Friday, October 29, 2010

Preparing for Greene: An Eliot Poem

T. S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men is said to have provided Graham Greene with many of the ingredients for The Power and The Glory. You might like to have a look at it as you read our November selection.

The Hollow Men is easily available on the web, but here is a link to a version you might enjoy perusing as a ready way to widen your appreciation of the poem. It's an interactive version, with the poem and annotations appearing side by side. You can click on any of the underlined words and phrases to read a brief discussion of them. The site was created by a student at Oberlin and submitted in lieu of a paper.

Interestingly, The Hollow Men contains allusions to, among other works, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which, conveniently, we have already read.

And for those who like to be read to, another version for you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More on The Man from A.L.I.C.E.

One of the treasures to be discovered in The Annotated Alice is a recommendation of this 1950 mystery inspired by our manxome foe. For your delectation I have chosen the cheesiest of its several editions to accompany this selection:

"There ought to be a law against the printing of volumes of The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll. He should be remembered for the great things he wrote, and the bad ones interred with his bones. Although I'll admit that even the bad things have occasional touches of brilliance. There are moments in Sylvie and Bruno that are almost worth reading through the thousands of dull words to reach. And there are occasional good lines or stanzas in even the worst poems. Take the first three lines of The Palace of Humbug:

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls.
And each damp thing that creeps and crawls
Went wobble-wobble on the walls.

"Of course he should have stopped there instead of adding fifteen or twenty bad triads. But 'wobble-wobble on the walls' is marvelous."
He nodded. "Let's drink to it."
We drank to it.

So far The Night of the Jabberwock is a thumping good read. Unfortunately neither KPL nor WMU owns a copy, but you can request one, as I did, via MelCat, the state-wide lending system.

Or you could, for $250 or so, purchase a copy of the first edition and have this Tenniel-inspired cover to enjoy along with the story.

Or, if you don't mind throwing The Screaming Mimi, Knock Three-One-Two, and The Fabulous Clip-Joint into the bargain, you can have all four Black Box Thrillers for a mere $3.73.  I don't know what that cover looks like, but it's sure to be swell.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Film Footage: James Joyce in Paris

Anticipating Ulysses, our Long Summer Read next year, here's an 18-second look at Himself, plus a link to the start of Frank Delaney's exposition of the book.

2010-2011 Schedule

Our "bookmark" schedules still aren't back from the printer, so here is the list of titles we'll be reading and discussing this season:

  • October 21:  Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • November 18: The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  • December 16: King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • January 20: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • February 17: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • March 17: Selected Short Stories by John Cheever
  • April 21: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • May 19: Homer's Odyssey
  • September 15: Our Lo-oo-o-o-oo-ong Summer Read, James Joyce's Ulysses

Do You Have Any Dickens?

Remember the "Authors" card game kids used to play? With rules exactly the same as "Go Fish,"  playing the "Authors" game taught many of us the names of famous authors and what they wrote. This month, Kalamazoo Public Library is paying tribute to the authors and their game with its second floor display case. Stop by and have a look!

Hello World!

This is the first test post to our book group's new homepage!

Check here for information about Kalamazoo's own "Classics Revisited."