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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.

Recent Posts:

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: American Literature, Legendary Authors, 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: Pulitzer Prize, Legendary Authors

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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Three Interesting Facts About H.G. Wells

By Matt Reimann. Sep 21, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science Fiction

Herbert George "H.G." Wells, writer of The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and The Island of Doctor Moreau, is the most durable of the so-called fathers of science fiction. His stories influenced voices as diverse as Nabokov and Borges. He anticipated, in some form or another, developments such as lasers, genetic engineering, and email. His political and scientific writing influenced the following generation of thinkers, leading George Orwell to conclude that “thinking people who were born about the beginning of this century are in some sense Wells’s own creation. . . . The minds of all of us, and therefore the physical world, would be perceptibly different if Wells had never existed.”

     
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Great Authors Who Were Also Great Teachers

By Matt Reimann. Sep 20, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote,” said Samuel Johnson, “except for money.” Even this humorous thought ignores the central reality of literary economics: that writing for money is very hard. At least, that is, if you want to live comfortably. This bare reality is in part why authors have for thousands of years supplemented their income and professional life with the profession of teaching.

     
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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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