Beautiful mural of Toni Morrison in Spain. (via amandaonwriting)
Library and literary miscellany from your pals at Library Journal.
Buy tickets to Toni Morrison’s return to the New York Public Library December 12 here, to attend her conversation with a huge fan, author Junot Diaz.
IT IS ALREADY SOLD OUT? IT IS ALREADY SOLD OUT! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLREADY SOLD OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTT.
Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission. No committee decides who may enter, no crisis of body or spirit must accompany the entrant. No tuition is charged, no oath sworn, no visa demanded. Of the monuments humans build for themselves, very few say touch me, use me, my hush is not indifference, my space is not barrier. If I inspire awe, it is because I am in awe of you and the possibilities that dwell in you.
—Toni Morrison, in this article on the importance of libraries.
A great response to the Terry Deary piece:
“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission. No committee decides who may enter, no crisis of body or spirit must accompany the entrant. No tuition is charged, no oath sworn, no visa demanded. Of the monuments humans build for themselves, very few say touch me, use me, my hush is not indifference, my space is not barrier. If I inspire awe, it is because I am in awe of you and the possibilities that dwell in you.”—Toni Morrison
To be an American writer or to be interested in American literature and not to have read “Beloved,” in my insufferable calculus, is like calling yourself a sailor and never having bothered to touch the sea.
— PREACH JUNOT, PREACH. (via mollitudo)
Davis came to LIVE in October of 2010 for one of our biggest landmark events to talk with Toni Morrison about the importance of libraries.
ANGELA DAVIS: I was in jail in New York—I don’t know, did you mention that I was in jail? Some people don’t know. And one of the first places I went, I was able to go, in the jail was the library, and I didn’t see very many interesting books there, all right? I mean, I had just finished my studies in philosophy, and I went to the library expecting something very different, so what I did was I had people send books to me when I was there, and I wanted to share those books with all of the other women, there was something like a thousand women there. I was not allowed to do that. As a matter of fact, in the library there was a big cardboard box.
I could receive the books and I could read the books myself. It was okay for me read them, but don’t share them. And one of them was George Jackson’s book, Soledad Brothers, that was not allowed at all, although we did—you know, one of the things I learned when I was in jail there was how to secrete certain kinds of things, so we were able to—so we had these clandestine reading groups with books that were smuggled out of that box in the library, and it kind of reminded me of Frederick Douglass and Frederick Douglass’s effort to get an education, to learn how to read, and his idea that education really was liberation.
President Obama chats in the Blue Room of the White House with author Toni Morrison, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday.
Look at her!
Happy ToMoDay! Our last entry (probably), from Beloved:
So you protected yourself and loved small. Picked the tiniest stars out of the sky to own; lay down with head twisted in order to see the loved one over the rim of the trench before you slept. Stole shy glances at her between the trees at chain-up. Glass blades, salamanders, spiders, woodpeckers, beetles, a kingdom of ants. Anything bigger wouldn’t do. A woman, a child, a brother - a big love like that would split you wide open in Alfred, Georgia. He knew exactly what she meant: to get to a place where you could love anything you chose - not to need permission for desire - well now, THAT was freedom.
Happy ToMoDay! From Sula:
"Sula was wrong. Hell ain’t things lasting forever. Hell is change." Not only did men leave and children grow up and die, but even the misery didn’t last. One day she wouldn’t even have that. This very grief that had twisted her into a curve on the floor and flayed her would be gone. She would lose that too.
Happy ToMoDay! From Sula:
It was not death or dying that frightened him, but the unexpectedness of both. In sorting it all out, he hit on the notion that if one day a year were devoted to it, everybody could get it out of the way and the rest of the year would be safe and free. In this manner he instituted National Suicide Day.
Happy ToMoDay! From Song of Solomon:
You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? he can’t value you more than you value yourself.
Happy ToMoDay! From Jazz:
A city like this one makes me dream tall and feel in on things. Hep. It’s the bright steel rocking above the shade below that does it. When I look over strips of green grass lining the river, at church steeples and into the cream-and-copper halls of apartment buildings, I’m strong. Alone, yes, but top-notch and indestructible-like the City in 1926 when all the wars are over and there will never be another one. The people down there in the shadow are happy about that. At last, at last, everything’s ahead. The smart ones say so and people listening to them and reading what they write down agree: Here comes the new. Look out.
Happy ToMoDay! From Beloved:
Could she sing? (Was it nice to hear when she did?) Was she pretty? Was she a good friend? Could she have been a loving mother? A faithful wife? Have I got a sister and does she favor me? If my mother knew me would she like me?