Robert Bly, the Minnesota poet, author and translator who articulated the solitude of landscapes, galvanized protests against the Vietnam War and started a controversial men’s movement with a best seller that called for a restoration of primal male audacity, died on Sunday at his home in Minneapolis.
He was 94. The death was confirmed by his wife, Ruth Bly. From the sheer volume of his output — more than 50 books of poetry, translations of European and Latin American writers, and nonfiction commentaries on literature, gender roles and social ills, as well as poetry magazines he edited for decades — one might imagine a recluse holed up in a North Woods cabin.
And Mr. Bly did live for many years in a small town in Minnesota, immersing himself in the poetry of silent fields and snowy woodlands.
Nancy Pearl, possibly America’s best-known librarian and recommender of books, shares her thoughts on choosing what to read, and when to stop reading.
By Rebekah Denn, Correspondent, November 16, 2021
It’s not every librarian who has an action figure modeled after her. But Nancy Pearl, who was honored at the National Book Awards on Nov. 17, comes to her superhero status by her encyclopedic knowledge of books and powerfully engaging recommendations in almost every form of media.
In 1998, Ms. Pearl launched a program at the Seattle Public Library called “If All Seattle Read the Same Book,” which led to the worldwide group-reading phenomenon known as One Book, One City.
In 2009, Ms. Pearl’s ability to connect readers with the right book gained a wide following when she published “Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason,” which became a surprise hit.
More recent work includes “Book Lust” sequels, a novel, and a collection of author interviews. Known as “America’s Librarian,” Ms. Pearl received the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community for her work in expanding audiences for reading. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou and NPR’s “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross.
Dune the movie: Lynch vs Villeneuve vs Frank Herbert… and us.
All right, off-the-cuff let me say that, of course, the latest adaptation of Dune by Denis Villeneuve is magnificent. It is spectacularly good and supremely enjoyable, on a par with the best of Spielberg, or Zemeckis, or Cameron.
The admirable qualities are apparent to all. Still, even while enjoying great movies, there remains a part of me who keeps taking notes.
Furthermore, general approval doesn’t forbid my making a few specific comments, including comparisons to earlier versions. And so, for those of you who enjoy nitpickery – and promise you won’t let it spoil for you a great flick – buckle up and let’s get to it: SPOILERS
Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. Member, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Internet Hall of Fame
When I started the Internet Archive 25 years ago, I focused our non-profit library on digital collections: preserving web pages, archiving television news, and digitizing books. The Internet Archive was seen as innovative and unusual.
Now all libraries are increasingly electronic, and necessarily so. To fight disinformation, to serve readers during the pandemic, and to be relevant to 21st-century learners, libraries must become digital.
But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information.
These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years.
If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.
The following is a guest post by Nicholas Taylor, Information Technology Specialist for the Repository Development Group at the Library of Congress.
Prompted by questions from Library of Congress staff on how to more effectively use web archives to answer research questions, I recently gave a presentation on “Using Wayback Machine for Research” (PDF).
I thought that readers of The Signal might be interested in this topic as well. This post covers the outline of the presentation.
The Wayback Machine that many people are familiar with is the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive is an NDIIPP partner and a Founding Member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium.
Their mission includes creating an archive of the entire public web; the Wayback Machine is the interface for accessing it. While the Internet Archive has been primarily responsible for the development of Wayback Machine, it is an open source project.
Internet Archive also devised the name “Wayback Machine;” it is a reference to The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show’s homophonous “WABAC” Machine, a time machine itself named in the convention of mid-century mainframe computers (e.g., ENIAC, UNIVAC, MANIAC, etc.). The contemporary Wayback Machine thus appropriately evokes both the idea of traveling back in time and powerful computing technology (necessary for web archiving).
Today, we honor National Home Movie Day by not only highlighting the importance of home movies as historical and cultural documents, but also as a personal reflection that we are often more alike than different.
At least four home amateur films are in the National Film Registry and many more can be viewed in the Library’s National Screening Room.
With the hope to inspire more home filmmakers, we spotlight “Our Day,” added to the Registry in 2007, with an essay by Film Archivist Margaret Compton. “Our Day” is a day-in-the-life portrait of the Kelly family of Lebanon, Kentucky.
The film documents Wallace Kelly and his family’s sophisticated interests and simple lifestyle. The amateur “cast” features Kelly’s mother, wife, brother and pet terrier. Wallace Kelly, a newspaperman, was also an accomplished photographer, painter, and writer. He began shooting film in 1929 and continued until the 1950s.