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Yale University - Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

One day. One day I will make the trek back east to see this glorious library in person. It's always been on my list of dream libraries and book shoppes I'd like to see one day. It is simply stunning, and a must-view for all of us bibliophiles!

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is one of the world's largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts and is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke Library's robust collections are used to create new scholarship by researchers from around the world.


A six-story above-ground glass-enclosed tower of book stacks is surrounded by a windowless rectangular outer shell, supported only on four massive piers at the corners of the building, which descend 50 feet (15 m) to bedrock. The outer walls are made of translucent veined marble panels quarried from Danby, Vermont, which transmit subdued lighting from outside, while providing protection from direct sunlight. At night, the stone panels transmit light from the interior, giving the exterior of the building an amber glow. The outside dimensions have "Platonic" mathematical proportions of 1:2:3 (height: width: length). The building has been called a precious "jewel box", and also a "laboratory for the humanities".The Modernist structure contains furniture designed by Florence Knoll.

A public exhibition hall surrounds the glass stack tower, and displays among other things, one of the 48 extant copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Two basement floors extend under much of Hewitt Quadrangle. The first level down, the "Court" level, centers on a sunken courtyard in front of the Beinecke, which features The Garden (Pyramid, Sun, and Cube). These are abstract allegorical sculptures by Isamu Noguchi that are said to represent time (the pyramid), sun (the disc), and chance (the cube).This level also features a secure reading room for visiting researchers, administrative offices, and book storage areas. The level of the building two floors below ground has movable-aisle compact shelving for books and archives.

The Beinecke is one of the largest buildings in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. The library has room in the central tower for 180,000 volumes and room for over 600,000 volumes in the underground book stacks. The library's collection, which is housed both in the library's main building and at Yale University's Library Shelving Facility in Hamden, Connecticut, totals roughly 1 million volumes and several million manuscripts.

During the 1960s, the Claes Oldenburg sculpture Lipstick on Caterpillar Tracks (Ascending) was displayed in Hewitt Quadrangle. The sculpture has since been moved to the courtyard of Morse College, one of the university's residential dormitories.

The elegance of the Beinecke later inspired the glass-walled structure that protects and displays the original core collection (the books gifted by King George III and referred to as the King's Library) within the British Library building in Euston, London.

#books #booklovers #bibliophile #yale #library #manuscript #beinecke


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Iconic Book Covers

What are some of the most ICONIC book covers that have stayed in your memory? My problem is that there are hundreds. I'm very visual, so the artwork remains, swirling around inside my brain. But when you see great artwork, it does stay with you. Sometimes for years, sometimes forever. Like this artwork...

#booklovers #bookporn #bookjacket #bookcovers #books #bookartwork

via/ Flavorwire

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Charles Dickens Was Born on 7 February 1812

One of my all-time favourite authors. I spent many an hour living in his Dickensian world, hearing his amazing characters speaking to me often. What are your favorite characters (or quotes) from his panapoly of books?

Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.

Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication.

The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.

Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction.

Dickens's creative genius has been praised by fellow writers*—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. *The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.

#dickens #charlesdickens #victorian #literature #literary #writing #novel


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THE RAVEN by Edgar Allan Poe Published on 29 January 1845

Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven,” beginning “Once upon a midnight dreary,” is published on this day in the New York Evening Mirror.

Poe’s dark and macabre work reflected his own tumultuous and difficult life. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was orphaned at age three and went to live with the family of a Richmond, Virginia, businessman. Poe enrolled in a military academy but was expelled for gambling. He later studied briefly at the University of Virginia.

In 1827, Poe self-published a collection of poems. Six years later, his short story “MS Found in a Bottle” won $50 in a story contest. He edited a series of literary journals, including the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond starting in 1835, and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia, starting in 1839. Poe’s excessive drinking got him fired from several positions. His macabre work, often portraying motiveless crimes and intolerable guilt that induces growing mania in his characters, was a significant influence on such European writers as Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme, and even Dostoyevsky.

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

#theraven #edgarallanpoe #poetry #americanliterature #writers #macabre

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Dreamlike and Surreal Self-Portrait Photo Manipulation by Achraf Baznani

Achraf Baznani, an artist photographer and filmmaker, who was born in Marrakesh, is the most inspiring artistic photographer in Morocco. Photography has always been his passion.

He is a self-taught artist, but he wanted to go a step beyond normal shots, and focused more on photo manipulation. Among his inventive scenarios, small human figures—often the artist himself—appear trapped within glass jars or the size of a camera lens; in other works, Baznani more or less dissects his body, as for example, in one, he cleanly removes his brain from his cranium, or in another, twists off his hand, much as if it were a light bulb.

#photography   #photomanipulation   #artist   #surrealism   #book  


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The NoMad Hotel - New York

Now that is a spectacular space! I would end up spending hours in an incredible space like this. Wow!

#books   #library   #booklovers   #library   #newyorkcity   #nyc  


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If you've been on the PLUS for any length of time, you know that some of our favorite posts were always ones with a challenge. Or a dare. Or a post that made you think about your surroundings (or past) and act.

My most successful post over the years asked people to name two things about themselves that most people didn't know. That one is one of my all-time favs here!

So - tonight's challenge. Wherever you are, find a book. Any book. Pick it randomly.

1. Tell us what the book is and who the author is.
2. Turn to page 37 and tell us what the SECOND paragraph says.
3. Tell us how you think it applies to our G+ world.
4. Tag TWO BEST FRIENDS and have them play along as well!

It's these random exercises that always produce the most interesting comments, imho.

My Book:

1. From Chekhov To The Revolution: Russian Literature 1900-1917 by Marc Slonim.

2. "In his satires Saltykov resorted to what he called an Aesopic language: his pages were filled with hints, allusions, neologisms, distortions of colloquialisms, Frenchified peasant expressions, and all sorts of verbal tricks, the purpose of which was to make the reader see between the lines and grasp the political meaning of complicated and disguised material.The original, cryptic, and extremely rich style apparently presents an almost insuperable barrier for translators; it may account for the fact that Saltykov, one of the world's great satirists, is scarcely known outside Russia."

3. I'm not sure how well satire will be received in the USA now, but satire has a long tradition in the US, and I, for one, intend to continue that legacy...

#books   #reading   #booklovers   #bibliophile   #challenge  

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Hamilton: The Revolution

Thanks a million to my secret, +Secret Santa patron who sent me this book. I'm not sure what day it arrived, as I've been on the Left Coast for ten days, but THANK YOU! This is one, awesome #santagift !

From School Library Journal

This glorious, oversize testament to the multiple Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton is a joy to anyone who loves the sound track or who has been lucky enough to score tickets to the show. Miranda's annotations are in the margins of the lyrics, which are usually overlaid on full-spread photographs of the cast.

He explains the many homages to rappers of his youth, as well as why he used literary devices, changed music tempos, and added fiction when Ron Chernow's biography couldn't fill in the gaps.

Thirty-two essays offer teens even more background knowledge of how the show was created and often include lyrics that were cut from the final show. Through interviews with cast members and mentors, readers will be engrossed in the narrative and listening along to the sound track. The line "Immigrants: We get the job done," from "Yorktown (the World Turned Upside Down)," stirs rousing applause during performances, and the revolutionary twist of nonwhite actors portraying the Founding Fathers will be inspiring to young people.

VERDICT An uplifting, gorgeous, diverse, and emotional libretto that will be performed in high schools as soon as the rights are available, and a must-have for initiated and uninitiated alike. —_Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL_

Hamilton cast performs "Alexander Hamilton" at White House

70th Annual Tony Awards 'Hamilton'

Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam: (8 of 8)

#hamilton   #musical   #broadway   #hiphop   #hiphopmusic   #play   #playwright   #libretto   #score  


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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

So, this has been out for a while, and I'm curious to know what you think of the play (if you've read the script, or have seen the production in London?)

For myself, I enjoyed returning back to the world of Harry Potter, albeit some many years later. I recall when this was released that there were many opinions floating around (see Wired and what they have to say in link at end). Good and bad opinions weighed-in. I read this in one sitting, and I read it like I used to read scripts when I was in plays, thinking of it from the actor's perspective. But I also know that fans may have a different take on things.

Without using any SPOILERS, comment on what you loved (or didn't) and let's see what the consensus says about this expansion of the Wizarding World.

The Story About The Play

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a two-part West End stage play written by Jack Thorne and based on an original new story by Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany. Previews of the play began at the Palace Theatre, London on 7 June 2016, and it officially premiered on 30 July 2016.

As the first brand-new Wizarding World story in nearly a decade, the rehearsal script, which was not a novelization of the play, was released on 18 November 2015 and became the official eighth Harry Potter story, specifically involving the timeline of an older Harry James Potter and his struggles in British magical society.

The play takes place mainly in the year 2020, but begins in 2017. The story begins nineteen years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and follows Harry Potter, now a Ministry of Magic employee, and his younger son Albus Severus Potter as a dark chain of events unfolds.

The play's starting point is identical with the epilogue of Deathly Hallows – i.e., the grown Harry Potter bringing his son Albus to the Hogwarts Express, en route to his first year school year. In both the book's epilogue and the play's opening act, Albus expresses his apprehension that the Sorting Hat would place him in the Slytherin House...

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Secrets Revealed

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Gala Performance

#harrypotter   #jkrowling   #harrypotterandthecursedchild   #play   #harrypotterplay   #wizard   #fantasy  

SPOILERS! Don't click link unless you've read the play!

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Shakespeare & Co. - Paris

Shakespeare and Co., the English-language bookstore just across the Seine River from Notre Dame in Paris, is pretty much everything a bookstore should be. Housed in what was once a 17th-century monastery, it has winding hallways, narrow staircases, rabbit-warren rooms, pianos and typewriters for the plunking, hidy-holes for the hiding, couches and comfy chairs for the lounging (or the napping) and thousands of books — new, used, antiquarian and some for lending only.

It also has a long and colorful past, which has now been pulled together into a fat, appealing love letter/history/scrapbook, “Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart.”

Like the store, the book is packed almost beyond capacity with photographs (historic and contemporary), newspaper clippings, magazine articles, letters and notes, maps and diary entries. It is visually intriguing, with a lively mix of fonts and type faces, colorful pages, the occasional page of sideways text (usually poetry). And there, in the middle, is a mini-graphic novel.

It is great fun to dip into.

The text, edited by Minnesota native Krista Halverson, includes reminiscences from famous writers as well as from some of the Tumbleweeds, the name given to vagabonds, groupies and others who found their way to the shop and then stayed for days or weeks or months, sleeping on the couches or in the tiny rooms upstairs, helping out in the store. (There have been, at last count, more than 30,000 Tumbleweeds.)

The original Shakespeare and Co. was founded by Sylvia Beach, the expat American who became James Joyce’s publisher. Her store was a hangout for the writers of the Lost Generation — Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Ford Madox Ford, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein. It closed in 1941 during the German occupation, never to reopen.

The current Shakespeare and Co. was opened in 1951 by George Whitman, another American expat, who was as besotted by books as Beach was. He first called his shop Le Mistral but changed the name in 1961 at Beach’s urging.

Beach hung out there, and so did everyone else: Brendan Behan, George Plimpton, Peter Matthiessen, James Baldwin, William Saroyan, Anais Nin, Robert Bly, Pablo Neruda, Doris Lessing.

Allen Ginsberg read “Howl” there, naked and drunk.

They are all here in this book, which moves forward through the decades tracing the evolution of the store. As the book progresses, it becomes less a history and more an homage to Whitman, who died in 2011 at age 98.

Writer and traveler Dervla Murphy recalls the first time she met Whitman: “From between cliffs of books, George emerged, a cat riding high on his shoulder.” Anais Nin recalls Whitman as “undernourished, bearded, a saint among his books.”

Irish poet Desmond O’Grady traveled to Paris in 1955 and found, at Shakespeare and Co., a copy of Joyce’s “Ulysses,” which was still banned in Ireland. “The bookstore became the anchorage of my new life in Paris,” he wrote. “I sat and read there every day; I met my wife there. After I had gotten to know George a little, I asked him about his name. He told me he was a descendant of Walt Whitman. I believed him.”

Laurie Hertzel is the senior editor for books at the Star Tribune.

The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart
Edited by: Krista Halverson.
Publisher: Shakespeare and Co., 384 pages, 225 color plates, $34.95.

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