Random Bookish Links and Grrr, This Keyboard

If I'm a bit quieter of late the reasons:

1) the move and the job, and

2) this old laptop I'm on. I'm having a huge hate-relationship with this keyboard. I'll be typing along as usual and suddenly the cursor will hop a few lines above or below, and I'll be typing in the middle of another sentence. It does other quirky things - that's just the most regular symptom.


There's a new laptop in my future but that's going to have to wait til I have time to get it - I have a mess o' errands to get to before then.


Meanwhile, here are some random things I've been reading online - a new Sherlock story, Harper Lee's old novel may be just an early draft of Mockingbird, reading old writing in the margins, a negative review that still makes me want to see a museum exhibit, and a de Sade article that just had to mention Christian Grey (but only in the title).


Scottish man finds lost Sherlock Holmes story from 1904 in attic

By Rachelle Blinder, New York Daily News, February 20, 2015

"...Walter Elliot, 80, said he found the 1904 short story, "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burgs and, by Deduction, the Brig Bazaar," while looking through old papers to display in a local pop-up museum.

The 1,300-word story was nestled inside a long-forgotten pamphlet that a friend had given to him more than 50 years ago, Elliot said.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the piece for a 48-page booklet to raise money for a bridge in Selkirk, Scotland, Elliot said. The pamphlet, with stories by local authors, was called "The Book o' Brig" after the name of the wood bridge that washed away in a flood in 1902."


To shill a mockingbird: How a manuscript’s discovery became Harper Lee’s ‘new’ novel

By Neely Tucker, Washington Post, February 16

"...Three months later, “Watchman” appeared, billed as a breathless discovery. 

 ...That said, noted Hohoff, who died in 1974, the effort was very, very flawed.

“The manuscript we saw was more a series of anecdotes than a fully conceived novel. The editorial call to duty was plain. She needed, at last, professional help in organizing her material and developing a sound plot structure.”

...It took until Nov. 10, 1959 - another two years - of edits, rewrites, changes, tweaks and overhauls - before Lippincott accepted the manuscript as ready for publication, scheduled for the following summer.

Lee, in a later speech, would say that she wrote the book three times: first in the third person, then in the first, then combining the voices of Scout as an adult and as a child."


Scrawled Insults and Epiphanies

By Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books, Feb 19, 2015

"...Oxford isn’t alone. A splendid exhibition currently at the Cambridge University Library recreates “Private Lives of Print: The Use and Abuse of Books 1450–1550.” The histories, romances, and devotional books showcased there have one thing in common: they were illuminated, corrected, scribbled on, and, in one wonderful case singled out by Mary Beard, covered with red ink by past owners and readers. The last spiller of ink at least apologized: “I stupidly made this blot on the first of December 1482.” "


Sculpture Victorious, Tate Britain, review: 'its incoherence is frightening': This survey of British sculpture from the Victorian age is so cack-handed it's depressing, says Richard Dorment

By Richard Dorment, The Telegraph, 23 Feb 2015

"...To give one example: twice it is stated that Alfred Gilbert’s failure to finish a royal commission (the Tomb of the Duke of Clarence at Windsor) led to his resignation from the Royal Academy. In fact, he was asked to resign several years after that incident, when a client complained to the President of the RA that Gilbert would or could not produce a commission for which she had already paid a large advance.

The reason I know this is that I’ve written both a life of Alfred Gilbert and the catalogue of an exhibition about him at the Royal Academy. Both are readily available – but in libraries, not Wikipedia ."


Christian Grey can’t hold a wax-dripping candle to the Marquis De Sade

By Mike Vago, The AV Club, Feb 23, 2015

"...While many have romanticized Sade’s sexual escapades, the reality was often less than charming. His first major scandal took place in 1768, when he brought a woman back to his chateau, imprisoned her, and physically and sexually abused her until she escaped through a second-floor window. Four years later, Sade and a manservant were sentenced to death for having sex with each other, and for poisoning (but not killing) several prostitutes with Spanish Fly, a supposed aphrodisiac that only puts someone in the mood if by “the mood” you mean “severe abdominal pain.”"


Posting that last link because it's part of a fun series (that I can relate to!):

With more than 4.7 million articles, Wikipedia is an invaluable resource, whether you’re throwing a term paper together at the last minute, or you need a place to indulge your love of Soviet films of the 1950s without having to brush up against your hatred of Soviet films of the 1960s. But follow enough links, and you get sucked into some seriously strange places. We explore some of Wikipedia’s oddities in our 4,717,554-week series, Wiki Wormhole.