Monday, October 9, 2017

Daily Thoughts 10/09/2017

The Attributes of the Sciences, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, 1731

Daily Thoughts 10/09/2017

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

I also spent some time on my monthly report.

I read some of Antifa The Anti-Fascist Handbook this morning.  I am reading about the history of anti-fascism from 1945-2003.  I am reading about how after World War II, it was often Jewish veterans who formed into groups to prevent fascist rallies who were the founders of anti-fascist organizations.

I finished editing the grant for Short Story Writing classes today for Arts Westchester.

I read some more of Literary Theory for Beginners.  I am glad that librarians don't have to rely on literary theory when writing their reviews.  There are a lot of philosophical ideas which fit into literary theory which are not connected to the individual feel of reading a book.  It is hard to take structuralism, Freud, feminist theory or deconstruction as a personal way to read books.  I find that a lot has changed since most of the literary canon is now readily available online in places like Project Gutenberg.  In a practical sense you cannot use literary theory to buy books or write reviews.

As I read more of the book, I question things like postcolonialism and Marxist literary theory and wonder what they have to do with the authors original meaning.  As a librarian, there is a lot of focus on what the author meant or intended to say.  When I read about literary criticism, I find it is more concerned with the idea behind the content, not the authors intent or message.

When I read about the meaning of an authors work from a critical perspective, I question it.  The reason I do this is that it is now possible to very easily ask living authors exactly what they meant.  In addition, biographical material, collections of letters, and interviews have become much more readily available.  You can read what an author meant in a way that is not abstract.

Literature is very much about ideas and the closer to the authors intent or message the more relevant an idea is to me.

I enjoyed Literary Theory for Beginners by Mary Klages because it was to the point, short, clear, and easy to interpret.  I also liked the illustrations.  Beginner Books has a lot of excellent illustrated books and graphic novels.

I watched a session of Science of Mindfulness: A Research Based Path to Well Being which is part of the Great Courses series on Hoopla.  The topic was Solitude.

Web Bits

RFID Enabled Vending Machine Brings Automation, Security to Library Disc Loans

Library 3.0: How 3D Printing is Helping Reshape the Library Into a Lab.

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