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31st March


The Museum of Temporary Art. Via Citrus Moon.

Leaves of Gold: Treasures of Manuscript Illumination. Medieval art.

Underground Kent. 'Welcome to my website of Ex-military tunnels, Napoleonic fortifications and Underground tunnels of Kent. Kent has many underground features that date back centuries, from Iron Age earthworks, through to seventeenth century smuggling tunnels to the defence of Britain right up to the atomic age ... '

Detectives on Stamps. 'Although some forty countries issued stamps commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Interpol, the International Police Organization, most issues were of a single stamp with the Interpol symbol or a picture of the Headquarters Building. Only Nicaragua issued a large set with fictional detectives.'

j's mind. Online 'slice of life' comic.

S. Manabe. 'We met the Kyoto Yuzen-shi S.Manabe while he was giving a demonstration at the National Crafts Center located in Aoyama, downtown Tokyo ... '

Y. Hiroshima. 'The Kanda River runs through Takadanobaba and in an earlier era led to the rise of various businesses oriented around the kimono, one of its more distinctive jiba-sangyo, or local industries. Though these businesses have declined in number in recent years, there are still shokunin still very much active in the area. Among them is Y. Hiroshima, a 2nd generation yuzen-shi of the Edo-style who has carried on his craft for over 50 years. '

Codex Seraphinius. 'This web site is dedicated to giving information (what little there is) on the weirdest book in the world, the CODEX SERAPHINIANUS. The Codex is a collection of original artwork by Italian artist Luigi Serafini, presented as a travalogue or scientific study of an alien world. Unlike such alien worlds as Darwin IV in Barlowe's Expedition, which one might find in a science fiction novel, the world in the Codex is obviously some kind of perverse reflection of our own. All of the Codex is presented entirely in an obscure alien writing. This writing, in combination with the bizarre pictures, is what finally puts the Codex in its own league for weirdness. For instance, on one page is a "Rosetta Stone" - only it just translates Codex script into another alien language. A lecturer presenting the "Stone" is nonchalantly stabbing a red blob inside of it while he points out aspects of the script. The whole effect is unimaginable, even after several "readings", and I intend to stop failing to describe it now. Follow the links below for some images and more information.'

East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion 1975-76. 'The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 set the stage for the long, bloody, and disastrous occupation of the territory that ended only after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in 1999. President Bill Clinton cut off military aid to Indonesia in September 1999—reversing a longstanding policy of military cooperation—but questions persist about U.S. responsibility for the 1975 invasion; in particular, the degree to which Washington actually condoned or supported the bloody military offensive. Most recently, journalist Christopher Hitchens raised questions about the role of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in giving a green light to the invasion that has left perhaps 200,000 dead in the years since. Two newly declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, released to the National Security Archive, shed light on the Ford administration's relationship with President Suharto of Indonesia during 1975 ... '

The Laxdaela Saga. Icelandic saga.

The Story of the Heath-Slayings ("Heitharviga Saga"). Icelandic saga.

Bristol Biomedical Image Archive. 'A collection of medical, dental and veterinary images for use in teaching.'

Curtis Botanical Magazine. 'William Curtis (1746-1799) was a trained pharmacist living in London, whose greater interest was the study of flora and insects. He maintained a large garden where he grew beautiful exotic plants, and began publishing the Curtis Botanical Magazine in 1787. This digital presentation represents one thousand fifty records, one thousand forty-eight plates, (two of the original plates are missing, plates 797 & 860), and there are one thousand four hundred fifty-six related pages of text from the first 26 volumes. The entire print collection of 164 volumes is housed at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland. '

Popsubculture Biography Project. 'Welcome to the Biography Project. This reference tool is an ongoing effort to catalog and document the contributions of authors, artists, scientists, film makers and other culturally influential individuals on underground culture in its various forms. This is direct response to the unfortunate *lack* of accurate and comprehensive information on the net regarding 'popsubculture'. It is a totally volunteer effort, in fact, it is done in my ever shrinking spare time. '

Lu Xun. 'Although initially trained as a doctor, Lu Xun came to believe that the plight of the Chinese masses could be improved only through the widespread dissemination of socially aware art and literature. In the woodblock print, especially as developed by the German Expressionists, Lu Xun saw an effective tool for exposing the social ills of China. Artists influenced by Lu Xun focused on the inequities suffered by the lower classes. Due in part to this redirection in subject matter, the woodcut medium was perceived to be Western and modern although woodblock printing had been invented in China and had been widely used since the Tang dynasty.'

Contemporary Chinese Advertising. Online gallery and discussion.

Max Stirner Archive. Seminal German individualist anarchist philosopher. Biography and works.

Bovine Inversus.

RuPaul. Celeblogger.

Urban Local History in Coventry. 'Join Charles Insley in Coventry for a walk through time. Although each town or city is different, they share many common themes. Discover how to read the history of your town from the buildings around you. '

Jordaens: Venus and Eros Punishing a Satyr. 'The painting's exact subject is unclear. A satyr struggles on his hands and knees against three putti directed by Venus, who sits on a rock at the right. At the far right, another putto holds a standard, while a second records the scene on a scroll. An androgynous, fleshy nude figure lurks in the shadows of the trees behind Venus, and two men leer out from the woods.'

De La Hyre: Glaucus and Scylla. 'Laurent de La Hyre represented a romantic scene from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Glaucus rises from the sea with an elegant, curling white beard, a muscular torso, and a scaly tail that unwinds among the reeds. Clad only in crumpled white and red drapery gathered around her waist, Scylla leans forward, gesturing with her hand. Behind her, Cupid looks ready to let loose another arrow. La Hyre used soft pinks in the sky and delicate hues of blue in the water, in contrast to the vivid green used for the reeds and foliage. '
'The painting was intended as a design for a tapestry series woven by the Gobelins factories and representing the loves of the gods. '
link

30th March


Landsat. Satellite images of Earth.

Swedish Institute for Solar Physics. Solar images.

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954). Site dedicated to the 'sensualist' writer and creator of Claudine, one of the original emancipated women. Site in French.

T. Ibaraki. 'Based in bustling Takatanobaba, a 10-minute walk from the station brings us to the quiet neighborhood of uwae-shi (mon-carver) T. Ibaraki. We can hear the laughter of school children drifting by outside as Ibaraki, talkative and friendly, welcomes us into his small tatami-room studio ... '

Yanagawa. 'Working together in a team of three, the Yanagawa family works together in downtown Takadanobaba to smooth bolts of kimono cloth with steam. "It's like a sauna in here during the summer," remarked the son as he guided 30 bolts of fabric through the specialized yunoshi machine ... '

Ely Cathedral. Virtual tour; BBC site. 'Take a detailed look at Ely Cathedral and uncover the rich history of British medieval architecture. Learn what to look for and how to read the history from a cathedral near you. '

Rock Paper Scissor Spock Lizard. 'This game was invented because it seems like when you know someone well enough, 75-80% of any Rock-Paper- Scissors games you play with that person end up in a tie. Well, here is a slight variation that reduces that probability. (Note that for those of you who like to swing your fist back and forth and say, "Rock, Paper, Scissors, GO!", might want to continue to do that, replacing "Rock" with "One," "Paper" with "Two," and "Scissors" with "Three.") This version is also nice because it satisfies the Law of Fives.'

How To Get Started As A Social Ballroom Dancer.

Michael Bakunin. Russian anarchist. Biography and works.

News Images from around the world.

Drums and Shadows. 'This collection of oral folklore from coastal Georgia was assembled during the 1930s as part of a WPA writers' program, under the supervision of Mary Granger. The accounts in this book, framed by colorful descriptions of the rural locales where they were collected, were principally from elderly African-Americans, some of them centarians. Most had been slaves. In some cases they had known first generation slaves who had been born in Africa. '
'This book focuses on a set of beliefs and magical practices (some of which are today known as 'Hoodoo'), including root doctoring, the existence of spirits, talismans, lucky and unlucky acts and omens and more. The interviewer also investigates the use of drums and dancing during celebrations, funeral and baptism rituals, food taboos, and other aspects of folklore and ethnology. This study dispels any lingering doubt that these beliefs are derived directly from Africa--it exhaustively cross-references the narratives with an appendix of quotes from African ethnographers, folklorists and explorers. '

Lee Dobson Photography: Images of Japan.

The Toilets of Austin. 'Duchamp had one toilet; we have 17. Texas photographer MicHael Galkovsky spent a great deal of time in Austin bathrooms to bring us a series of intimate portraits. ' ... View the gallery.

Hantsphere: Hampshire Heritage Online. 'Hantsphere is an online Hampshire local studies resource. '
'You can explore and learn about Hampshire's heritage by searching the Hantsphere database or following the themes ... '

Orange Tango. Online comic.

College Roomies from Hell!!! Online comic.

Giuseppe Cesari. 'Italian painter, Roman school (b. 1568, Rome, d. 1640, Rome)'. Online gallery.

Jazmin Asian Arts. 'Jazminasianarts.com deals in Indian, Asian fine antiques and Decorative Arts. '

NGC 2440: Cocoon of a New White Dwarf. Astro photo.

A Hole in the Clouds. 'What could create a huge hole in the clouds? Such a hole, likely hundreds of meters across, was photographed last month from a driveway near Mobile, Alabama, USA. Very unusual to see, hole-punch clouds like this are still the topic of meteorological speculation. A leading hypothesis holds that the hole-punch cloud is caused by falling ice-crystals ... '

Heyden: The Inn of the Black Pig at Maarsseveen. Circa 1688. 'On a small piece of land next to the Vecht River stands the inn at Maarsseveen, identified by the sign hanging outside that features a black pig, the town's coat of arms. Maidservants wash clothes in the river while behind them two converse. Other men fish from the bank or navigate their boats along the canal. '

Koninck: A Panoramic Landscape. 1665. 'Philips Koninck specialized in painting panoramic views of his native countryside. Although the view seems convincing, he composed this imaginary landscape from various raw elements of nature, playing with expressive lighting and perspective upon a natural stage. The view assumes a point of view high above the earth, which did not exist in the flat land of Holland. '
link

29th March


Ada and the Ohio Northern University. Community history. 'In 1902, shortly after the sale of Ohio Northern University to the Methodist Church, a short promotional booklet appeared highlighting the Village of Ada and its chief industry, the university. Ada and the ONU is noteworthy, despite its brevity, in that it offers the reader a concise view of Ohio Northern and its community at the time ... '

Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. American notables. 'The Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive presents selections from the most important manuscript collection held by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Digital images of the letters exchanged between John and Abigail Adams, John Adams's diary, and John Adams's autobiography are presented alongside transcriptions.'

Africa: Selections from the Rex B. Grey Collection. 'For centuries, Africa has been a place of mystery and wonder in the European imagination, largely unknown and misunderstood. Although the ancient Mediterranean world encompassed much of North Africa, it was not until after the fifteenth century, when Portuguese naval exploration reached Africa's southern and eastern shores, that the entire continent began to "open up" to Europe. Explorers pushed inland, "discovering" natural features, unfamiliar plants and animals, and encountering native peoples. Initial contact often led to exploitation, as Europeans sought wealth in the resources of the land and in the African people themselves through the slave trade. Missionary activity took root as European Christians saw in Africa a chance to spread their faith. Finally, widespread colonization followed, with Europeans from many countries settling permanently in Africa. By the nineteenth century, colonialism had become a reality-- a reality that continues to affect the linguistic, geographic, and cultural landscape even today ... '

African American Family Photographs. 'The Wormley/Graves family photographs are part of the African-American Family Photograph Collection that was created to enhance the holdings of images depicting the richness of African-American life and culture in Cleveland. Donations of photographs from the public continue to develop this Collection, which is an invaluable resource to students and researchers. '

Enchanted Chessmen: A World of Fantasy. 'As a universal game played the world over by young and old alike, chess has the richest literature of all games. Students of chess explicate its technical aspects, record its achievements and failures, and document both the major and minor events of its history as its proponents battle -- displaying their skills, strategical knowledge, and acts of daring imagination over the sixty-four squares of the chessboard. Chess has also attracted an amazing variety of enthusiasts and has generated wide human interest over more than ten centuries. Around the inner circle of its champions, students, and aspiring masters, it has attracted to its orbit a diverse peripheral band of writers, critics, scientists, historians, archaeologists, and artists. Consequently, chess enjoys the widest representation in the general literature: from simple folktales to sophisticated romances, from philosophy to psychology, and from mathematics to allegory, religion, and art.'

Libellus Magicus: A Nineteenth-Century Manuscript of Conjurations. 'The Libellus Magicus manuscript in the John G. White Collection of the Cleveland Public Library is a nineteenth-century translation into English of at least two Latin texts of conjurations published in Germany also in the nineteenth century. Both the German-published Latin sources and the English-language manuscript claim that the original texts are from the sixteenth century and were composed by Jesuits. The noted authority on witchcraft, demonology, and superstition, A.E. Waite, owned the manuscript English-language translation at one time. Waite also wrote about the text and expressed serious reservations about the claims of antiquity. Waite believed that the text was a nineteenth-century forgery.'
'The condition of the manuscript in 1999 was typical of commercially produced notebooks from the nineteenth century: fragile, brittle paper that did not permit reading or use of the manuscript. In 1998, the Fine Arts and Special Collections Department decided to transcribe the document to make a digital version available to researchers over the Internet. '

Prints by Kuniyoshi. Ukiyo-e.

Truro Cathedral, Cornwall. 'Welcome to Truro Cathedral, situated in the far south west of the British Isles. In this Celtic county, surrounded on three sides by the sea, and separated from Devon on the fourth by the River Tamar, Christianity has been around for sixteen hundred years. So many of the centres of population are named after Cornish Saints and many ancient churches are situated where they lived and worked ... '

Astronauts' Views of Earth from Space.

Me You Them. A great Brazilian film about a 'menage-a-quatre'. Story and images. Soundtrack by Gilberto Gil.
'In the starkly beautiful, dry landscape of the poverty-stricken Brazilian Northeast, there lives a woman who shares a modest home with her three husbands.... '
'... The idea of making ME YOU THEM occurred to Waddington in 1995, when the director saw a television special about a woman who had lived under the same roof with her three husbands for ten years. "I found the story very interesting," says the director, "especially for being the opposite of what normally happens. It's more common in that area to find a 'sugar daddy' who lives with more than one woman. I wanted to investigate how a woman in such a macho culture managed to deal with that situation." '

Googie Art. 'California Diners & Coffee Shops of the 1950s & 60s'.

Streamliners: America's Lost Trains. PBS site.

Birth of the Constitution of Japan. From the National Diet Library.

The Japanese Calendar. 'Since ancient times, calendars have been indispensable for knowing the changes of days, months and seasons. Every era has various types of calendars used in the daily life of the people, and some were particularly enjoyed for their special features. In this context, old calendars contain highly interesting materials reflecting the transition in life-style and culture down through the ages.'
'This, then, traces the history of the Japanese calendar based on the National Diet Library's calendar collection, with special focus on the Daisho-reki calendar consisting of months, some with 30 days, others with 29, which was used in the Edo period (1603 to 1867). It also includes notes on how to better appreciate it.'

Earth Science Picture of the Day.

The Peter Kropotkin Archive. Aristocratic Russian anarchist, geographer and peaceable human being.

Women Come to the Front. American female journalists and photographers in World War II.
'The women featured in this exhibit were chosen because of the strength and variety of their collections in the Library of Congress. Like their colleagues, the women followed various paths to their wartime assignments. '

National Museums of Scotland. link

27th March


The Gulag. An online exhibition from the Open Society Archives.

Bodies in Formation: Mass Gymnastics Under Communism.

Landmarks of Chicago and New York: A Tale of Two Cities.

Ship of Fools. The magazine of Christian unrest. Interesting, funny 'reviews' of churches, mostly in the UK. Much more (don't miss the Biblical Curse Generator).

Supernatural Crime. Online comic. Horror/noir.

Sekhar Guthok. A project for the restoration and preservation of Milarepa's tower in Tibet.

Shalu Monastery, Tibet. Murals and a preservation project.

Father John Dear. American priest of peace.

The Nibelungenlied. 'Originally written in Middle High German (M.H.G.), sometime around 1200 A.D., although this dating is by no means certain. Author unknown. Translation by Daniel Bussier Shumway, 1909. '

The History of Haiti. Art, too.
'A tiny tropical island sits in the Caribbean, decorated with palm trees and colorful hibiscus flowers. Its mountains stand majestically looking down upon sandy beaches and green valleys. From afar it appears as any other island one might encounter sailing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Yet, as we draw closer we notice a difference. There are no tourist resorts dotting the coasts, no high rise hotels with sand volleyball courts and marimba bands. This is Haiti, this is different. If the land could speak it would tell of tragedy and violence, of abuse and bloodshed, of power and greed. Why does the country stand apart from its neighbors? The answer lies in the turbulent history of this tiny nation. '

Tudor England. Channel 4's online guide.

Napoleon's Empire. Channel 4's guide.

Old Indian Legends, by Zitkala-Sa, 1901 (North American Indian).
'These legends are relics of our country's once virgin soil. These and many others are the tales the little black-haired aborigine loved so much to hear beside the night fire. '
'For him the personified elements and other spirits played in a vast world right around the center fire of the wigwam. '
'Iktomi, the snare weaver, Iya, the Eater, and Old Double-Face are not wholly fanciful creatures. '
'There were other worlds of legendary folk for the young aborigine, such as "The Star- Men of the Sky," "The Thunder Birds Blinking Zigzag Lightning," and "The Mysterious Spirits of Trees and Flowers." '
'Under an open sky, nestling close to the earth, the old Dakota story-tellers have told me these legends. In both Dakotas, North and South, I have often listened to the same story told over again by a new story-teller ... '

Salvador's Deli. Humorous comic.

Mall Monkeys. 'Mall Monkeys is a barely updated comic about several teenagers' mall adventures.'

Art of the Floating World. Japanese art - Yoshitoshi, kabuki prints.

A Collection of Poems by Anna Akhmatova. 'Anna Akhmatova is the literary pseudonym of Anna Andreevna Gorenko. Her first husband was Gumilev, and she too became one of the leading Acmeist poets. Her second book of poems, Beads (1914), brought her fame. Her earlier manner, intimate and colloquial, gradually gave way to a more classical severity, apparent in her volumes The Whte Flock (1917) and Anno Domini MCMXXI (1922). The growing distaste which the personal and religious elements in her poetry aroused in Soviet officialdom forced her thereafter into long periiods of silence; and the poetic masterpieces of her later years, A Poem without a Hero and Requiem, were published abroad. '

O'deer. Humorous furry comic.

Photos of Tibet.

Comet Borrelly's Nucleus.

Comet Hale-Bopp Over Val Parola Pass.
link

26th March


The Tree of Life. 'The Tree of Life is a collaborative web project, produced by biologists from around the world. On more than 2600 World Wide Web pages, the Tree of Life provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their history, and characteristics. '
'Each page contains information about one group of organisms (for example, the Coleoptera page gives information about all beetles, the Salticidae page about jumping spiders, the Cephalopoda page about squids, octopi, and related molluscs, and the Fungi page about fungi). Individual Tree of Life pages are linked one to another in the form of the evolutionary tree that connects all organisms, with the pages branching off from a group's page being about subgroups. For example, the links from the page on frogs leads one to pages on individual families of frogs, and eventually up to some individual species of frogs ... '

The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse, 1918. 'The national characters and natural beauty of Australia and New Zealand invigorate 205 poems by 80 authors; from Wentworth and Harpur to Kendall and Gordon up to Derham and Napier, this unique anthology spans a century of publishing during the explosive growth of these nations.'

Andrei Sakharov, Nobel peace laureate, 1975.
Autobiography. 'I was born on 21 May 1921. My father was a well-known teacher of physics and the author of textbooks, exercise books and works of popular science. I grew up in a large communal apartment where most of the rooms were occupied by my family and relations and only a few by outsiders. The house was pervaded by a strong traditional family spirit - a vital enthusiasm for work and respect for professional competence. Within the family we provided one another with mutual support, just as we shared a love of literature and science ... '
Acceptance speech and Nobel lecture.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel peace laureate, 1991.
Acceptance speech.

Caroline Staley Ukiyoe Prints: Actors.

Voodoo and Obeahs, 1932. 'This companion book to Psychic Phenomena of Jamaica goes into much greater depth as to the New World-African connection, and adds more material about Afro-Carribean religion in Haiti. The primary strength of this work is the careful documentation of the history and ethnography of Vodun. Williams includes numerous quotes from rare documents and books on the subject. The weakness is the lack of detailed information about the religious system of Vodun, which we now know to be as complicated (or more so) than any of the major religions. There is scarcely any mention of the loas, the pantheon of Vodun Gods and Goddesses, and he misses the importance of possession during the religious ceremonies. However, all things considered, this is required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development.'

Helmdon, Northamptonshire. A great village website - articles, galleries, village life etc.

Stupid Dreams. 'Our dreams often help us understand ourselves, who we love, or how we look naked. Other times they're simply worth ignoring. Artist Sam Brown offers his interpretive talents.'
'A note on Sam Brown: For the past two years, artist and explodingdog creator Sam Brown has been hiding out in his top-secret hideout in Connecticut. When he gets around to it he puts some new pictures up on explodingdog; some of these are good, some are bad, and some are neither good or bad but are interesting ... '
Launch the feature here.

Sunlit Pictures: A War Album. 'Conflict is an unchanging part of our society, and only seems in remission when it's not at our own doorstep. Tobias Seamon offers a collection of vignettes about war and its constant presence in our lives.'

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Nobel literature laureate, 1970. Autobiography, lecture and speech.

Curious Antiquities: Japanese Woodblock Prints.

Tales of the North American Indians, Stith Thompson, 1929. 'Stith Thompson, a Distinguished Professor of English and Folklore at Indiana University, anthologized these Native American tales from the ethnographic literature. His chief contribution to the field was his 'Motif-Index of Folk Literature', which is a cross-cultural index of themes that occur in folktales ... '

Blank Space. Online humour comic.

Cinerama. Online humour comic.

Indigo Gallery: Traditional Arts of Nepal.

Channel 4's Guide to Medieval Britain. Well worth a look.

Poussin: Landscape with a Calm. 'In the late 1640s and early 1650s, at the height of his artistic maturity, Nicolas Poussin turned from historical narrative to landscape painting. Landscape with a Calm does not illustrate a story but rather evokes a mood. The ordered composition and clear, golden light contribute to A Calm's utter tranquility, while glowing, gem-like colors and fluid paint strokes enliven this scene of benevolent nature. Poussin's sketching campaigns in the Roman countryside with his friend and fellow landscape painter Claude Lorrain account, in part, for its fresh observation of cloud-scattered sky and grazing goats. '

Ruisdael: Two Watermills and an Open Sluice.

Comet Wild 2's Nucleus. 'What does a comet nucleus look like?' Like this.

Comet Halley's Nucleus.

FBI Wiretap Uncovers Massive Seventh-Grade 'Crush Ring'.

FBI: Muslim Groups in US May Be Developing Nuclear Families.

Van Poelenburgh: Landscape with Bathing Nudes. 'A sense of uninhibited freedom pervades the scene as a group of women bathe, lounge, and socialize in an area below a rocky hillside. Drying herself, the woman in the center of the painting turns toward her voluptuous nude companion lying in the foreground. Cornelius van Poelenburgh softly modeled the figures, evoking the texture of tender flesh. The landscape captures the atmospheric qualities of the Italian countryside and deliberately calls to mind an idyllic mythological land filled with languid nymphs. '

Vos: Two Deer Pursued by Hounds. 'As the dogs close in, even the frightened deer realize that the court's hunting expedition is almost over. In the five other paintings in the series, wild bulls, deer, and boars flee more attacking hunting dogs, with no human hunters in sight. These six canvases were meant to decorate the walls above the doors and windows in King Philip IV of Spain's famous hunting lodge near Madrid. Along with his brother-in-law Frans Snyders, Paul de Vos painted many pieces for that lodge.'

The Bellow/Parcells Letters. 'Forget worrying over book contracts, alcoholism, or unwanted kids – where do Nobel laureate authors turn for advice on their hair? Ken Krimstein discovers the lost correspondence between two great authors.'
link