Take the time this month to stop by the Library and check out one these great essay collections on display during May!
“Kusherehekea Ujasiri” is a Swahili phrase that admonishes us all to “celebrate resilience”. Each year during the month of February, our country celebrates the resilience of African American pioneers and other great leaders whose lives help catapult us into a new era. Black History Month or National African American History Month originally began as a week-long celebration dubbed “Negro History Week”. This diminutive movement was a localized attempt to recognize the historical value of African American achievements. However, it later ballooned into a month long proclamation of education and equality.
In observation of this long standing tradition, the library has put on display books that speak to the African diaspora. Among them are great titles such as Becoming African American: Black Public Life in Harlem, 1919-1939 by Clare Corbould and Art in Crisis: WEB Dubois and the Struggle of African American Identity and Memory by Amy Helene kirschke. Both of these titles expertly portray the complex and often self-deprecating struggles that have troubled African Americans throughout history.
If you are interested in reading these titles or other related books on African American culture, stop by the PSC Library today.
When I think of summer, I think of road trips: Cruising down the highway with the radio blasting, stopping at every opportunity for gas station snacks, and long, meandering conversations with friends. A road trip is about the journey as much as the destination. So imagine the opportunity to road trip with an author you love, getting to know him in the intimacy of late night road conversations. That’s exactly what David Lipsky does over the course of a few days in the summer of 1996. He reports back on these conversations with David Foster Wallace in Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, allowing us a personal view of a brilliant and complicated writer.
Stop by the library to check this book out, or any of the other great New Books on display!
Check out the NEW BOOKS SHELF in the Library for some titles that have recently been added to our collection. Featured this week is Never Drank the Kool-Aid, a collection of essays by writer and journalist Touré. Whether he was writing for Rolling Stone or the New York Times, Touré always managed to encapsulate the essence of a person even while interviewing legendary superstars and athletes such as Tupac, Notorius B.I.G., Eminem, and Michael Jordan. Almost as influential as the stars themselves, Touré has left us with a unique perspective on musicians, athletes, and celebrities and their place in American Culture.
You can find Never Drank the Kool-Aid along with any of these other titles listed below on the NEW BOOKS SHELF this month.
“He more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists.”
– J.M. Coetzee
Born in Buenos Aires in 1899, Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine short story writer, essayist, and poet would become during the 1940s one of the premier fore-runners of ushering the world of Latin American literature into the realm of magical realism. Prior to Borges (during the 1940s) and Gabriel García Márquez (during the 1960s), Latin American writers tended to be primarily concerned with painting realistic and detailed portrayals of the reality they existed in. However, when Borges released Ficciones and The Aleph in the 1940s he presented to other artists, worlds where themes such as of dreams, labyrinths, religions, the supernatural, and metaphysics could be injected into realism. Rather than using fiction as a way to document reality, Borges used it to create new realities that toyed with philosophical concepts (in fact, he was so into the toying with reality that while he worked as a book reviewer for a Argentine Newspaper, he would make up and add facts to the author’s biography). The act of writing to Borges was intellectual play; in it he was free to try out new storytelling techniques, or he fram elaborate puzzles for his readers to figure out.
One of my favorite story by Borges, “Death and the Compass” (Collected Fictions, p. 147), is one of the best examples of how good he was at taking the tricks of a particular genre (in this case detective story) and flipping it on its head. The plot of the story is that detective Erik Lönnrot, is attempting to solve a series of murders which seems to add up to the Kabbalist pattern of the Tetragrammaton (the unspeakable name of god). Inside the plot and structure Borges combines some of his favorite themes like religious symbols and rituals, a main character who succumbs to hubris, conspiracy theories, and an ironic conclusion, to craft a story that is magically clever, with an ending that is best left unspoiled.
You can check out “Death and the Compass” or find your own favorite Borges short story in Collected Fictions (FIC BORGES).
You can also continue reading for more information on Borges including the books he wrote and those that he inspired.