Exhibition: Life on the Moon opens with Lecture by Simon J. James

Professor James came all the way from the UK to deliver the opening lecture to Life on the Moon (and to see some H.G. Wells materials from our collections, of course). It was a great lecture and we had a great turnout. Thanks to everyone for coming out and checking out the lecture and the exhibition. For those of you who missed it, here’s a video!

The Idea of a Planned World”:

H. G. Wells’s “The First Men in the Moon”
A Lecture by Simon J. James

30 August 2013, 3-5 p.m
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 346 Library

H. G. Wells is now best known for Victorian science fiction such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. In his own time, however, Wells was more famous for his utopian and political writing. His later Edwardian scientific romances combine the fantastic with social thought. The First Men in the Moon gives extended consideration to the imagined life in the moon of the “Selenite Society,” both a utopian image of Wells’s own dreams for the Earth, and a dystopian nightmare of an entirely planned world. Professor Simon J. James, of Durham University, UK, the author of scholarly work on Wells, will give an account of The First Men in the Moon in the context of Wells’s wider work, and of some of the unpublished material in the book’s manuscript, which is held in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s H. G. Wells Collection. The event is co-sponsored by The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH).

Professor Simon J. James is Professor of Victorian Literature in the Department of English Studies, Durham University. He taught at Cambridge and at Salford Universities before moving to Durham University in 1999. He is a specialist in Victorian and early twentieth-century fiction in particular, and in forms of narrative more generally. He is the author of Unsettled Accounts: Money and Narrative Form in the Novels of George Gissing (Anthem, 2003) and Maps of Utopia: H. G. Wells, Modernity and the End of Culture (Oxford University Press, 2012) and the co-editor of The Evolution of Literature: Legacies of Darwin in European Cultures (Rodopi, 2011) and George Gissing and the Woman Question: Convention and Dissent (Ashgate, 2013). He is the editor of The Wellsian, the scholarly journal of the H. G. Wells Society, and of four Wells novels in the Penguin Classics series. He is currently working on an online edition of the manuscript of The Time Machine, and books on Dickens and on male bonding in Victorian and Edwardian fiction.

The exhibition, Life on the Moon: Literary and Scientific Reflections (30 August—13 December 2013) explores the history of scientific and literary speculation about life on the moon. Books and manuscript material from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Illinois trace the history of writing about the Moon, from the Lucian’s “True Historie,” through the first telescopic observations of the Moon, its investment as a proxy for thinking anew about human society and multiple worlds, and on into the opportunity for stories of science-based adventure. Also on display will be three artifacts from the Apollo 16 mission; including a moon rock sample on loan from NASA, and two artifacts used on the moon’s surface on loan from Kennesaw State University. The exhibition is curated by Marten Stromberg, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and Patrick Fadely, a Ph.D candidate in the UIUC English Department.

Along with the exhibition, an event series called “See You on the Moon,” will feature a whole host of events including: a night reading at the Station Theatre in Urbana, storytelling at the Parkland Planetarium, an on-campus moon observation session by the Astronomy Department, “WOLF” (a performance art piece that is part of the “Unreliable Bestiary” series), a Moon-themed performance by the U of I Concert Jazz Band, a harvest moon festival sponsored by Orchard Downs and the Japan House, children’s events at the Urbana and Champaign public libraries, and an Art Exhibition at the Independent Media Center to take place during the Pygmalion Music Festival. Details on these and other events are found at the website: go.illinois.edu/moon.

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Marcel Proust on Writing

proust_845p94oa_v1_cover-copy2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Du côté de chez Swann (Swann’s Way), the first part of Marcel Proust’s lengthy literary masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, also known as Remembrance of Things Past. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is celebrating this milestone with an exhibition drawn from its renowned Proust collection. The selection of books and manuscripts follows Marcel Proust through his school-year publications, through the formative years of the study and translations of John Ruskin’s works, to the all-consuming adventure of A la recherche du temps perdu, which occupied the author from 1908 until his death in 1922.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the completion of the 21-volume edition of the correspondence of Proust by Philip Kolb (Paris: Plon, 1970-93), a professor of French literature at the University of Illinois whose fifty-year association with the University Library led to the creation of our outstanding collection of books, manuscripts and letters by Marcel Proust. Because Proust never kept a journal, his letters have become the most important source of information about his life and his work. They give us a glimpse of his real-world inspirations and show us how his works subsequently evolved.

In the foreword to the first volume, Kolb wrote:

“The letters of Marcel Proust, if compared to his novel, resemble it to the extent that a tapestry’s reverse side resembles its front.  One can distinguish all the threads, all the colors: what is missing is the sharpness in the drawing, the finish, the art, in other words. Likewise, much of what he put into his oeuvre can be seen in his letters, albeit in a less poetic, more genuine light.”

Proust’s talent for writing and his vocation were expressed early on in his letters. He wrote to one of his classmates in 1888: “Forgive my handwriting, my style, my spelling. I don’t dare reread myself. When I write at breakneck speed. I know I shouldn’t. But I have so much to say. It comes pouring out of me.” In 1893, the same year that Proust was editing Le Banquet review with friends, he responded to his father, who was urging him to choose a suitable career path, “I still believe that anything I do outside of literature and philosophy will be just so much time wasted.”

If the years spent on translating and commenting the works of John Ruskin contributed to developing the young author’s aesthetic and critical sense, they didn’t satisfy him completely, as he confided to his friend Antoine Bibesco:

“And this so-called work I’ve taken up again—it plagues me for several reasons. Most of all, because what I’m doing at present is not real work, only documentation, translation, etc. It’s enough to arouse my thirst for creation, without of course slaking it in the least. [...] A thousand characters for novels, a thousand ideas urge me to give them body, like the shades in the Odyssey who plead with Ulysses to give them a little blood to drink to bring them back to life and whom the hero brushes aside with his sword.” [December 1902.]

The urge to create, combined with an extraordinary facility for writing, made it difficult for Proust to adhere to the constraints set by his editors and publishers. Writing about an article commissioned by the daily Le Figaro in 1907, he admitted, “they find that I’m always ten times too long, and however much I try to compress, to remove from myself, a bit here and a bit there, Shylock’s pound of flesh in order to weigh less, I can’t seem to arrive at the required length.” The following year, commenting about one of the literary pastiches he was about to publish in the same newspaper, Proust confessed, “I didn’t make a single correction in the Renan. But it came pouring out in such floods that I stuck whole new pages on to the proofs at the last minute.”

As he embarked on the publication of his novel with Bernard Grasset in 1913, and then with the Nouvelle revue française (NRF) in 1916, Proust continued to employ this work method. The transition from manuscript to type and proofs generated multiple, extensive revisions and redraftings. In April 1913, Proust described his “proof-reading” technique to a friend:

“My corrections up to now (I hope it won’t go on) are not corrections. Scarcely one line in 20 of the original text (replaced of course by another) remains. It’s crossed out and altered in all the white spaces I can find, and I stick additional bits of paper above and below, to the right and to the left, etc.”

A month later, he sent some proofs back to his publisher with this recommendation: “I advise you to draw your people’s attention to the fact that my proofs are very fragile; I’ve stuck bits of paper which could easily tear, and that would cause endless complications. There are galleys which may seem to be half-missing. This is because I have transferred a passage elsewhere.”

proust_8_msfile_04_01-copyproust_8_msfile_04_02-copy_full_-copy

The resulting paper mosaics can be seen in two fragments from A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, on display in the exhibition. For example, a short passage about Odette Swann’s salon, located at the bottom of the 2nd column on the first galley, reappears on the second plate, 2nd column.

proust_8_msfile_04_01-copy_det_proust_8_msfile_04_02-copy2_-copy_det_

The manuscript addition from the first plate was set in type and corrected again. It was then cut out and fixed in the revised textual sequence with much paste and patience by a clerk at the NRF. The resulting text must have undergone at least one additional round of proof-reading because the published version contains minor revisions that are not noted on our fragment.

In his letters, Proust expressed some ambivalence about the fate of his manuscripts and papers. In 1919, he asked of a friend: “What would you say if a man decided to keep to himself, as autographs, Voltaire’s correspondence, or Emerson’s? A private collection must be made into a museum, or else it deprives the community.” The following year, he decided to add plates from the Jeunes filles composite manuscript to all fifty copies of the luxury edition of that book. Yet, while entertaining an offer for the sale of his manuscripts in 1922, he admitted to his friend Sydney Schiff: “It is not very pleasant to think that anybody (if people still care about my books) will be allowed to consult my manuscripts, to compare them to the definitive text, to infer from them suppositions that will always be wrong about the way I work, the evolution of my thinking, etc.”

One hundred years later, the vast numbers of editions, translations and adaptations of Proust’s books, as well as the prodigious amounts of scholarship published on the subject, are evidence that people still care about his work. With this exhibition and continued work on our collection, we hope to have met Proust’s wish not to deprive the community of  the opportunity to discover the work and life of one the major novelists of the 20th century. CS

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A basic bibliography of works by and about Marcel Proust

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The Frozen Deep

Yesterday at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, first year MFA students in Theatre gathered to perform a reading of The Frozen Deep, by Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens. Tom Mitchell put together the text and Adam Doskey provided the introduction. This is just one of several events being held around the current exhibition of Arctic materials up in RBML. Refer to our calendar for more information: http://illinois.edu/calendar/list/2169?cal=20120621&skinId=6641

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February 8, 2013 · 4:22 pm

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library Invites Visiting Scholar Applications for 2013-14

The John “Bud” Velde Visiting Scholars Program
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library annually awards stipends of up to $3,000 to scholars and researchers, unaffiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who would like to spend a month or more conducting research with our materials.

The holdings of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library are quite substantial. Comprehensive collections support research in printing and printing history, Renaissance studies, Elizabethan and Stuart life and letters, John Milton and his age, emblem studies, economic history, and works on early science and natural history. The library also houses the papers of such diverse literary figures as Carl Sandburg, H.G. Wells, William Maxwell, and W.S. Merwin.

For information about this program, how to apply, and to find out more about The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, please visit our Web site at:

http://www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/research_fellowships.html

Please contact the Public Programs Manager, Dennis Sears with further questions about the program or The Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Dennis Sears, Public Programs Manager
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library
University of Illinois Library, Room 346
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
USA
(217) 333 7242 voice, (217) 244 1755 fax

Or email Dennis: dsears (at) illinois (dot) edu.

Deadline for application: *1 March 2013*.

Thank you!

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Two Events to Celebrate the University Library’s 13-Millionth Book: The First Illustrated Japanese printed book!

Thursday, 27 September, 3pm in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Tales of Ise, 1608: The First Japanese Illustrated Work of Literature A Lecture by Colin Franklin, author, bibliographer, and book-collector

Colin Franklin is an important English collector of Asian materials, a bibliophile and the author of numerous books on printing history, including Exploring Japanese Books and Scrolls, (British Library, 2005).

Friday, 28 September, 4pm in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Saga-bon Ise monogatari: The Most Influential Book in Early-Modern Japan? A lecture by Professor Joshua S. Mostow, University of British Columbia

Professor Mostow has written about the inter-relations between text and image in Japanese culture, Japanese women’s writing in the court tradition. He is also the author of The Ise Stories, (University of Hawaii Press, 2010).

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First Illustrated Japanese Book Added as 13-Millionth Volume

Ise monogatari 伊勢物語 (Tales of Ise). Kyoto-fu (Saga): Suminokura Soan, with Nakanoin Michikatsu and Hon’ami Kōetsu, 1608.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has added its 13-millionth book, maintaining our status as the largest public university library in America.  The 13-millionth volume is the Ise Monogatari of 1608, the first illustrated Japanese printed book.  It is also the first printed edition of the popular Ise Monogatari (or Tales of Ise).  Published by Suminokura Soan 角倉素庵 (1571-1632),  a wealthy entrepreneur, scholar, litterateur and art connoisseur, it is also one of the earliest Japanese books printed with moveable type.

Soan’s printing establishment, which he set up at Saga 嵯峨 village near Kyoto, produced the much sought after “Saga-bon” imprints, of which this is the most famous.

The Tales of Ise is an anonymous compilation of 209 poems and 125 episodes from a poet’s life, arranged in rough chronological order as a biography of the unnamed protagonist (known in the text only as ‘a man’).  It probably originated the 10th century but gained its present form in the 12th century, in a version edited by the great poet Fujiwara Teika 藤原定家 (1162-1241).  Enormously popular, the Tales of Ise recounts the amorous exploits of an unnamed lover/poet, often identified with Ariwara no Narihira (825-80), one of the six “sages” of Japanese poetry.  The text was often illustrated in manuscript form and has long been considered a kind of ars amatoria and an essential text for students of Japanese culture. Theromantic adventures are also popular subject matter for painting, so it is not surprising that the first illustrated Japanese book would be the Tales of Ise.

The first printed edition—our 13 millionth book—was published by Suminokura Soan in co-operation with the famous painter, calligrapher and polymath, Hon’ami Kōetsu 本阿弥光悦 (1558-1637). The illustrator of the book is unknown, but some have attributed the woodcuts to Kōetsu.  A third member of the publishing team, Nakanoin Michikatsu 中院通勝, (1558-1610), was a nobleman, literary scholar, and editor.  Their Saga-bon editions were prized for their high quality and artistic merit.  They were printed with movable wooden type, a technique newly imported from Korea. The elegant type and delicate woodcuts of the Saga-bon Tales of Ise appear on five different hand-made colored papers.

This rare first edition is distinguished by Nakanoin Michikatsu’s brush drawn kakihan or cipher, one of only four copies with his handwritten signature, probably indicating that this copy was presented as a gift.

The book was reprinted eight times by 1610.  Its illustrations became the model for the iconography of this text and for the general style of Japanese book illustration for the next two centuries.  The University of Illinois houses an excellent collection of 17th-  to 19th-century illustrated Japanese books in its Yamagiwa Collection, including a 15th-century manuscript copy of the Tales of Ise and three 17th- and early 18th -century print editions. This new acquisition will be a boon to scholars and students of Japanese literature and culture at our university, and a welcome addition for anyone who loves beautiful books.

We are grateful to the Simpson family for the generous support which made this important acquisition possible.

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Newly Discovered Association Copies

Curatorial intern Brian Flota has been searching the Library’s modern British literature holdings in order to track down items from the Tom Turner collection of British literature, purchased by Gordon Ray in the 1950s. In the process, Brian discovered many previously unknown association copies and a number of fine press poetry chapbooks. In this post, he picks ten of the items to share with the readers of Non Solus.

(1) Stanley J. Weyman. The Great House. London: John Murray, 1919. (823 W54gr 1919)

Stanley Weyman (1855-1928) is best known for his French historical romances, which were compared to Alexandre Dumas at the time of their publication. This late novel, The Great House, is about the anti-corn law movement. The library’s copy features an inscription from Weyman to Leonard Huxley (1860-1933), thanking him for his “kindly encouragement and oversight.” Leonard Huxley was the editor of the Cornhill Magazine, in which this work was originally serialized. He was also the father of the great English novelist Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).

(2) Ouida. “Held in Bondage,” or, Granville de Vigne: A Tale of the Day. London: Tinsley, Brothers, 1863. (823 D374he)

Ouida was the nom de plume of Maria Louise Ramé (1839-1908), a prolific English writer known primarily for her popular adventures and historical novels. Held in Bondage was her first novel, published in three volumes. The Library’s copy includes a four-page letter, handwritten and signed by Ouida, tipped-in the first volume. Ouida lived a tempestuous life filled with extravagances paid for by her best-selling novels, but died in poverty in Italy, surrounded by the many stray dogs she had adopted.

(3) Caroline Sheridan Norton. The Dream and Other Poems. London: Henry Colburn, 1840. (821 N82d)

The Dream was the sixth book of poetry published by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (1808-1877). A woman of high society, her life, especially during the time of the publication of The Dream, was fraught with public scandal. On the front fly-leaf of the Library’s copy, Norton has inscribed what appears to be an original, twenty-line poem, beginning, “The God that gave, reclaimed his gift; –.”

(4) Israel Zangwill. The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes. London: William Heinemann, 1903. (823 Z1gr)

Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was a notable Jewish writer from England and an important member of the Zionist movement. Zangwill is most remembered today for his 1908 play The Melting Pot, which served to popularize the term and concept. Our copy of his earlier collection of short stories, The Grey Wig, features an inscription to “Mrs. Chaplin,” a relative of his wife, Edith Ayrton Zangwill. Edith Ayrton’s mother, Matilda Charlotte Chaplin Ayrton (1846-1883), was a member of the “Edinburgh Seven” – a group of women who fought unsuccessfully to earn medical degrees from Edinburgh University in the early 1870s.

(5) M.P. Shiel. The Yellow Danger. London: Grant Richards, 1900. (823 Sh59y 1900)

M.P. Shiel (1865-1947), the English popular adventure and science fiction novelist, first published The Yellow Danger in 1898. This xenophobic novel of racial conflict was apparently an influence on Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu character. The library’s copy is inscribed by Shiel on the title page. Shiel’s popularity has waned greatly since his death, but his post-apocalyptic novel The Purple Cloud (1901) was recently republished by the University of Nebraska Press in their “Bison Frontiers of Imagination” series.

(6) Four Grant Richards Items:

Grant Richards. Caviare. London: Grant Richards, 1912. (823 R392c)

Grant Richards. Valentine. London: Grant Richards, 1913. (823 R392v)

Grant Richards. Bittersweet. London: Grant Richards, 1915. (823 R392b)

William Watson. Lachrymae Musarum and Other Poems. London: Macmillan, 1892. (821 W33ℓ)

Grant Richards (1872-1948) was one of England’s most prominent publishers in the early 20th Century. As a publisher, he is perhaps most famous for publishing, after a decade-long delay, James Joyce’s first short story collection, Dubliners (1914). Richards was also a novelist. The library has three of his novels inscribed in a miniscule hand to journalist and bibliophile Holbrook Jackson (1874-1948). And the library also owns a book inscribed to Grant Richards: a slim hardbound volume of poetry by William Watson (1858-1935) that is inscribed to Richards from “his sincere friend.” If you are interested in Grant Richards’s writings or in his work as a publisher, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a collection of his correspondence, literary manuscripts, and business papers. Additional collections of Grant Richards materials are housed at Georgetown University, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Ireland, and Princeton University.

(7) Edgar Jepson. The Passion for Romance. London: H. Henry & Co., 1896. (823 J46pa)

Edgar Jepson (1863-1938) inscribed this copy of The Passion for Romance to his sometime literary collaborator John Gawsworth (1912-1970), later known in his own right as a poet and a publisher. Gawsworth was also M.P. Shiel’s bibliographer and literary executor. In the inscription in the Library’s copy, Jepson provides some advice for Gawsworth: “Patience: and shuffle the cards.”

(8) Captain J.A. Kemble. Creeds: A World-Embracing Poem. [Calcutta, India: s.n., 1909?]. (821 K232c)

Not much is known about J.A. Keble, but this copy of his poem Creeds is an interesting artifact of Great Britain’s colonization of India. The poem is inscribed to one “General Edward Hastings Ripley” from Capt. Keble’s station in Darjeeling. A publisher’s advertisement affixed to the verso of the author’s portrait notes he is also the author of Darjeeling Ditties and Other Poems.

(9) Thom Gunn. The Garden of the Gods. Cambridge, Mass.: Pym-Randall Press, 1968. (821 G956ga)

Thom Gunn (1929-2004) was part of the British school of writers that produced Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis, and Ted Hughes. Interestingly, he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1954 and was present for the emergence of the Beat Movement there. This chapbook of his poem “The Garden of the Gods” is signed and numbered by the author.

(10) Thomas Adolphus Trollope. A Peep Behind the Scenes at Rome. London: Chatto and Windus, 1877. (823 T746p)

Unlike the other items discussed in the post, A Peep Behind the Scenes at Rome is not signed by its author, who in this case happens to be Thomas Adolphus Trollope (1810-1892). Thomas Adolphus Trollope was a noted travel writer and older brother to the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope. What makes the copy noteworthy is Anthony Trollope’s armorial bookplate on the front paste-down. This copy was subsequently passed down to Anthony’s granddaughter, Muriel Trollope. The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a small collection of the letters, journals, unpublished literary works of Anthony Trollope and other members of the Trollope family, including some of Thomas Adolphus Trollope’s letters and journals. BF, AD

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