Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.
Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
“Nonsense.” “Please!” “HA!!” -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote “Don’t be a ninny”
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls “Metaphor” next to a stanza of Eliot’s.
Another notes the presence of “Irony”
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.
Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
hands cupped around their mouths.
“Absolutely,” they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
“Yes.” “Bull’s-eye.” “My man!”
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.
( And if you have managed to graduate from college )
By Billy Collins
Originally posted by duathir at Billy Collins, 'Marginalia'
A medieval manuscript that was peed on by a cat
Scribe was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:
“Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum istum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem ubi cattie venire possunt.”
[Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]
Cologne, Historisches Archiv, G.B. quarto, 249, fol. 68r
(from History Daily FB pg)
("Almost there. Go get 'War and Peace' and anything you can find by James A. Michener.")
And here's a funny Photoshopping series, do take a look:
Couple Asks Internet To Photoshop Out Shirtless Guy From Engagement Photo, Regrets It Immediately
Brent Underwood, on Medium
I would like to tell you about the biggest lie in book publishing. It appears in the biographies and social media profiles of almost every working ‘author’ today. It’s the word ‘best seller.’
This isn’t about how The New York Times list is biased (though it is). This isn’t about how authors buy their way onto various national best-seller lists by buying their own books in bulk (though they do). No, this is about the far more insidious title of ‘Amazon Bestseller’ — and how it’s complete and utter nonsense.
(Click headline for article.)
This entry was originally posted at http://thnidu.dreamwidth.org/1582916.
"Charles Dickens left us with the notion that Ebenezer Scrooge was "better than his word and became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew."
Another Christmas Carol, by author Lee E. Woodard, picks up where Dickens left off. This story chronicles the life and times of Scrooge from the point of his reclamation throughout the balance of his life.
As the trials and tribulations of everyday life in Victorian London come alive, Woodard's continuing story highlights Scrooge's interaction with the Cratchit family and the other wonderful characters Dickens created.
As Scrooge attempts to spread his newfound happiness, he is forced to deal with painful parts of his past and must once again connect with the spirit world to fulfill his destiny.
What was true in Dickens' original classic work is true yet again. Relive the joy of the familiar characters as they grow up, grow old, and live out their lives."
Have a look via the Look Inside feature, folks--what d'you think? I must say I'm not terribly impressed...
(Pushkin had a poem about this kind of tree, and, amazingly, it actually exists...)
Jack London, "On the Writer's Philosophy of Life"
(found thanks to philologist; this entry has the Russian translation: )
The 15 best books of 2015, from BrainPickings
Here's why the X chromosome evolved to be so weird, from ScienceAlert
Her left hand: A surgeon's journey back
Brain attack: an explanation for a mental illness that strikes out of the blue (in children)
Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocitieshttp://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Plants-
These 7 Books Look Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen!
Have you ever seen a book carved out of another book? How about billions of sonnets written in ten pages? In this post-modern literary landscape we find ourselves in, experimentation is not only rewarded, but also sought after. Kurt Vonnegut often included drawings in between his insightful, witty prose. We are frequently coming across books (old and new) that are fascinating beyond their prose; books that re-imagine what a novel looks like on the inside.
See these books in this article