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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Memoirs of Martinus Scriberlus by Alexander Pope et. al.

Alexander Pope


The Memoirs of Martinus Scriberlus
by Alexander Pope
Oxford University Free Edition
originally published 1741

   Here's a good example of a book I would have never read without an Ipad or similar reader device. It's on the original 2006 List of 1001 Books to Read but it's hardly long enough (100 pages) or  "novel-y" enough to warrant non-specialist attention. The sheer lack of novels on the date of publication makes it notable,   The Memoirs of Matinus Scriberlus is also of note because it was also the product of a group of writer/Artists, the Scriblerus Club, who were critical in creating the the "modern" market for literature.  Like other groups in different places and times, these guys operated in cliques- with Scriblerus Club facing off against the Samuel Johnson inspired "The Club" in the early to mid 18th century London literary scene.

  I would counsel that all casual readers steer clear- stick to Gargantua and Pantagruel and Tristam Shandy  for the same themes developed in a more classically novelistic fashion, i.e. with plot, characters and scenery.

 On the other hand it was published really super early- 1740s was just after "the novel" was invented, so there aren't alot of similar books outside of the two mentioned above. And it's free, and only 100 pages.

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