Back to the Futurists: Italy's first avant-garde turns 100. (1) - By Kate Bolick - Slate Magazine:
Literary pilgrims are like obsessed lovers: always hungry for more and better contact. Why else would we bother? When the news broke a few years ago that Iris Murdoch's 1,071-volume library was up for sale, I flew to London in a swoon: I am about to see Iris Murdoch's marginalia with my own two eyes. What will it look like? Cramped or florid? Pencil or pen? (A little bit of everything, it turns out, from an undergraduate's looping cursive to an elder academician's hurried scrawl. Even better were the small surprises: pressed flowers, bus tickets, cryptic inscriptions.) More recently, on a visit to Edith Wharton's country house in Lenox, Mass., I ducked into the empty living room and stretched out on the sofa, nap-style: Will regarding the ceiling from such an oddly intimate angle disclose a previously overlooked insight into the great woman herself? Only later did I stop to think that Wharton probably wasn't the napping type.