Friday, June 18, 2010


Here are some random things happening in the world of literature this week.

Across the pond, the London Review Bookshop and the British Museum are hosting a World Literature Weekend. Many authors and translators will be giving talks on the importance of bringing translated works to British readers. Sounds like a fun and thought-provoking weekend. Wish I could be there. HT: Inside Books

The BBC is wondering "Why is To Kill A Mockingbird so popular?". A recent poll placed Harper Lee's immortal story fifth in the hearts of the British people behind Pride and Prejudice but ahead of the Bible. Many of the readers comment that the tale of growing up in the American south was the only book from middle/high school that they actually enjoyed reading. "In the American context, there's a history of adolescent narrators, like Huckleberry Finn, and always a sense of them having their own natural morality because they haven't had time to be corrupted by the world around them." But for those Brits who have actually lived in the region, the story holds less of a fascination. Writer Bonnie Greer says "It came into my consciousness with the movie when I was a schoolgirl. I knew about the book but coming from a family where my dad grew up in the south, we knew all those stories, so it didn't pique my interest as much as other people." It's interesting how the familiar can be less engrossing. I wonder if Britain would seem less enticing and interesting if I actually lived there?

Did you celebrate Bloomsday this year? Every June 16, James Joyce fans celebrate and relive the day that his work Ulysses is based on. The first one was in 1954, created by 5 Irishmen who organized a daylong pilgrimage along the Ulysses route (they didn't finish because they became too drunk). Today, it is celebrated all around the world from New York to Philadelphia to Hungary, and of course Dublin.

For Narnia fans, the official trailer for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is now out. Will a change in director mean a movie that is closer to Lewis' original? I reckon we'll find out in December.

The Classic Tales Podcast is beginning a 9 part series of The Scarlet Pimpernel this week. I'm sooooo excited!

So, is there anything new happening in your corner of the literary world? Feel free to share!

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