Browsing the blog archives for June, 2009.

Flaubert’s previous lives


flaubertAs part of his famous correspondence with George Sand, Gustave Flaubert wrote the following about reincarnation:

I don’t experience, as you do, this feeling of a life which is beginning, the stupefaction of a newly commenced existence. It seems to me, on the contrary, that I have always lived! And I possess memories which go back to the Pharaohs. I see myself very clearly at different ages of history, practising different professions and in many sorts of fortune. My present personality is the result of my lost personalities. I have been a boatman on the Nile, a leno in Rome at the time of the Punic wars, then a Greek rhetorician in Subura where I was devoured by insects. I died during the Crusade from having eaten too many grapes on the Syrian shores, I have been a pirate, monk, mountebank and coachman. Perhaps also even emperor of the East?

Many things would be explained if we could know our real genealogy. For, since the elements which make a man are limited, should not the same combinations reproduce themselves? Thus heredity is a just principle which has been badly applied.

Bogie and Papa

canon, movies

From the Internet Movie Database’s entry on The Old Man and the Sea (1958):

In 1952, Humphrey Bogart attempted to purchase the film rights to Hemingway’s novel through his production company, Santana Productions. Bogart identified strongly with the character of the old man and wanted to play the fisherman in the film project, with Nicholas Ray as the director. Unfortunately, the actor was unsuccessful in securing the film rights, and the film wasn’t made until the year following his death, with his close friend Spencer Tracy starring.

On Twitter


I’ve neglected to mention here that I’m on Twitter. Because I don’t already have enough to do online. Really, it’s a great way to rapidly disseminate links, thoughts, and info when you have a near limitless number of interests. I’m covering books and lit, of course, but also government docs, freedom of information issues, investigative reporting, food, health, religion, mysticism, drugs, art……

Nabokov’s papers to be unsealed June 23

archives, canon, writers' lives


UPDATE [6/25/09]: The Library of Congress has posted a press release. [via Maud Newton]


The Library of Congress Manuscripts Division has two 20+ containers of Vladimir Nabokov’s papers under seal. Tomorrow, June 23, 2009, the restrictions set by his son are scheduled to expire, meaning that this set of papers will be completely available to the public.

To see the papers, you must go to the Library’s Manuscript Reading Room. I can give more details to anyone interested. If you peruse these papers and post something about them, please let me know.

A list of restricted collections at the Library is available at my other site, The Memory Hole.

{Thanks to Mike Ravnitzky for the heads-up.}

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