a loaf of bread, a glass of wine

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
The First and Fourth Renderings in English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald
With Illustrations by Willy Pogány
ILLUSTRATED WITH 12 TIPPED-IN COLOR PLATES BY WILLY POGANY AND ADDITIONAL GOLD CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS
Publisher: Printed in Great Britain by R.&. R. Clark for Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York
1930

 

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dark as it is

Thanks

W.S. Merwin 1927-2019

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

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TGI Frida

Faces of Frida is one of the most extensive curations on the iconic Mexican artist ever assembled and it’s available through the Google Arts and Culture app. Comprised of 800 Frida Kahlo paintings, artifacts, high-resolution images and features, it offers a deep dive into her life, art and legacy. To create the collection, Google teamed up with a network of 33 museums around the world, including Museo Frida Kahlothe Smithsonianthe V&A and Centre Pompidou. The result is an amazing tour that is free for everyone to enjoy.

The tour includes editorial content from art historians and experts act as virtual guides, exploring themes like the hidden meanings behind Kahlo’s work, her relationship with politics and insights into her private life. Personal letters, possessions, clothing, journals and photographs are available to browse, alongside her most celebrated works and some never-before-seen pieces from private collections, including the View of New York.

Online visitors can also enjoy five Street View tours of places associated with Kahlo, including Casa Azul (or Blue House) where she spent most of her life, as well as an enhanced Street View experience that tours the displays at the Frida Kahlo Museum. And there’s no need to crane your neck to examine her work in intricate detail. A magnifying glass tool will help visitors zoom in on features with 360-degree views.  Access Faces of Frida here.

 

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High on Books

Europe’s highest bookstore opened last summer on Mount Blanc at an altitude of 3,466 meters. The Feltrinelli bookshop is situated inside the Punta Helbronner station on the third floor of the Skyway Monte Biancodi Funivie Montebianco .

The stunning shop has a limited selection of titles for a total of 1726 books, divided into thematic content: from the high-altitude bestsellers to illustrated mountain and photographic books, from those dedicated to Val d’Aosta itineraries to mountain fiction, from regional food and wine books to children’s books.

“Skyway Monte Bianco is not just a cable car, it is an idea – explains Federica Bieller, President of Funivie Monte Bianco Spa -. That of bringing man closer to the mountains and the sky, that of broadening horizons and overcoming borders. Thanks to the opening of la Feltrinelli 3466 our technological cable car enhances even more the rise making it a cultural trip. The mountain culture to be valued, the words of the authors who loved and challenged it, the Mont Blanc as a scenario to fantasize “.

 

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La Peste : April Fools

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Films as Books

I really love this ongoing project by illustrator and designer Matt Stevens. His reimagined movies as books concept is simply brilliant.

 

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Mondays are still miscellaneous

What a brilliant idea to promote local libraries.

This is a tribute that the city of Vigo in Spain wanted to pay Jules Verne (on the occasion of the centenary of his death) for having mentioned this city in his book entitled “20.000 leagues under the sea”.

Canto X 1982 Tom Phillips 

 

Somehow missed this graphic when I posted about bookplates.

Word on the street NYC

I do all of my blogging from this chair now that we’re on lockdown.

I hope that they remember to feed the bookstore cat.

Citylights Bookstore in San Francisco.

 

 

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National Emergency Library

In this time of crisis. the Internet Archive has created a National Emergency Library to make reading and research materials available online for everyone. The official post below outlines the project and its offerings.

To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of today, March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

During the waitlist suspension, users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe.

This library brings together all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with over a million other books donated from other libraries to readers worldwide that are locked out of their libraries.

This is a response to the scores of inquiries from educators about the capacity of our lending system and the scale needed to meet classroom demands because of the closures. Working with librarians in Boston area, led by Tom Blake of Boston Public Library, who gathered course reserves and reading lists from college and school libraries, we determined which of those books the Internet Archive had already digitized.  Through that work we quickly realized that our lending library wasn’t going to scale to meet the needs of a global community of displaced learners. To make a real difference for the nation and the world, we would have to take a bigger step.

“The library system, because of our national emergency, is coming to aid those that are forced to learn at home, ” said Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “This was our dream for the original Internet coming to life: the Library at everyone’s fingertips.”

Public support for this emergency measure has come from over 100 individuals, libraries and universities across the world, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  “Ubiquitous access to open digital content has long been an important goal for MIT and MIT Libraries. Learning and research depend on it,” said Chris Bourg, Director of MIT Libraries. “In a global pandemic, robust digital lending options are key to a library’s ability to care for staff and the community, by allowing all of us to work remotely and maintain the recommended social distancing.”

We understand that we’re not going to be able to meet everyone’s needs; our collection, at 1.4 million modern books, is a fraction of the size of a large metropolitan library system or a great academic library. The books that we’ve digitized have been acquired with a focus on materials published during the 20th century, the vast majority of which do not have a commercially available ebook.  This means that while readers and students are able to access latest best sellers and popular titles through services like OverDrive and Hoopla, they don’t have access to the books that only exist in paper, sitting inaccessible on their library shelves. That’s where our collection fits in—we offer digital access to books, many of which are otherwise unavailable to the public while our schools and libraries are closed. In addition to the National Emergency Library, the Internet Archive also offers free public access to 2.5 million fully downloadable public domain books, which do not require waitlists to view.

We recognize that authors and publishers are going to be impacted by this global pandemic as well. We encourage all readers who are in a position to buy books to do so, ideally while also supporting your local bookstore. If they don’t have the book you need, then Amazon or Better World Books may have copies in print or digital formats. We hope that authors will support our effort to ensure temporary access to their work in this time of crisis. We are empowering authors to explicitly opt in and donate books to the National Emergency Library if we don’t have a copy. We are also making it easy for authors to contact us to take a book out of the library. Learn more in our FAQ.

A final note on calling this a “National Emergency” Library.  We lend to the world, including these books. We chose that language deliberately because we are pegging the suspension of the waitlists to the duration of the US national emergency.  Users all over the world have equal access to the books now available, regardless of their location.

 

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The night is darkening round me

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me,
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow;
The storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

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Free Books in Translation

Archipelago Books is giving away 30 e-books (in ePub or PDF format) from their back catalogue. Most are translated works of fiction, though you’ll also find poetry, such as by the Cuban Dulce María Loynaz (tr. James O’Connor), and the hard-to-categorize Novices of Sias by Novalis (tr. Ralph Manheim).

“Dear readers and friends,

As a response to the pandemic, we would like to offer 30 ebooks FREE from March 19th until April 2nd! Simply click ‘purchase’ on the book page and you will be able to download the book free of charge. In the meantime, thank you for continuing to support world literature. We are grateful. Our free ebook library includes…”

Bacacay by Witold Gombrowicz, trans. by Bill Johnston
Sarajevo Marlboro by Miljenko Jergović, trans. by Stela Tomasevic
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra, trans. by Mary Ann Newman
Useless Man: Selected Stories by Sait Faik Abasıyanık, trans. by Alexander Dawe and Maureen Freely
Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. by Melanie Mauthner
The Farm by Héctor Abad, trans. by Anne McLean
Absolute Solitude by Dulce María Loynaz, trans. by James O’Connor
A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, trans. by Daniel Hahn
Eline Vere by Louis Couperus, trans. by Ina Rilke
The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre, trans. by Jordan Stump
The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma Stockenström, trans. by J.M. Coetzee
A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu, trans. by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse
Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos, trans. by Edmund Keeley and Karen Emmerich
Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury, trans. by Humphrey Davies
The Woman of Porto Pim by Antonio Tabucchi, trans. by Tim Parks
Newcomers by Lojze Kovačič, trans. by Michael Biggins
The Novices of Sais by Novalis, trans. by Ralph Manheim
Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski, trans. by Bill Johnston
The Scent of Buenos Aires by Hebe Uhart, trans. by Maureen Shaughnessy
In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. by Donald Nicholson-Smith
Good Will Come from the Sea by Christos Ikonomou, trans. by Karen Emmerich
Distant Light by Antonio Moresco, trans. by Richard Dixon
Book of My Mother by Albert Cohen, trans. by Bella Cohen
Tranquility by Attila Bartis, trans. by Imre Goldstein
Posthumous Papers of a Living Author by Robert Musil, trans. by Peter Wortsman
Mouroir by Breyten Breytenbach
The Folly by Ivan Vladislavić
For Isabel: A Mandala by Antonio Tabucchi, trans. by Elizabeth Harris
Lenz by Georg Büchner, trans. by Richard Sieburth
The Child Poet by Homero Aridjis, trans. by Chloe Aridjis
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