A group of top American libraries and academic institutions launched a new centralized research resource today, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), making millions of resources (books, images, audiovisual resources, etc.) available in digital format.[...]
Here is a rare recording of Flannery O’Connor reading an early version of her witty and revealing essay, “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction”:
O’Connor gives an eloquent outline of her vision as both a Southern and a Catholic writer. She defends her work against critics who say it is highly unrealistic.[...]
Everybody is familiar with Francis Cugat’s original cover art for The Great Gatsby. It famously gives expression to lines from Fitzgerald’s classic work — lines that talk about Daisy Buchanan as the “girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs.[...]
It’s in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, right in the midst of the Berkshires. Needless to say, not a drop of water in sight.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let me give you an update on The Moby Dick Big Read project.
Samuel Beckett was notoriously shy around recording devices. He would spend hours in a studio working with actors, but when it came to recording a piece in his own voice he was elusive. Only a handful of recordings are known to exist. So the audio above of Beckett reading a pair of his poems is extremely rare.[...]
For almost a century, writers and other creative people have found inspiration and a profound sense of validation in the Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s posthumously published Letters to a Young Poet.[...]
Ernest Hemingway took a dim view of Hollywood. He once said that the best way for a writer to deal with the movie business was to arrange a quick meeting at the California state line. “You throw them your book, they throw you the money,” he said.”Then you jump into your car and drive like hell back the way you came.[...]
I’ll be the first one to admit it, The DaVinci Code isn’t exactly an easy fit on a site that promises to talk about “the best cultural media” out there. But Dan Brown’s 2003 mystery novel has sold north of 80 million copies and now finds itself translated into 44 languages.[...]
We’ve had a lot of fun—and some debate—lately with reading lists from people like Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and even Marilyn Monroe (via her library). And we’ve featured undergraduate syllabi from the teaching days of David Foster Wallace and W.H. Auden. Now for something more-or-less formal than those.[...]
When Marilyn Monroe died in August, 1962, she left behind a lot of broken hearts and some good books. Once married to playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe stocked about 400 books on her shelves, many of which were later catalogued and auctioned off by Christie’s in New York City.[...]