Lori's Book Nook

Archive for December 2007

As the New Year approaches, some people like to think of ways to better their lives, and to some, that means reducing clutter.

But to declutter books — is that really something a book lover wants to do? No, I don’t think so…but the reality is that sometimes we may have to do it.

Over at 43Folders is a post about this very topic, with a link to the original source, a question and long series of rather good answers at Ask Metafilter on “Advice for clearing literary clutter” — although, for me, the asker loses some credibility for even thinking of the phrase “literary clutter”!

What do you think, O Loyal Reader? Is there such a thing as ‘literary clutter’? What does it look like to you? What do you do about it?

Or, as is the point, what are you planning on doing in the New Year to clear some space on your bookshelves (to make room for new books in 2008)?


I’m not a hit hound by any means, but I do check them, just to see. And the most popular page on this blog is the space where we were discussing The Fifth Business.

Okay, so it’s not popular by some standards, but on my little blog, it continuously tops my hit chart with between 3 & 29 hits per day. And search terms like:

  • essay on the women in fifth business
  • fifth business ezboard
  • women in fifth business
  • fifth business mrs.dempster, paul
  • fifth business robertson davies reborn
  • Fifth Business devil Liesl
  • robertson davies fifth business
  • Fifth Business name meanings
  • sex love in fifth business essay
  • psychology in fifth business
  • ramsay guilt fifth business

And those are only today and yesterday.

The frequency started once school started. With all this traffic, I’ve only had 2 of these students stay and comment. (Am I wrong in assuming they’re students?) In my day, I would have been searching card catalogues, and journals, hoping for a tidbit. Now, they comb the Internet for their research. I wonder if any of our comments here have been cited in a paper somewhere?

The mind boggles.

But I was thinking of you all on Friday, when I found a delightful treasure in my local secondhand bookstore: Robertson Davies: An Appreciation, edited by Elspeth Cameron. A book of essays collected and published in 1991.

For your delectation then, are some of the ideas thrown out by different commentators as Davies’ books were coming out:

  • Dunstan is the Hero
  • Dunstan in the Saint, not Mrs. Dempster
  • Father Blazon is the Fifth Business

So, reading these essays has been quite fun, and now I have to go back and read the damn books again! Ideas that I want to look into myself.

Okay, so you’re writing an essay and you Google your way to this post. I won’t leave you empty-handed, so here are some things to explore further:

  • Pay close attention to the audience in all three books.
  • Do some research on St. Dunstan.
  • All 3 books begin and end in the same places, geographically. (And one of Davies’ next books is called What’s Bred In the Bone.)

And do some research in a good library, not looking for the quick answer on the Internet.

Book Discussion Pages

Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!