Stephen Greenblatt, the Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, has won the National Book Award for nonfiction for “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” which describes how an ancient Roman philosophical epic helped to pave the way for modern thought.In accepting the prestigious award, the Harvard professor told attendees that his work is “about the power of books to cross boundaries, to speak to you across space and time and distance.“I’m tremendously honored and deeply moved,” Greenblatt said. “My book is about the magic of the written word and about the strangeness of a poem that was written 2,000 years ago, a great and difficult poem that disappeared for 1,000 years and then came back.”Greenblatt’s book tells the story of a Roman epic poem, “On the Nature of Things,” by Lucretius, that 2,000 years ago posited a number of revolutionary ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.Once thought lost, the poem was rediscovered on a library shelf in the winter of 1417 by the humanist scholar Poggio Bracciolini. The copying and translation of this ancient book helped to fuel the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno. It helped to shaped the thought of Galileo, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein, and it had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and William Shakespeare, and even on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.Established in 1950, the National Book Award is given to writers by writers. A pantheon of authors such as William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, and Flannery O’Connor have won the Award.The awards are administered by the National Book Foundation, which recognizes authors annually in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature.Among Greenblatt’s other books is “Will of the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare,” which was a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award in nonfiction and was a best-seller. He holds honorary degrees from Queen Mary College of the University of London and the University of Bucharest.
Luka Jovic in action for Serbia Under-19s 1 Benfica have joined Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for Serbia star Luka Jovic.talkSPORT told you on Wednesday about the Premier League pair’s interest in the 17-year-old, who has scored six goals this season.Porto are also interested in the Red Star Belgrade striker as clubs across Europe continue to scout the teen sensation.According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Benfica are now the latest side to contact Jovic’s representatives over a move.The Portuguese club are willing to offer the Serbian a hefty pay rise, as well as opportunities in the first-team.Red Star are understandably reluctant to part with Jovic but are aware they cannot stand in the way of big clubs coming in for the youngster.
SMITHS FALLS, Ont. – The death of a dog locked in a car that caught fire has prompted Ontario’s animal welfare agency to issue a warning about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles.Normand Beauchamp, who is fire chief in Smiths Falls, Ont., says the incident happened around 2 p.m. on Wednesday when a small dog was left in a running car at a Walmart parking lot.He says the owner told firefighters they wanted to keep the dog cool, which is why they left the air conditioning running.But Beauchamp says the car caught fire and the dog had nowhere to go and died.The cause of the fire is under investigation.Alison Cross of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says many things could go wrong if you leave pets unattended in vehicles.She says if you can’t take your pets with you, then leave them at home.