I am still in college. I think maybe you know that. Monday through Thursday I wake up sometime between 9am and 12pm and drag my sallow little ass from Ave C to Washington Square, where I study, predominantly, English and American literature. Today one of my classes was cancelled, so after sitting through a 75 minute lecture on Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Prologue and Tale” (what a laugh that one is, let me just say), I decided to stop by the university library to take out some books that I could enjoy in the park. Here is a picture of the books:
Below are some thoughts on those books.
A Craving for Swan by Andrei Codrescu
I went looking for a book of selected poems between 1970 and 1980 by this guy. The library said they had it, but the library says a lot of things. I flipped through all the Codrescu they had. As far as I can tell he’s a Romanian with quite a history and a track record of being funny and influential. He works for NPR and has for a long time. Nothing looked appealing. I was about to walk away when I noticed A Craving for Swan. I think maybe it was misplaced or something, or otherwise I didn’t care to look at it when I was flipping through the other books. Anyway, I opened it up. It’s a book of short essays, most less than two full pages, that Codrescu had read on NPR’s “All Things Considered” between 1983 and 1985. I opened to a random page and read one of the essays. I don’t remember what it was about or what it was like. Then I went to the first page. The essay started with something like “One day I found myself with a strong craving for swan” or something. I stopped reading and took the book with me.
Periodically Speaking hosts SUPERMACHINE and 6X6 (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE) magazines—
Ben Fama and Matvei Yankelevich in conversation with
(and readings by):
Founders of influential literary mags 6X6, SUPERMACHINE, and the former GERM, with writers they’ve published over the years, discuss the past, present and future of literary publishing, after brief readings.
Tuesday, April 12 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm
DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room, The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building @ 5th Ave & 42nd Street
New York, NY
April 10th, 2011 / 12:19 pm
I just got the first library card I’ve had in years. For most of my adult life I’ve bought rather than borrowed the vast majority of books I read. New or used, whatever. Now I’m recovering that thrill I used to experience as a middle-schooler browsing the library’s website, putting stacks of books on hold. It’s pleasing, no?
Some handy villagers in England have created a tiny lending library inside an old red phone box. It is fortunate, I think, that libraries caught on several centuries ago, for I bet if libraries were first invented today, nobody would think it was a very clever idea. A place where you can borrow good things for free, sponsored by the government? Hell, naw!