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Dig Deeper: The Ramones

Guest blogger,  Rohanah Spatz-Mallory

Rohanah

 

On July 11, the last original member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, passed away of bile duct cancer. Born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949, he moved to Forest Hills, Queens, at the age of four and went on to found one of the most popular and enduring rock bands of all time. The death of Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the Ramones, marks the end of an era. The other three died recently: Joey in 2001 of lymphoma, Dee Dee in 2002 of a drug overdose and Johnny in 2004 of prostate cancer. The sad occasion of Tommy Ramone’s death is extremely significant to a certain large group of people, young and old: Punks.

Some have recently said that the Ramones are now finally dead—gone but not forgotten. Others, such as Legs McNeil, a close friend of the Ramones as well as other punk artists and bands of the original punk era, such as Iggy Pop and the UK group The Sex Pistols, think that the Ramones have been gone for a long time, citing their supposed artistic demise in the late 1980s. Even still, the Ramones were arguably the most influential punk band ever. They pioneered the simple, fast punk sound that many know and love.

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The Ramones are still a fairly popular group with lots of people today, including the original punk rockers of the Ramones’ generation as well as a new generation of kids and young adults that like the punk style and music of the Ramones. As the past few weeks have gone by, many people have talked to me about Tommy Ramone’s death both on social media and in person. The day after he passed away I wore a Ramones shirt, and people of a wide range of ages complimented the shirt, asked if it was to remember Tommy, or said they loved the Ramones and were very surprised when they heard the news.

As a huge fan of the Ramones’ style, attitudes and music, I felt slightly upset about this death although I can’t really say why. There will always be easy access to Ramones music, and there are pictures, videos and interviews of them. I can say, as a young fan of the Ramones, I am disappointed that there is no way to ever see them. Of course there wasn’t any way to see them before Tommy’s death, but this just seals in the thought that the band all together is completely gone. Something about it just doesn’t feel the same, knowing that you’re listening to music where all four founding members of the band are not alive.

Dig Deeper:

People all over the world will always recognize the influence that The Ramones had on music and society. You can dig deeper into punk music and its cultural impact with these great resources from the Falvey collection:

For popular histories of punk rock that cover the Ramones, try these:

England’s dreaming : anarchy, Sex Pistols, punk rock, and beyond, by Jon Savage

Break all rules! : punk rock and the making of a style, by Tricia Henry

 

punk coverHere are a couple of region-specific histories:

Grinding California : culture and corporeality in American skate punk, by Konstantin Butz

It makes you want to spit! : the definitive guide to punk in Northern Ireland, 1977-1982, by Sean O’Neill and Guy Trelford

 

And finally, two more scholarly treatments of punk rock culture:

Punk rockers’ revolution : a pedagogy of race, class, and gender, by Curry Malott and Milagros Peña

Lipstick traces : a secret history of the twentieth century, by Griel Marcus

 

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A Rooftop Solarium and Other Little-Known Facts about Your Library

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Did you know Falvey Memorial Library existed years before the current building was completed in 1967? May 5, 1963, the Villanova University Library (now called Falvey Hall) was rededicated as Falvey Memorial Library. Planners called the 1967 building an “addition” or “wing” despite its larger size. Learning about the possibilities the planners considered fires the imagination.

A rooftop solarium, for example, was proposed but then declined due to possibility of additional floors being built. The new library had been constructed with “a fortified foundation” that would support additional stories, to be added as needed. Other plans included an outdoor patio and reading area in front of the current 24/7 study lounge. And a second elevator was proposed but declined due to its cost.

An architect had planned a doorway between Falvey Memorial Library (Falvey)’s third floor and Falvey Hall. Those plans changed, but a recess in Falvey’s third-floor wall remains. Falvey Hall’s exterior stonework is visible at the back of this niche. A statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, now occupies that alcove.

For reasons unknown, the new building lacked a first-floor public restroom. That deficiency remained until the renovation of the library’s first floor in 2004.

View from fourth floor, looking west.

View from fourth floor, looking west.

Looking back from 2014, I think readers would agree that some of Falvey’s features turned out better than planned. For instance, planners did not intend to have windows in the fourth-floor wall adjacent to Falvey Hall because the view would be dominated by Falvey Hall’s roof. But the glass was less expensive than bricks, so windows were installed. Despite the mundane view, those windows do bring a great deal of natural light into the Library.

And the then-futuristic ceilings throughout the building, which conserve space by integrating lighting and HVAC systems with sound-absorbing acoustical panels, were designed by a Villanova University professor of mechanical engineering.

Falvey Memorial Library turns 47 years old in 2014.

(sources—“Library Rededicated by Board of Trustees as Falvey Memorial” The Villanovan, May 5, 1968, pp. 1, 7, “The Library Story” The Villanovan, Sept. 18, 1968, p. 4)


Gerald info deskArticle by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater. Bottom photo by Joanne Quinn.

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Foto Friday: Just a summer day on campus

Ignite

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Special Collections project on WWI to be featured on PCN broadcast

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Verizon Channel 9 – which is PCN, Pennsylvania’s non-profit cable network, broadcast a show entitled Philadelphia in World War I. For those who missed it, this program will be re-broadcast Saturday, July 26th at 5:35 pm and again on Sunday, July 27th at 04:35 am.

This program includes an interview with Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight and other speakers involved with the “Home Before the Leaves Fall: a Great War Centennial Exposition” which features World War I content from Villanova University as well as other heritage organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Experience World War One as it happened day by day, 100 years ago at http://wwionline.org.

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Throwback Thursday: Clearance Sales and College Listings

One hundred years ago this week the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a classified ad for classes at Villanova University. Can you find it amidst the clearance sales and college listings? We’ve come a long way from the bottom of the page. #tbt (July 29, 1914)

Villanova 1914 Phila Inq_Page_1

 

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Some “Light” Summer Reading – Not. A Baker’s Dozen Plus of Longest Novels

What better way to spend summer’s longer days than with a really long book? Since it is summer reading, let’s look at fiction (written in English).

How do you find a really long book? You could peruse the shelves at a library or a book store. Or you could let your fingers do the walking—go online and search. That search brings up interesting choices: whose list do you believe—Wikipedia’s, Amazon’s, Mental Floss’s, ListVerse’s or someone else’s? They share some selections, but not others. How are the book lengths determined—by the number of pages, characters or  words? All three are used, but counting the number of words seems to be the most accurate.

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Tomm gives Ke$ha a run for her money

The longest novel written in English is The Blah Story (2007-2008), a twenty-three volume work by Nigel Tomm, which contains 11,338,105 words in 17,868 pages. Merriam Webster defines novel as “an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events.” Elements of fiction include character, plot and theme. Broadly defined, The Blah Story includes these elements, but Tomm’s work isn’t something that most of us would choose to read for pleasure. “Overwhelmingly creative, Nigel Tomm demolishes the barrier of words and meaning, giving vitality and expressive strength to the pattern of his most exclusive novel—The Blah Story. It is a new way of conceiving text that frees the imagination, allowing you to personalize each and every word by your own creativity.” This is the description provided by Amazon.com (emphasis added by this writer—nice sales pitch, Amazon!) for the first volume of the novel and, although there are now twenty-three volumes, The Blah Story is considered a single novel. Creative Tomm may be, but do you really want to read even the first volume’s seven hundred twenty eight pages, in which the bulk of the text consists of the word “blah” interspersed with nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs, leaving it up to the reader to substitute words for the “blahs” in order to create logical sentences?

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We hope Marcel won’t mind.

Let’s look at somewhat more traditional long novels and, for this blog, consider only works originally written in English. Very long books written in another language and then translated into English, such as Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (approximately three million words), Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers (no word count given on Amazon’s list) and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (560,391words), therefore, aren’t on my list but are mentioned here just in case one of these huge books appeals to you.

Marienbad My Love, “the world’s longest ‘open source’ novel” can be downloaded as the original 2008 edition or as a later edition is available in print and for a Kindle. Marienbad My Love by Mark Leach consists of seventeen volumes and 2.5 million words. This book appeared on only one list.

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Mission: Impossible to read in one sitting

Not quite as long, L. Ron Hubbard’s Mission Earth (1985-1987) has only ten volumes containing 1.2 million words. Sometimes seen as a series of novels, Hubbard intended Mission Earthto be a single novel, published in ten volumes.”

A Dance to the Music of Time (1951-1975) by Anthony Powell follows Mission Earth with fewer than one million words in twelve volumes. It is “sometimes regarded as a novel sequence” which begs the question: is Dance a single novel, as Hubbard’s Mission Earth claims to be?

Pop Dot Comics copy

Richardson ponders his next chapter

Traditional in format and first published in 1794 , Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson, is merely 984,870 words in one thick volume.

Poor Fellow My Country (1980) by the Australian author Xavier Herbert is another lengthy work—852,000 words! Slightly less wordy is Women and Men (1987) by Joseph McElroy at 850,000 or 700,000 words (both are estimates). If you want to sample McElroy’s work in a shorter format, Falvey owns his Lookout Cartridge (531 pages, no word count available).

A close contender to Women and Men in number of words is Madison Cooper’s Sironia, Texas (1952) with 840,000 words. Miss MacIntosh, My Darling (1965) by Marguerite Young has either 750,000 or 576,000 words – that’s quite a variation, but I’m not planning on counting the words myself to verify either total!

Varney: still in print, still dreadful

Varney the Vampire, originally published as a series of “penny dreadfuls” from 1845 to 1847 and then as a book in 1847 has 667,000 words. The author is either James Malcolm Rymer or Thomas Preskett Prest. Varney is still in print although not in Falvey’s collections. (Ed. note: We noticed that Varney is currently being offered free for Kindle devices at this link. Read at your own risk!).

With only some 22,000 fewer words, Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand is almost as long as Varney the Vampire although Atlas Shrugged was first published just over one hundred years later.

Published in 1994, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth has only 593,674 words—a veritable light weight book! David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (2006) comes in at either 543,709 (Wikipedia) or 484,001 (Amazon) words—that’s quite a difference in the word count! Remembrance Rock (1948), written by Carl Sandberg follows with 532,000 words. And James Clavell’s Jai-Jin, not on all lists, is even shorter at 487,700 words—who counted these?

Sorry to have bursted your bubble, Leo

Sorry to have burst your bubble, Leo

How do these novels compare in size with such well known ones such as War and Peace (1869) written by Leo Tolstoy in Russian and later translated into English? War and Peace contains about 560,000 words; that puts it near the bottom of this list. And where does Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936) rank? At over 400,000 words, it is at the bottom of this list.

If nothing on this list appeals to you, there is always “The New York Times” list of best sellers. Books are divided into categories such as print (hardcover and paperback), e-book, fiction, non-fiction and more. They are ranked by popularity—if you are looking for a super long book, you are on your own.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Graphics by Joanne Quinn. 

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Mendel’s Peas: From Garden to Table

When I surveyed the space in my garden this year, I wondered if there might be enough room for peas. Having never grown them before, I wasn’t sure which variety to buy. There must have been 25 different types of pea seeds for sale at our local Home Depot. Searching online only made matters worse; the list expanded to 45. Did I want “Dark Seeded Early Perfection” or “Green Arrow?” Or should I choose “Little Marvels” or “Summer Love Mix?” The names started sounding like so many beat poetry titles.

Then I had to choose between organic and traditional seeds. And what about plant height and seed spacing? How many plants could I fit into 3 square feet of garden? I finally settled on the Maestro variety (I liked the allusion to music), and got the seeds into the ground in mid-May. Instead of buying a factory-made trellis, my daughter helped me erect one using sticks we gathered from the surrounding woods.

pea sproutspea seedlingspea plants

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I waited for sprouts to emerge, I noticed that someone or something was cutting the string on the trellis. Thinking it was a rodent, I sprinkled cayenne pepper on the leaves and on the ground. That stopped the bad rodent behavior, but I then noticed a new phenomenon. Small, black ants were carrying the specks of cayenne away, one by one. Who knew that ants like cayenne pepper?

Too bad I didn’t have Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar and the father of genetics, around to explain the subtleties of pea gardening. He must have encountered at least some of the same challenges of gardening that I did. I’d like to think my peas would go into the perfect dish to serve at Mendel’s birthday party (July 20). In fact, I’m going to name this recipe after him.

Back in the garden, I had harvested about 30 pods, enough for one serving. Now what? I would need more than that to make Mendel Macaroni Salad. So, I decided to supplement with some store bought organic petite peas.

pea ingredientsThis wasn’t your mother’s macaroni salad. I based my recipe on The Cozy Apron version. It would be easy and a little bit different. I had everything on hand except the pancetta, so I did what most cooks do, I substituted.

Mendel Macaroni Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

12 oz macaroni pasta, cooked and cooled
1cup frozen petite peas, thawed (I mixed in the fresh peas from my garden.)
4 oz diced and crisped pancetta (I substituted with a mix of thick sliced bacon and deli ham.)
• Lemon-Thyme Dressing (recipe below)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (I used thyme from my box garden.)

-Add the cooked and cooled macaroni to a large bowl, and add in the thawed petite peas and the diced, crisped pancetta; if serving immediately, toss with the Lemon-Thyme Dressing, and garnish with the thyme leaves; if making ahead, prepare all components and keep them separate, then toss the dressing with the pasta/peas/pancetta when ready to serve, to keep the pasta salad moist and fresh; keep cold.

Lemon-Thyme Dressing ingredients:

¾ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar  (I used a bit less, 1 tbsp., and it tasted fine.)
1 ½ teaspoons salt  (I reduced the salt to 1 tsp. since I added bacon & ham.)
1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

-Add all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. (I used an immersion blender, which made it possible to mix the dressing in a large glass measuring cup. Anything to reduce the amount of dishes to wash!) Process the mixture until thick and completely creamy; store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the salad, at which point you can toss the dressing with the pasta. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme.

pea salad

If you’re looking for more “pea-tastic” summer recipes, try these links.  (Some of them are easy peasy.)

The Smitten Kitchen (Summer Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad)

MyRecipes.com (Sweet Pea Risotto with Corn Broth)

Live Simply (Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn)

Vegetarian Times (Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower and Peas)

If you’re interested in reading more about Gregor Mendel, try these resources.Mendel statue peas

Gregor Mendel: the friar who grew peas (Special Collections)

Gregor Mendel: planting the seeds of genetics (Special Collections)

Solitude of a Humble Genius: Gregor Johann Mendel – Volume One, Formative Years (Online)

The Monk in the Garden: the lost and found genius of Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics

Gregor Johann Mendel (Image of Mendel’s statue at Villanova University)

 

Article by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator for the Communication & Service Promotion team and leader of the Access Services team.

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Happy Birthday, Gregor Johann Mendel

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Today is the 192nd anniversary of the birth of Gregor Johann Mendel, a V.I A. (very important Augustinian) here at Villanova and a great day to visit one of the most beautiful corners of campus, tucked right behind the library!

On the plaza to the right of the east entrance to Mendel Science Center, there stands a seven feet tall, cast bronze statue of Gregor Johann Mendel (1822 – 1884), the Augustinian priest who discovered the laws of heredity by studying peas, and the scientist for whom the Science Center is named. Suitably enough, the statue is surrounded in a blaze of fuchia crepe myrtle each year in time for the great geneticist’s birthday. The sculptor, James Peniston, signed and dated his work on the lower back right (as one faces the same way as does Mendel).

Peniston, who lives and works in Philadelphia, tells how he came to create the statue in 1998, “There’s one [of my sculptures] at Villanova University, a sculpture of Gregor Mendel that the monks commissioned to stand in front of their science center. They came to the foundry where I worked – Laran Bronze in Chester – and asked if anyone could sculpt a 7-foot figure in two months. And the foundry owners asked me whether I could, and I said, of course I can. Then I had to figure out how to do it!”

“One of the challenges of the Mendel was drapery robes. For reference, I studied some of the sculptures down along the Schuylkill River, along Kelly Drive. They have some really fine robes and capes.”

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Artists have made cast bronze sculptures throughout the history of art, at least since the time of the Ancient Greeks. If you look closely at Villanova’s statue of Gregor Johann Mendel, you can see the marks of the sculptor’s tools which he used to shape the clay model for the statue.

For more on Peniston, click here. And to see Peniston’s explanation for bronze casting see here. For more information about the Mendel statue see here. And for much more for about Mendel go here. And don’t miss tomorrow’s blog for a delicious way to serve those peas once you’ve finished cross-breeding them!

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Foto Friday: The Highlight of Your Summer

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Fast, intense, and no free time to watch any World Cup—you really earn those credits in the summertime!  So, summer students, what’s been the highlight of your summer sessions here at Villanova? Dare we make a guess that you’ll say that it’s next week—when sessions finally come to a close?!

Our remedy? Find a fluffy study buddy and ride out the rest of these dog days with a highlighter in your favorite color, Florence & the Machine on your iPod and your subject librarian on speed dial.


Photo of “Jesse” by Molly Quinn, ’15 CLAS

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Dig Deeper: Nadine Gordimer

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“I would have been a writer anywhere, but in my country, writing meant confronting racism.”

Nadine Gordimer, who passed on July 13 at the age of 90, often said in interviews that had she lived elsewhere on Earth, her writing may not have been as political—or perhaps, in hindsight, as significant. Of course, we shall never know because Gordimer remained a resident of South Africa her entire life for the majority of the twentieth century and for all of its mantle under apartheid, which prevailed from 1948-1991. Like all great writers, she wrote what she knew.

She published her first work at the age of 15, a short story called “Come Again Tomorrow,” which appeared in a Johannesburg magazine. She went on to publish many short works in The New Yorker and to write 15 novels. Her most compelling work reveals a fierce commitment to telling the stories of the people of an oppressed nation, which ultimately earned her the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, the same year apartheid laws were repealed.

Archbishop Desmond TutuHer work speaks of her surroundings during that time: the other world, beyond the gate, the area from which she was separated “not by land and sea, but by law, custom and prejudice.” In her book of essays on the writer’s life, Writing and Being, she recounts her realization years later that she and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were close neighbors although “there was as much chance of our meeting then as there was of a moon landing. “

“Did we pass one another, sometimes, on Saturday mornings when the white town and the black ghetto all stocked up for the weekend at the same shops? Did I pass him by when I went into the local library to change books, a library he was barred from because he was black?” (1995, Gordimer, p. 120)

Gordimer continued to resist notions that post-1991, without the institutionalized repression, she lost her literary subject. As reported in The New York Times, she said the repeal of apartheid “makes a big difference in my life as a human being but … doesn’t really affect me in terms of my work, because it wasn’t apartheid that made me a writer, and it isn’t the end of apartheid that’s going to stop me.”

Falvey Memorial Library has dozens of her books on our shelves and hundreds more articles and papers about her works and influence. Be sure to click around our Dig Deeper section, curated by literature liaison librarian, Sarah Wingo. This year The Wall Street Journal is calling for South Africans to commemorate Mandela Day, a day celebrated internationally each July 18 in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of service to humanity, by spending 67 minutes reading a Gordimer short story. Sarah’s links may be a good place to start.

IMG_5649 (1)Dig Deeper

Written by her:

The book for which she was the joint winner of the Man Booker Prize in 1974-The Conservationist

A biography Nadine Gordimer : a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, 1937-1992.

A site where you can legally download copies of it. Be persistent –  we believe it’s busy due to heavy traffic since her death: http://bookdir.info/?p=682923

Telling times : writing and living, 1954-2008, according to Amazon a “comprehensive collection of her nonfiction” https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1259868

 

Criticism/About:

The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: Private Lives/Public Landscapes: A “critique all of her major works in the broader context of South African literature”

 Cracks in the Wall: Nadine Gordimer’s Fiction and the Irony of Apartheid

 

Online:

The Guardian’s five must-read books by her

Five Free Short Stories by Nadine Gordimer”  Links to a story with an embedded video of her reading one of her stories—contains links to several others that are freely available.


SarahDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre. Article by Joanne Quinn, Team Leader for Communication and Service Promotion

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Last Modified: July 17, 2014