A Parthenon Made of Banned Books Now Stands Where Nazis Once Burned Writings

Plus JK Rowling has written a book on a dress and a new exhibit on Octavia Butler shows her routines of self-encouragement.

Even on a slow news day in the book world, there are intriguing projects coming to fruition, and there’s excitement over future projects now brewing. Today? An Argentinian artist has created a full-size replica of the Parthenon and made it completely out of 100,000 banned books, JK Rowling just casually told the world that she has written a children’s fairy tale on one of her dresses, and a new exhibit on Octavia Butler shows that all you need is a little personal pep talks to achieve greatness.

Parthenon of Books created out of 100,000 banned books

This may be a dream come true for book-lovers everywhere: a monument made out of books. An Argentinian artist, Marta Minujín, has completed a replica of the Acropolis in Athens composed entirely out of 100,000 banned books that stands in Kassel, Germany. For some time, he has been asking people to donate censored books to use in his project, after having university students help him identify titles that either are or were banned in countries around the world. What has been dubbed the “Parthenon of Books” stands on the spot where Nazis burned 2,000 books in 1993 as part of their campaign against works by Jewish authors and anti-fascists, and where a library standing on that site was destroyed in a Ally attack, setting 35,000 books aflame. Naturally, this was the perfect spot to resurrect the countless books that had disappeared. Why the Parthenon? Hailing from the Greek city of Athens, it represents a pillar of democracy. Scattered amongst the Parthenon of Books are titles such as Fahrenheit 451, Don Quixote, and The Da Vinci Code. The exhibition will run until September 17, 2017, after which time the books will recirculated around the world.

[Metro/Miranda Larbi]

JK Rowling reveals she has written a children’s book on a dress

Only J.K. Rowling can get away with certain things: this time, she has written a children’s fairytale on a literal dress. As part of a joint Halloween and 50th birthday party, Rowling asked partygoers to show up as their own private nightmares. Hers? A lost manuscript. The Harry Potter clearly went all out, because most of the story all over the dress she was wearing, she revealed in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. “I don’t know whether it will ever be published, but it’s actually hanging in a wardrobe,” Rowling said. In case she has any doubts, we can assure her that everyone is waiting for any new material with her name on it to grace bookshelves worldwide.

[The Guardian/Danuta Kean]

New Octavia Butler exhibit gives insight into her goals and insecurities

We admire Octavia Butler’s confidence. “I shall be a bestselling writer,” she wrote on her notebook that is now on display in a new exhibit, called “Octavia Butler: Telling My Stories,” at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The papers of the sci-fi author were acquired by the library after her death in 2006, and have now been curated to tell the story of her life and her work. She is praised for being the first female African American author to reach prominence in sci-fi, as well as the only writer in the genre to receive the McArthur Fellowship. Among the items on display are notebooks, report cards, childhood drawings, and personal notes of self-encouragement. By the time she passed away at age 58, Butler indeed had become a bestselling author, and much more.

[NPR/Karen Grigsby Bates]

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