Atlanta vs. Boston: the super books
For the second year, we are taking the cities of the two teams involved in the Superbowl, and looking at them from a literary point of view.
As happened with Carolina last year, we need to acknowledge that one of the teams isn’t tied to a single city…although they did used to be the “Boston Patriots” before they were “New England”. With apologies to the other cities (including Foxborough, where the team plays its home games), we are going to look at Boston as the Patriots’ city. That makes our two cities Boston, Massachusetts and Atlanta, Georgia.
There’s no question that Boston is a literary titan. We’ll be seeing several superstars take the field, and its also a popular setting for fiction. The latter may be true in part because it is so recognizable: all it takes is a character saying that something is “wicked good”, and we know that’s Boston talk.
However, Atlanta does have an MVP (Most Valuable Paperback) which became a movie which may still have the most attendances of all time (well, to date, anyway).
Let’s start out with Boston:
Entering the field first is a pioneer of short stories, mysteries, and more but best-known for tales of the macabre. Poetry, prose, and adaptations from Roger Corman and Vincent Price to John Cusack, it’s Edgar Allan Poe (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).
Joining Poe is another poet/prose double-threat with a posthumous Pulitzer Prize: The Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath.
Moving up to the modern day, author Dennis Lehane has been adapted into well-known movies directed by some of Hollywood’s best: Mystic River (Clint Eastwood), Gone, Baby, Gone (Ben Affleck), and Shutter Island (Martin Scorcese).
Not particularly known as a team player, the always self-reliant Ralph Waldo Emerson has taken the field for Boston.
The Fearsome Four will no doubt strike fear into the Atlanta team.
And here comes the first Atlanta author now!
No trace of that fear as the Prince of Pages confidently strides into position…what discipline! It’s the Great
John Ciardi and Gelett Burgess have joined their Boston teammates…but something is happening at the Southern end of the field. There’s a buzz rising through the crowd. Smoke has come out of the tunnel, but in these weather conditions, it should clear quickly. The crowd is on their feet now! Clearly, this is a beloved author! People are holding up signs…”50x”, “100x”, representing the number of times they’ve read this author’s most famous work. The sun glints off a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. The Boston team straightens their shoulders and some shade their eyes…they are clearing preparing for a challenge.
Four little words of one syllable each are all that need to be said: “Gone with the Wind”.
This promises to be quite a contest! While there is no denying the Sherman tank which is GwtW, Poe/Emerson/Lehane/Plath inspire an incredible amount of passion for the North. Looking at Mitchell, though, that smirk has one obvious message for the Bostonians…the South doesn’t give a…
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
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