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And the Best Literary Character Is…

BRACKETOLOGY-LOGOThe time has finally come: today we crown Falvey Memorial Library’s top literary character. After three weeks of fierce voting and competition, the tournament draws to a close with two titans in the Championship matchup: Atticus Finch, lawyer extraordinaire, and Gandalf, White or Gray depending on your preference. But before we name a victor let’s take a look at a few of the match-ups these two characters had to get here.

Gandalf v. Ebenezer Scrooge:

Gandalf’s opening match-up was an intense showing of geriatric prowess. You’d think that Gandalf would take this one in a landslide, as Scrooge is famously crotchety and smells like Metamucil and IcyHot, but the final count was closer than anyone expected. In the end Gandalf proved too much for old man Ebenezer, and we all learned a valuable lesson about generosity and the ancient Istari order. So that was nice.

Gandalf v. Winnie the Pooh

No one, and I mean no one, could have predicted the tournament that Winnie the Pooh ended up having. You’d think a character whose single motivation is a desire for condensed milk and “hunny” wouldn’t stand a chance against the psychological complexity of Elizabeth Bennett. But then again this is March, and anything can happen I guess. Luckily, Gandalf escaped the bear with minimal lumps, probably because he’s an all-powerful white wizard and not a hopelessly naïve, snack-grubbing cartoon bear JEEZ. I’m sorry guys. I just—I flew off the handle.  Let me be the first to apologize to the Disney Corporation and all the Pooh lovers out there, wherever you are. This one’s for you.

Atticus Finch v. Tom Sawyer

Well, we were expecting a very cordial match-up between these two Southern gentlemen. We were expecting a sporting competition between two good-ol-boys, one in a white suit and the other in overalls, just sippin’ ice tea at the general store. What we got was an absolute beatdown, and it wasn’t pretty. Atticus Finch trounced Tom Sawyer in the Elite Eight, with Tom Sawyer receiving just two measly votes on the big board. Two. I feel kinda bad for the guy. He can barely look Becky Thatcher in the eye after that.

But our final match was the most contentious yet, garnering over 80 votes! When the dust settled, we were looking at a 52-30 victory by none other than…Gandalf! Congratulations my man, we knew you could do it.

Thanks to everyone who voted this year. Stay tuned to find out who won the drawing and will receive a free copy of a book featuring one of these fine characters. And as always, happy reading.


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Literary Character March Madness Enters the Round of 16: Analyst Predictions

What a week it’s been for the library’s Literary Character March Madness! With votes rolling in both online and on our physical bracket by the circulation desk, we’ve finally entered the round of sweet 16. While each of these 8 battles will prove interesting in their own right, this week we’d like to offer four predictions in the signature match-ups of the round.

Curious George vs. Winnie the Pooh

I’m not sure anyone could have predicted that these two pants-less anthropomorphic goofballs would take down such heavy hitters as Anna Karenina and Alice in the round of 64, but here we are. In any case, despite the recent doping allegations and that very public falling out with the man in the Yellow Hat, the smart money is on Mr. George in this one. I mean, just look at his wittle face!

Hamlet v. Harry Potter

In last year’s tournament Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made it all the way to the championship match-up, taking down major contenders such as Herman Melville along the way. For that reason it seems like The Boy Who Lived … has the odds in this one. Sorry, Hamlet my man, but it looks like this one’s “not to be.”

James Bond vs. Tom Sawyer

It’s high-tech gadgetry versus home-spun foolery in this Midwest match-up, but Mr. Bond-James-Bond won’t seem so suave after Tommy-Boy tricks him into whitewashing a fence, now will he? Then again I heard Bond’s been moving in on Becky Thatcher, so he may already be in Sawyer’s head. Seems like a coin-toss, but I’m going to take Sawyer in this one.

Gandalf vs. Dante

Wow. These storylines just write themselves: the 5-3 battle in the East is between two Catholic wizards. Wait, I’m being told Gandalf isn’t Catholic. And Dante wasn’t a wizard?! What’s with the hat and spell book, then? Somebody else should really be writing this.

 

That’s all for now, book fans! Be sure to vote for your favorite characters here, and stick to the Library News blog for more analysis next week. Remember, you can follow Falvey Memorial Library (FalveyLibrary) on twitter (#novabookbracket) and Facebook for more action.


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Library Embraces New Social-Media Compliant AFD Citation Style

afd wordleIn an effort to further bolster its support to the pioneering field of the Digital Humanities, Falvey Memorial Library recently embraced AFD Style, a model for citation and composition that incorporates technologies in the expanding world of social media. The AFD Style offers interdisciplinary formatting guidelines that utilize social media technologies across the board, including those provided by Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Snapchat.

The AFD Style Book leverages the power of social media as a means of verifying discursive notation, providing a feature-rich user experience for the reader. For example, where former styles such as the MLA identify the source of a quotation by referring to a work’s cited page at the end of a paper, the AFD requires direct hyperlinks to the quoted scholar’s LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. Where the Chicago style uses footnotes as a means of clarifying or expanding a point, the AFD offers guidelines for directly embedding YouTube or Vimeo clips of a writer defending his/herself against potential counterarguments.

The AFD format is the brainchild of Chaz Q. Queue, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and intellectual who developed the style guide in consultation with several focus groups and think-tanks on the west coast. Mr. Queue first entered the academic spotlight in 2010 when he created an iPhone and Android app called Study Face, a hugely popular program that allowed students to live-stream their contemplative expressions during lectures and then broadcast them to other Study Face users. “The 21st Century will be all about social scholarship,” Mr. Queue said in a recent Skype interview from the ChazCorp offices in San Jose. “The AFD empowers the kind of nonlinear thinking and digital interfacing sorely lacking in the academic world. By requiring that all papers be posted to the Reddit subforum r/college, for example, and insisting that they meet a minimum quota of Reddit Gold before publication, we’re truly shattering the ivory tower mentality that plagues most universities.”

Librarian Robert LeBlanc demonstrating the finer details of an AFD Selfie Citation

Librarian Robert LeBlanc demonstrating the finer details of an AFD Selfie Citation

Falvey Memorial Library will offer a series of AFD Style Workshops beginning next week. First Year Experience Librarian and Liaison to the Humanities Department Robert LeBlanc will lead the workshops. LeBlanc’s classes will help students develop crucial AFD skills such as how to make a Selfie Citation and how to develop a strong argument with compelling evidence in 140 characters or fewer.


Article by Corey Waite For It Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Great Literary Characters Throw Down in Library March Madness

BRACKETOLOGY-LOGOHarry Potter cramming on Gandalf the Grey. James Bond posting up Lady Macbeth. It’s March already, and that means Falvey Memorial Library’s bracketed literary smack-down is underway.

Following 2013’s highly competitive tournament in which #1 seed William Shakespeare obliterated a fierce field of authors, past and present, we at the Library have decided to shake things up and make this year’s battle about the creations rather than the creators. That’s right: 2014 is all about character. With that in mind we’ve compiled a list of 64 of the greatest literary characters and pitted them against each other in our seeded bracket with the goal of finding Villanova’s favorite. Not since the confusing and angst-ridden world of fan fiction have literary universes collided with such force, with such enthusiasm, and with so few spelling errors. What a time to be alive.

Like last year, the winners of each matchup will be chosen purely by the fans. That means if you want to see Wilbur the Pig take down Oedipus, then you’ll have to vote. There are two ways to vote this year: on our giant print bracket at the library’s front desk or online via our submission form. As an added bonus, each submitter is eligible to win a prize at the end of the tournament, so vote early and often. Check this site for future analysis and predictions, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook (#novabookbracket) for up to the minute updates and results. Best of luck to your favorite, and may the best character win.


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C. Nataraj, PhD, on the Intersection of Medicine and Robotics

natarajThis Monday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m., award winning lecturer C. Nataraj, PhD, Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Moritz, Sr., Endowed Chair Professor in Engineered Systems at Villanova University, will deliver a Scholarship@Villanova lecture. Dr. Nataraj’s expertise ranges from machinery to medicine to robotics, and his lecture is entitled “Dynamic Systems: The Science of Machinery, Robots, Medical Diagnostics, and Autonomy.” The lecture will be held in room 204 of the Falvey Memorial Library Learning Commons, and in the tradition of past Scholarship@Villanova events, will be free and open to the public.

To help us learn more about this fascinating scholar and his areas of interest, we’ve invited Alfred Fry, Science/Engineering Liaison Librarian, to compile a list of Dig Deeper resources.


Dig Deeper

The topic of Dr. Nataraj’s lecture is very broad with applications in diverse areas such as engineering, science, economics, biology, and others. Dr. Nataraj will also discuss some interesting results from his research wanderings which will focus on the areas of machinery, robotics and medicine. In addition, the talk will highlight applications without getting into the mathematical intricacies in order to make it comprehensible to a broad audience.

Here is one example of a CENDAC (Center for Non-linear Dynamics and Control) project:

More videos and links:

Overview of The Center for Non-linear Dynamics and Control (CENDAC)

Villanova University CENDAC student profile

Villanova University CENDAC faculty profile

Additional Villanova University CENDAC projects

Villanova University Engineering CENDAC YouTube Channel

Falvey Memorial Library Engineering Subject Guide

 


Article by Corey A. Arnold, graduate assistant for Communication and Service Promotion.

UnknownLinks prepared by Alfred Fry, Science & Engineering Librarian

Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

 

 


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Dig Deeper: Frosty Russian Novels

With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in full swing, now is the perfect time to burrow into a frosty Russian novel. Whether writing in the frozen tundra of Siberia or amid the bustling streets of St. Petersburg, Russian novelists are always eager to plumb the inky depths of the soul and explore the limits of the human psyche. To help guide us on a tour through this unique branch of world literature, Team Leader- Humanities II, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre Sarah Wingo has compiled a list of resources on classic Russian literature. You can find those links below.

Всего хорошего and as always, happy reading.


Dig Deeper:

No list of Russian literature (especially snowy Russian literature) would be complete without Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. You can find the book, along with criticism, in the library collection, or you can download the entire public domain text for free to your device or e-reader.

For the uninitiated, this list provides the quick and chilly of all the “must reads” in Russian literature.

If you’re interested in contemporary Russian lit, here’s a great resource from the University of Virginia.

This blog chronicles an art project inspired by another novel by Tolstoy, his sprawling epic War and Peace.

The plays of Anton Chekhov are dark comedies, equal parts devastating and beautiful. Of his many great works, The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull manage to stand out. Because his works are also in the public domain, you can find a complete alphabetical list of full texts here.

Finally, some Cambridge Companions on the subject:

Cambridge Companion to Chekhov

The Cambridge Companion to Dostoevsky

The Cambridge Companion to twentieth-century Russian literature

The Cambridge Companion to the Classic Russian Novel

The Cambridge Companion to Tolstoy

“Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.”

– Leo Tolstoy


2014-01-29 14.53.13Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

SarahLinks prepared by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

Our new Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

 


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The Violent and the Fallen: a Reading from James Matthew Wilson

This Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Falvey Memorial Library will be hosting a poetry reading and Scholarship@Villanova lecture featuring James Matthew Wilson, PhD, an assistant professor of literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions. Dr. Wilson will be reading poems from The Violent and the Fallen, his forthcoming chapbook soon to be published through Finishing Line Press. The Violent and the Fallen delves deep into the lives of poetic speakers across the open expanses of Midwestern America and features an array of characters as seemingly disparate as bankers, lifeguards and alcoholic balloon vendors, each in search of redemption in the face of violence and desire. The reading will be held in room 205 and begins at 2:30 pm.


Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre, has compiled the following Dig Deeper links for this exciting event, including several poems written by Dr. Wilson:

Dig Deeper:

Dr. Wilson has made available several of his papers and articles through academia.com

He is a regular contributor to Front Porch Republic

His poem Living Together, from the journal Per Contra

Another poem, entitled A Note for Ecclesiastes

Many of Dr. Wilson’s articles are available through Falvey Memorial Library databases


Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

Sarah WingoLinks prepared by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

 

 


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Dig Deeper: Sochi 2014, unfiltered

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games began last week in Sochi, Russia, amidst swirling accusations of corruption, human rights violations and inadequate facilities, to name just a few. To help us get to the bottom of these issues and more, research librarian and liaison to the Department of Political Science, Merrill Stein, has compiled links and information on all things Sochi.


 

Dig Deeper

Overview:

Sochi is a popular resort city with a warm climate, mineral springs and mountain scenery located (lat: 43 35 00 N, long: 039 46 00 E) on the Black Sea coast near the foot of Caucasus range. Occupying the site of the former fort of Navaginskoye, according to the Getty Thesaurus, the city combines “ … officials say, the natural attractions of both France’s Cannes and Davos in Switzerland (Financial Times, Grost, 2012, Nov. 2). “Not since Stalin favored Sochi as the sunny retreat of the Soviet elite has so much been done to remake the city’s landscape” (Putin’s Olympic Fever Dream – NYT Magazine).

Once described as the  [Leonid] Brezhnev “Camp David,” Sochi has been the site for many important Russian and international political meetings and summits.

Construction:

Stacy St Clair tweet from Sochi 2014 2

Anatoly Pakhomov, mayor of Sochi, lists the preparations: “‘We built 438 transformer substations, 17 power-distribution hubs, [and] two thermoelectric power stations! … We generate 540 megawatts!’ The Olympics, he went on, have done nothing less than transform Sochi, a subtropical resort that stretches about 90 miles along a narrow coastline at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. Three new water-purification plants; more than 200 miles of new roads; 22 tunnels and 55 bridges to ease the city’s chronically snarled traffic; 13 new and renovated railroad stations; five new schools; six medical centers ‘with top-of-the-line medical equipment’; 49 new hotels with 24,000 rooms” (Putin’s Olympic Fever Dream – NYT Magazine).

“Russia has built two venues for the Sochi Winter Games from scratch. An area of swamp on the city’s western seaboard that was once a haven for wild duck now encloses a 256 hectare Olympic park that will host the ice sports competitions, including speed skating, ice hockey and curling. Snow events such as ski jump, bobsledding and luge will take place at the sprawling Krasnaya Polyana mountain resort above the city where the tallest peaks reach 2,050m above sea level. Tourists will be whisked between the two areas by a new 40km mountain road or by a railway being built on stilts to avoid polluting the Mzytma river valley.” (Financial Times, Grost, 2012, Nov. 2).

Corruption:

The Christian Science Monitor follows the $50 billion that’s been spent on Sochi

Business Insider asks: Why is Sochi so expensive?

Security and History:

In all respects, Soviet tourism was communal as opposed to being individual or family oriented. When a Soviet citizen visited a resort in Sochi on the Black Sea, he or she was often in the company of fellow workers from his or her factory or collective farm. And while tourism was primarily domestic (due to the strict security concerns of the Soviet government), international tourism grew throughout the post-WWII period, reaching its apex in the 1980s (Hall, 1991). Most of these were inter-bloc visitors coming from East Europe. Outbound international tourism remained minimal during the entire Soviet period, specifically because private travel abroad was almost never granted and most citizens did not have the financial means to travel to the majority of foreign destinations. (University of Texas, Perry-Castañeda Map Collection)

In advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the recent bombings cast doubt on Russia’s ability to provide the level of security required for the games. In February a Chechen terrorist group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, as several more suicide bombings occurred that month.

Robert Bruce Ware has a new book on the Caucasus and Russia: The Fire Below, available in the library collection now.

Additional Info and Databases:

ABSEES – American Bibliography of Slavic & East European Studies (EBSCO)

Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)

ProQuest Central

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports, 1974- 1996 (Readex)

Lexis Nexis Academic

Russian Studies subject guide

Political Science subject guide

History subject guide

Falvey catalog – related works


2014-01-29 14.53.13Introduction by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Arnold is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

SteinArticle, sources and links by Merrill Stein, librarian and liaison to the Department of Political Science.

Our new Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 


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Dig Deeper: Novelist David Gilbert on Being a Father and a Son

David Gilbert authorThe 16th Annual Villanova Literary Festival opens this Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. with fiction writer David Gilbert, who will be reading excerpts from his acclaimed novel & Sons. Mr. Gilbert’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, and Bomb. His newest novel tells a sprawling tale of fathers and sons featuring two generations of writers and artists in orbit of a reclusive, Salinger-esque novelist named A.N. Dyer. A reception and book signing will follow the reading, along with the opportunity to meet Mr. Gilbert.

In preparation for the reading, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help our readers better understand the work of this fascinating young novelist.


Dig Deeper

In this Fresh Air interview, Terry Gross asks Mr. Gilbert about his life and upbringing as a way of better understanding the characters in & Sons. The author remarks upon his writing process, the difficulty of finding a voice and subject matter as a young writer, and the role Central Park played in the upbringing of an affluent Manhattan kid during the 1970’s and 80’s.

Speaking with Jonathan Lee at Guernica, Mr. Gilbert dives deeper into the nuts and bolts of & Sons, speaking on the novel’s tone, characters and form. In describing his decision to invent the entire fictional oeuvre of his character A.N. Dyer, Gilbert remarks that: “Since this is a book about books, and writing, I wanted it to contain every other kind of book within its pages. To have the satire, and to have the family drama, and suddenly have an Alice Munro style short story pop up. There’s even a bit of science fiction in there. I was just trying to throw between those covers as much as possible in terms of what a book can do.”

Book critic for The New Yorker James Wood reviews & Sons, describing Mr. Gilbert’s prose as “crisp, witty, and rightly weighted,” but questioning the sprawling, meandering nature of his narrative.

Emma Brockes praises the ambition and narration of & Sons in this article at the Guardian. She also calls attention to one of the novel’s strongest sentences, and Mr. Gilbert’s favorite: “Fathers start as gods and end as myths and in between whatever human form they take can be calamitous for their sons.”


2014-01-29 14.53.13Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Arnold is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

Our new Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

 


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Don't Let This Be You! Part Three: Late Night Reference Librarians

DLTBY-PHIL3CORREX

Stuck on a paper, a point of study, or a matter of research? Research Librarians in all fields are available to answer questions via meeting, live chat, or text at Falvey Memorial Library. They’re even pulling later hours during the busy finals season. 

 


Script by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Publications team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Last Modified: December 18, 2013

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