Tag Archives: the public domain review

Portrait of Marcel Proust painted by Jacques-Émile Blanche in 1892, when Proust was 21 years old .

Lost in Translation: Proust and Scott Moncrieff

Scott Moncrieff’s English translation of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu is widely hailed as a masterpiece in its own right. His rendering of the title as Remembrance of Things Past is not, however, considered a high point. William C. Carter explores the two men’s correspondence on this somewhat sticky issue and how the Shakespearean title missed the […]

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Fig. 5: Jerusalem, Plate 26, “Such Visions Have….”, 1804 to 1820 - Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

William Blake and Paul Mellon: The Life of the Mind

Matthew Hargraves, Chief Curator of Art Collections at the Yale Center for British Art, looks at Paul Mellon as a collector of William Blake and the impact of his lifelong fascination with psychology and psychiatry on his collecting. The Yale Center for British Art holds one of the world’s greatest collections of the work of William […]

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The polyglot of Bologna

Michael Erard takes a look at The Life of Cardinal Mezzofanti, a book exploring the extraordinary talent of the 19th century Italian cardinal who was reported to be able to speak over seventy languages. Without a doubt, the most important book in English devoted to Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti (1774-1849), the polyglot of Bologna, is The […]

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Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük

Arika Okrent explores the rise and fall of Volapük – a universal language created in the late 19th century by a German priest called Johann Schleyer. Johann Schleyer was a German priest whose irrational passion for umlauts may have been his undoing. During one sleepless night in 1879, he felt a Divine presence telling him to […]

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Athanasius, Underground

With his enormous range of scholarly pursuits the 17th century polymath Athanasius Kircher has been hailed as the last Renaissance man and “the master of hundred arts”. John Glassie looks at one of Kircher’s great masterworks Mundus Subterraneus and how it was inspired by a subterranean adventure Kircher himself made into the bowl of Vesuvius. […]

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