Somber and What?

During my effort to redesign this blog a month or two ago, several people made a point to suggest that the colors should be dull so as to be consistent with the title and, er, theme of the blog.

I had to remind people that the title was intended to be ironic. I may be somber and dull, but I’m really not trying to be!

A couple years ago I decided one day to see what was involved in creating a blog. When it comes to things like this, I don’t read up on things. I just jump in and fiddle. So, I went to the Blogger site to create a blog.

I quickly was faced with the fact that I had to give the blog a name.

I had been reading – re-reading, actually – Alan Paton‘s marvelous novel Cry, the Beloved Country. (Take this as an advertisement. If you are looking for a good book to read, pick this one up.)


The main character in the novel is a poor, black Anglican pastor named Stephen Kumalo (pictured here as marvelously played by James Earl Jones in the movie version of the novel). Paton introduces him as “a parson, somber and rather dull, no doubt, and his hair was turning white.” Well, I’m a parson, and my hair is turning white. I’m not black, but the sobriquet ‘somber and dull’ was kind of appealing to me.

So, that was on my mind, and when Blogger asked for a name, in went Somber and Dull.

It has grown on me. I like the ironic tone. Either way it fits. If the blog is somber and dull, the title fits. If the blog is bright and interesting, then it suits the ironic intent. I can’t lose.

Enough of that. Now go get the book and read it.

(By the way, the current picture in the banner (that, of course, could change without notice!) is one I took of a sunset in the Smoky Mountains in the summer of 2008. Obviously no scenes like that here in Florida. Maybe during one of my yearly visits to the beach I’ll take a photo there and use it here.)

6 thoughts on “Somber and What?

  1. MagistraCarminum

    If I had to choose my favorite 20th century novel, this would be it, hands down. And I got the “somber and dull” from the start, just for the record.The picture is beautiful.Chris in NM

  2. Gus/Adri

    How I agree with Chris on the novel! But Too Late the Phalarope may be even better. I think “somber and dull” suits perfectly. ;)Not!–ae

  3. MagistraCarminum

    Adri-I also enjoyed Too Late the Phalarope, but not as much. There is so much redemption in Cry the Beloved Country…Chris in NM

  4. Randy Greenwald

    Thanks for the comps on the picture, Chris. I shot about thirty pictures of that sun going down. More precious in the memory, though, was that the entire family was there enjoying the sunset. What a treasure that was.Too Late the Phalarope is good. Both books probe the regrets of fatherhood, and that is, well, somber. But not dull.And before I leave the subject, I thought JEJ was good in the movie version, but Richard Harris was remarkable. That said, the movie misses, in my mind, most of the redemptive themes. Still worth watching, however.

  5. TulipGirl

    I’d heard of, but not read, Paton’s wonderful works. Picked up a copy at the Goodwill Bookstore yesterday, reminded by this post.

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