Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This Week in Reading July 13 - 19

There's a lot of variety this week among authors from the popular to the academic. As usual, there's a Nobel prizewinner on the list which is Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka, and one who won the Peace Prize, but is not a writer per se, Nelson Mandela. There is also poet Yeygeny Yevtushenko and philosophers Jacques Derrida and Herbert Marcuse.

There are also quite a few UK names with an influence on culture such as Thomas Bulfinch, Northrup Frye, and Kenneth Clark, along with novelists William Makepeace Thackeray, Iris Murdoch, A.J. Cronin, and contemporary Susan Howatch. Our country is represented by playwrights Clifford Odets, Arthur Laurents and Tony Kushner, along with commercial novelists, Irving Stone, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Clive Cussler.

This Week's Question: Staying with the idea of obscurity, which somewhat obscure California author born this week wrote the following: "Fiction reveals truths which reality obscures."

Answer to Last Week's Question: "Be obscure clearly" was famously written by E.B. White, the author of the children's books, Stuart Little, and Charlotte's Web, but he was also the 1959 editor of the 1918 William F. Strunk book about writing concisely, The Elements of Style, to which he added essays. The book has been referred to by writers and librarians of all kinds simply as "Strunk and White" for years.

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