September 30, 96

Vol. 12 , No. 02   

A New Translation of Genesis

0ne of the preeminent translators of our time, Stephen Mitchell has rendered the Book of Job (1987) into modern English. This work has been hailed as one of the greatest Biblical translations since the King James Bible. Robert Alter, Northrop Frye, and critics as diverse as Erik H. Erikson and W. S. Merwin have praised Mitchell's new translation. Now Mitchell has turned his attention to the Book of Genesis (1996), one of the most important books in history, attempting to capture the power, dignity, and earthiness of the original Hebrew. He has worked toward freshness and clarity by separating the sources of the original and omitting all the parts known as scribal additions.

Mitchell has also translated some of the most important of the world's other sacred books, including Tao Te Ching (1989), the Gospel According to Jesus (1993), and The Enlightened Mind: An Anthology of Sacred Prose (1991). His numerous other achievements as a translator include The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (1984) and Rilke 's Sonnets to Orpheus (1993). Educated at Amherst, the University of Paris, and Yale, Mitchell began Zen training in 1973.

Please join us for Stephen Mitchell's presentation of this major new translation, the second in a three-part series The Bible.

From Claremont to the Himalaya: Climbing Personal Eversts

Michael Graber '74 has a heart for adventure and an eye for cinematography. The avid climber's love of mountains, including Mount Everest, which he has climbed numerous times, led him to pursue a career in which he could share the sport's beauty with the world through articles and photography.

Although he began as a climber for ABC's program American Sportsman, Graber soon moved to the other side of the camera. He has worked on a number of a winning documentaries, including Antarctic Odyssey (1988), Surviving Denali (1993), and Extreme Games (1995).

Graber covered the war in Afghanistan for CBS News. His love of the natural environment has taken him all over the world to shoot the outdoors' most awesome events. The cinematographer has gone on to found Michael Graber Productions, which has helped in the production of several IMAX films and such recent hits as Endless Summer 2 (1994), Crimson Tide (1995), and Twister (1996).

Graber's films, informed by his outdoor adventures, capture the realism of nature. One of Graber's recent adventure films, Keepers of the Coast (1996), recently received a silver Cindy award and a bronze from Worldfest Houston. Michael Graber graduated from CMC in 1974 with a degree in philosophy. During his time at the college he played football for the Stags and received the Most Valuable Player designation his senior year.

Michael Graber will share life experiences in a lecture and slide presentation as part of the Athenaeum's alumni series The Winning Spirit in Sports and in Life.

What Women Want
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1996 12:15 p.m.

In her tenure as president of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland has continued and revitalized the organization's traditions of activism and political savvy that work on behalf of women's legal and social status in America.

Sought after by the news media and the academic community alike for insight into everything from Zoe Baird's nomination to affirmative action, Ireland has the nation's ear when it comes to women's issues. Her influence also extends beyond the United States as she organizes and participates in international conferences on feminism and the barriers to equality that women face across geographic, economic, and ethnic lines.

Before coming to her leadership position in NOW, Ireland practiced corporate and commercial law in Miami, Florida. Ireland's relationship with NOW began with her serving as the organization's pro bono legal counsel. Ireland's recent book, What Women Want (1996), details her personal and political journey to NOW leadership and reveals what she sees as the road ahead for all feminists in America.

For 30 years, NOW has worked to dismantle the systems that kept women as second-class citizens in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Patricia Ireland carries on this task today as she reminds us of what has been done, what is imperiled, and what must still be done.

Reservations are required for lunch, which is served at 11:45 a.m. No reservations are needed for the lecture, which begins at 12:15 p.m.

Jazz Trio Concert. The Return of Bulldog Drummond
RAY DRUMMOND '68, bass

Says Ray Drummond, "For me, jazz is a calling. It's a mission. Jazz is a language. It's got its vocabulary, its punctuation." Ray Drummond's musical language is a part of over 100 jazz albums and has been heard in major jazz venues the world over. He and his string bass, "Mama," are eagerly welcomed anywhere and everywhere by jazz connoisseurs.

This CMC alumnus also once spoke the language of business for a living. A successful three-year stint with Harris Management Company meant a stable income and executive perks, but not enough time for jazz. Drummond left in 1977 to move to New York to pursue his professional jazz career.

Although Eddie Marshall's career as a professional drummer began with an accidental gig, he has gone on to perform with the big names in contemporary jazz. Performer, composer, and teacher, Marshall is one of today's most respected jazz artists.

This fall, Marshall will begin teaching on the faculty of San Francisco State University for their recently developed Jazz Studies program.

Since embarking on his professional career in the early '70s, pianist Paul Nagel has amassed an impressive list of recordings and performances with jazz and blues greats.

Nagel has joined the likes of everyone from bassist Ray Brown to vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and his talent has been heard in jazz festivals from San Francisco to Vienna, but he continues to reside in Berkeley, California.

"The Athenaeum did not exist when I was a CMC student. As an alumnus who has both presented and attended programs there, I can safely say that it continues CMC's tradition of excellence and intimacy in matters educational and cultural," says Ray Drummond as he brings his talent home for this special concert at the Athenaeum. Dinner reservations are for CMC persons only. The concert at 6:45 p.m. is open to all.

The Crisis of Meaning and Values in American Politics

Michael Lerner is well known in literary and political circles for his willingness to take stands on issues from which other scholars shy away. As early as his college days, he was an outspoken advocate for peace and a national leader of the antiwar movement. Lerner has gained worldwide recognition for his bold stands on the Israeli peace process and other issues of national and international concern.

Lerner received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary under Abraham Joshua Heschel. In 1995 he was ordained as a rabbi by a Jewish Renewal rebbe.

In the 1970s Lerner founded the Institute for Labor and Mental Health. During his work at the institute, he came to understand the psychological aspects of America's market economy and political party system.

Lerner continued his work in this field by founding TIKKUN magazine in 1986. Through this journal he hopes to provide an ethical and spiritual dimension to the liberal movement of politics. The magazine is a bimonthly Jewish critique of "Politics, Culture, and Society." Lerner is also the author of a number of books, including Surplus Powerlessness (1991), Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation (1994), Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin (1995), and The Politics of Meaning: Restoring Hope and Possibility in an Age of Cynicism (1996).

Crossing the Border: U.S. Latino Writers on the Move

Helena Maria Viramontes, author of The Moths and Other Stories (1985) and Under the Feet of Jesus (1995), will be the second of several prominent writers who will visit CMC over the course of the fall 1996-97 semester to participate in the Gould Center's series on U.S. Latino literature. The series, organized and directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist Ruben Martinez, will provide a forum for artists who have brought to their work a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and outlooks. As Martinez puts it, "Though their experiences and styles differ, the Caribbean-American writers of the East Coast or the Chicano/Mexican-American authors of the West allow us a glimpse of the future in their works; no matter what the political outcome of the battle over immigration or the 'culture wars,' the Latino literary voice posits that American culture is on the move again, remaking itself for the 21st century."

The reception of Viramontes's work validates Martinez's assertion. In 1995 she was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature "for her use of places and characters that are distinctly American, yet are not usual or stereotypical in American fiction; the amazing variety and experimentalism of her individual works of fiction; and, above all, the stunning unity of each work, with word and idea, image, symbol, and theme all woven into a seamless whole." A native of East Los Angeles, Viramontes, who studied with Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Schindler's List (1993) author Thomas Keneally, credits her mentors with reinforcing "my increasing admiration for the power of imaginative renderings of worldviews . . ."

Viramontes currently teaches at Cornell University, where she continues to add to her already considerable output of essays, screenplays, and literary fiction. At present, she is at work on several projects, among which is her second novel, Their Dogs Came with Them (1996).

How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? The 50s: An Important Yet Maudlin Decade

Hugh Gallagher '56 returns to Claremont not only as an alumnus but also as a scholar, writer, and civil rights activist. He drafted and conceived the very first civil rights legislation for disabled people, the National Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. The breadth of Gallagher's knowledge and successful pursuits are evident in the awards and honors he has won.

Rebounding from his bout with polio, Gallagher wrote about another polio victim, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR's Splendid Deception: The Moving Story of Roosevelt's Massive Disability and the Intense Efforts to Conceal It from the Public (1985) was awarded a medal by the United Nations Writers Society for "distinguished biography." Gallagher's most recent book, By Trust Betrayed: Patients, Physicians, and the License to Kill in the Third Reich (1989), is a selection of the Conservative Book Club as well as praised by the American Library Association.

In addition to authoring four successful books, Gallagher also has vast experience in Washington, D.C. After studying at Oxford University, Gallagher returned to the U.S. to work as a legislative assistant for two senators before joining the Johnson presidential campaign of 1968 and working in the Johnson White House. In the early '70s he worked as a lobbyist for British Petroleum and then went on to start his own political consulting firm for European and Australian CEOs.

Currently, Gallagher consults at the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in addition to working as a free-lance writer and scholar.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet a distinguished CMC alumnus in the Athenaeum series entitled Alumni Through the Decades.

An Evening With a Peach and Its Farmer

Although Mas Masumoto's book Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm (1996) has won awards under the category of food writing, this family farmer's message is more cultural than culinary. Distressed at the possibility of having to plow under his delicious Sun Crest peachtree orchard because the fruit lacks a shelf life, Masumoto decided to keep hope, turn away the bulldozers, and document his experiences.

The result is a lyrical testimony of small family farming, an endangered way of life in an America sometimes in conflict with the business of farming. The narrative is also a personal meditation on how our society values food, family traditions, and community. A third-generation farmer and Japanese American living in eastern San Joaquin Valley, Masumoto grows peaches and grapes and raises two children with his wife, Marcy. His peaches are a part of his family history, but the vagaries of fruit markets and the impersonal hand of nature make for an uncertain future.

"My peaches are part of a tradition on our farm, they hold meaning for my family," he writes. "But the pressures for progress challenge that meaning. My peaches are like the traditions of the homeland- you don't simply leave them behind, you carry them with you like historical baggage."

Masumoto is also the author of Silent Strength (1984), Home Bound (1989), and Country Voices: The Oral History of a Japanese American Family Farm Community (1987), as well as several newspaper and magazine articles. He received the James Clavell Japanese American National Literacy Award in 1986 and Epitaph for a Peach won the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award in the Literary Food Writing category, despite the fact that the book contains no recipes. Mas Masumoto is also a farm activist and member of the California Council for the Humanities.

Please join the Athenaeum and Mas Masumoto for a reflective evening on culture and values, including a reading from Epitaph for a Peach.

The Making of a Champion

According to Sports Illustrated magazine, "Some swimmers have to train their guts out to be great. And some just are." The journal is paraphrasing the great swimmer Gary Hall Sr., who is speaking not of himself, but of his son, Gary Hall Jr., winner of two gold medals and two silver medals for swimming in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

Gary Hall Jr. began swimming at the age of 15 when his father, Gary Hall Sr., himself the winner of medals in three consecutive Olympics, decided that it was time for his son to get involved. The elder Hall was hoping to give his son some focus. By the age of 18, Gary Hall Jr. was the junior national long-course champion in both the 50m and 100m races. In 1994 he took second in both events at the World Championships and was part of the gold-medal winning 4x 100m freestyle relay team. At the Pan-Pacific Championships in 1995, Hall placed first in all three events.

Known for his carefree attitude and laid-back style of training, Hall has distinguished himself in virtually every way from his father, who is best known for his fierce concentration and dedication to the sport. Hall's easy-going personality and self-described lackadaisical attitude toward preparation also left his coaches wondering how he would perform at the games in Atlanta. Their questions were answered as Hall set a world record in the 4x 100m medley relay, also won a gold medal for his performance in the 4x 100 freestyle relay, and won silver medals in both the 50m and 100m races.

Dinner reservations are for CMC persons only. Please join us for the 6:45 p.m. presentation.

From the Director

In ancient Greece the word Athenaeum referred to buildings dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and in particular to a temple in Athens where poets, philosophers, and orators gathered to read and discuss their work. Founding trustee Donald McKenna envisioned such a place for CMC- where students and faculty would have the opportunity to come together as colleagues to share ideas, debate issues, and build friendships. The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is the culmination of this vision.

The Athenaeum is joining the festivities marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of CMC with a series of programs focusing on the era immediately following World War II. Here you will also meet distinguished alumni from the past five decades who are returning to campus to talk about their lives post-CMC-and perhaps reminisce about early days in Claremont. The fall schedule will also include a series on Latino writers, politics in 1996, jazz and classical musicians, Biblical scholars, and more!

The Fortnightly newsletter announcing upcoming events at the Athenaeum will appear in your mailbox every two weeks. I urge you to read it carefully. These are opportunities not to be missed. Reservations are required for dinner, but the 6:45 p.m. presentation is open to all. I look forward to meeting you.