Monday, January 31, 2011

Things Libraries Throw Away

Several years ago, while at Washington University in St Louis, I headed to the Biology department library to return some books. As many libraries are wont to do, they were chucking out old copies of books, and looking through the pile I managed to score a few classic texts, including Lynn Margulis' "Early Life". Astoundingly, tucked inside, was a photocopy of a letter sent to Lynn on 2 June 1982 (the letter is typewritten, and the photocopy seems to have been made not long after and has a handwritten note by Lynn in the top corner). ...

Treasures In Old Books
Stages Of Succession

She later formulated a theory to explain how symbiotic relationships between organisms of often different phyla or kingdoms are the driving force of evolution. Genetic variation is proposed to occur mainly as a result of transfer of nuclear information between bacterial cells or viruses and eukaryotic cells. While her organelle genesis ideas are widely accepted, symbiotic relationships as a current method of introducing genetic variation is something of a fringe idea. ...

from Lynn Margulis at Wikipedia

It must be exciting to be a published writer,
to sit with other writers in a sidewalk cafe,
drinking, talking, watching the world go about its day,
sighing, shrugging, saying, “Yes, you must be a fighter”

when yet another library makes its shelves lighter
by checking a print-out and throwing your books away.
Rubbing scalp that used to be gray hair, someone will say,
“That pretty Vanity Fair ass ed—”     “Juli?”     “Right, her—

has a best-seller now, published by Vanity Fair,
about working at Vanity Fair, how the wacky,
smart, pretty, fun people there make life never a bore.”

It must be exciting to nod and be part and share.
“I read it on Kindle,” you say, matter-of-factly,
“Juli’s best-seller, On Being A (OMG!) Whore.”

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