Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Great Regulars: Book people, I need to know where

you stand on a vital issue: literary dogs versus literary cats. Last week, I wrote about how cats and literature were a perfect combination; my own favourite was, I'd decided, Macavity, but you all came up with so many more suggestions--how could I have forgotten Edward Lear's Pussycat?

But after reading Daniel Engber's wonderfully straight-faced piece, on how dogs are actually "the champs in print, while kittens win online", I'm not sure what to think.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Are cats top dogs in the world of literature?


A minuscule handwritten poem by Charlotte Brontë, composed when the author was just 13, has been sold for almost £100,000.

Signed C Brontë, and dated by her on 14 December 1829, "I've been wandering in the greenwoods" is written on a piece of paper measuring just three inches square, and is difficult to read without a magnifying glass.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Charlotte Brontë poem manuscript sells for £92,000


D.H. Lawrence was famously denounced as a sexist by Kate Millett in the 1970s, but a newly-discovered manuscript shows a different side to the author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, as he urges a misogynist to think of "even the most 'beautiful' woman . . . as a being instead of as a piece of lurid meat".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: D.H. Lawrence manuscript shows 'enlightened' attitude to women


Most contemporary images of [John] Keats are derived from Joseph Severn's miniature of the poet, in which he rests his head on one hand, looking wistfully at a point behind his friend. This new image does not stem from this work or any others made during his short life, and is therefore believed to have been painted from life, according to Bonhams auction house. It is "unique", said head of miniature portraits Jennifer Tonkin, as the pictures of the poet which do exist "rarely show him looking directly at the viewer".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Rare John Keats portrait comes to auction


"The muse," wrote Sylvia Plath to her friend and fellow poet Ruth Fainlight shortly before her death in 1963, "has come to live here, now Ted has gone". Next month, 50 years after the manuscript which would become Ariel was discovered on the late poet's desk, Fainlight will join a starry, all-female line-up of actors and poets including Juliet Stevenson, Miranda Richardson and Samantha Bond in a unique dramatic reading of Ariel.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Sylvia Plath gets all-star tribute for Ariel anniversary


In "Life Piece IX", she [Yoko Ono] proposes: "Get a piece of rubber the size of your palm./Imagine yourself stretching the rubber/to cover the world with it./See how much you can cover./Hang the piece of rubber/on the wall beside your bed."

Elsewhere in the book she suggests, "Walk from where you live to where your friend lives. Be aware of the turns and the views while you walk./Walk back the same way./Be aware of the turns and the views your friend experiences/when he or she visits you."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Yoko Ono publishes poetry sequel 50 years after first book


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