Friday, August 3, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 43 (Edmund Spenser)

The Shorter Poems
Spenser, Edmund
The Shorter Poems

Purchased at the Niagara Falls Outlet Mall Discount Bookstore, along with a copy of the Penguin Edition of the Faerie Queene.

Speaking of Penguin, last night at the Beinecke Library, Gruff Rhys, of Super Furry Animals fame, gave a free concert. It was the kickoff for what he is calling an "investigatory" tour.

He's discovered a distant Welsh relation named John Evans, who, it seems, believed that a tribe of Native Americans was actually descended from a group of Welsh explorers. In 1792, he set out to America to find this tribe, traveling 1800 miles up the Missouri River, only to discover that this mythical band of Welshman did not exist. He died in New Orleans, they say of a broken heart.

Rhys' journey began at the Beinecke because they possess several maps he made of his travels, which were eventually copied and used by Lewis & Clarke on their famous expedition into the American interior. This latter phrase, by the way, will be the title of the theme song and the accompanying album.

There will also be a print book and some kind of digital media book or app produced by this, which is how I ended up sitting next to the head of Penguin UK digital publishing for half an hour or so before the event. He told me all about the transition to digital media, how in England people are more into apps than into e-books, but that in the U.S., it's the opposite.

He also told me about his previous job in the record business and some of the insane lengths they went to to combat digital piracy. In one instance, he said there was a computer with its own broadband line, at which someone was stationed whose job it was to download porn sites and strip them apart to see how they worked. This in the hope of keeping on top of trends in the porn industry, which always seems to lead the way in terms of technological innovation.

He also told me that, personally, he prefers reading books to using an e-reader!

from The Shorter Poems

from The Shepheardes Calendar

Willye. Perigot. Cuddie.

TELL me Perigot, what shalbe the game, 
Wherefore with myne thou dare thy musick matche? 
Or bene thy Bagpypes renne farre out of frame? 
Or hath the Crampe thy ioynts benomd with ache? 


Perigot.

Ah Willye, when the hart is ill assayde, 
How can Bagpipe, or ioynts be well apayd?