Recent graphic novel acquisitions.
Graphic novels are a well-established aspect of French literature. 32 million were sold in 2012. A glance around any large French bookshop will find not just the famous French comic books – Largo Winch and Adèle Blanc-sec, Astérix and Tintin —but also works on political scandals, international politics and adaptations of novels. The University Library, however, does not have a consistent policy regarding acquisition of such material.
The Culturethèque (“the digital platform of the Institut français du Royaume-Uni”) offers a variety of ‘comic books’ available to read online to users in the UK. This type of material is not generally acquired by the UL. As with popular fiction, the UL has been unsure of which bandes dessinées to buy, and how to complement the University’s teaching and research needs.
The UL has recently purchased a number of graphic novels in French, among them : Continue reading
Cambridge University Library is happy to announce its recent subscription to the Colombian magazine Art Nexus.
Recent issue of Art Nexus (no. 93, June 2014)
Art Nexus was originally published in 1976 as Arte en Colombia. In 1992 it changed its name to Art Nexus in order to raise awareness of Colombian and Latin American art worldwide. The magazine, published quarterly in English and Spanish, is a leading publication on Latin American and Caribbean art, with an emphasis on Colombia. Along with the ArtNexus.com portal, the journal has helped to draw attention to Latin American art and its impact on the global art scene. Continue reading
The UL recently acquired a beautiful book (S950.a.201.2298) that compiles the complete Colombian diaries and paintings of a 19th Century Andalucian poet and dramatist named José María Gutiérrez Alba. The backstory behind these is as fascinating as the diaries themselves.
José María Gutiérrez Alba travelled to Colombia in 1870, ostensibly to work as a bookseller. However, the real purpose of his arrival was to secretly provide information to the Spanish government that might help them to build commercial relations with Colombia. Gutiérrez Alba did not have much success selling books and Spain soon lost interest in his “mission”, but he ended up staying in Colombia for another 13 years, becoming heavily involved with the country’s agriculture and founding the journal El Cachaco.
Some of Gutiérrez Alba’s diaries and an extract of his writing.
European Drama and Performance Studies
The Library has recently taken out a subscription to a new peer-reviewed print journal, European drama and performance studies, devoted to the study of the history of the performing arts. Current issues are kept in pigeonhole 384, and back numbers at L415.c.418. Although the journal’s title suggests very general coverage, the first two issues have concentrated exclusively on French drama. However, it is intended that the coverage will eventually include all periods and areas, and interdisciplinary and comparative subjects will feature prominently. Continue reading
Prominent amongst the exhibits in the Literature of the Liberation exhibition are two editions of Vercors’ novella Le silence de la mer. The story is of a German officer billeted with a French family. A Francophile disillusioned with Nazi propaganda, he is eventually sent to the Eastern Front. Set between November 1940 and July 1941, the novella was completed in September or October 1941, and first published clandestinely by Éditions de Minuit in February 1942. The text was in wide circulation by the summer of 1943.
Jahan’s 1944 photograph
The exhibition copy of the 1942 edition is inscribed and dedicated by Vercors to Gilberte Chapuis, who as a young girl cycled round Paris distributing copies of the novella. The University Library’s copy of this edition is a later printing, which stands at 1994.7.597. Also displayed is a 1944 photograph by Pierre Jahan showing Le silence de la mer concealed behind another row of books in his apartment. On the back of the picture he writes
Aucune cachette ne survit à une bonne perquisition … il était pourtant plus prudent de glisser les “Éditions de Minuit” dans la seconde rangée de sa bibliothèque!