(Roughly) Daily

Beyond the Dewey Decimal System…

The (very) young Eugene O’Neill

Lest readers imagine that the word-a-day posting of Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary featured in last Wednesday’s missive is the only wonder on offer from Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, consider Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities.

Room 26 is a blog featuring digitized images of holdings in the Library’s collections– like example above of baby pictures of famous Modernists.  From a page of Ezra Pound’s notebook draft of the Cantos to photos of 1940’s shop windows; from 18th Century British broadsheets to Raymond Pettibon proof sheets; from WPA Writer’s Program “How To” books to snapshots of famous writers and artists from the 30s, 40s, and 50s sitting in their cars… and on and on and on– one posting more surprising and delightful than the last.

Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities is as entertaining and provocative as a ramble through The Museum of Jurassic Technology…  only the treasures in Room 26 are all actually for real.

As we marvel at the dusty grandeur of it all, we might recall that, on this date in 1882– the very day on which Pooh creator A.A. Milne was born– Oscar Wilde, on a tour of the U.S., visited Walt Whitman at his home in Camden, N.J.   When a friend of the Irishman remarked that, given Wilde’s fine tastes, the homemade elderberry wine served by Whitman must have been below his usual fare, Wilde respectfully replied: “If it had been vinegar, I should have drunk it all the same.”

Wilde’s note to Whitman, inviting himself over.  The highlighted portion reads: Before I leave America I must see you again–there is no one in this wide great world of America whom I love and honour so much. With warm affection, and honourable admiration, Oscar Wilde.
source: Library of Congress

Written by LW

January 18, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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