The Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle - Workshop of potential literature) is the oldest literary group in the field of French contemporary literature. The Oulipians have been working on a new reading and writing of literature since 1960. The constraints they use to write are often inspired by mathematical and ludic structures. Though closely followed by faithful fans, known to language games lovers, widely used by teachers in creative writing workshops, the Oulipo is still little known to the general public.
While this exhibition is on display through February 15 only at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, it provides an opportunity to highlight some of Berkeley's vast holdings by Oulipians such as Raymond Queneau, François Le Lionnais, Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Oskar Pastior, Jean Lescure, Jacques Roubaud, and more.
The scholarly publications of Leo S. Olschki are among the most widely held Italian publications in UC Berkeley's collections. Recently, the Library acquired a digital package which comprises 1286 e-books published by Olschki between 2000 and 2012, half of which were new to us. These books can be discovered through Casalini's Torrossa full-text platform, or in OskiCat searching with the phrase "Olschki e-books."
Olschki's digital collection is cross-disciplinary but is especially strong in all periods of European history, political science, literature, linguistics, classics, musicology, architecture, environmental design, art history, religious studies, philosophy, and the history of science. It also includes the backfiles to six journals:
Along with Editoria Italiana Online (EIO), it is one of the most significant Italian digital resources available through the Library. A special thanks to the Art History/Classics Library, the Bancroft, Environmental Design Library, Graduate Services, the Hargrove Music Library, the Italian Studies Department, Near Eastern Studies Collection, the Robbins Collection, and the AUL for Collections for their contributions towards this major purchase.
French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville (103-1847) would have celebrated his 211th birthday last week. Thanks to sturdy books and meticulous digitization, his fantastical illustrations live on for generations to enjoy. The Library acquired, also last week, an 1869 edition of Métamorphoses du jour (1869) which established his fame worldwide in 1828-29. The work is comprised of a series of seventy hand-colored lithographs in which individuals with the bodies of men and faces of animals play out a human comedy of Parisian life. It will be shelved in The Bancroft Library with other visual masterpieces of Grandville such as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842) and Les fleurs animées (1847).
In HathiTrust, you can find digital surrogates of varying quality of most of the books Grandville illustrated including Un autre monde; transformations, visions, incarnations ... et autres choses (1844), Fables de La Fontaine (1838), Les fleurs animées (1847), and Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1842).
For those of you new to Berkeley, this blog post serves as a reminder that new acquisitions lists are available through OskiCat. Just click on the "Recent Acquisiitons" link from the search screen and you will find regularly updated lists for French, Iberian Studies, Italian and more. New books for the Gardner "Main" Stacks also get sent directly to the new book display in Moffitt Library for 2-4 weeks before they're shelved in Main. See last spring's post on the revitalization of Moffitt Library.
Dedicated to the work of French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician, the Revue Roland Barthes launched its first issue in June. It is freely accessible and will be published biannually the same research team that makes available an index of his work, a bibliography of critical works about him, and more. The journal will soon be cataloged in Melvyl and added to our local e-journal holdings database!
The Romance Language Collections blog keeps the UC Berkeley Library community informed about recent acquisitions and other news related to these fabulous public research collections.
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