Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

U.S. and Cuban Officials Collaborate to Preserve Hemingway Memorabilia

Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Gorupdebesanez via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Ernest Hemingway called many places home during his life. But it was his time spent in Cuba that’s proven troublesome for U.S. officials wishing to reclaim artifacts left behind by the late writer. Now, in light of the easing tensions between the U.S. and Cuba, AP reports that representatives from the both nations are working together to save what’s left of Hemingway’s Cuban estate.

In 1940, the author bought a house outside Havana, Cuba with his third wife Martha Gellhorn. He filled it with books, documents, fishing rods, hunting trophies, and many other items that have remained largely undisturbed since his death in 1961. Finca Vigia or “lookout farm” was neglected throughout the Cold War between the U.S. and Cuba, and now plans are finally being made to save the lost artifacts.

Officials and scholars from the two counties met at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston on Wednesday, October 12 to discuss the preservation initiative. The Kennedy Library houses the world’s largest of collection of Hemingway memorabilia, including books from his private library and a hand-written first draft of The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway was known to be a pack rat—a habit that’s left scholars with a rich trove of artifacts to refer back to. It also makes a lot of work for whoever has to sift through it all: According to the director of Cuba's Museo Hemingway, Finca Vigia contains over 23,000 pieces.

[h/t AP]

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Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Sylvia Plath's Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Is Up for Auction
Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Nate D. Sanders Auctions

A Pulitzer Prize in Poetry that was awarded posthumously to Sylvia Plath in 1982 for her book The Collected Poems will be auctioned on June 28. The Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions says bidding for the literary document will start at $40,000.

The complete book of Plath’s poetry was published in 1981—18 years after her death—and was edited by her husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes. The Pulitzer Prize was presented to Hughes on Plath’s behalf, and one of two telegrams sent by Pulitzer President Michael Sovern to Hughes read, “We’ve just heard that the Collected Plath has won the Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations to you for making it possible.” The telegrams will also be included in the lot, in addition to an official congratulatory letter from Sovern.

The Pultizer’s jury report from 1982 called The Collected Poems an “extraordinary literary event.” It went on to write, “Plath won no major prizes in her lifetime, and most of her work has been posthumously published … The combination of metaphorical brilliance with an effortless formal structure makes this a striking volume.”

Ted Hughes penned an introduction to the poetry collection describing how Plath had “never scrapped any of her poetic efforts,” even if they weren’t all masterpieces. He wrote:

“Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity. So this book contains not merely what verse she saved, but—after 1956—all she wrote.”

Also up for auction is Plath’s Massachusetts driver’s license from 1958, at which time she went by the name Sylvia P. Hughes. Bidding for the license will begin at $8000.

Plath's driver's license
Nate D. Sanders Auctions
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Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
New 'Eye Language' Lets Paralyzed People Communicate More Easily
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0

The invention of sign language proved you don't need to vocalize to use complex language face to face. Now, a group of designers has shown that you don't even need control of your hands: Their new type of language for paralyzed people relies entirely on the eyes.

As AdAge reports, "Blink to Speak" was created by the design agency TBWA/India for the NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute and the Asha Ek Hope Foundation. The language takes advantage of one of the few motor functions many paralyzed people have at their disposal: eye movement. Designers had a limited number of moves to work with—looking up, down, left, or right; closing one or both eyes—but they figured out how to use these building blocks to create a sophisticated way to get information across. The final product consists of eight alphabets and messages like "get doctor" and "entertainment" meant to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.

Inside of a language book.
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

This isn't the only tool that allows paralyzed people to "speak" through facial movements, but unlike most other options currently available, Blink to Speak doesn't require any expensive technology. The project's potential impact on the lives of people with paralysis earned it the Health Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier in June.

The groups behind Blink to Speak have produced thousands of print copies of the language guide and have made it available online as an ebook. To learn the language yourself or share it with someone you know, you can download it for free here.

[h/t AdAge]

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