Monday, May 16, 2016

The Art of the Name: Charles Dickens

One of everyone's favorite novelists, whether recognized or not (how many times have you intoned "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"?) created a vast array of characters peopling his universe. The linked article suggests that names are not quite so creative these days--I would suggest the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchitt as worthy successors to the tradition.

Charles Dickens and the Linguistic Art of the Minor Character

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mary Stewart was the author I grew up with

Just saw the NYT story announcing the death of Mary Stewart on May 9th.  My sister and I grew up reading her novels, repeatedly.  I still own some of them.  Nine Coaches Waiting was one of my favorites, and Madam, Will You Talk?.   I may have to plan some rereading.

NYT story

Monday, March 04, 2013

Rudyard Kipling Poetry

It seems there's a new collection of various verses from Rudyard Kipling that are going to be included in a new Cambridge edition being released this week.  Now, one must wonder, given the prolific nature of Kipling's work--was there a reason these pieces were not published previously?

One group is described as being humorous verses that seem to have been composed on the fly to entertain his fellow passengers on a sea voyage. It is easy to imagine that the author never intended those to be among his "greatest works", but amusing they might be.

Sometimes the fact that we can find work that was not published prior may be subverting the author's own intentions concerning how his body of work was to be remembered.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Still Peter Rabbit, and his friends

There is an interesting sounding exhibit these days, through Jan. 27 at the Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street; of Beatrix Potter's letters to young friends.  The premise is based on illustrated letters of that era, and includes some by others to demonstrate that there was a tradition of sketches along with the message. As well there is consideration given to some of the spinoffs of the Potter empire, including a board game. NYT story here

This brings to mind the fact that the tale of Little Black Sambo was written as letters to the children back in England from their mother while she lived in India. And I believe that the Peter Pan stories were in some part begun as tales to entertain  young friends. Small efforts that spun off to take on a life of their own once out of their creators' collective hands.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Peter Rabbit Rides Again!

NPR this morning aired an interview with Emma Thompson on her new book The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit   , authrorized by whomever is controlling the Beatrix Potter interests these days.  Peter takes a trip to the Scottish countryside.  NPR story online   

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


It seems the newest trend in E-books is serialization.  

NYT Article

Now where have we seen this before???

Hummm.... let's see

Dickens and Trollope published in serial form in magazines, to boost circulation. 
Some things just never really change, but to some people they seem shiny and brand new.