"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son
loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf
, which would later be called The Harvard Classics
." (Via) [more inside]
Perched high up above the Thames in downtown London
every month this past year a different writer has spent four days living in a replica of the Roi des Belges, the boat Marlow travels up the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
. Each author would write a short text during their stay "which explores London, rivers, the work of Joseph Conrad, or even all three." They would be visited on the last day by a journalist from The Guardian who recorded them reading their essay, poem or short story. Among the poets, historians and novelists were Adonis, Jeanette Winterson, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje and Kamila Shamsie. These recordings, each prefaced by a short interview, are all available on the Guardian website, to stream or download. Below the cut there is a link to each recording, with a short description. [more inside]
My 6,128 Favorite Books
- "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
A Cyclops' cave the wanderers brave
And find much milk & cheese
But as they eat, foul death they meet
For them doth Cyclops seize.
From The Young Folks' Ulysses [PDF]
, by H. Lovecraft, poet, aged seven. One of the "freely available editions of obscure, outlandish and otherwise outré works of semi-fine literature" from the electric publishing wing
In the summer of 1897, the Devil transported a minor Decadent poet
named Enoch Soames one hundred years into the future to see what posterity would make of his work
. The only witness to the affair was the parodist Max Beerbohm
, whose account
of Soames and his journey ensured that at 2:10 P.M. on June 7, 1997, some dozen pilgrims waited in the Round Reading Room of the British Museum to see the poet appear
Those big, wonderful book blogs like Paper Cuts
, Guardian Books
, and Poetry Foundation
haven't totally satisfied your book blog bloodlust? [more inside]
"Mem, mem, mem."
A fascinating memoir of global aphasia -- total language loss -- following a stroke, by British poet and novelist Paul West
Notes On Construction
starts out simply-- as an editorial description of the binding process for spork
magazine. Like many editorial columns, however, it tends to wander
, the meat
of the mag, the fiction
, the poetry
, can be perused via the author index
Are you a Winning Writer?
Although the site is largely geared toward entering writing contests, there's quite a bit of po ems
and short stories
that have won various contests. You can also have your poetry critiqued
or visit one of the websites for poets and writers
. Some services, such as the poetry critique, are only available if you subscribe to their free newsletter.
, New Zealand writer, is dead at 79. More information about her life, here
, and obituary notice here.
Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Fiction last year, I had hoped she might yet win. RIP.