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...the definitive sexy librarian...
PARIS — France's national library has acquired the memoirs of Casanova, a moving narrative written in French by the 18th century Venetian-born lothario. Times Online reports.
The memoirs, "The Story of My Life," had been in the hands of one of Germany's most prominent publishing families for nearly two centuries.
The manuscript was acquired by the Brockhaus family in 1820, hidden by Frederic-Arnold Brockhaus during World War II, then carried by an American military truck in 1945 out of Leipzig. It was finally published in 1960.
...it seems there's quite a bit he scratched out...
The manuscript was donated to the French National Library. Casanova, who was born in 1725, wrote his memoirs between 1789 and 1798, the year of his death. Here...a bit excerpted:
"(I have had) exploits with 120 women and girls, including a nun. As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it."
BBC reports: Sculptor Martin Jennings has been chosen to produce a bronze statue of the poet Philip Larkin for the Paragon Interchange in Hull.
Jennings was one of three sculptors invited by the Philip Larkin Society to submit designs for the artwork. Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years before his death in 1985, combined a celebrated writing career with his role as librarian at Hull University.
Designs by sculptors Graham Ibbeson and Jemma Pearson were also considered.
Jennings' work includes the statue of poet St John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London. He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been commissioned to make this sculpture of one of Britain's greatest poets.
IREX announces a unique opportunity for three Library and Information Science graduate students with an international orientation to take part in a fellowship focused on impact assessment and community building in two national library development programs in Romania and Ukraine.
The selected fellows will serve for three months during the summer of 2010 in the Washington, DC headquarters office of IREX and visit one of the participating countries for one to two weeks during the summer for hands-on research. Each fellow will be expected to produce one scholarly article on a topic related to impact assessment or community building, as agreed on with IREX staff. One of the fellows will be selected to submit a proposal to co-present with an IREX staff member at IFLA 2011. If accepted, the trip would be funded as part of the fellowship.
Application deadline is March 15, 2010
Full details here: http://irexgl.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/fellowship/
Dewey was a great one, but he will not be the only cat to be remembered in a book. Such a fellow was Plymouth U.K.'s Casper, who sadly was run over by a car while crossing the road to queue up for his daily bus ride last month.
Casper was an amazing cat who fancied himself a daily commuter. His life on the buses came to international attention last year. It turned out that for four years he had been riding the no 3 bus, passing the Devon city's historic dockyard and naval base, en route. He tended to curl up on a seat or sometimes purr around fellow passengers' legs, all the way to the final stop, stay on and make the return journey. Drivers got used to letting him off at the correct stop.
Owner Susan Finden, 65, said she would be donating any money she makes from the book to animal charities. She said: 'It's lovely to think he will go on in memories - and with this book his story will live on forever. The book will be published by Simon & Schuster next summer.
Dateline JOHANNESBURG: Here's an update from News 24 about the burning of the Balfour Library.
Protesters have torched a library in an impoverished area of South Africa in what began as a march to call for more jobs. The South African Press Association says Tuesday's attack came on the third day of violent protests in Siyathemba, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Johannesburg. Story from AP.
This article from Spero News lends some detail to the situation in South Africa, where refugees and immigrants, particularly Ethiopians, are the object of attack by the local population.
Political espionage author and journalist Henry Porter solemnly points out: "To begin to write a book these days seems more than the average folly. Publishing appears to have been hit by a storm similar to the one that tore through the music industry a few years ago and is now causing unprecedented pain in newspapers We are told that fewer people are reading, that book sales are down, that the supermarkets which sell one in five copies of all books care more about their cucumber sales, that the book is shortly to be replaced by the ebook and electronic readers sold by, among others, Amazon, which seems bent on reducing publishers to an archipelago of editorial sweatshops and the writer to the little guy stitching trainers in an airless room.
Publishing seems to be one of the great mysteries of commerce. Despite the large numbers involved – a total of £1.752bn was spent on 235.7m books in 2009 in the UK, that's nearly four books for every man woman and child – the business today is a testament to self-deprecation, with only a few people willing to assert the unique value of books and their content."
More from the Guardian Observer.
Police captured fugitive former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo in the northern part of the country on Tuesday, a day after U.S. prosecutors indicted him on charges of laundering money stolen from foreign donations meant to buy children's library books. NPR
After the earthquake that struck the Port-au-Prince region on Tuesday, January 12, Libraries Without Borders affirms its solidarity with the people of Haiti. LWB and its French affiliate, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, are involved in a number of projects in the capital and throughout the country. A new container of academic books was scheduled to make its way from France to the Université d'Etat d'Haïti in mid-January.
Many buildings have been destroyed. The Ecole Normale Supérieure, a main partner of Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, is reported to have collapsed. After the relief deployed by various countries and humanitarian organizations reaches Haiti, the country's need to rebuild its educational and cultural structures will be enormous. Libraries Without Borders is prepared to support the reconstruction effort.
More information about their partnership programs and events at the website.
The Washington Post has an interesting article about rescued Jewish books and other materials from Iraq. "Iraq reclaims a Jewish history it once shunned." By REBECCA SANTANA, Sunday, January 17, 2010; 12:16 AM
BAGHDAD -- It was seized from Jewish families and wound up soaking in sewage water in the basement of a secret police building. Rescued from the chaos that engulfed Baghdad as Saddam Hussein was toppled, it now sits in safekeeping in an office near Washington, D.C.
Like this country's once great Jewish community, the Iraqi Jewish Archive of books, manuscripts, records and other materials has gone through turbulent times. Now another twist may be in store: Iraq wants it back.
Iraqi officials say they will go to the U.S., possibly next month, to assess the materials found by U.S. troops and plan for their return after an absence of nearly seven years.
Some Jewish authorities are skeptical, arguing that since most estimates put the number of Jews in Iraq at less than 10, the archive no longer belongs here. But to Saad Eskander, the director of the Iraq National Library and Archives, it is part of a larger effort to rescue the cultural history Iraq lost during the invasion, and to put Iraqis on a tentative path to coming to grips with their past.
Read more about it at:
From the embattled frontline of the Anglo-American books world there seems to be nothing but bad news. Borders has fallen. Waterstone's, once a mighty citadel, is beseiged. Well-known literary agents are scurrying round town in search of life-saving mergers. Advances have hit rock bottom. The celebrity memoir is going the way of the dodo. The ebook is the future. Libraries, comprehensively digitised by Google, have become mausoleums of an ossifying tradition.
But in his column in Guardian UK, columnist Robert McCrum finds the upside of publishing in 2010. He tells us that all is not lost; that the magic of the English language has gone beyond all those locations where the sun never sets and has completely encircled and embraced the globe. The emergence of English as a global communications phenomenon with a supra-national momentum that gives it an independence from its Anglo-American roots is at once thrilling and decisive.