Paul said...

Don't worry. Forty ain't as horrible as ya might think. 42, however, is a real bitch!