Showing posts from July, 2008

Rumi and Rilke

I've been delving slightly and slowly into both of these poets' writings. So far my favorite from Rumi is a poem called Green Ears in The Essential Rumi . It's a long poem, and I'll give a few short quotes: "...Manyness/ is having sixty different emotions./Unity is peace, and silence." (p. 241) "This present thirst is your real intelligence,/not the back-and-forth, mercurial brightness,/Discursiveness dies and gets up in the grave.//This contemplative joy does not./Scholarly knowledge is a vertito, an exhausted famousness./Listening is better." (p. 242) "Love is the falconer, your king." (p. 243) Rilke's book Letters to a Young Poet is astonishing. To collect quotes would be to xerox almost the whole thing. It is his celebration of solitude that I find most compelling. But still, a few quotes: "Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap and stands confidently

Toby Tyler

Toby Tyler by James Otis This comes up in children's reading evidence as a popular book in the 1920s. Adults talk about it as a "dime novel alternative." It's one of those classic books that talk constantly about how immoral the character is for running away to the circus and how much he regrets it, while reveling in the circus atmosphere, the monkeys, horses, elephants, circus freak show performers... Toby is indeed a bad and remorseful boy who, at the end of the book, happily rejoins the minister who took him in when his parents died. But along the way, you get an adventuresome ride through circus life. This was first published in 1880, but the edition I have is 1923, and there are "shadow" illustrations at the bottom and side margins of many pages, in a mustard yellow color that belie the tension in the text. While the text is all about Toby's remorse, the illustrations show circus performer, animal and human, in exciting costumes and doing dari

For future reference

Dority, Rethinking Information Work: Career Fuide for Librarians and Other Professionals A good book to refer students to when they are facing big career decisions in LIS. Which seemingly everyone is as soon as they graduate, so it's practically universally useful. McCarty, Willard, Humanities Computing The SHARP newsletter reviewed this very favorably. This would be a great reference point for when the History of Children as Readers project is ready to go digital (or at least to proposal) for an NEH grant. Books for the Fantasy Lit and Media Bibliography of suggested further reading: Westfahl, Gary et al. Foods of the Gods: Eating and the Eaten in Fantasy and Science Fiction. University of Georgia Press: Athens and London, 1996. Harrigan, Pat and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media. MIT Press: Cambridge, 2007.

quotes and novels

First, a quote I found in the gift shop of the Bodleian library of Oxford: "'Tis the good reader that makes the book good." --Ralph Waldo Emerson Which is precisely why I'm researching the history of children as readers. I also went back to my old pal Roland Barthes, to see if I could scare up any good quotes about reading.... "If a book bores me, I have the courage, or cowardice, to drop it. [...] So if I read a book, it's because I want to." --Roland Barthes, from The Grain of the Voice p. 220 Go Roland! I also searched for some quotes, and liked this one: What do we ever get nowadays from reading to equal the excitement and the revelation in those first fourteen years? --Greene, Graham, from Oxford Reference Online Now to novels: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen If addiction is the disease of our time, then Dessen's novel is very timely. It contains the usual introspection of her female protagonists. Ruby is saved from the memories of her alcoholic