Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Week in Reading May 17 -23

Authors found in our library, born this week

Nobel Prize in Literature:

Novelist Sigrid Undset (1928), mathematician, philosopher Bertrand Russell (1950), novelist, poet Par Lagerkvist (1951)

Poets and Playwrights
Omar Khayyam, Alexander Pope, Robert Creeley, Jane Kenyon Playwrights: Meredith Willson, Lorraine Hansberry

Thinkers, Believers, Scientists, Historians, Biographers
Thinkers: John Stuart Mill, Rudolph Carnap Scientists: M. Scott Peck Biographers: Merle Miller, Mitch Albom

Humorists, Essayists, Editors, Journalists, Officials, Media and Others
Craig Ferguson Essayists: Margaret Fuller, Vance Packard, Malcolm X, Paul Erdman Officials: Armand Hammer Media and others: Frank Capra, Dennis Potter, Richard Brooks

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Writers
Arthur Conan Doyle

Fantasy / Science Fiction Writers
Fantasy: Manley Wade Wellman Science Fiction: James Blish

Visual Artists
Cartoonists: Herge

Young People’s Writers
Scott O’Dell, Margaret Wise Brown, Diane Duane Teens: Gary Paulsen

Events to read about this week:

This is a particularly active week of events with governmental dates of interest, births of artists and stars, as well as dates of first publications. Check them out.

This Week’s Questions:

Sir, I admit your general rule
That every poet is a fool;
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

There are many Internet sites saying this epigram was famously written by an author born this week but there are very many saying someone else did. Many of the entries, however, are likely based upon each other and unsourced, and upon digitized public domain books on the Internet which, though old, are not necessarily well researched themselves. Can this be researched in a library such as ours, to find out, who in fact did write it?

And, regardless of who wrote the epigram, what is an epigram anyway?

Answer to Last Week’s Questions:

Just as three of this week's group includes three people from other fields who wrote and published novels, Olaf Stapledon was a philosopher first and a science fiction writer second.

Science fiction author L. Neil Smith ran for president in 2000 as a Libertarian but was defeated in the primaries.

Naturalist Farley Mowat readily admitted that some of his nonfiction segments of his books are fiction. According to critics, travel writer Bruce Chatwin fictionalized some of his travel writing, so he explicitly turned to writing novels with similar themes.

Armisted Maupin's Tales of the City and its sequels were first published as periodical sagas in the San Francisco Chronicle.

John Scalzi is just one of a growing number of writers who has collected stories and entries from his web site and has published at least two books in paper from such works.

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