Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Edwardian" Intrigues

Literary friends, what better time than All Hallow's Eve to show you our haunted and handsome, our merry and macabre, our delightful and dark Edward Gorey Collection? Special Collections has first editions, limited editions, original drawings, manuscripts, correspondence, proofs, realia, toy books, and prints (like this aquatint called Bat in Rain) in our wonderful Gorey Collection. The collection is particularly strong in Gorey's work in children's literature, and includes items which document his collaboration with our own Peter Neumeyer. Special Collections has also very recently acquired the papers of children's author Florence Parry Heide, which show her collaboration with Gorey on the Treehorn series, as well as Gorey's entire personal library of approximately 25,000 volumes. Many items in the Gorey Collection have been donated to the institution by SDSU alum and benefactor Andreas Brown, who was also Gorey's dear friend, publisher, and promoter throughout his career. Stop by Special Collections soon for a ghoulish Gorey treat!

(Original pen-and-ink drawing of a set design for Dracula, a production which Gorey worked on in 1977 and later issued as a toy theatre.)

For Your Friends Who Loathe Your Books! There is Hope

Thanks to SDSU Alum, Michael Wyatt Harper for sending along this link--hit the chair above for the story.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From the Depths of the Library Vaults....

...Well, not really, but I've got to set a tone here! October greetings, literature lovers, this is your special collections librarian Anne over in the library. To get everyone in the mood for Hallowe'en, I'll be sharing a few of our more ghoulish and garish holdings with you--and where better to start than this lovely Gothic romance by Mrs. Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho. Abounding in all the necessary symbolic mechanisms and psychological elements of the perfect Gothic tale (drafty castles, old manuscripts, explorations of the sublime, decaying vaults, encounters with the uncanny, fainting, the terror of the other, and all that), The Mysteries of Udolpho was cited by Jane Austen in her parody of the genre, Northanger Abbey, in a list of many sensational tales recommended to the eager young heroine Catherine. Our Special Collections copy is particularly interesting because it bears the contemporary ownership signature of a Miss Juliet Georgiana Elliott--one wonders whether Miss Elliott was one of the very avid sighing readers of the genre that Austen intended to parody.

If you're writing or studying or teaching about Gothic fiction, Special Collections has several other editions of early Gothic novels, along with plenty of contemporary sources to contextualize the cultural scene of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries: tour guides for ruined castles across Europe, criticisms of certain fashions in fiction, musings on the sublime and natural beauty, evidence of religious tensions, and much much more. And don't get us started on all the cool stuff we've got for researching the later Victorian Gothic! Stop by the department to see anytime. Up next--Gorey? Poe? Spiritualist writers? Creepy Victorian photographs? We shall see.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Try Something More Avant-Garde for CHANGE!

Neil KENDRICKS: Backstage and beyoooond!

I've been creeping around campus hearing the constant nagging of what monotonous lectures our students have... so why not change that. Jeezuhs! Broaden your taste palate. Maybe we should all look outside of our own bubble and start finding those innovative and intriguing lectures that are offered at our door step! Broaden your horizon and attend Neil Kendrick's lecture at SDMA on the late experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and other avant-garde pioneers and their influence on music-video mavericks.

click on the flyer for more info!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Calling all writers! SEE Professor Joe Sutliff Sanders

SALUTATIONS FROM: Joseph T. Thomas Jr.

Friends and colleagues--

In these trying times, there's no better way to forget the internecine travails of serving in a public university than attending a guest lecture by a visiting professor!

On Wednesday, October 21st from 4:00PM to 5:30PM, California State University, San Bernadino Professor Joe Sutliff Sanders will be giving a 50 minute lecture (with time after for questions) in Leon Williams Room of SDSU's library (LL 430). His lecture is sponsored by SDSU's National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and the Department of English & Comparative Literature.

Professor Sanders' lecture, "Assumptions of the Innocent: Marketing and Manipulation in Children's Comics," will be of interest to scholars and students of children's literature, children's culture, comics, graphic literature, and cultural studies more broadly. Please alert your classes and generally spread the word!

Professor Sanders has been reviewing graphic novels since 2002, including a long stretch at VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). He has served as the featured Graphic Novel review columnist for Teacher Librarian, an international journal for school librarians that is a sister publication of VOYA, since 2007.

His most recent publications have been about classic girls' novels (Children's Literature Association Quarterly), children's metafiction (Lion and the Unicorn), and Neil Gaiman's Sandman (The Sandman Papers). Contemporary American Comics, a new book from the University of Mississippi Press, will feature a new article by Professor Sanders on sexuality in comics. Last summer, Professor Sanders was one of the invited faculty at Hollins University, where he taught a special graduate course on comics and graphic novels for young readers.

Professor Sanders is also well-known for smelling good. Damn good.

Hope to see you there!

Joseph T. Thomas, Jr.
English & Comparative Literature
National Center for the Study of Children's Literature
San Diego State University