Books and words: a miscellany
Item: A cheery start for the week: You may have read that Slaughterhouse-Five was banned from the curriculum and library of the high school in Republic, Missouri—the attempt to withhold books from young people being a persistently recurring phenomenon in the United States of Moronia. Happily, a donor has made it possible for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library to make as many as 150 copies of the book available, free, to any Republic high school student who requests it.
Item: If you missed them last week, don’t neglect the opportunity to hear Professor Christine Mallinson’s graduate students’ podcasts on how Baltimoreans talk.
Item: Your word of the week is penumbra. Keep an eye on the shadows.
Item: Still pondering beach reading, though Sis Smith’s suggestion that I begin the Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin roman-fleuve* all over again is tempting.
*Literally “river-novel,” a term to describe a series of novels, each self-contained, focusing on a main character, generations of a family, an era, etc. From the French. Think of Proust. From the German we have Bildungsroman, “education novel,” a novel about the growth, moral, psychological, etc., of the main character.