Archive for August 30, 2012

Banned Books Week

Did you know that one of the greatest examples of English prose mastery, Ulysses by James Joyce, was once unavailable in the United States because it was on the banned book list. Banned Books Week is being marked this year from September 30 to October 6. Be sure to carefully guard your freedom to read.

Savior of Monte Cassino

The Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy was heavily bombed and destroyed by Allied bombers in February of 1944. The Allies thought that the Germans had placed soldiers in the monastery but the Germans had not done so. The Abbey buildings were completely destroyed. But the art treasures that it contained (including paintings by DaVinci, Titian, Raphael, a 70,000 volume library and ancient manuscripts) had been saved and sent to Rome thanks to the foresight of Lieutenant-Colonel Julius Schlegel who provided transport to the Abbey in October to remove these treasures to Rome. Schlegel had been a librarian and art historian in Vienna before the war.

R.I.P. Gore Vidal

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of one of the most controversial figures in American literature. Gore Vidal passed away on July 31, 2012. Gore Vidal was a many of prodigious talents: novelist, politician, screen writer and student of American history. His output was staggering but it was overshadowed by his altercations with the likes of Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley. Both literature and politics are lessened by his loss.