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The Curious ‘Cat: “Be my valentine!”

Curious 'Cat - imageThis week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What fictional character would you ask to be your valentine?

Lexie McClatchy – “Noah Calhoun from The Notebook.”

Justin D’Agnese – “Hermione Granger.”

Madeline Ruocco – “Spider-Man.”

Ryan Smith – “Princess Leia.”

Cate Ronan – “Prince Charming from Cinderella!”

Kent Wu – “Elsa from Frozen.”

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‘Cat in the Stacks: A Reminder to Love

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.

Love has been an important topic in the world in recent months. This week, while we celebrate Valentine’s Day, reflecting on some of the different types of love might do us – writer included ­­­– some good. Of course there are those with a silly mind, like those over at the digital collection responsible for the tweet below, but we’re talking about ‘love’ here and not ‘love making.’

First and foremost, with Valentine’s Day directly in our rearview mirror, romantic love can take center stage. I know that for some, romance and dating isn’t exactly your scene. As our Valentine’s Day listicle shows, however, romance and love in art and literature serve to sweep us off our feet from the daily tedium. One need not be a romantic himself or herself to experience the pleasure of reading Pride and Prejudice or any of the books our librarians recommended.

Next, in the wake of Brit Bennett’s visit to the Falvey yesterday, let’s talk about love of self and love of community. Bennett’s The Mothers, on some levels, talks about how one can recover the love of self after keeping a dark secret. While maybe not the exact message of Bennett’s book, my message for you is this: no matter how you feel that you let yourself down, remember to recover that love of self that helps you move forward.

Lit Fest and The Mothers

The Mothers also deals with a community of churchgoing mothers back in the protagontist’s hometown. While their gossip and talk might seem counter to Nadia’s (the protagonist’s) lifestyle, Nadia (like Bennett herself has said in interviews) retained a love for her hometown that transcended the seeming pettiness of a few of its members.

Having a place you call home is an important foundation toward building a successful career, successful relationships and a successful lifestyle. That place that you call home is generally populated with people who love you, and people who want to see you succeed themselves.

I hope for some of you that this description reminds of Villanova, and more specifically the Falvey Memorial Library. Think about it, the Falvey fits the criteria of home: we want to help lay the foundation for your success and the building is filled with those who want nothing more than to help in the fruition of your education. In this week of celebrating love, we want you to remember that you always have a place in our hearts here at the Falvey.

Falvey Entrance

In the recent months, love has become more than an emotion; it has become a political concept. As we continue our odyssey through the semester, however, let us Wildcats remember that love is at the heart of all that we do. Love of home, love of self, love of topic (e.g. history, engineering, mathematics, etc), and love of community drive everything we do.

As your campus library, we’re proud to say that the entire Villanova community is our Valentine, and we’ll be sending you all the love possible as we continue through the semester.

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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Five Books for Valentine’s Day

As the university library on one of the most romantic college campuses in the world, the Falvey Memorial Library has found it judicious to bring some Valentine’s Day literature recommendations to our constituents. Whether you’re single and looking, single and happy, or taken, these books are the perfect companions to spend the day with.

1. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

This recommendation comes from First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian Rob Leblanc. A contemplation of beauty and love in the midst of the destruction and horror of The Second World War, “The Book Thief” offers the perfect chance to embark on the journey of a boy who uses literature to overcome terror. Whether you’re cuddled up with your significant other, enjoying the heat of the fireplace over a couple of novels or if other obligations have prevented you from seeing your other half, this story will engross you in a world where love truly conquers all.

2. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See

English & Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo recommends this book for romantics of all kinds. Also set in WWII, this Pulitzer Prize winner recounts the journey of a blind French girl and a German boy as they come of age during WWII. Their paths eventually cross during the American landing at Normandy on D-Day. Following their exchange, one’s path to safety is ensured, while the other remains dangerously trapped on the battlefields of Europe. For anyone thinking about the very nature of romance and love, this story provides an interesting peak at the very drives at the heart of our nature.

3. “The Pastoral Symphony, or, La Symphonie Pastorale” by André Gide

La Symphonie Pastorale

Recommended by Nursing/Life Sciences & Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano, this novella is available in our collection in both English and its original French. Also incorporating the device of blindness, this one recounts the relationship that develops between a pastor’s son and a blind girl named Gertrude. As the pastor himself attempts to shield Gertrude from sin, his son falls deeply in love with her and proposes marriage. From there, the story takes an interesting turn that forces the reader to consider lessons of the bible, honesty, and responsibility in love.

4. “Love’s Labour’s Lost” by William Shakespeare

Love Labour Lost

Interested in what happens when four secular men take the oath not to give in to female temptations? Theology / Humanities Librarian Darren Poley recommends this Shakespeare piece. Featuring sovereign decrees, secret romances, and a king in disguise, this comedy features the claim that man’s highest study ought to be love.

5. “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember

Information Services Specialist Gerald Dierkes recommends kicking back on the recliner and reading this lovely story from romantic tale expert Nicholas Sparks. “It’s not specifically about Valentine’s Day,” Dierkes says, “but it is a good love story.” For those of you interested in how emotions of the heart may conquer ailments of the body, this book is especially for you.

(Photos courtesy of the Falvey Memorial Library Collection and Google Books)

Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.




Dig Deeper: Literary Sensation Brit Bennett to Visit Falvey

As a part of the Villanova University Literary Festival, co-sponsored by the English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Falvey Memorial Library (among a slew of other departments), Brit Bennett will visit Speakers’ Corner on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., providing you the perfect opportunity to bring your bae to a romantic evening of intellectual discussion and fiction reading.

The traditional “Dig Deeper” post includes a number of the author’s primary texts and a few scholarly articles for thinking through the author’s work. Bennett, however, as a new author presents a series of difficulties as far as building this kind of post goes.

Brit_BennettBrit Bennett poses for a photo.

First, her work is so new that scholars haven’t yet incorporated it into their theoretical pieces. Second, Bennett is very forthcoming about the aims and intentions of her work, especially so in her essays titled “I Don’t Know What to Do with Good White People” and “Ripping the Veil,” which means I can’t provide you with philosophical musings for thinking through what she might mean.

The novel itself ­– The Mothers – uses a fresh and much needed narrative voice to depict the black, middle-class life of its characters. According to an interview with Fusion, The Mothers took Bennett a long period of writing and re-writing to complete, and it mirrors her own life so far in a few crucial ways. Without spoiling anything too much, you should know that it’s available through interlibrary loan currently, and will arrive in the Falvey’s collection in the coming weeks.

Bennett herself was born and raised in southern California. She attended Stanford University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. From there, she moved east to earn her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan.

As a graduate student myself, I can tell you that the jump from graduate school success to gracing the pages of Vogue, Essence and the New York Times must have been one shocking journey. It all begins, however, with engagement.

Brit Bennett NYTBrit Bennett, as featured in The New York Times.

Bennett took a topic important to her – racial issues in America – and set herself to writing the most informed pieces about that topic. So far she has produced the “Good White People” piece from above and The Mothers (as well as a piece in The New Yorker praising the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates).

All of these pieces weave a fine strand through the young career of one of the literary world’s up-and-coming stars. Bennett’s central concern is the resolution of some of the racial issues plaguing 21st-century America. Here are a few links for you to dig deeper into the fields of race and trauma theory, curated by our English & Theatre Librarian, Sarah Wingo:


Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.



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The Curious ‘Cat: “Words of wisdom for future Wildkittens!”

Curious 'Cat - imageIn honor of Early Action Candidates’ Weekend, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What advice would you give to an early action candidate?”

Amy Vera – “I would say talk to the students. We all have different experiences, but we all have one thing in common: that we really love Villanova or else we wouldn’t be here.”

Michael Medina – “I would attend outside-of-class things, like seminars or presentations offered. It would give you a feel of what the values of the university are and you’d know whether those line up with your personal values.”

Natalie Garinther – “I would say to talk to the students because that’s the best way to figure out what the students are like. There were a lot of students sitting in on classes this morning, and that’s a good way to figure out what class sizes would be and how teachers interact with us.”

Rebecca Walters – “I sat in on an acapella rehearsal before I came, so maybe sit in on extracurricular activities. That would be my advice: ask people about their extracurriculars.”

Alison Mabery – “Look at a club you wouldn’t normally be interested in!”

Vivek Mohan -“I would say to try to sit in on classes to just get a good feel of how it is. I know class size is a big factor for a lot of people, and Villanova has a good class size.”


‘Cat in the Stacks: X-Files Edition

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.


Warning: Content may be too edgy and hip for some readers. 

This morning, the Falvey Communication and Marketing Team spotted a team of white-lab-coat-clad students working outside of our office windows. With their uncanny appearance through the trees, the speculations began immediately: “what planet have they come from, and what could they want?” “Who have they come to take away?”

It was all very, well, X-Files

The X Files

via YouTube

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, two special FBI agents, named Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, investigate unexplainable phenomena (UFOs, abductions, hauntings, the usual stuff). Mulder believes in the supernatural, while Scully generally attempts to ground his theories. We can imagine how this episode would go:

MULDER: It appears the alien life forms came through the trees here and surprised the library workers in their office by climbing through the window.
SCULLY: The window’s not even broken, Mulder. Why can’t you just accept that they were probably just students from Mendel doing a science project? And the library workers are just away at lunch.
MULDER: Or you could accept that something supernatural has occurred here, Scully, that there may be life and knowledge beyond the bounds of human comprehension.

Lab Coats

Dialogue typically progresses like this throughout the episodes. The characters develop throughout the series, of course, and sometimes Scully accepts Mulder’s propositions (and Mulder even occasionally accepts that something perfectly terrestrial occurred).

The endings of X-Files episodes set the series apart from, say, CSI or Criminal Minds. At the end of an X-Files episode, the incident may not be resolved. And not simply put off until the next week, I mean actually unresolved. Think about how this one might end ­–

SCULLY: Mulder, would you stop trying to collect evidence and accept that they just went back to ­­–
[A bright light flashes through the trees and the scientists along with their footsteps disappear]
SCULLY: That could have been any number of natural phenomena… besides –
MULDER: A natural occurrence that happened to wipe away the footprints too? The truth is out there, Scully.



“The truth is out there” is a significant quote for the series, appearing at the end of the opening credits sequence and being said in some episodes throughout the series. This phrase is also the message that I’d like to leave you with today.

“The truth is out there” extends beyond the realm of the supernatural and the conspiracy theory genre. The belief that truth exists somewhere out there in the world drives all form of academic pursuit – including that of our friends in the white lab coats.

While the truth is, in fact, out there somewhere in the world, something that we here on the communication and marketing team are entirely sure of is that the resources to find it reside here in the Falvey Memorial Library. We have books on everything from UFOs to CEOs, from fantasy-fiction to factual biographies.

Sue Ottignon's colored page of Falvey

Sue Ottignon’s colored page of Falvey

The truth is out there, Wildcats, and the resources are in here.

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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

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Curious ‘Cat: Groundhog Day

Curious 'Cat - imageThe Curious Cat asks Villanova students this week, “Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. What is something you would like six more weeks of?”

DSC_1581Liz Klotzbach – “Fall break.”







Vince Maria – “Time with my friends back home.”





DSC_1585Andrea Hammond – “Time with my friends.”





DSC_1582Thomas Plonski – “Six more weeks of school before I graduate.”





DSC_1591Lauren Tupper – “Winter break.”






DSC_1584Turki Haj Mohamad – “Six more weeks of Obama being president.”


‘Cat in the Stacks: Three Poems

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.

Every few decades, some “brilliant” literary critic declares the “death of poetry.” One need only look around at people quickly browsing social media feeds or getting their latest fix of current events from articles 500 words or fewer to realize that the general public does not care much for engaging literature at the heights of poetry.

The craft, however, continues. Poets of the 20th and 21st centuries have found increasingly interesting and artistic metaphors for thinking through the same facets of human nature as Homer and Shakespeare. For both poets and non-poets, the ‘Cat in the Stacks himself has tracked down three interesting poems for us to work through together.

Flood by James Joyce

Three images stick out to me in Joyce’s Flood: the flood, the sky, and the debris in-between. The lambent (read: ambient, glowing) flood with its vastness and its swaying seem to symbolize the internal “sea of emotions” that we all feel from day-to-day – perhaps Joyce here is thinking about feelings of “love’s full flood,” but we can think about it as emotion generally.

The sky, then, quickly reminds us of our own interior self-consciousness. Looking down on the flood, the sky sometimes offers “dull disdain.” That leaves a few things in-between, though: the “rock-vine clusters” and “vast wings above.” These seem to me to be elements of the imagination or memory that our emotions and self-consciousness cannot always quickly make sense of.

Regardless of how you want to read these objects between, and, if you see elements of your own emotions of love in the poem, Flood helps the reader think about his/her own interiority, and provides an excellent foundation for the next poem of our post –

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Available through the Academy of American Poets: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/dreams

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 11.40.06 AM

Bloom’s collection of critical essays on Hughes

Dreams looks at those interior objects of Flood and asks us to consider the value we place on the ones that relate to ambitions and our vision of the world. Without dreams, “life is a broken-winged bird/that cannot fly,” according to Hughes. Those “vast wings” of Flood have come crashing down without dreams.

Moreover, Hughes states, “Hold fast to dreams/For when dreams go/Life is a barren field/Frozen with snow.” Life cannot produce without dreams, and, for this reason, Hughes cautions us not simply to keep dreams alive but to “hold fast.” Our production, whether it’s artistic, poetic, scientific, or business-related, originates with our dreams.

Hughes poem offers an excellent lens for which we may interrogate our own fidelity to self. So much of modern life, however, depends on what others see from the outside. For thinking through that, let’s turn to the poetry of James Richardson.

How I Became a Saint by James Richardson

Available through The New Yorkerhttp://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/08/how-i-became-a-saint-by-james-richardson

Richardson will be visiting Villanova, Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Richardson will be visiting Villanova, Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Richardson’s first line answers the question posed in the title: “Some sloppy Googling at the Vatican.” This line answers many of the questions we outsiders could have about poetic fame. The truth is that most fame results from misunderstandings.

Richardson then recounts the other James Richardsons who might have been a saint over him, and eventually apologizes: “Sorry, guys: admittedly your Works/were nobler than mine, your Faith purer.” The conclusion, then, is that Richardson became a saint (read: famous) by pure accident.

The poem drastically shifts tone for the final four lines, leaving us wondering about the pronoun “her” and the nature of the fog. Perhaps he means to say that we don’t know where we’re going, but that equally implies that we don’t know where we’ve been.


These poems show, despite the belief that poetry has died in recent decades, that poetry has remained strong and as creative as ever in the last one hundred years. Villanova students have the opportunity to explore these poets more thoroughly in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Richardson himself visited the Connelly Center. This evening, Thursday, Feb. 1, a commemoration of Langston Hughes’ life and work will take place at Speakers’ Corner from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm in the Falvey, and tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the Irish Studies Program will hold a James Joyce Reception in the President’s Room at the Connelly Center.

Remember, poetry is not dead, Wildcats, and this is only a sampling of the wonders that poetry holds.

Website photo 2Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


The Curious ‘Cat: “Wildcats in the classroom!”

Curious 'Cat - imageWith a new semester underway, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What class are you looking forward to?”

Francesca Cocchi – “I’m in a short story writing class. I’m excited! I normally write more creative essays and stuff like that, so it’s a little out of my comfort zone, but it should be fun.”

Matt Zabloudil – “I’m excited to take my acting class, Fundamental Principles of Acting. I just got out of it and it’s pretty exciting.”

Scott Leighhow – “Non-Linear Dynamics, which sounds like it’ll be pretty cool.”

Amber Shelton – “My French Service Learning Internship class. It’s a joint class between the French Department and Engineering Department!”

Denzell Stanislaus – “I’m in the Master’s program for School Counseling here. I’m most excited for my Lab in Group Dynamics course—it’s about group counseling.”

Jane Richter – “I’m in the Political Science grad program! I’m in a class called Congress, so I’m most excited for that.”

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‘Cat in the Stacks: Spring, Forward


I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


This time last semester, we talked a little bit about your new school year’s resolutions. We looked at how accomplishments come in various forms for students at different stages of their college careers. We now find ourselves halfway through the school year, so, while our professional counterparts set their new year’s resolutions, we must decide how we’re going to finish out the last half of our two-part odyssey.

It may be too late for a new school year’s resolution, but another semester offers fresh chances to set revised goals. As far as I can tell, these goals may be revised in two separate ways – either revised upward or revised downward. If you find yourself revising your goals upward, then you have met your expectations of last semester and find yourself ready to take the next step. If you’re revising downward, however, do not be discouraged; sometimes students bite off a lot more than they can chew and get bogged down either academically, professionally, or emotionally.

(an example of positive goal setting.)

The sophomores and juniors among us know this all too well. I mean, the first couple of semester weren’t too bad, right? You can surely pack on an internship, a serious relationship, and a second major. Perhaps some of you found out that you really can do it all, but, if you are at all like I was, you recognized that trying to do everything spreads your energy too thin. You might consider revising your goals toward prioritizing those activities most beneficial to your most important future goals.

Seniors find themselves moving into the dorms or into the off-campus house for the last time in their undergraduate careers. I remember the bittersweet feeling very well: excitement at the thought of moving on to the next step of one’s life, coupled with the fear of leaving behind that lifestyle established over the last three and a half years. Goals range for seniors from starting a career and moving out of mom and dad’s house to just finishing strong to boost that GPA (or perhaps it’s about time to set aside some of that schedule for some serious socializing).

Freshman, of course, have this second half of the year to revise their first impressions. If first semester didn’t exactly go as planned, then you still have this second half of the year to improve your academic standing. If you surpassed expectations, then you now have the opportunity to challenge yourself with maybe an added extracurricular, taking the next step to learn that new language, or starting to lay the foundation for adding a minor. You still have time to consider these options, but ask any of your older friends and colleagues: the time flies by.

Falvey in Spring

(Time flies: before you know it, the Falvey will look like this again.)

We here at the Falvey Memorial Library have set some goals of our own for this semester. While we’re disappointed that we can’t open up a brand new reading room for you or share the excitement surrounding an election every semester, this semester still holds some exciting events here at the Falvey.

We will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a display and an exhibit. We’ll once again be hosting speakers as a part of the English Department’s Literary Festival – including Brit Bennet and Reginald Dwayne Betts. We’ll also be welcoming a new class of Falvey Scholars and celebrating Villanova’s 175th birthday along with the rest of the university.

Russian Revolution

(Russian Revolution banner from Home Before the Leaves Fall)

In other words, we’ll be revising our goals right along with you. While we remain dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date resources and spaces available to advance your studies, we’ll be striving this semester to provide interactive and relevant events to enrich the academic, literary, and historical culture of the university.

A crucial component of revising any goals involves dialogue. Large companies hold important meetings to establish the year’s objectives. As you plan your semester, you should take into account the advice of professors, parents and friends; they might have an interesting perspective on your goals and ambitions. We here at the Falvey would love to hear your goals, and would love your feedback on our own – start the dialogue on Facebook or by tweeting us @FalveyLibrary.

Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Last Modified: January 18, 2017