Monday, February 27, 2012

Marching into March...

Don't forget, our March events calendar starts off with a great event, right from day one... on March 1st, St. David's Day, this Thursday, the Library Society will host author Caroline Alexander for an exciting and informative lecture and reception. Ms. Alexander will discuss her book The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War. 

Caroline Alexander studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, has a doctorate in classics from Columbia, and has authored pieces for The New Yorker and National Geographic and more in addition to her five non-fiction books. It should be a terrific evening! 

The event starts at 7PM, and tickets are $15. Get them at the front desk of the Library, by calling 1.888.718.4253, or by clicking here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Lisa, I am familiar with the work of Pablo Neruda."

This morning's obits carried the news of the death of Barney Rosset, publisher, editor and founder of Grove Press. The only mention of Rosset your loyal blogger remembers getting in school was an aside from my constitutional law professor while discussing an obscenity case... "You know the same guy who imported this film [the banned I Am Curious (Yellow)] also published Lady Chatterley's Lover and Waiting For Godot. And I doubt any of you know what those are, so I'll move on."

Well, your loyal blogger knew all about them - one was dirty, and one was weird and French. (What else was there to know?) So I made a small mental note that there was a guy who spent his time importing and publishing this sort of stuff into an Eisenhower-era America. And growing up in an internet-era America, where it's an accepted fact that the First Amendment protects almost any sort of content imaginable... the thought that alternative presses had to fight major legal battles to publish the ramblings of Beat poets is just such an ungraspable concept.

And it wasn't just naughty films and books that Rosset championed - it was Malcolm X, Jack Kerouac, Camus, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz... all in all, he published five Nobel Prize winners, and some of the most important political and literary figures of the 20th century. 

[Also, as for the Library Society and smutty books - we've long kept ours hidden, uncatalogued, in the Ross Room.]

Like it says at the top... shh...!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wrapping on a warm winter...

SEWE has come and gone, what little winter we've had is almost behind us, and spring is just around the corner here in Charleston. This, the last full week of February is sunny and in the seventies. A little sailing was even on the table for your loyal blogger this week, though he forwent the cruise to help out at the Century Club Tea here at the Library Society on Monday.

Also, if you're not familiar with the Century Club... it was organized in 1895 as the Woman's Reading Club to host discussions of cultural and political affairs. Early members included Louisa Poppenheim, one of the first Southern women to attend Vassar and a major figure in women's activism in Charleston. The Century Club survives to this day, hosting lectures, discussions, and similar intellectual events. Your loyal blogger's much expanded knowledge about about Environmentalism in Jordan and the Middle East after attending Monday's tea than I ever did before). 

According to one member, their 1895 founding makes them the oldest women's intellectual society in continuous operation on the East Coast. All I know for sure is they are as kind as they are interesting, and the Library Society was too happy to host them.

Until next time... watch for tourists, and enjoy this warm weather!