Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rivers (Not Larry)

And Quiet Flows the Don was a novel by the Russian novelist Mikhail Sholokhov. Remember it. You’re likely one of the few. But rivers have been great sources of inspiration both to artists and plain folks. Moses was floated down the Nile and the rest is history. In a similar life saving intervention Romulus and Remus were sent down the Tiber and ended up founding Rome. The River Liffey running through Dublin was a source of inspiration to Joyce and "riverrun" is the first word(s) of Finnegan's Wake.  The Thames inspired Eliot’s Wasteland (“Sweet Thames, run softly, til I end my song"). The Vlatava river, the longest in the Czech Republic, would eventually carry Vaclav Havel's coffin. The Danube is so ubiquitous a source of inspiration that one hesitates, for fear of sounding obvious, to make the citations.  We have the temperamental Arno, whose waters flow down from the gentle hills which surround Florence and there’s the Hudson, without which there'd be no Hudson River Valley or Hudson River School of painting. A New Curve in the Ganges: Mohatma Gandhi’s Study of Hinduism was a book by Arvi Scharma and finally let’s not forget the Mississippi without which we probably never would have heard of a fellow named Mark Twain. 

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