Monday, August 2, 2010

A Daily Dose of Literary Trivia

For some unknown reason, we've started tweeting a daily literary fact, somewhat abstrusely called Literary Fact of the Day.

For the non-tweeting out there, here's a run-down of what we chirped last week: 

  • Ezra Pound once claimed that he had never read any Russian literature.
  • Elizabeth Bishop refused to have her poetry published in anthologies of women's writing.
  • Hemingway's personal library had 7000+ volumes including (deliciously) THREE copies of FItzgerald's THE CRACK-UP. 
  • Faulkner wanted the text in The Sound in the Fury to be in four colors---one for each of the narrators.
  • In 1572, Cervantes was captured by Algerian pirates and enslaved for 5 years, before eventually being ransomed.
  • In 2010 dollars, Mr. Darcy's annual income would be about $600,000 per year.
  • Shakespeare's only son died in 1596 at the age of 11. His name.....wait for it.........Hamnet. (yup, with an n).
So if you're up for a quotidian morsel of bookish trifles, follow us @readingape or you can search the hashtag #lfotd. If you aren't aboard the Twitter train, never fear: we'll do a run-down from time to time of what you've missed.


  1. The Sound and the Fury would be much easier to teach if the publisher had gone with the "four color" idea!!

  2. Absolutely love your blog! Now following you on Twitter. Thanks.


  3. That point about Elizabeth Bishop is utterly fascinating and I want to know the story behind it. Off to Wikipedia!


    Wanted to share a blog award with you. Keep up the great work.

  5. I'm in agreement about the 4-color The Sound and the Fury.

  6. 2many-
    Indeed. Indeed.


    She was pretty interesting. She didn't like being pigeon-holed...for any characteristic.

    Hey...well. Sheesh. Thanks.

    Maybe some enterprising publisher should do one. Copyright on it should run out here before too long...

  7. Dear Ape, this is not intended to be a comment but rather an e-mail. I don't know how to reach you otherwise. Because I'm opinionated, I desperately want to hazard a guess about the 5-10 most misunderstood novels of all time. But since I don't know enough about world literature, I'd like you to hazard a guess for me, when time permits. Perhaps it can be a future blog entry.... Cheers, Kevin

  8. Kevin-
    That's a pretty interesting list idea. I'll have a think about it and see what I come up with. I need to make this more accessible, but I can be reaching at readingape (at) gmail (dot) com.