Odyssey Online

Entries from November 2013

Doris Lessing

November 18th, 2013 · Comments Off on Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing died this weekend at age 94.  Vicki Barker at National Public Radio wrote this thoughtful and insightful tribute to Lessing’s life and work. We have forty titles by Lessing in the SLU Libraries’ collections, and this list represents a sampling of the literature about Lessing’s works that are here in ODY:

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, Academic Blogging

November 8th, 2013 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Academic Blogging

Two blog posts arguing the place of blogging in academic writing–“Blogs as Catalysts” by Daniel Little and “Six Years of Understanding Society” by Jay Ulfelder.  Both men make the case that blogging allows them to put ideas in play that they can hone into more polished academic work.  In the words Ulfelder: “You might say I’ve become an ‘open-source’ philosopher — as I get new ideas about a topic I develop them through the blog. This means that readers can observe ideas in motion.” Back in the 1970’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a skit about Thomas Hardy writing in front of cheering crowd, a comedy peace about writing as essentially solitary, but the dynamic Little and Ulfelder is the rough draft as public document not played for laughs, it’s about a reconceptualizing of private and public writing space.  Now, mixing those two things up is not always a good idea, but an “open-source” progression for an idea connect to a voice, an authorial voice, has interesting bibliographic possibilities in how different researchers may cite to different variations on the same idea.  That one idea may find itself in different research in different rhetorical lights…akin perhaps to the photographs of a person in the different periods of their life, the same person, but a distinct persona.


Tags: Essay on Technology · The Academic Internet

Friday Blogging, John Updike

November 4th, 2013 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, John Updike

The Library of American has just released a two volume edition of John Updike’s Collected Stories.  In the online publication The Millions James Santel has a lucid but very slightly sad review that with remarkable concision states the case both for and against Updike’s work.  At issue is Updike’s “metronomic virtuosity” as a writer, and whether “beauty is enough.”  Perhaps all questions of what beauty can ultimately do are very slightly sad, and while we don’t have the Collected Stories in the collection yet, we will, and we do have 72 books by Updike, including the wonderful pictured collection of short stories (written early in his career).

This little space being sympathetic to Updike a brilliant sunlight just the other side of daylight savings day like today might do well to include an Updike short story, imperfect, beautiful…

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography

St. Lawrence University