Monday, August 23, 2010

Updates and Downloads: Disinviting Ellen, and tangled webs

Gretchen Kolderup blogs on Librarified about the recent kerfuffle with Ellen Hopkins being first invited to speak in Humble, Texas, then disinvited. More on the story here. Lots of hairplitting going on, but YA writers Pete Hautman and Melissa de la Cruz are pulling out in protest as well. Katie Davis talks to Pete Hautman, Todd Strasser, and Ellen herself.

Here's a site dedicated to the life and work of someone who scandalized plenty of people in his time, Sir Richard Francis Burton. known among other things for translating The Arabian Nights Entertainments and Vikram and the Vampire: Tales of Hindu Devilry, of which facsimiles are downloadable on the Burtoniana site. The site defines him as an "explorer, ethnographer, and man of letters. Pilgrim to Mecca and Harar; discoverer of Lake Tanganyika; translator of the Arabian Nights; controversialist and iconoclast." Controversialist--now there's a word. "Discoverer" and "pilgrim" seem a little less credible in these postcolonial times. After his death Burton's wife Isabel, a religious woman, destroyed all his papers. After all these years, we're left with an exhaustive collection of memoir, travelogue, and translated work, and with several biographies containing various degrees of scholarship and scandal.

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