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Matt Reimann
Reader, specializing in Twentieth Century and contemporary fiction. Committed to spreading an infectious passion for literature, language, and stories.

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Ten Quotes From Margaret Atwood, an Oracle of Our Time

By Matt Reimann. Nov 18, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Readers have adored Margaret Atwood since her debut novel, The Edible Woman, animated the anxieties and torments of contemporary female life. Ever since, Atwood has continued to write first-rate fiction, exploring themes of feminism, oppression, dystopia, and environmental disaster, earning her a dedicated and enthusiastic readership. The times have only caught up with her, vindicating those concerns and speculative scenarios that seemed excessively alarmist forty, thirty, or even five years ago. It is no wonder that in her long career, Atwood is probably more famous than she has ever been, now with a smash adaptation of her 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, on Hulu. As not only a storyteller but an oracle, she was the subject of a profile in The New Yorker this spring, which called her “the prophet of dystopia,” while those at Vox have lauded her as “the voice of 2017.”

     
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Ten Memorable Quotes From Pippi Longstocking Author Astrid Lindgren

By Matt Reimann. Nov 14, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

When Astrid Lindgren wrote Pippi Longstocking in 1945, she created a character that would captivate children the world over. Ever since, young readers of all generations have been charmed by the preternaturally strong, independent, and daring young redhead. The supervision-less, irreverent character scandalized a few readers in Lindgren’s day, who determined the anarchic protagonist a poor role model, but Pippi’s charm won out. Lindgren’s work has since been translated into dozens of languages and sold over 80 million copies.

     
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Five Facts About Albert Camus, the Coolest of Philosophers

By Matt Reimann. Nov 7, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners

Few thinkers have managed to make philosophy look cool. But within this rare breed, the photogenic, soccer-loving, provocative, and concise Albert Camus may be most eminent. With short and mystifying novels like The Stranger, and profound explorations like The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus’s philosophy was like a rallying cry for a generation of writers confused and traumatized by the Second World War. It was an elevated position that would win Camus the Nobel Prize in 1957, just two and a half years before his untimely death in a car accident at the age of 46.

     
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Six Interesting Facts About Stephen Crane

By Matt Reimann. Nov 1, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Stephen Crane accomplished much in his short life. Dead from tuberculosis at 28, the author left behind a body of work that captivated readers and significantly influenced writers like Ernest Hemingway. His first novel, Maggie, narrated the titular character’s fall from grace with a frank moral ambiguity that is now ubiquitous in contemporary fiction, film, and TV, but at the time was essentially unseen. Yet not only did Crane help pioneer modern narrative style, of course his most famous book, The Red Badge of Courage, remains well-read and enjoyed to this very day.

     
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Six Famous Authors in Costume

By Matt Reimann. Oct 31, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

If dressing up in costume seems immature or silly to you, well, you may be right. But to cast off foolish fun as unwise would be to ignore that many great minds, from Mark Twain to Virginia Woolf to F. Scott Fitzgerald, have adorned themselves in costume. In doing so, they placed themselves in part of a long tradition, from primitive masquerades to Greek theater to the Globe, in which storytelling is inextricable from costumes and play.

     
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Eight Great Book Adaptations

By Matt Reimann. Oct 24, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

“The book was better than the movie,” has always struck me as a strange phrase. It's not that I don't believe them. It's that it seems like one is comparing entirely different things when pitting a book against a movie; like saying that the trip to the museum was better than the crème brûlée. Books and moviesor book adaptationsmay tell the same story, but they are so different in their nature, and they provide their own distinct joys.

     
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Little-Known Facts About Arthur Miller

By Matt Reimann. Oct 17, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Pulitzer Prize

The standard details about Arthur Miller’s life are well known. He was married to Marilyn Monroe. He testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (and was convicted of contempt of Congress). He wrote Death of a Salesman, considered by some t0 be the great American drama. But there is much more to the life and work of this most American of American dramatists.

     
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Arna Bontemps: African-American Novelist, Children's Author, Librarian, and More

By Matt Reimann. Oct 13, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Arna Bontemps may not be as well known as his fellow Harlem Renaissance luminaries like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, or Jean Toomer, but that does not diminish his contributions. His novel, God Sends Sunday, about a jockey who wins and prodigally spends his money, repulsed W.E.B. DuBois, who called it “sordid,” but it remains a quintessential novel of the movement. Bontemps’s further work spans not only poetry and novels, but children’s books, history, anthologies, biography, and, until his retirement, success as an archivist and librarian at Fisk University. His life was a mission engaged all at once in the efforts of resurrection, preservation, and creation.

     
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Ivan Bunin: The Masterful Nobel Laureate Who Should Be Famous Beyond Russia

By Matt Reimann. Oct 10, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners

When Russian filmmakers delivered to the state censors a screenplay for a biopic about the writer Ivan Bunin, they were immediately shut down. Their objection was not to Bunin’s controversial work, but rather the film’s treatment of him: their saintly Nobel laureate portrayed as an egotistical, philandering, drunken, emotionally reckless artist. This portrait was not too exaggerated, but the film ministry was clear. They could not allow a movie to deface the image of one of Russia’s most prized artists.

     
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Listen to Seven Classic Authors Read Their Own Work

By Matt Reimann. Oct 4, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Shakespeare gave voice to his poetry as a performer in his own plays. Charles Dickens showed such theatrical commitment that he briefly fainted after reading from Oliver Twist. Unfortunately, these stirring author readings (and doubtless many more like them) have been lost to time. Luckily, though, since the late nineteenth century we have had the means to record our most cherished authors read their own work.

     
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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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