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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 

From the Vault

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Rare Kafka Letters Bought by the Bodleian Library (Oxford) and the Marbach Literary Archive

The Berlin based auction house J. A. Stargardt cancelled its upcoming sale of rare autograph letters written by Franz Kafka to his sister Ottilie in the years 1909 to 1924. The important series of 45 letters, 32 postcards and 34 picture postcards contains almost all the surviving letters and postcards that Kafka sent to his sister Ottilie, who was known as Ottla – the youngest of his three sisters, and the family member to whom he was closest. The auction was scheduled for April 19, 2011 in Berlin, a richly illustrated catalogue with a preface by Hans-Gerd Koch had been published.
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John Steinbeck and the Nixon Novel that Never Was

Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary author John Steinbeck. Born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck would become one of American's most notable authors. Steinbeck established himself as an author in an era when accomplished authors held considerable clout. Thus he one day found himself in a unique position: he held the upcoming United States presidential election in his hands.
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The Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt - Guest of Honour at the 2017 Paris Salon International du Livre Rare

The organisers of the 2017 Paris Salon International du Livre Rare and the French association Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) have just announced the Guest of Honour of the 2017 Salon. Unique in France, the Franco-American Museum of Blérancourt is dedicated to the transatlantic relationship and was founded by Anne Morgan, daughter of the American banker and collector Pierpont Morgan, as part of his participation of the reconstruction of the Picardie after WWI.
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New Work On Irish Painter, Jack Yeats

"It was not easy to be Jack Butler Yeats. Beset with the dual burden of identity and fame, he wisely distanced himself from most of the Yeatses and proved more a Pollexfen (his mother's line) than a Yeats. In the second half of his career (circa 1920s-1950s), when he moved from commercial art to fine art, he proved more a European painter than an Irish one ..."
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Children's Lit

The following is based on a lecture delivered at the Kerlan Collection of Children?s Literature at the University of Minnesota in the summer of 1995. I had been asked to speak about juveniles and children's literature, a subject about which I know little. Pressed for an appropriate topic, I spoke instead on the books I experienced as a child and adolescent, my personal children's literature.
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Collecting - Famous Manuscripts and the History of Handwriting

In the digital age, it is no secret that calligraphy is a dying art. Why work laboriously and imperfectly on something that takes days to cross the country, when the computer will set it in flawless text that can be transmitted instantly? A careful look at the grand history of handwriting is not kind to the craft, either. Some historians consider Gutenberg's press, the very device that liberated us from writing by hand, to be the single most important invention of the second millennium. Not only did it make books more accessible, it gave the works themselves unprecedented longevity. Think of all the masterpieces of antiquity (if you can bear) that were lost to rot and ruin because scribes could only produce a handful of them at a time. Aeschylus wrote some eighty plays, of which only seven survive. Shakespeare may have suffered a similar fate, as a writer who luckily had the printing press to immortalize his works - he leaves us with nearly nothing written by hand.
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