A Good Year for the GRS Weblog

Dear readers and friends of George R. Stewart,

As the days in the northern hemisphere begin to grow longer, it’s a good time to review the year of this weblog.  Fortunately, WordPress makes that easy by setting up a page which reviews log activity – number of posts, number of visitors, number of comments, where the visitors are located, and  sites referring them.  I’ve made the page public so you can see how your involvement has helped make the writing rewarding.

It is particularly interesting to me that the posts have been read by people in 49 countries.  If I were a numerologist, I might comment that the number 49 has great significance:  Earth Abides, Stewart’s great work, honored by Philip Aaberg’s music and author James Sallis’s essay, was published in 1949.   Since the novel has never been out of print, that’s 66 years of good reading for that one book alone.

One highlight of the year was the chance to travel old U.S.40 with Frank Brusca as he re-photographed sites for Stewart’s famous book about the highway.

Another, related, highlight was the successful sponsoring of an interpretive sign on old US 40 at Donner Summit about Stewart.  The sign was successfully sponsored by several friends of Stewart’s work, and designed by Bill Oudegeest of the Donner Summit Historical Society.

With luck, another honoring and educational effort will be finished in early 2016.  Sponsors are donating the funding for the publication of the sheet music for Philip Aaberg’s  “Earth Abides.”

The weblog also brought connections with novelist Christopher Priest, whose award-winning novel The Prestige was filmed with Hugh Jackman and Christopher Bale in starring roles, and Junlin Pan, a Chinese scholar working at an Illinois University, who’s translating Names on the Land into Chinese for one of the largest publishing houses in China.  I had the great pleasure of discussing Stewart’s work with Christopher Priest; and the similarly great pleasure of helping Junlin Pan with some of the more esoteric references in the footnotes to Stewart’s names book.

It’s been a good year for this weblog, and I thank all of you who’ve been following it, and especially those commenting on the writing.  May all of you have a Happy New Year, and a good 2016.

 

2 thoughts on “A Good Year for the GRS Weblog

  1. I just learned about the Berkeley Historical Plaque Project and want to urge someone to submit the Stewart house (which I found once through a street directory in the Berkeley Public Library), which is where I assume George wrote. As a student of political science, it has special meaning for me because, as I understand it, it was the model for Ish’s house and living room is where the state was created, so to me it’s something like Independence Hall.

  2. What a great idea, Greg!

    Yes, the Stewart home on San Luis Road is Ish’s house. GRS did most of his writing there, until they moved to a new home on 100 Codornices – so Earth Abides would have been written in that house. A plaque would be most appropriate. Another important site is Indian Rock Park is where they held the Ceremony of the Years. The address is 807 San Luis Rd. According to Jack Stewart, the house has been substantially changed since the Stewarts left. Somewhere I have a photo of it taken by the Stewarts, and will look for that. In the meantime, here’s a link to the Google map street view of the place:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/807+San+Luis+Rd,+Berkeley,+CA+94707/@37.8946119,-122.2710435,3a,75y,37.92h,95.17t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sFwHGzdB3jHjkv2_Vh4X4fw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DFwHGzdB3jHjkv2_Vh4X4fw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D86%26h%3D86%26yaw%3D54.002289%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x80857954a6dcb7c1:0xfc4e92f32032f092!6m1!1e1

    If we can help you with the plaque project, please let me know. A group has just funded a GRS interpretive sign on old US 40 at the summit, to be installed after the snows melt. We’re also working on getting funding for the publication of Philip Aaberg’s composition, Earth Abides, inspired by the book.

    My book about GRS has more information about the house. It’s an expensive book, but there’s a copy in the Cal Berkeley libraries.

    All the best.

    DMS

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