Hello, Mr. Chips

In going through my own proliferation of “stuff”, namely, in particular lately, my collection of books, I’ve run across those that I’ve had seemingly forever or at least so long I don’t know how long – some I’ve mentioned in other places but this one, because of something else that’s happened recently, deserves mentioning here –

yes, in case the title doesn’t ring a bell – a book I’ve had for ever so long –

Good-bye, Mr. Chips

every time I run across it I feel as if I knew him and learned so much from him and loved him so much; maybe he reminds me of early bosses I had when first starting out in life – seemingly they were the tactiturn, crusty, curmudgeonly type with a heart of gold – loved them all

but today what’s thrown me is realizing that back in those days I rarely realized who was writing the stories and books of the people I loved so much – it was only the characters I was interested in, probably because then they were so real to me, so much so that if I thought too much on who was writing them they would cease to be real to me and become just the figment of someone’s imagination, so maybe now it’s my age showing but I can step back apace somewhat from that and learn a little more about these authors, which leads me to..

recently I was with a friend that we stepped into a new thrift shop looking for some more practical items but rarely, at least if they’re in my way, will a pass the book section by and in doing so this time, taking the time to turn every book the right way – you know, all those little things inveterate book lovers will do and – be still, my beating heart, ran across probably about the only other copy of this book ever – or at least in this version, which called itself – Good-bye Mr. Chips – and other stories – I having forgotten that initially Good-bye was indeed just a story and the rest came later to form the book – found this interesting to have made a point of that however. Didn’t get it then but had to make the trip back to take him home with me, discovering then tucked inside a little pamphlet titled The World’s Best Reading, telling the origin not only of Mr. Chips but the writing of the story, then biographical data of the author, which still somewhat just skimmed through until….

wait – Lost Horizon! bells ring! Shangri-La! James Hilton!

whoa – the author of Lost Horizon – a la – Shangri-La – wrote Good-bye Mr. Chips?!

no way!

How could I possibly have missed that?

back in the day if I did think much or know much about an author – either I – or they themselves – pigeonholed them – they just seemed to write only one type of book and that’s just what they did while recently I’ve discovered I’ve tended to find the – what shall I call them? outlier books of authors, it seems, as in there’ll be an author who’s a crime novelist but I won’t know anything about that – can you tell that’s not the type book I tend to read – until I find an entirely different type book that he’s written but at least I do tend to at least know that now – but not this –

never, even when I learned the book’s title that the movie Shangri-La was based on – and for somewhat else of a rarity – seemingly one of the few I saw the movie first long before I even knew or thought of it even being based on a book – and then learned of its author and really basically until I read this little booklet learning of his other works thought that was pretty much his only work – somewhat, since in the middle of this, like Harper Lee and what was thought of – and I still tend to put her in this category, in spite of current events – a one book author,

ever realized he was also the author of my beloved

Mr. Chips, who achieved that best reward of a well-spent life – to grow old beloved

something that Mr. Hilton was not allowed to do, dying at 54 yrs. old

(bringing up many other thoughts)

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About donnainthesouth

I'm a transplant, born up north but raised in the middle, now I'm down here where you don't see too many snowflakes; I'll probably post just about as often (here at least)
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2 Responses to Hello, Mr. Chips

  1. I absolutely loved this story. It’s amazing where the voyage of discovery will take you. I can completely relate to your bewilderment, by the way, at the author. It reminded me of the time I finally realized that the T.S. Eliot that wrote “Old Possum Book of Practical Cats” (the delightful children’s poetry collection on which the hit Broadway musical “Cats” is based on) and the T.S. Eliot who wrote such depressing offerings as “Wasteland” and “The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock” where the exactly same author… how did I not realize that sooner? Also, how could one author simultaneously write some of my most beloved and hated poems ever? Anyway, thank you so much for sharing. Oh, and keep on straightening the books at the store, and I will too. Way to show respect for the written word. 😉

  2. I know, amazing about the authors, isn’t it, like Twain with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and then his “dark writings”, as they call them – in deference to your blog, they say that’s what happens when you don’t have faith and then with what life had thrown at him, if you’ve read much about him – then maybe not quite so dark but I was still amazed at the difference in what Roald Dahl wrote for children – you know, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, et al and his adult works – but I still see the same thing even now with authors such as David Baldacci and his crime genre, which I’ve never read vs his Wish You Well, which is actually what introduced me to him

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