Literary Apps: Museums Without Walls?

Literary Apps: Museums Without Walls?

English Literary Heritage

281851582_979263862001_110606TheWastelandApp-4788967While web-based applications such as ‘Turning the Pages’ offer a good opportunity to access precious and rare manuscripts outside of formal, controlled environments, they do not necessarily provide a curated experience. In essence, they present single exhibits, individual manuscripts which do not have a narrative or interpretative shape. Yet, there is a growing trend in applications for tablet computers and other mobile devices, software that allows the user to explore a virtual exhibition of manuscripts and other material alongside original texts. These apps can be focused and curated, presenting an interpretative view of an author’s work and the archival materials surrounding its creation.

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The ‘Tremulous Hand of Worcester’

The Perne & Ward Libraries

Most of the older Oxbridge colleges have collections of manuscripts – the handwritten books that made up their reference libraries before the Reformation.  Peterhouse has a substantial collection, about 280 items, most of them still the College’s property, though a few strayed to other places in the course of the 16th and 17th centuries.  Not many Colleges have larger collections than this.  Trinity, with about 1500 items, is exceptional, but these came largely in the 17th century.  Peterhouse, on the contrary, has a complete library catalogue from 1418, and about half of the items in it still survive.  The survival of the catalogue itself is a piece of luck, and if did not exist we would be hard put to prove that very many of the surviving MSS were at Peterhouse as early as that.

Being handmade, MSS differ from printed books precisely in the fact that no two are…

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The unreachable apple


Sappho Fr. 93

Οἶον τὸ γλυκύμαλον ἐρεύθεται ἄκρῳ ἐπ’ ὔσδῳ
ἄκρον ἐπ’ ἀκροτάτῳ· λελάθοντο δὲ μαλοδρόπηες,
οὐ μὰν ἐκλελάθοντ’, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐδύναντ’ ἐπίκεσθαι.

As the sweet apple reddens on the high bough high up on the highest; the apple pickers overlooked it – yet they did not completely overlook it, but they could not reach it.

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The literary of the Jews of Egypt and the Sappho of Lesbos


This is a 10-minute post to add to the blog series on the Interpretive Spins and Literary Sparks in the Ψαλμοὶ. Abram K-J (who’s in a group reading the Greek Psalmoi this year) is the inspiration for this particular post. He wrote one yesterday that reminded me of one of the fragments of Sappho. He’s struck by the syllable count of one particular word as much as anything:

One thing that continually impresses me about Greek is its preponderance of multisyllabic words. / Much of this has to do with how its verbs are conjugated. The four-syllable verb μεγαλυνω, for example, when inflected in Psalm 19:8 (Psalm 20:7 in English Bibles), becomes a majestic seven-syllable ending to an already beautiful verse:… [read the rest here]

What Abram didn’t mention is that this long-syllable-phrase appears multiply. So let me show the LXX Greek on that, the Hebraic Hellene. Then…

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James Romm, Ghost on the Throne: the Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire

The Researching Librarian: Book Reviews

(2014-10-31 002)Title: Ghost on the Throne: the Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire

Author: James Romm

Publication Information: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-27164-8

Library of Congress Classification: DF235.4

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Greece–History–Macedonian Hegemony, 323-281 B.C.
Macedonia–History—Diadochi, 323-276 B.C.
Alexander, the Great, 356-323 B.C.—Death and burial

This is the story of what happened after Alexander the Great died in Babylon in 323 BC.

Alexander’s close cadre of friends whom he grew up with as well as conquered the Persian Empire with, quickly devolved into a group of fighting, self-serving men trying to get what they could. In the end, Alexander’s empire would be destroyed, sections of it seized by his various companions.

One man, Perdiccas, attempted to keep the empire together, and he nearly succeeded. Perdiccas had help from an unlikely ally, Eumenes, a Greek…

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