Obiter Dictum

Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention --- Cornelia Otis Skinner

Saturday, January 28

I'm always surprised

at the wide range of reading tastes of the people in Indianapolis. For those of you who don't know (and I can't imagine who THAT might be) I'm basically a buyer for the public library here in town. All day long, I spend tax dollars on very cool stuff. Well, mostly cool stuff. Mostly.

ANYWAY, there are some times, at least five or six an hour, when I have NO IDEA who or what I'm buying. There. I admit it. No clue. There are just too many wide ranging subjects.

So, today, I come across this book: Anna of all the Russias: A Life of Anna Akhmatova. Wonderful. Who the hell is she?! I know she's literary because I'm (helpfully) looking through a catalog of books on literary criticism. Signposts, people. That's how the work gets done here. I've never heard of this chick. Not to say that I need to have heard of EVERYONE, but....I did take a class in Russian literature as an undergrad.

So, I was gonna take a pass on the book. Nobody could possibly care. But, just because I'm a curious kitty, I decided to see if we had anything by this Anna person. I typed her name into our catalog and got 38 hits. 38. For a Russian woman poet that I've never even heard of, that's quite a bit. Some of them are in Russian (you have a kick ass library system here in Indianapolis, in case you didn't know!) but the English language versions have gone out quite a bit. WAY more than most poets.

The people of Indianapolis obviously know who she is. Who'd a thunk, huh? I googled her, of course, and found some of her stuff. I'm not crazy about her poetry, check it out here, but that's just me. Some people around here obviously disagree.

So yeah. I bought the book.


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