About Me

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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winged World

WingedWorld on Etsy preserves obsolete library card catalog cards by turning them into pieces of art.








Colin Wilson, overpriced at nothing

© ​Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Publishing his diaries in the Daily Mail, Colin Wilson announced “I am the major literary genius of our century”. But, alas, he went from hero to zero in just two years.

More: TheTLS

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Library Hand, the Penmanship Style Made for Card Catalogs


“Library hand,” was a penmanship style developed for the purpose of keeping catalogs standardized and legible. Developed by a group of librarians at a conference in September, 1885 it was as near to type as possible and did away away with individual characteristics. It was based on a style used by inventor Thomas Edison who had been experimenting with penmanship styles in order to find the most speedy and legible type of handwriting for telegraph operators.

More: Atlas Obscura

Thanks Bruce!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Writing to Survive: A Father on the Death of His Young Son

I write to avoid the pain, to find out if I still exist, to make sure I did not vanish on the river.

I write to stop roaming the streets.

I write because our lives tipped over and I want to understand the world into which I have tumbled.

I write in homage and remembrance, in contrition and penitence.

I write so that Owen will be less alone.
More:Literary Hub



St├ęphane Gerson’s memoir of his family, Disaster Falls, is available from Crown.

The Lighthouse

This short debut novel by Alison Moore was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. A nondescript recently separated man named Futh, we never learn his first name, embarks on a solo walking tour in Germany. He recalls similar trips he's taken with his parents and with his estranged wife. His mother left her marriage when he was a young boy and he was brought up by his father, a somewhat cruel man who starts a new relationship with a neighbour who is the mother of Futh's friend, Kenny.
His holiday begins at the Hellhaus (Lighthouse) guesthouse which is run by Ester and Bernard, whose marriage is very unhappy. Ester is frequently unfaithful and Bernard beats her. Futh inadvertently leaves Bernard with the false impression that he and Ester have had a more than casual encounter. He cannot understand why Bernard has taken such a dislike to him. He leaves the hotel to continue his walk and plans to return in a week. He gets lost and sunburned and gets painful blisters because he neglected to break his shoes in before his trip. As he walks along, in serious discomfort, he recalls scenes from his childhood, most of them vaguely unpleasant. There is a sense that there is more to these scenes than he discloses. He is obviously marked by his mother's abandonment of him. He carries a small silver lighthouse case that once held a bottle of perfume in his pocket because it reminds him of her. Esther has a similar lighthouse that Bernard has given her but it is made from wood.
In his everyday life Futh is a chemist who creates artificial scents. The chapters are named for smells that evoke a resonance within  him: violets, oranges, cigarette smoke and camphor.
The novel is disquieting and, as Futh's journey continues, Moore builds up an atmosphere of tension and the feeling that he is moving towards something menacing. Moore's writing is superbly spare and conveys a great deal in few words.
Moore has subsequently written two novels which I intend to read (He Wants and Death And The Seaside)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

First Known Appearance of Marcel Proust On Film

95 years after his death, Proust scholars think they’ve found the first known appearance of the literary legend on film, reported French weekly Le Point on Feb. 15.  In a 1904 clip of the wedding of Armand de Guiche and Elaine Greffulhe, members of the French nobility, a man in a bowler hat and light jacket rushes by the procession at second 36. According to experts, he is dressed just as the author of In Search of Lost Time was known to dress.



Via 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Russia's Most Expensive Library

The Book Capella in St. Petersburg is Russia's most expensive library. Owned by publishing house Alfaret it is a beautiful gothic-style space.



Project coordinator Irina Khoteshova says that the library contains over 5,000 rare books dating from between the 16th and the 19th centuries, all of them published by Alfaret. The average price per book stands at between 30,000 and 50,000 rubles ($500 to $840 at the current exchange rates), but some editions are much more expensive.


As distinct from all Russian public libraries, which are free to enter, the Book Capella charges 7,000 rubles ($117) for a four-hour visit. Visitors can also buy a two-hour gift certificate for 4,000 rubles ($67).

More here

Thanks Bruce!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Community Reading of Elie Wiesel's Iconic Book ‘Night’

In honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene paid tribute to the late author, activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel with a live-streamed community reading of his iconic biography Night.



The event took place on on the evening of January 29, 2017 and included celebrities, community leaders and friends.

Link 

Literary Love Lives


You never do know what goes on in other people’s homes. But you might have a better chance if they happen to be writers.  From Verlaine and Rimbaud to Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, Literary Hub brings us some legendary romantic relationships of the literary world.

Monday, February 13, 2017

“The Scorpion,” a strange fable by Paul Bowles

The Scorpion

by

Paul Bowles



An old woman lived in a cave which her sons had hollowed out of a clay cliff near a spring before they went away to the town where many people live. She was neither happy nor unhappy to be there, because she knew that the end of life was near and that her sons would not be likely to return no matter what the season. In the town there are always many things to do, and they would be doing them, not caring to remember the time when they had lived in the hills looking after the old woman...



Read More: Biblioklept

Friday, February 10, 2017

T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” In Comic Book Form


Read Julian Peters’ comic book adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s 1910 poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” here

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Dystopia In The Next Room


"Given the inauguration of the new president, The Mandibles can appear prescient. In the book, there is a wall between Mexico and the US, and Mexico does pay for it – though in my future the wall is to keep unemployed Americans (or Ameritrash) out. Yet in most of its detail, the book isn’t prophetic. Right now, the dollar isn’t plummeting in value; the currency is thriving. While the US national debt continues to rise, the feds are still pretending that they’ll pay the money back. The president in the novel may not be an economics whizz, but he’s not a reckless, unqualified jackass. Nevertheless, there may be a centre-not-holding atmosphere to my most recent novel – a disturbing sense that apparently just about anything could happen, and all bets are off."
Lionel Shriver on dystopia and The Mandibles

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Richard B. Wright, author of Clara Callan, dies at 79

So sorry to hear of the death of St. Catharines writer Richard B. Wright. He published over 15 books during his illustrious career, including the novels Nightfall, The Age of Longing and In the Middle of a Life.

His best known novel, Clara Callan, which follows two sisters during the Great Depression, won the 2001 Giller Prize (now known as the Scotiabank Giller Prize), the 2001 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the 2002 Trillium Book Award.

We had some mutual friends and I met him several times. He was a very nice, down-to-earth fellow.

CBC Books

Literary Site Takes on Trump

On January 30, Paula Whyman and Mikail Iossel launched Scoundrel Time, a literary site dedicated to combatting the greed and evil of Donald Trump. Via 

The First Known Printed Bookplate


The first known bibliophile to adorn his collection with the personal touch of a bookplate is Hilprand Brandenburg of Biberach
. The 1480 woodcut print, on view in The Art of Ownership: Bookplates and Book Collectors from 1480 to the Present at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, depicts an angel holding a shield emblazoned with an ox.

More here