Sunday, April 06, 2008

Links & Reviews

This was a good week for links.

- In the most recent Audubon magazine, there's an "Archives" piece republished from the November 1988 issue: it's an essay by Frank Graham, Jr. called "Of Dreams and Dread," about the surreal nature of the fog along the coast of Maine. Having experienced this fog during my family's regular week there each July, I knew exactly what Graham meant when he writes "... in what it clothes, and in what it reveals, fog transforms our world, gilds it in gray, makes the poet in each of us wonder again at the variety of masks that nature puts on and off to enchant us." A delightful piece.

- I missed posting this on the appropriate day, but a commenter points out in my review of At Midnight on the Thirty-First of March that the Internet Archive has made a 31 March 1943 Author's Playhouse radio adaptation of the work available in mp3 format.

- Leon Voet's two-volume The Golden Compasses: A History and Evolution of the Printing and Publishing Activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp (1967) is now online, hosted by the DBNL.

- Martin has a post on the SI blog about the completion of Smithson's library at LT.

- Penn State has acquired the "Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora, an important assemblage of some 10,000 volumes relating to African-American, African, Latin American and Caribbean history and culture." The collection will open to the public on 18 April. This is Blockson's second major donation: his Afro-American History Collection was given to Temple in 1984.

- Travis notes that Jay Miller is due for release on 21 October. Sigh. He also notes that Lester Weber has filed a "motion to suppress statements" regarding the confession he made. Shocking.

- NPR hosted a discussion this week with Michael Farquhar, author of the new book A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans (Penguin).

- In the NYTimes this week, Susan Dominus commented on the dangers ebook readers pose to that time-honored subway tradition of checking out what your commute-neighbors are reading. [h/t LISNews]

- The Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC, the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities, the British Library, the Huntington Library, and the Scottish National Library are partnering to mount a digital library of all 75 pre-1641 quarto editions of Shakespeare online. Dan Cohen notes that the MITH is looking for a full-time programmer to work on the project.

- On the Guardian book blog, Shirley Dent comments on links between graphs and novels, saying in part "Change is the engine of both the modern graph and the modern novel. The graph and the novel are modern narrative forms, almost inconceivable before the industrial revolution and age of enlightenment had brought about a shift in our relationship with time and history. Put simply, in the 18th century, the world and history stopped being things that happened to us or around us: we become agents in our own history."

- Also the Guardian, Carol Rumens declares Oliver Wendell Holmes' "Dorothy Q" the "Poem of the Week," and writes of its author "Perhaps Browning is the English poet to whom he comes closest in style, though Wendell Holmes has a lighter touch, if less originality. American poetry, through Whitman, Pound, and others, would take a very different route into the twentieth century. But it's still possible to savour the fresh, natural, unpretentious quality in the diction, and sensibility, of the doctor-poet. I first met him in Richard Ellmann's New Oxford Book of American Verse (1976), and I've always intended to get to know him better. Perhaps the 200th anniversary of his birth next year will prompt some timely re-issue?"

I walk by the portrait referenced "Dorothy Q" almost every day; it hangs in a second-floor hallway at the MHS.


- In this week's TLS, Ferdinand Mount has a lengthy review essay of the aptronymic John Styles' The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England.

- Alberto Manguel's The Library at Night is reviewed by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post and by Richard Cox at Reading Archives. This one's up next for me, as soon as I finish some class projects.

- Elizabeth Hand reviews James Morrow's The Philosopher's Apprentice in the Washington Post.

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