Bookishness: Week of February 20, 2012

From avant-garde to zeitgeist A new spot for logophiles to while away the hours, a few minutes at a time: Words of the World features a series of short videos exploring the minutiae of assorted words, like their provenances and meanings, made by experts from the University of Nottingham’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Literary power couple Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning’s correspondence is now available online, made possible through a collaboration between Wellesley and Baylor Universities. The universities report this to be “the largest digitization effort of love letters ever undertaken.”

A “very Texas” acquisition strategy Sure, the Ransom Center’s collection includes much of what one expects to find in a well-respected academic library’s holdings. Now, in an attempt be both “historic and prophetic,” the library has expanded its reach, getting out ahead of the ambulance chasers to acquire the private papers of authors who are very much alive. The hope is that these authors will go on to find their places in the literary canon of tomorrow (and just maybe the Ransom Center’s backing is the nudge they need).

Interview with the vampire—now werewolfwriter Anne Rice’s recent appearance at the Toronto Public Library is available in three parts on the library’s YouTube channel.

For your viewing pleasure An unflinching look at sh*t book reviewers say.