Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The passing of Barbara Mertz: queen of mysteries set in ancient Egypt; Andy Warhol grave webcam

Mertz, with a modern-day reincarnation of Bast
We're sorry to mark the passing of Egyptologist and mystery writer Barbara Mertz, whose first two books of the 70 she penned were Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt and Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Brief History of Ancient Egypt. “She writes with an informal grace and contagious enthusiasm rarely found in books by qualified scholars,” Orville Prescott wrote in The New York Times in his review of the latter.
Mertz received a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. We love her mysteries set in ancient Egypt, written under the pseudonym Elizabeth Peters (which she took from her children’s first names). Her favorite heroine was Amelia Peabody, a Victorian-era amateur Egyptologist and feminist who appeared in 19 books. In the 1950s, Mertz herself was unable to find work in academia because of sexism. “I recall overhearing one of my professors say to another: ‘At least we don’t have to worry about finding a job for her. She’ll get married,’” she wrote on her website. Their loss was our gain!
In other death-related news, the Andy Warhol Foundation has set up a live webcam with audio at the artist's grave. He wanted nothing on his tombstone, but it reads Andy Warhol with his dates (behind it is another tombstone reading Warhola, his original name). Wonder if someone will try to do a rubbing of it? I think he would enjoy the passing spectacle (or is)! Warhol is remembered with some of his peers in the the lovely book Pop Art.

8 comments:

  1. I did not realize Warhol died at such a young age. That’s a good idea about making rubbings of his tombstone, for art’s sake.

    p.s. In the low-brow department, when I first read Barbara Mertz I thought you were referring to Ethel Mertz, aka Fred’s wife. (I see in the Wikipedia that her full name was Ethel Roberta Louise Mae Mertz, née Potter.)

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    1. maybe do a bunch of them in different color chalks!!

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    2. That’s what I told a friend later, when I thought about it – four or six of the same thing, different colors, all in the same frame.

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  2. To find a kind of connection between these two souls, it is said that among Mr. Warhol's many and varied collections was found a mummified foot from ancient Egypt.

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    1. I remember Mr. Warhol's death like it was yesterday. His friends advised him to overcome his usual fear of hospitals because he was in pain and gallbladder surgery was routine.
      The surgery went fine, and he was sitting and watching TV, according to nurses. Then he died suddenly.
      The family sued the hospital; it was settled out of court. He died from a heart arrhythmia.
      Some fears perhaps should not be overcome.

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    2. was the heart thing unrelated to the surgery? because I thought it was bruited about that the hosp. was responsible (botched procedure).

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    3. The fact that they settled says something. Having been in the hospital recently, I am not at all surprised that he did not survive it.

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  3. Love the photo of Mertz in front of the pyramids.

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