literary authority
Richard Wilbur, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Winner, Dies at 96
Richard Wilbur, whose meticulous, urbane poems earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and selection as the national poet laureate, died on Saturday in Belmont, Mass. He was 96.
By Daniel Lewis

Across more than 60 years as an acclaimed American poet, Mr. Wilbur followed a muse who prized traditional virtuosity over self-dramatization; as a consequence he often found himself out of favor with the literary authorities who preferred the heat of artists like Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg. […]

But there were many on the other side who objected to the notion that Mr. Wilbur’s poems were somehow unimportant because they were pretty. Jack Butler, for example, a resident of Okolona, Ark., wrote a letter to the editor in response to Mr. Leibowitz’s review, remarking, “Sirs, the man has had a feast set before him, the very best, and complains because it is not a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich.”
Kazuo Ishiguro Is Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature
The British author’s best sellers include “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go.”
By Alexandra Alter and Dan Bilefsky

In an interview with The Times two years ago, Mr. Ishiguro said that he had discovered literature as a young boy when he came upon Sherlock Holmes stories in the local library. “I was around 9 or 10, and I not only read obsessively about Holmes and Watson, I started to behave like them. I’d go to school and say things like: ‘Pray, be seated’ or ‘That is most singular.’

 What is your favorite Ishiguro novel?


Ambrose Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914) 

An American Civil War soldier, wit, and writer.

Bierce’s book The Devil’s Dictionary was named as one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature” by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration;. His story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge has been described as “one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature”; and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (also published as In the Midst of Life) was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900. 

A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. For his horror writing, Michael Dirda ranked him alongside Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft as a pioneering writer of realist fiction. His war stories influenced Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, and others, and he was considered an influential and feared literary critic. In recent decades Bierce has gained wider respect as a fabulist and for his poetry. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: 1.-3. Spine detail, cover detail and excerpt from The Devil’s Dictionary. Ambrose Bierce. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1911.  4. Title page detail from The Shadow on the Dial and Other Essays By Ambrose Bierce. San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1909.  5.-6. Cover detail and title page from Write It Right; A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults By Ambrose Bierce. New York: Walter Neale, 1909.

Bungo Stray Dogs Anime Gets 1st Smartphone Game.

The game will feature an all-new scenario and character side stories untold in the anime. Players will also be able to experience the world of Bungo Stray Dogs while teaming up with new and returning characters.


Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)

Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Sometimes referred to as “the Bard of Bengal”, Tagore’s poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: 1. Title page from Fruit Gathering by Rabindranath Tagore. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916.  2. Cover of Chitra By Rabindranath Tagore. A Play in One Act. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1914.  3.-4. Frontispiece “Rabindranath Tagore Age 16″ and poem from The Gardener By Rabindranath Tagore. Translated by the author from the original Bengali. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1914.


Pietro Aretino (20 April 1492 – 21 October 1556) 

Italian author, playwright, poet, satirist and blackmailer who wielded immense influence on contemporary art and politics and invented modern literate pornography.

He is said to have died of suffocation from “laughing too much”. The English traveller Sir John Reresby visited “the obscene profane poet” Aretino’s grave in San Luca, Venice in the mid-1650s. He relates that the following epitaph had been removed by the inquisitors: “Qui jace Aretin, poeta Tusco, qui dice mal d'ogni uno fuora di Dio; scusandosi dicendo, Io no'l cognosco.” This he translates as “Here Aretin, the Tuscan poet, lies, who all the world abused but God, and why? he said he knew him not.”

In 2007, the composer Michael Nyman set Aretino’s Sonetti lussuriosi to music under the title 8 Lust Songs. Once again, Aretino’s texts proved controversial: at a 2008 performance at Cadogan Hall, the printed programs were withdrawn following allegations of obscenity.  (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Frontispiece “Portrait of Aretino, by Titian” and illustrations from The Works of Aretino. Translated into English from the original Italian, with a critical and biographical essay by Samuel Putnam. Illustrations by Marquis de Bayros. Volume I - II. Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1926. “This Edition of The Works of Aretino, in two volumes, issued to subscribers only, is limited to twelve hundred and fifty numbered sets, of which this is Number 757.”

When someone starts spouting nonsense about Lewis Carroll and they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about.
In fisica quantistica, nessun oggetto ha una posizione definita se non quando interagisce con qualcosa d'altro. Come se le cose non esistessero sempre, ma si materializzassero in un luogo preciso solo quando sbattono contro uno sguardo.
—  Simona Sparaco - Equazione di un amore (2016)