Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Week in Reading April 12 - 18

This Week's names in the library.

Nobel Prize in Literature
Novelist Anatole France (1921), Playwright, novelist Samuel Beckett (1969), Poet Seamus Heaney (1995), Novelist J. M. G. LeClezio (2007)

American Library Association director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom, creator of Banned Books Week, Judith Krug (1940 – 2009)

Novelists and story writers
Henry James, Richard Harding Davis, Robert Walser, Isak Dinesen, Nella Larson, Eudora Welty, Kingsley Amis, John Braine, Cynthia Ozick, Scott Turow, Nick Hornby

Poets and Playwrights
Poets: Tristan Tzara Playwrights: Edward De Vere, Thomas Middleton, John Ford, Alexandre Ostrovski, John Millington Synge, Thornton Wilder, Lanford Wilson, Alan Ayckbourn

Thinkers, Spiritualists, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: Emile Durkheim George Lukacs Scientists: Thomas Szasz Historians: Niall Ferguson

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Journalists: Margaret Adler Officials: Thomas Jefferson Others: Clarence Darrow, Charlie Chaplin, Peter Ustinov, Erich von Daniken, David Letterman, Heloise, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Mystery: Delores Gordon–Smith Suspense: Jeffrey Archer

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Science Fiction: Boris Strugatsky, Keith R. A. deCandido, Bruce Sterling

Visual Artists
Illustrators: Garth Williams

Young People’s Writers
Children’s Authors: Beverly Cleary Teen Authors: Benjamin Zephaniah

Events to read about
Easter, Passover, important dates in dictionaries and atlases, art, space, baseball, Da Vinci, and Chaucer. Oh, and by the way, this is National Library Week. So it’s also Fine Free Week. Get your books back and take out some more.

This Week’s Questions: There are four Nobel prizewinners this week, so here’s a literature question in the form of an awkward logic puzzle.

Of these four, three lived in France, and two were born there, but only one was solely a French citizen. Who was it?

Two were born on the Emerald Isle but not in the same country. Why not?

Which two taught college courses in the French language and wrote their main works in the French language while living in English speaking countries?

Three wrote novels, one did not. Three wrote plays, one did not. Three wrote poems, one did not. Who did not, in each category?

[In honor of Judith Krug] One wrote works banned by the Index Liborum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books) even after he won the Nobel prize. Who was it? And what is that index?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions: (1) As young literary critic William Hazlitt effusively praised and became a devoted follower and welcome sycophant of poet William Wordsworth by saying of him: "He is in this sense the most original poet now living, and the one whose writings could the least be spared: for they have no substitute elsewhere."

(2) But years later an older Hazlitt found he could not, even for social reasons, refrain from criticizing a poem Wordsworth had written and so Wordsworth then said of him in a letter to a friend, “I hope that you do not associate with the fellow; he is not a proper person to be admitted into respectable society.” So much for professional courtesy.

(3) Often called a “decadent” poet, Algernon Charles Swinburne was also a formidable literary critic, who, on a trip to France, found the poems of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal to be irresistible. His effusive words popularized the French poet in the English speaking world: "It has the languid lurid beauty of close and threatening weather--a heavy, heated temperature, with dangerous hot-house scents in it; thick shadow of cloud closed about it, and fire of molten light.”

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