Friday, December 30, 2011

The Tom Joad Project

This winter, Julie, Z, and I have taken on what we are calling "The Tom Joad Project." The three of us are all reading The Grapes of Wrath. In this current environment of economic austerity, it will be interesting to take a little trip back to that bleakest time of all. What are some of the key similarities and differences across the decades?

Once we are done with Steinbeck's classic, we are planning to delve into some of the art that has been inspired by the book. At the top of the list, of course, will be the film, starring Henry Fonda, that was based on the novel itself. Having never seen the film, I don't have any sense of how closely it hews to the original story.

Given my Springsteen fanaticism, we will be listening, and checking out the lyrics, to some of the most relevant tracks from the Boss's catalog. These songs will include "The Ghost of Tom Joad," which is an obvious choice, to say the least (along with Woody Guthrie's "The Ballad of Tom Joad"). And I plan on bringing out "Seeds," a little known, but powerful number that just rocks in concert.

What else should we be looking at? Are there any classic paintings? Other types of artwork altogether?



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