News of the Day

22 Feb

On this date, in 1632, Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published. Galileo’s book compared the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system. In the Copernican system the Earth and other planets orbit the Sun, while in the Ptolemaic system, it is reasoned that everything in the Universe circles around the Earth. The Dialogue was published in Florence under a formal license from the Inquisition.

In 1633, Galileo was convicted of “grave suspicion of heresy” based on the book, which was then placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, from which it was not removed until 1835 (after the theories it discussed had been permitted in print in 1822.) In an action that was not announced at the time, the publication of anything else he had written or ever might write was also banned.

Too bad Cormac McCarthy wasn’t around to edit his work.

Welcome to your News of the Day. There is no reason to suspect an Inquisition. In fact, you could celebrate by reading a banned book!

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Births

1819 – James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat
1864 – Pierre-Jules Renard, French author
1892, Edna St. Vincent Millay, American lyrical poet, playwright and feminist
1947 – Richard North Patterson, American author

Deaths

1674 – Jean Chapelain, French poet and writer
1742 – Charles Rivington, English publisher
1904 – Leslie Stephen, English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell
1939 – Antonio Machado, Spanish poet
1942 – Stefan Zweig, Austrian writer
1987 – Andy Warhol, American artist, director, and writer

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The Eleven Commandments of an Highly Effective Writer

Henry Miller, it seems, always had a plan when it came to his writing. The tenet of his structure, “When you can’t create you can work.”.

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Pottermore??

Last year, Harry Potter fans the world over rejoiced when it was announced that J.K. Rowling was at work getting a website named Pottermore up and running. A Beta test period launched in July and the site was to go live this past October. Fans are still waiting. One rabid fan, investigated, in a quest for answers, for The Guardian.

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Guerilla Libraries, Not as Scary as They Sound

Something awesome is happening in New York City’s phone booths.

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You Will All Understand

How many books do you own? Is it ever enough? Must you have ALL of the books? Well then, this story is for you. Read the first comment, after the piece. That is not happening here.

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Awards News

Announced this week, several awards:

~ Amazon’s 36th annual First Novel Awards

~ The LA Times 32nd annual Book Prizes

~ The 2012 PEN/Faulkner Awards

These lists should help immensely with the problem noted in the article above this one.

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Some Sculptural Book Beauty for Your Wednesday

This is SICK! Totally, freaking amazing! Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.

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The Never-Ending Debate Continues

Digital books – Far from killing off the physical page, the rise of ebooks has enhanced our understanding of the written word and the people around it, says Gaby Wood over at The Telegraph

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DOH!

Kindle’s most highlighted passages of all time,suggests readers of The Hunger Games books like to highlight bad prose.

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Authors’ Handwriting, Analysed

Handwriting analysis – do you put much stock in it as a tool to assess a personality? I have always found it a curious specialty so when I found this link I knew I had to share!

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Poem of the Day

In honour of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s birthday, I share with you her poem Spring. Even though we are still a month out from spring, we can be forgiven for being confused by our weather this year.

Spring

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

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Word of the Day

mammonism \MAM-uh-niz-uhm\ , noun:

1. The greedy pursuit of riches.

Quotes

We will bring to mind a young man or young woman bitterly awakened from a fancy dream of accomplishment, action or glory, forced instead to come to terms with a considerably reduced status, a betrayed love, and a hideously bourgeois world of crass mammonism and philistine taste.
— Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Claiming mutual “affection and confidence” with his collaborating reader whom he expects to agree, Dickens also indicts the false religion of Mammonism.
— Linda M. Lewis, Dickens, His Parables, and His Readers

Origin

Mammonism is an odd combination of Aramaic and Greek. The word mammon meant wealth in Aramaic, and the suffix -ism forms a noun from a verb, as in criticism and plagiarism.

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And, Finally…

Sloth on a blanket. No reason. You are welcome.

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One Response to “News of the Day”

  1. Jennifer D. 22 February 12 at 12:25 pm #

    Over on Goodreads, I have co-moderated a book group for nearly two years. News of the Day is a daily feature we offer our members – sharing with them happenings in the book world. I thought it time to give it a try here too. I hope you enjoy this does of literary (mostly) news.

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