Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Week in Reading February 1 - 7

This week, like the last one, is one of the strongest of the year, filled with writers of strong influence upon their societies, their readers, and on upon other writers.

Literary Names of Note This Week

Nobel Prize in Literature: Sinclair Lewis (1930)

Novelists and story writers: Charles Dickens, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Lao She, Ayn Rand, Muriel Spark, James Dickey, W.S. Burroughs, MacKinlay Kantor, James Michener, Robert Coover, Judith Viorst, Gay Talese, Paul Auster.

Poets and Playwrights: Sidney Lanier, Langston Hughes, Christopher Marlowe, Hugo von Hoffmannstahl, Jacques Prevert.

Thinkers, Historians, Biographers: Sir Thomas More, Simone Weil.

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists: S. J. Perelman, William Rose Benet, Eric Partridge.

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers: Andrew M. Greeley.

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers: Yevgeny Zamyatin

Children’s / Teen Authors: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Meg Cabot

Events to read about: Births of painter Norman Rockwell, film director John Ford, composer Felix Mendelssohn, and the OED and the USO.

This Week’s Question: Many of us have been to Shakespeare Festivals, even Shaw festivals, and some theatres hold a brief Marlowe festival of plays or a festival of Rand or Michener movies now and then. And Joyce gets Bloomsday in June. But are there any festivals for novelists? In addition to a fairly new Dickens World theme park in England, there are at least four yearly Dickens Festivals. One of them is nearby, this weekend. Where are they? And why don’t you attend one and tell us about it?

Answer to Last Week’s Question: When a person is known only by a single name rather than a full name that person is said to have a mononym. We often call Dickens, Joyce, Perelman, and Mendelssohn by their last names, but that is in convenience; they were not solely mononymous. Moliere, Stendhal, and Colette, however, were.

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