Event Category: Literary Events
San Miguel Literary Sala
Myron Echenberg and Janet Dunnett
Thursday, March 14, 5-7pm
Hotel Posada de Aldea,
Ancha de San Antonio 15
$100 pesos ($50 pesos for Literary Sala members)
A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey to the End of Life
Complimentary Wine Reception
March Literary Sala: Humboldt, and End of Life Caregiving
By Carole Schor
The Literary Sala is proud to present on March 14 stories of two different journeys by two San Miguel writers. Myron Echenberg, author of Humboldt’s Mexico, will speak on Alexander von Humboldt and his scientific exploration of Mexico at the turn of the 19th century. Janet Dunnett, author of The Dwindling, will speak about her journey as a caregiver for her mother’s end of life.
Alexander von Humboldt has been called the world’s most illustrious scientist before Charles Darwin, and Darwin says he could not have accomplished what he did with out von Humboldt’s work before him. Humboldt’s exploration of Mexico and South America for four years was a scientific discovery of the New World, with adventures ranging from inspections of colonial silver mines and hikes to the summits of volcanoes to meticulous examination of secret Spanish colonial archives in Mexico City and scientific discussions of archaeological sites of pre-Hispanic Indigenous cultures.
Myron Echenberg recently retired as a professor at McGill University in Canada. In Humboldt’s Mexico, he writes about the amazing yearlong journey of Humboldt through Mexico where he measured, recorded, observed and wrote about everything that had previously been unknown and unchartered, with remarkable industry and accuracy. Humboldt climbed mountains, trekked up active volcanoes, descended into mines, recorded geographical coordinates, and collected numerous specimens and antiquities. In 1811, he wrote the first systematic scientific description of the New World. Humboldt was a humanist, a naturalist, a botanist, a geographer, and a geologist; and through his travels, experiments, and knowledge, he transformed western science in the 19th century.
Janet Dunnett is the author of The Dwindling: A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey to the End of Life. According to Dunnett, one in four Canadians is involved in caregiving for a relative or close friend, taking care of the daily tasks of life for someone in his or her last days. Dunnett describes the stages of life as “Go Go, Go Slow, and No Go!” Through the wonders of modern science and medicine, we have been given a rich gift of longevity. However, according to Dunnett, some of us do not have the means or knowledge to manage the extra time. She speaks of the new paradigms of “ultimate dwindling” and the slow slide toward death; the “silver tsunami” of increasing numbers of the aged and sick; the “Death Positive Movement;” and how death has become a new adventure to approach with curiosity and preparation.
Janet’s experience changed her life, mostly by the act of telling her story. She has learned that stories can spark change, and can infuse a life with energy and guide it in the best directions. She believes in the importance for all of us of telling our stories.
Join us for an inspiring look at the world’s greatest scientific traveler and a journey through the end of life, March 14 at 5 PM at Hotel La Aldea. Admission is $50 pesos for members, $100 pesos for non-members, including a wine and snack reception.