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Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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Reeding:

I Capture the Castle: A girl and her family struggle to make ends meet in an old English castle.
Dusty Answer: Young, privileged, earnest Judith falls in love with the family next door.
The Heat of the Day: In wartime London, a woman finds herself caught between two men.


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«  Toward a More Open System of Filing  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

11.12.2017


Toward a More Open System of Filing

I am anxiously awaiting the start of Part 1 of Masterpiece Theatre's Bleak House, which premieres tonight at 9:00 PM EST on PBS. I'm not a huge fan, having read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and summarily dismissed Dickens as having used too many words to describe too many characters. Indeed, the "Who's Who" page for the series has no fewer than 42 profiles.

Bleak House, however, has the advantage of featuring spontaneous human combustion, and this version has the added draw of Gillian Anderson in the role of Lady Dedlock ("Scully!").

While I watch the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce unfold, I will be happily stuffing sheets of paper into meticulously labelled manila envelopes.

As I reported back in October, I have been seeking a means to upgrade and simplify filing of items from the bibliography. The bulk of my collection are photocopies and printouts: hundreds and hundreds of critical articles from books and journals, newspaper columns from microfilm, .pdf documents. I also have copies of poems, criticism, and book reviews written by Reed himself. My file boxes are full-to-brimming, and reams of unfiled (and uncatalogued) material have been piling up into treacherous, teetering mounds on my desk. Since my desk is a particularly valuable piece of real estate currently located in the kitchen, this is both unsightly and inefficient.

Excited by the discovery of the Noguchi filing system, I decided to invest in an open shelf filing system. To this end, I have:
  • Ordered storage cubes, which can be stacked into a bookcase. Should arrive in two weeks.
  • Purchased several boxes of C4 (9x12") manila envelopes, and a stock of new, fine-tipped black markers and pens.
  • Begun filing items into envelopes, working my way down from the tops of the most obtrusive piles, like an archeologist.
Already, I'm anticipating problems. I decided that the Noguchi-style of cropping the tops off envelopes was going to be too time-consuming and wasteful, and I looked for clasp-free envelopes without success. The metal clasp on each envelope increases the overall thickness, and I can see them reducing the linear storage capacity of a shelf by inches. The envelope flap also has a gummed edge which could possibly damage the document: I'm folding these inside, behind the paper. I also fear I will have to resort to some sort of color-coding system, despite the unholy hatred I feel for those little sticky, multicolored, placemarking tabs. (It's a library clerk thing.) I'll shut up, now. It's starting.
Ow! She's a Bleak — House
She's mighty, mighty, just lettin' it all hang out
Ow! She's a Bleak — House
I like Dickens stacked, that's a fact, ain't holdin' nothin' back
Ow! She's a Bleak — House
Well-built together, everybody knows, this is how the story goes....


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Notation for "Toward a More Open System of Filing":
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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1513. Hodge, Alan. "Thunder on the Right." Tribune (London), 14 June 1946, 15.
Hodge finds 'dry charm as well as quiet wit' in "Judging Distances," but overall feels Reed is 'diffuse and not sufficiently accomplished.'



1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)


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