November 2018, will mark the Centennial Anniversary of the end of the Great War. In April, 1918, French poet, writer, critic and theoretician of art, Guillaume Apollinaire, published his work subtitled “Poems of Peace and War 1913-1916” under the title Calligrammes. This collection of poems is very special and unique for a number of reasons: […]


Tarantula by Bob Dylan

by The bookworm on November 25, 2016

What do T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison, Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Pearl Buck, Elias Canetti, Gunter Grass, John Steinbeck, Harold Pinter, Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan have in common? They have all been honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature, the world’s most prestigious and coveted award. The 2016 winner, Bob Dylan, […]


The production of richly illuminated manuscripts continued well after the invention of the printing press. A good example of their value for research in cultural history, in particular the history of portraits1 , is provided by the sumptuous manuscript of Petrarch’s poems in Italian (4648 Bd. Ms 24+) produced in Florence around 1465-70 and acquired […]

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It has the chemistry of a major hit – importance, scarcity, artistic impression, controversy, and mystique. Yet the small imprint of Editions Narcisse, later renamed Black Sun, has not performed like a major hit. It all became obvious a year ago during the Sotheby’s Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana, auction event, held in New […]


Among some of the most important poems in the English language lies Ode to a Nightingale. The poem, written by John Keats in 1819, is probably the most famous of his Great Odes, which also include Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to Psyche, Fancy,  and  To Autumn.  The collection is published in the third […]


The oldest surviving epic poem of Old English, the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, is also a great example of how a manuscript’s condition affected the impression it had on writers and scholars through the centuries. Beowulf, like most Old English poems, has no title in the unique manuscript in which it survives in […]


It is never easy to deliver a new idea, a new invention, or a new product. In his famed article, “Is Google Making us Stupid?”[1] Nicholas Carr notes that Guttenberg’s invention was met with anxiety by many, who worried that “cheaply printed books would undermine religious authority, demean the work of scholars and scribes, and spread […]


At the end of the 18th century, a Russian poet by the name of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin was born in Moscow. The date was June 6th, 1799, and the newborn was to become the father and founder of modern Russian literature during a century considered to be the most important century in Russian literature. Pushkin […]


The art of poetry recitation has been with us for a long time. With the invention of printing, poets moved towards writing more for the eye than for the ear. It is one thing to enjoy the theatrical aspect of poetry and yet another to read and disseminate intellectual verse. Rare poetry book collectors have to […]