(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Death in Venice

“From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review”*…


“This was the absolute second worst book I’ve ever read (the worst being Hotel For Dogs).”

Further to our old friends at You Can’t Please Everyone, a Tumblr devoted to “reviews of classic books, culled from the internet’s think tank”: One-Star Book Reviews.


“First of all, the whole thing is almost all dialogue.”

More critical cruelty at One-Star Book Reviews.

* Isaac Asimov


As we get in touch with our inner John Simon, we might recall that it was on his date in 1911 that Thomas Mann visited the Lido in Venice and hatched the idea for Death in Venice.  Mann’s diaries, unsealed in 1975, tell of his struggles with his bisexuality– struggles reflected in his work most prominently through the obsession of the elderly writer Aschenbach, for the 14-year-old Polish boy Tadzio in the novella.  It was for this work, along with Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain, that Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929.  



Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 25, 2014 at 1:01 am


The British Library Gates

The British Library conjures images of rows and rows of books– and indeed, as a copyright depository, it’s home to acres and acres of them.  But its curatorial role extends beyond print to audio.  And its creativity in applying new technology to its collections (c.f., here and here, e.g.) is making it’s recordings available in new ways too.

The BL’s Archival Sound Recording Project has already processed over 21,000 recordings– everything from spoken word performances of works in the print collection (often by the authors– c.f., here) to the sounds of amphibians (mostly frogs and toads) around the world (here); and it is experimenting with mash-ups, laying the recordings on maps, e.g., the music of India (here).

But perhaps the most immediately useful (or, at least, amusing) is this map of accents and dialects from all over Great Britain, “illustrated” by over 700 recordings.

As we offer thanks to the librarians among us, we might recall that it was on this date in 1911 that later-to-be Nobel Laureate Thomas Mann visited the Lido in Venice and crystallized the idea for his haunting novella Death In Venice.  While Mann was adamant throughout his life that the protagonist, Aschenbach, was in no way autobiographical, his posthumously-available diaries suggest that Mann was in fact infatuated at the shore with a young Polish boy (the 11 year old Wladyslaw Moes ) who became the model for Tadzio.

Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice), first printing, 1912

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 25, 2009 at 12:01 am

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