In Praise of Public Domain

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In Praise of Public Domain

2019 has arrived, and with it, the release of new Public Domain works in the US. Oh, joy. Oh, frabjous day. If you want the list of 43,000 works from Hathi Trust, click there. Here are some of the delicious highlights I noticed while eagerly perusing the catalogue for things to steal for the Post. They're all from 1923.

  • An Outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad. He died the next year, so I guess he's gone Public Domain. I appreciate you, Joseph: The Pole who taught me the word 'crepuscular'.
  • Economics for Executives, vol 16. This thing has at least 16 volumes? Should be interesting light reading.
  • Die bildende Kunst der Gegenwart: Malerei, Plastik, Zeichnung by Wilhelm Hausenstein. Oh, goody. 1923 art. So much snark, so little time...
  • The Irish Ecclesiastical Record. ser.5 v.022 yr.1923. Riveting, no doubt.
  • Corrodies in the English Monasteries by Howard Morris Stuckert. As soon as I find out what corrodies are, I'll be all over this one.
  • The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. Oh, Oscar, has it been that long? It seems only yesterday you showed up, declaring nothing but your 'genius'.
  • Mandeville's Travels, tr. from the French of Jean d'Outremeuse. Ed. from Ms. Cotton Titus c. XVI, in the British Museum. By P. Hamelius, vol 2. It's about time: Mandeville's Travels was written in the 14th Century.
  • Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie d'Agriculture de France, rédigés par le secrétaire perpétuel. v. 9 1923. Lot of acute accents in that one. I got excited when I saw 'seances', but then I realised the Perpetual Secretary was only rendering accounts of boring sessions on agricultural topics. Crop reports and such.
  • Swine raising in Hawaii by F.G. Krauss. A page-turner for which the world has waited with bated breath.
  • The Book of Esther in the Light of History by Jacob Hoschander. This sounds fascinating. I had to look at the catalogue record: it's only 318 pages, which is quite compact for di gantse megillah.
  • Anger: Its Religious and Moral Significance by George Malcolm Stratton. A book that may speak across the ages.

Ars longa, vita brevis, or as Elektra says, 'This will hold you 'till we get a rope.' We can continue to explore the delights of Public Domain until the next bulletin comes out, and we still won't have to go to the bookstore for anything else to read.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

21.01.19 Front Page

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