For April, the Literatures and Languages Library has installed two new exhibits on display in the Periodicals area on the South end of the Main Library Reading Room.
Cyberpunk is the focus of the first exhibit. Cyberpunk, a postmodern brand of science fiction that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, often focuses on detritus-strewn dystopian landscapes where corporate interests dominate, leaving rogue hackers and outsiders to find ways of infiltrating and upending these new, technologically oppressive establishments. The grungy underworld in which these fictions often take place are contrasted with the use of incredible technology in ways unanticipated by its creators, blurring the line between actual and virtual reality. These tropes are especially intriguing to think about today as the Internet increasingly influences the lives of humans. Elements of Cyberpunk continue to influence literature and media in the genre of science fiction and beyond.
Since April is when the Major League Baseball season begins each year, we focus on The Literature of Baseball for our second exhibit. Known as “America’s pastime” for over a century, the exhibit focuses on fictional and non-fictional renderings of the sport and how it has played an important part in the myth of America. Widely known texts such as Bernard Malamud’s 1953 novel The Natural and Roger Kahn’s non-fictional account of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, The Boys of Summer (1972), sit alongside a book about Toni Stone, the first female to play baseball in the Negro Leagues when she debuted with the San Francisco Sea Lions in 1949, and a lesser known Philip Roth book, with the tongue-in-cheek title The Great American Novel (1973), about a home-less team that must play all their games on the road.
Both exhibits will be on display until the end of the month.