Reading in a World of Images (LIVE from the NYPL) 9/17/08



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Mendelsohn on...
Through the New York Public Library's indexes and databases, you can access the full text of articles from the New York Times from 1851-present and other print media online, including articles and reviews by Daniel Mendelsohn. Check it out by visiting this link.

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How Fiction Works
The New York Public Library has copies of several of James Woods' books, including his book of essays on literature, "How Fiction Works," available for library cardholders to check out. Visit this link for availability at a branch near you.

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Music critic Alex Ross's blog
Check out Alex Ross's blog, where you can browse his updates on musical news and learn about how iTunes is offering the first movement of Cage's 4'33" as its latest Discovery Download.

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The Man Who Loved Children
Written by an Australian author, Christina Stead, in 1940, "The Man Who Loved Children," is a work of fiction about a dysfunctional family and the relationship between parents and the children. You can find copies at branches of The New York Public Library by following this link.

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Digitizing books, Google, and the Amazon Kindle
The New York Public Library is working with Google to offer a portion of its collection online via Google Book Search. The items being digitized in this project are chosen based on the following criteria: they are in the public domain, i.e., published before 1923, and they are in good enough physical condition to withstand scanning. The items are being scanned in their entirety and will be available to the public for free. To access a searchable list of all NYPL's Google Books, visit the link below.

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Short attention span?
How long is your attention span? Take "Psychology Today" magazine's Attention Span Test to find out.

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Brideshead Revisited
A movie adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, directed by Julian Jarrold, was released in 2008--but an earlier television adaption, which aired on PBS during the 1980s is considered by some to be a masterpiece. Both are based on Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel about the loss of innocence and unspoken love, set in England before the Second World War.

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Practical Criticism
Practical Criticism, a new discipline started in 1920 by the Cambridge critic I.A. Richards, teaches student to read literary works by focusing "the words on the page" rather than preconceived or received belief about a text. Learn more about it at the link below.

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Pico Iyer conducts a discussion with Daniel Mendelsohn and James Wood, both authors of new books of criticism. Mendelsohn's How Beautiful It Is And How Easily It Can Be Broken is a collection of essays that comments on the vast landscape of contemporary American culture from Quentin Taratino's film Kill Bill, which he sees as representing a generation raised on television reruns and video replays, to a theatrical face-off between the work of Stephen Sondheim "but it's about something" and Mel Brooks' "a wholly safe evening." In his book How Fiction Works, Wood says that you have to "read enough literature to be taught by it how to read it" as he explores not just how fiction works but how a novelist's choices make us feel that a novel ultimately works... or doesn't.

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