Monday Miscellany

Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History

Boston Literary HistoryPeople may know about Longfellow and Poe, but do they know about the ongoing literary feud between these two sons of New England? They will after perusing this marvelous digital exhibit from the Boston Public Library and the Massachusetts Historical Society, which explores some of the “forgotten chapters” of the Hub’s literary history. Designed to complement an in situ exhibit, this collection contains six thematic sections, along with an audio introduction and an interactive map of said literary history. The sections include “The Poet Buried on Boston Common,” “Buried Treasure and Turkeys,” and “The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre.” The “Poet” area is quite a find, as it profiles the work of Charles Sprague, a Boston poet of the 19th century who is little-remembered today. The “Buried Treasure” area features rediscovered literary pieces (and some that should have stayed hidden) from the literary magazines published in Boston between 1790 and 1860. One the unearthed gems is “A Winter Walk,” which was originally published under the nom de plume Anonymous, but which was later revealed to have been penned by Henry David Thoreau. Lastly, the section titled “Longfellow’s Serenity and Poe’s Prediction” takes on the literary brouhaha that existed between Longfellow and Poe in the 1830s and 1840s.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2012. http://scout.wisc.edu/

8 Areas of Culture ‘Moby-Dick’ Influenced

George Cotkin’s book Dive Deeper: Journeys with Moby-Dick explains how Herman Melville’s hefty novel has influenced many areas of cultural life in the United States:

Cover: Dive Deeper

  • music
  • humor
  • philosophical reflection
  • artistic creation
  • literature
  • film
  • terror
  • academic studies
  • metaphor

Great Story Objects: J.K. Rowling’s hand-written plot spreadsheet for “The Order Of The Phoenix”

If you’ve ever wondered how authors keep track of all the details in a huge book, you’ll want to take a look at this photo.

Dark memories of harbour inspired an award-winner

A NOVEL that eulogises Sydney harbour has won the Kibble Award for life writing by women authors. Gail Jones was inspired to write Five Bells when she was travelling home by ferry one night after moving to Sydney from Perth four years ago.

The dark water reminded her of Kenneth Slessor’s poem Five Bells, which mourns his friend Joe Lynch, who drowned in the harbour after jumping off a ferry. She abandoned a part-written novel set in Melbourne for her story about four troubled adults and a lost child who converge on Circular Quay one Saturday.

In addition, the Dobbie Award for a first book went to Favel Parrett for Past the Shallows, her poetic story of the tensions between a father and his sons.

The Kibble and Dobbie Awards were established in 1994 by Nita Dobbie in memory of her aunt, Nita Bernice Kibble, a librarian from New South Wales, Australia: “The Kibble Literary Award recognises the work of an established Australian female writer while the Dobbie Literary Award recognises a first published work from an Australian female writer.”

10 of the Most Beloved Dogs in Literature

 As July threatens to turn into August, and our hair seems irrevocably plastered to our foreheads, we’re feel like we’re squarely in that special time of year that our mothers used to call the “dog days of summer.” And dogged they are, but in truth, the phrase comes from the ancient Greek and Roman belief that Sirius, also known as the Dog Star for its prominence in Canis Major, controlled the hot weather. The Romans would sacrifice a brown dog at the beginning of summer to appease the sultry rage of Sirius, but our offering is a little more whimsical (and less bloody) — a list of a few of the most beloved pups in literature. Because after all, if sacrifices to stars don’t work, who better to help you actually enjoy the sweltering summer than man’s best friend?

Here’s the list from Flavorwire:

  • Argos, The Odyssey
  • Snowy, The Adventures of Tintin
  • Toto, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Buck, The Call of the Wild
  • Tock, The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Lassie, Lassie Come-Home
  • Old Yeller, Old Yetter
  • Ghost, A Song of Fire and Ice
  • Fang, Harry Potter
  • Jip, David Copperfield
Old Yeller
Old Yeller