The British Library today unveiled
a major addition to its website: Discovering Literature
, a portal to digitized collections and supporting material
. The first installment, Romantics and Victorians
, includes work from Austen
, the Brontës
, and Blake
, and forthcoming modules will expand coverage of the site to encompass everything from Beowulf to the present day.
In 1731, a fire broke out in Ashburnham House, where the greatest collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, the Cottonian Library
, was then being stored. Frantically, the trustees raced into the burning library and hurled priceless and unique manuscripts out the windows in order to save them. One of these was the sole manuscript of Beowulf
. Today, bearing the charred edges of its brush with extinction, it's been digitized by the British Library
, along with a group of other treasures
including Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Arundel and the Harley Golden Gospels.
The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure
: poignant tales of the justly obscure. The entry on Hans Kafka
is a good starting point.
In 1929, John Galsworthy won a Guardian poll as the novelist most likely to still be read in 2029. Three years later, he won the Nobel Prize, and the prices of his first editions skyrocketed. His reputation has since been on a 80-year wane that shows no signs of abating. The New Yorker asks Why is Literary Fame So Unpredictable?
And who will they be teaching in literature class a century from now?
, former owner of the influential Grove Press
and Evergreen Review
, boundary-shattering publisher
of Tropic of Cancer
, Waiting for Godot
, and Naked Lunch
, and U.S. distributor of I Am Curious (Yellow)
, died yesterday
at the age of 90.
, an English professor at the University of Maryland, is exploring the literary history of word processing
. In a lecture at the New York Public Library entitled Stephen King's Wang
, Kirschenbaum asks "When did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more?"
Dr. Emily Lethbridge of Cambridge University is on a year-long research trip to document the settings of Icelandic Sagas. The short documentary Memories of Old Awake
beautifully captures those dramatic landscapes, and you can read more about her research on her blog The Saga-Steads of Iceland: A Twenty-First Century Pilgrimage
Anyone who was anyone in the literary world of 1920s New York signed the door of Frank Shay's Christopher Street bookshop
. The door is now in the collection of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, and they'd like your help
identifying the remaining unknown signatures.
is an ambitious, ongoing project to create a webcomic adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses
. Each page
of the comic offers an accompanying reader's guide
, and there's a blog
about the progress of the project.