July 1, 2016
By Jon Caroulis I discovered my hero when I was 21. He is Max Perkins, one of America's greatest literary editors and the subject of the new film Genius . I was an aspiring writer of nonfiction, and possibly fiction, when I read a wonderful biography of Perkins by A. Scott Berg, which is the basis for the movie. Perkins was at Charles Scribner's Sons and was editor to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and many other notable writers. What made him heroic to me, as I read Berg's book, was how determined he was to get Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Wolfe published when his own firm - and many others - had rejected them.
October 15, 2015 |
"Begin at the beginning,' the King said, very gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.' " That's all well and good for Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland . But newspaper stories begin at the end and progress to the beginning, although sometimes they start out in the middle and circle around themselves. So the end of this newspaper story is this: The original handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Underground is on display at the Rosenbach Museum and Library on the 2000 block of Delancey Place from Wednesday through Sunday only, on special loan from the British Library.
February 12, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA While serving 12 years in state prison for armed robbery and assault, Phillip Eric Weems renounced his violent past and wrote a book detailing the more enlightened path he planned to pursue upon his release. "White-collar crime is one of the most sophisticated rackets of illegal activity today," he said in his jailhouse manuscript. "Unlimited amounts of money can be made virtually overnight, and the parties involved usually face minimal and/or no consequences at all. " Weems was right about one thing.
January 25, 2014 |
Step off the elevator into the University of Pennsylvania's hallowed rare-book room at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, and you immediately recognize something is different. Where's the wood? Van Pelt is notorious for being one of Philadelphia's harsher examples of '60s-era Brutalist architecture, with walls made of bare concrete block and prison-size windows, and yet its rare-book room was always decorated as though it were part of some English manor house. Deeply carved, 16th-century oak paneling greeted visitors in the entryway.
November 27, 2013 |
It's not every day that you have the opportunity to buy a 600-year-old cookbook. It's even rarer that the ancient handwritten recipes detail how to create the Philosopher's Stone - essential in transforming base metals into gold. So it's hardly a surprise that James R. Voelkel, rare-book curator at the Chemical Heritage Foundation , 315 Chestnut St., was intrigued to learn that Joost R. Ritman's Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, an Amsterdam library of philosophical arcana and "secrets," might bring a number of manuscripts to the market.
July 4, 2013 |
TIMBUKTU, Mali - Islamic radicals destroyed 4,000 ancient manuscripts during their occupation of Timbuktu, according to the findings of a U.N. expert mission. The damage amounts to about one-tenth of the manuscripts being stored in the fabled northern city. The majority of the documents dating to the 13th century were saved by the devotion of the library's Malian custodians, who spirited them out of the occupied city in rice sacks, on donkey carts, by motorcycle, by boat, and by 4-by-4.
May 25, 2013
An article on Friday on a newly discovered Pearl S. Buck novel misstated the chain by which the manuscript came into the hands of the Pearl S. Buck Family Trust. An unnamed woman in Texas contacted Pearl S. Buck International (PSBI), an organization separate from the trust. PSBI referred the matter to the trust, administered by Edgar S. Walsh, one of Buck's sons. The trust acquired the manuscript for a small sum. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357)
May 24, 2013 |
"It was a scenario right out of Storage Wars . " Michael Carlisle of InkWell Management in New York represents the estate of Pearl S. Buck, the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Good Earth who lived much of her life in Bucks County. He is trying to describe the moment a previously unknown Buck novel was discovered in a storage unit in, of all places, Texas. As announced Wednesday, the novel, titled The Eternal Wonder , will be published, in digital and paperback editions, on Oct. 22 by Open Road Integrated Media of New York.
April 2, 2013 |
CONCORD, N.H. - Truman Capote's 1958 typed manuscript of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is rife with the author's handwritten edits - most notably changing the femme fatale's name from Connie Gustafson to the now-iconic Holly Golightly. Its plot - built around a young woman who supports herself through trysts with various wealthy lovers - was controversial. Harper's Bazaar bought serialization rights for $2,000, then balked at its explicit content and profuse profanity. Esquire magazine purchased it from Harper's and launched it to its 1961 silver-screen adaptation, starring Audrey Hepburn.
January 4, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - A trove of ancient manuscripts in Hebrew characters rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan is providing the first physical evidence of a Jewish community that thrived there a thousand years ago. On Thursday, Israel's National Library unveiled the cache of recently purchased documents that run the gamut of life experiences, including biblical commentaries, personal letters, and financial records. Researchers say the "Afghan Genizah" marks the greatest such archive found since the "Cairo Genizah" was discovered in an Egyptian synagogue more than 100 years ago, a vast depository of medieval manuscripts considered to be among the most valuable collections of historical documents ever found.