Book News: Newly Found Oscar Wilde Letter: 'Sacrifice For Your Art' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Book News: Newly Found Oscar Wilde Letter: 'Sacrifice For Your Art'

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • A recently discovered 13-page letter from Oscar Wilde advises a mysterious "Mr. Morgan" that "[t]he best work in literature is always done by those who do not depend on it for their daily bread and the highest form of literature, Poetry, brings no wealth to the singer," according to a report in The Telegraph. Wilde adds, "Make some sacrifice for your art and you will be repaid but ask of art to sacrifice herself for you and a bitter disappointment may come to you." The letter was discovered last November, and will be auctioned off on April 4.

Update at 9:05 a.m. ET:

  • Nigerian Novelist Chinua Achebe has died, according to reports from the Associated Press and other news outlets quoting his publisher. Achebe was the author of Things Fall Apart, and won the Man Booker international prize in 2007.

  • Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail spoke to NPR's Renee Montagne about memory and loss in an interview Thursday: "[P]oetry is not medicine — it's an X-ray. It helps you see the wound and understand it."
  • Reginald Bakeley's Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop won the prestigious Bookseller Diagram Prize for the year's weirdest book title, beating out, among others, Loani Prior's How Tea Cosies Changed the World.
  • Megan Garber writes for The Atlantic about the slow death of the pronoun "whom": "Correctness is significantly less appealing when its price is the appearance of being — as an editor at The Guardian wrote — a 'pompous twerp.' "

  • For The New Yorker, Brad Leithauser describes the difference between "Hot" and "Cold" hells in literature: "Hot Hell is, in myths and fairy tales, a land of giants or trolls or monsters — creatures whose very dimensions are menacing. ... The evil genius of Cold Hell typically takes the form of a designing schemer. It's a spider — or a wizened, dark, spidery wizard. It's Sherlock Holmes's nemesis, Moriarty. It's Fu Manchu. It's the flattering, unctuous creature that proffers a tainted apple, whether the Bible's serpent or Snow White's witch."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.