Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
cx38
Title
"A Feast of Memories."
Genre
Essay
Page Count
4
Word Count
1800
Publisher
Woman
Publication Year
1971
Document Types
Full-text Online
Autobiographical
Eads, Additions to
Topics
War, Music, Christmas

Bates remembers his childhood experiences of both "Big Feast Sunday" at summer solstice and the Feast of Winter Solstice (Christmas Day and Boxing Day), focusing particularly on the smells and tastes associated with Christmastime. The final paragraphs of the essay, reprinted in an unidentified compilation under the title "Candle Power," recollect a Christmas meal near the beginning of the second World War in which the Bates family was joined by both a Czech couple with their young child and a German woman with her daughter (the husband being in a concentration camp). Seeking a means to alleviate the sadness of the gathering, Bates played a recording of Dvorak: "If my aim had been to deepen rather than disperse the sadness, I could scarcely have chosen better...I looked up and saw the young Czech couple openly weeping. I knew then where their hearts were." In Woman (December 25, 1971, pp. 20, 21, 22, 24).


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