Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This Week in Reading April 5 - 11

Literary names of note this week

Nobel Prize in Literature: Poet Gabriela Mistral (1945)

Poets and Playwrights
: Christopher Smart, William Wordsworth, Charles Baudelaire, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Johannes Bobrowski, Mark Strand Playwrights: Clare Boothe Luce

Thinkers, Spiritualists, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Husserl Historians: David Halberstam

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, and Others
Leo Rosten Essayists: William Hazlitt, Booker T. Washington, Montague Summers, Lev Kopelev Journalists: Lincoln Steffens, Lowell Thomas, Walter Winchell, Tony Brown, Vladimir Pozner, Seymour Hersh, David Frost, Ellen Goodman, David Helvarg Officials: Jerry Brown, Christopher Darden Others: Linda Goodman, Hugh Hefner, Robert Kiyosaki, Julia Phillips, Neil Boortz

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Suspense: David Westheimer

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Robert Bloch, Mike Ford Science Fiction: Henry Kuttner, James White, James Patrick Kelly

Visual Artists
Photographers: Eadweard Muybridge

Events to read about, as always.

This Week’s Questions:

There're more journalists than anything this week and LA novelist John Fante is getting his centennial, but April is Poetry Month, after all. Come in to see our display.

(1) Which author born this week said this about a poet born this week when they became friends?

"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) And what did that poet say about that author when they no longer were friends?

(3) Which poet born this week is credited with “discovering” and making famous the poems of which other poet this week?

Answers to Last Week’s Question:

(1) Maya Angelou said she aspired to be the first, black, American Proust, and was born in Saint Louis. Marge Piercy was born in Detroit and wanted to change the world by bringing people to consciousness. Both wrote poetry and are strong advocates of women's rights and civil rights.

(2) Probably most American-bred readers know from childhood that Washington Irving created the headless horseman who chased mild mannered schoolteacher Ichabod Crane around Sleepy Hollow in the early 1800s. But they don’t likely know about the other one. People whose families come from Russia or other countries know about Mayne Reid’s Headless Horseman , a novel based on a Texas folk tale about "el Muerto", the headless corpse of a defeated soldier placed on a steed set to run to scare the enemy.

The reason for this is, though Reid was one of America’s most prolific pulp fiction storytellers in the nineteenth century between Poe and Twain, his fame did not succeed him in this country, and he was largely forgotten. Very few libraries in America have any of his once cheap books. However, several of his novels were translated into Russian and advertised there as the work of “America’s favorite author.” If he was, it was only for a time.

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