Monday, October 12, 2009

Notes to An inner sanctum of sorts

* Though it was apparently successful enough in its day to have its title adopted as the name of a literary group in Chicago. The Wikipedia entry for early twentieth-century Chicago writer Bert Leston Taylor notes that he belonged to a literary circle called The Little Room, after the story:
The group mimicked the story in that it disappeared and reappeared on Friday afternoons at such places as Chicago’s Auditorium Hotel (now occupied by Roosevelt University) and Fine Arts Building. The group was comprised of an eclectic range of distingued members including reformer Jane Addams, sculptor Lorado Taft, architects Allen Bartlit Pond and Irving Kane Pond, dramatist Anna Morgan, painter Ralph Clarkson, and poet Harriet Monroe.

** I first encountered "The Hour after Westerly" in the anthology Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow, edited by Ray Bradbury, on the advice of James Hynes last fall. To my surprise, when I returned to that book tonight to check the story's date, I discovered that its first publication was in the New Yorker--a far cry from the bland realism that at is, for the most part accurately, thought of as the typical New Yorker story these days!

*** Is it not appropriate to pause and appreciate Google Book Search for a moment? The book's been out of print for more than a hundred years and is in the collection of a mere handful of libraries--yet I was able to print and read it within seconds of discovering its existence. And--if I understand the Espresso Book Machine correctly--in a few select bookstores I could, rather than reading a loose stack of printed pages, have ordered the book itself, and by the time I'd finished browsing have had a bound copy in hand. There are plenty of questions about where Google's going with their book scanning project, but oh, the benefits!

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