The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Of Books and Men

I believe I've already mentioned Benjamin Books in Ottawa, one of the best used bookstores I've ever been to, and conveniently located about 1 minute away from my house. I simply can't believe some of the stuff I have found there. Here are some titles I purchased this week, the last three having been bought today:

Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent
The Letters of William Cowper
Five Heroic [Restoration] Plays, ed. Dobree [including plays by Roger Boyle, Elkanah Settle, John Crowne and Nathaniel Lee]
Four Restoration Marriage plays [by Dryden, Lee, Otway, and Southerne]
The Mermaid Series edition of Thomas Shadwell, including The Sullen Lovers, a True Widow, Bury Fair, The Squire of Alsatia. This is in addition to his The Libertine, which I already possess.

If you've never heard of these guys (except Dryden), don't worry: very few people have.
By the way, Benajmin Books sold these books for an average price of 5-6 dollars. Not only are these among the most obscure titles I've ever found (nothing comes close in Toronto), the prices are fantastic.

On a side note (J will appreciate this), I'm glad I'm never going to have to procure reference letters from York again. I've never had trouble finding referees, but actually getting the letters is about as painless as getting a tooth extracted, and there's always a complication beyond my control. Transcripts are similary cumbersome, but apart from cost, they haven't bothered
me as much this year.
I've also noticed that the profs here (U of Ottawa) in my department actually want their students to do well. One prof in my area whom I haven't had yet encouraged me to apply for OGS and SSHRC, and he even offered to look at my proposal. I'm still friends with some profs at York, but that is something I never saw in my five years there. Maybe it's the size of the department?


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