Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Many Years From Now

My grandmother celebrates her 97th birthday today, and in thinking about what to write for today's Sunday Salon (because it has been somewhat of an unremarkable reading week for me), I wondered what books were published in 1913. Which of them, if any, were relevant in our lives today - or even known?

I turned to my trusty friend Google, thinking of all the advances and discoveries that my grandmother has seen in these 97 years. Landing on the Wikipedia entry, 1913 in Literature, I was bemused to find this:

According to Wikipedia, The Google Book (ISBN 0192797352) was written by economist Vincent Cartwright Vickers in 1913 and is said to be a kind of children's monster book about a monster called Google (pictured below) that can howl. The book has surrealist illustrations of various fictitious birds created by Vickers. The Google Book is considered by some to be insight into Vickers's insanity. Vickers, whose extended family owned Vickers Limited, wrote the book while serving as a Governor of the Bank of England. (A hardcover, published in 1979, is currently for sale on Amazon for $122.00.)

Kind of has a bit of a Maurice Sendak quality to it, don't you think? I think this is kind of neat, the fact that there was a children's book called The Google Book published when my grandmother was a newborn (I wonder if anyone ever read it to her?) and how, 97 years later, the Google monster is still with us.

It's also kind of cool to see which books published in 1913 are still recognizable today. Take a look:

New books
Alain-FournierLe Grand Meaulnes
L. Frank BaumThe Patchwork Girl of Oz
- Little Wizard Stories of Oz
- Aunt Jane's Nieces on the Ranch (as "Edith Van Dyne")
Edgar Rice BurroughsTarzan of the Apes
Hall CaineThe Woman Thou Gavest Me
Willa CatherO Pioneers!
Arthur Conan DoyleThe Poison Belt
Ellen GlasgowVirginia
Husayn HaykalZaynab
Henry JamesA Small Boy and Others
Katherine JamesA City of Contrasts
Franz KafkaThe Judgement
D. H. LawrenceSons and Lovers
Jack LondonThe Valley of the Moon
Flora MayorThird Miss Symons
Oscar MicheauxConquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer
Octave MirbeauDingo (novel)
Baroness OrczyEldorado
Eleanor H. PorterPollyanna
Marcel ProustIn Search of Lost Time starts to be published
Saki - When William Came
Elsie SingmasterGettysburg
Vincent Cartwright VickersThe Google Book
Mary Augusta WardThe Mating of Lydia, The Coryston Family
Hugh WalpoleFortitude
Edith WhartonThe Custom of the Country

Delmira Agustini - Los Cálices Vacíos (Empty Chalices)
Guillaume Apollinaire—Alcools
Robert Frost—A Boy's Will
Siegfried Sassoon—The Daffodil Murderer

I wonder ... which books being published this year, which authors of 2010, will we be remembering, recognizing, and Googling in 2107?

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Sandra said...

Fascinating post. How nice to still have your grandmother at that age. Interesting Google book. I've read the Frost piece from the list and some Proust, an Edith Wharton, Henry James, but none of the specific works mentioned. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Thanks, Sandra. It is nice to have her, although I don't get to see her often (because of distance) and because she doesn't remember me. Isn't that Google book something else?

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Very nice way to connect with your grandmother's birthday today! That is just too funny about the GOOGLE BOOK :)

Our piano was built in 1908, the year my grandmother was born (not a family heirloom, we bought it second- (at least)hand)