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Soviet Resistance Literature

By Audrey Golden. Apr 25, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry, History

During periods of tyranny, writers of fiction become subject to intense censorship and scrutiny. Remarkably, novelists and poets from the early decades of the Soviet Union produced some of the most imaginative and redemptive works in the history of the twentieth century. From the poems of Vladimir Mayakovsky to the realist prose of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet resistance literature occupies an important place in the contemporary imagination when it comes to linking fiction with politics.

     
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Marginalia and Why You Should Write in Your Books

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 24, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Literature

When you pick up a book to read, do you also pick up a pencil, ready to mark up the margins with your thoughts and ideas? If so, your written additions are part of a body of writings called marginalia. For many readers, scribbling on the pages of books is a beloved, recreational practice. For others, it’s more of a necessity. Whether they are humorous jots and tittles, lessons learned from the story, or more serious notes of textual analysis, marginalia are simply fascinating.

     
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Anthony Trollope, Wanderlust, and How The "Mastiffs" Went to Iceland

By Brian Hoey. Apr 23, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, First Editions

At a certain point, it seems unusual that any writer should ply his trade in Ireland. Of the small nation’s four Nobel Prize winners in literature, two, Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw, conducted most of their literary careers abroad in France and England, respectively. And, of course, that pair barely scratches the surface of Irish writers’ propensity, as a group, to work in self-imposed exile. Where literary titans like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde could scarcely abscond from the Emerald Isle quickly enough, the Hibernian countryside proved an ideal starting-point for one of England’s most idiosyncratic novelists: Anthony Trollope.

     
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Charles Lamb and Retelling Shakespeare

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 22, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Shakespeare's influence on our everyday language is undeniable. Any time you’ve waited "with bated breath” or taken “cold comfort,” you can thank Shakespeare for your phraseology. Have you recently found yourself “in a pickle” or been sent on a “wild goose chase?” Shakespeare coined those descriptors, as well. Maybe you are thinking everything in this paragraph is a “foregone conclusion.” Well, that’s Shakespeare, too. Truly, Shakespeare’s cultural reach is wide. But think for a minute about your earliest exposure to Shakespeare’s actual works. Was it college? High school? Even before then? In the 19th century, one man worked to bring the great Shakespearean dramas to an even younger audience. His name was Charles Lamb.

     
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Umberto Eco: Kant and the Platypus

By Brian Hoey. Apr 21, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

For many years it was believed that Immanuel Kant never made it more than ten miles outside of Konigsberg. Even though this is demonstrably false (he spent some years working as a tutor in Russia) public perception of the father of modern philosophy has not changed. Thousands of freshman philosophy students each year will happily speculate about Kant’s fussiness, his cloistered lifestyle, and what many diagnose as a desperate need to get out of the house more. The grumblings of would-be thinkers notwithstanding, it’s hard to gripe too much about the man who redefined philosophy in the 18th Century, forever altering the trajectory of human thought. It can, however, still be hard to envision the great thinker coming into contact with anything downright bizarre.

     
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Why You Should Read Charlotte Brontë's The Professor

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 20, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Charlotte Brontë was the third oldest sister in a remarkably learned family. Brontë is best known and loved for her masterpiece, Jane Eyre. After all, who isn’t captivated by Jane’s spirit and resilience and her love saga with Mr. Rochester? Though Jane Eyre was the first of Charlotte Brontë’s novels to be published, it actually was not the first one she wrote. That title goes to The Professor. Although it has earned less popular esteem, here are three reason to pick up and read The Professor.

     
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A Brief History of Postcolonial Literature, Part I

By Audrey Golden. Apr 19, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Book History

Since the 1980s, numerous novelists, dramatists, and poets have been marketed as postcolonial writers. But what is postcolonial literature? In the broadest terms, this category includes works that have a relationship to the subjugating forces of imperialism and colonial expansion. In short, postcolonial literature is that which has arisen primarily since the end of World War II from regions of the world undergoing decolonization. Works from such regions in the 20th and 21st centuries, such as the Indian subcontinent, Nigeria, South Africa, and numerous parts of the Caribbean, for example, might be described as postcolonial. 

     
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How Best to Begin Collecting Native American Fiction

By Audrey Golden. Apr 18, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American Literature

Are you thinking about starting a new collection that focuses on Native American literature, including First Nations fiction? Whether you’re looking for works published by notable presses in the U.S. or small-press collections, collecting titles by indigenous authors can be an exciting process. From Native Canadian writers like George Clutesi to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors such as N. Scott Momaday, we have some great ideas to get you started.

     
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The Legacy of Gabriel García Márquez

By Matt Reimann. Apr 17, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

In November 2014, the University of Texas paid $2.2 million for the archives of Gabriel García Márquez. It is hard to put a price on the private works of a colossal author, but if one is assigned, that price is necessarily significant. So, it seems the scramble for his papers and manuscripts is just one of the ways the world is dealing with García Márquez's illustrious legacy.

     
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Libraries and Special Collections: Carnegie Libraries

By Katie Behrens. Apr 16, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries

Andrew Carnegie left his name on a lot of American landmarks—Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Mellon University, for example—but perhaps no other philanthropic mission did quite so much good for so many as the libraries he funded. Carnegie believed in helping those who helped themselves, so the public library, where people of all walks of life came seeking knowledge, greatly appealed to him. The first Carnegie library built in the United States became a National Historic Landmark in 2012, and there are hundreds still in use.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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