Link of the Week | Paper Valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Did you know the holiday we now associate with chocolate, greeting cards, and candy probably originated from the violent, raunchy feast of Lupercalia in Ancient Rome? The festival would last for two days, from February 13 to 15, and was filled with…less than romantic behavior, including a matchmaking lottery, the sacrifice of a goat and a dog, and…animal hides. That’s all I’m going to say. (It’s pretty dark.) The day may also get its name from Emperor Claudius II, who executed two men — both, incidentally, named Valentine — on different February 14ths in the 3rd century A.D. One of these Valentines was a Roman priest who encouraged young couples to marry. This, apparently, infuriated the Emperor, who believed soldiers should be loyal, first and foremost, to him. The Catholic Church later martyred both men and honored their memories with St. Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “Link of the Week | Paper Valentines”

Quote of the Week | James Joyce

Ulysses celebrates its 100th birthday this month. Initially serialized by the magazine The Little Review in March 1918 – one of the “chief periodicals in the English-speaking world for publishing experimental writing,” Ulysses was only presented in book form in 1922, when the American bookseller Sylvia Beach decided to publish it privately. (Sylvia Beach published her autobiography, Ulysses in Paris, in 1956. In it, she described the writer as being “so simple and unassuming that, instead of being overcome in the presence of the writer who was undoubtedly the greatest of his time, I felt quite at ease with him. It was always that way. Ever conscious though I was of his genius, I knew no one so easy to talk with.”) Continue reading “Quote of the Week | James Joyce”

Quote of the Week | A Call to Action

On February 2, Publishers Weekly released its latest Soapbox piece, an article stressing the importance of books in teaching compassion, humanity, and understanding, especially in circumstances recently – and powerfully – recognized by the #MeToo movement. The call to action, written by our very own Jane Kinney-Denning, implored publishers to bring books to life in “fair, equitable, and safe workplaces that set an example” for the rest of the world. “I believe that members of the publishing community have a responsibility to continue to push the industry to better reflect who they are and the values that they hold,” said Professor Denning. “I am only one person, and I don’t have all of the answers, but I do believe that we have strength in numbers and that being organized allows us to push doors open even farther. Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace are a collective problem, and we need the strength of all of us to fight against it.” Continue reading “Quote of the Week | A Call to Action”

Quote of the Week | Ursula K. Le Guin

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world, and exiles me from it.” These are words from the renowned science-fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away last Monday at the age of 88. Over the course of her life, Le Guin authored more than 20 novels, 12 books of poetry, 100 short stories, seven essay collections, 13 children’s books, and five volumes of translation. American literary critic Harold Bloom, the Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, described Le Guin as a “superbly imaginative creator and major stylist,” and credits her for raising “fantasy into high literature.” Continue reading “Quote of the Week | Ursula K. Le Guin”

Quote of the Week | Walt Disney

Today marked a momentous occasion in Hollywood. On the heels of 2017/18’s historic #MeToo movement and the Women’s March on Saturday, beloved Disney character Minnie Mouse just took her rightful place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the El Capitan Theatre. Joining long-time beau Mickey Mouse (who received his star in 1978, almost 40 years ago), the ceremony celebrated Minnie’s ninetieth birthday, and marked the 2,627th addition to the Southern Californian-stretch of celebrity. Continue reading “Quote of the Week | Walt Disney”