Auden/Virtual Library?/Hay Festival

May 15, 2006

Religion and Auden
In his review of Grappling with God: The Faith of a Famous Poet by Wilfred McClay, Arthur Kirsch provides a keen insight into the mind of W.H. Auden: “His thoughts…wandered freely from the sacred to the profane and back again.”

The Libraries of Libraries or Not
In the cover story of yesterday's New York Times Magazine, Kevin Kelly envisions what appears to be the emergence of the world's largest and first truly accessible library to all humankind—with access to a computer and the Internet. “In several dozen nondescript office building around the world, thousands of hourly workers bend over table-top scanners and haul dusty books into high-tech scanning booths. They are assembling the universal library page by page.” His assessment is a bit idealistic, but he touches on the potential advances for scholarship and culture.

At the same time, Alex Golub writes in InsideHigherEd.com: “It never occurred to me that an interested in digital scholarship meant turning your back on paper. So just to set the record straight, I would like to state in this (admittedly Web-only) public forum that I have a deep and abiding passion for paper: I love it. Love it.”

The Literary Festival That Could
In this age when too many people are discussing the decline of reading and paper-based publishing, a literary festival in rural Whales, the Hay Festival, is riding a crest of popularity. Writes Sarah Lyall for the New York Times, “The Hay Festival, which began in 1988 as an insane glint in the eye of its organizer, Peter Florence, has expanded and expanded to become one of the world's best-known and most exciting literary events…(Think of it as a literary Sundance festival, minus the Hollywood swag.)”

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