“Success or failure will not alter it…”

“A thousand skeptic hands won’t keep us from the things we planned,” Alcuin wrote to Theodulf of Orleans at the dawn of the ninth century, “unless we’re clinging to the things we prize.” Despite Alcuin’s optimism, life keeps me from updating “Quid Plura?” as often as I’d like, but here’s an enlightening array of late-winter links.

Return to Prydain with Jared Crossley’s 69-minute documentary about Lloyd Alexander, now out on DVD. (Disclosure: I did a small amount of unpaid work on this project.)

Looking for a lurid novel in the heavy-metal club scene? Warren Moore’s headbanger noir Broken Glass Waltzes is now out for the Kindle.

Erik Kwakkel looks for the oldest photo of a person with a medieval manuscript—and finds a heck of a shot from Ohio instead.

Speaking of minuscule, the Classical Bookworm finds wonderful tiny libraries (including one built from Lego).

Lingwë delves: Did Tolkien coin the plural “dwarves”?

Nancy Marie Brown turns back to half-forgotten fantasist E.R. Eddison.

So Many Books digs The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science.

Sarah Werner suggests that in the humanities job market, you make your own luck.

Writer and professor Ann Boesky recalls her life as a Sweet Valley High ghostwriter.

Wuthering Expectations cracks open “the most boring and mendacious author in the whole of German literature.”

Jake Seliger reads the urban-planning book Planet of Cities.

Steve Donoghue explores Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.

Cynthia Haven fondly remembers Edna St. Vincent Millay.

First Known When Lost honors four-line poems.

“With a wintry, storm-blown sigh…”

“Sometimes I sleep,” Alcuin wrote to Charlemagne shortly before his imperial coronation. “Sometimes,” he confessed, “it’s not for days.” Plagued by visitors to the shrine of St. Martin, the abbot of Tours wrote wistfully about the transience of earthly pilgrimage. “The people I meet,” he noted, “always go their separate ways.”

Alcuin was a busy man, as am I lately—but I’ve time enough to help you stave off the cold with a bundle of bright, blazing links.

Michael Drout posts a long, spoiler-laden review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Jason at Lingwë wonders why Bilbo Baggins “looks more like a grocer than a burglar.”

Nancy Marie Brown, who’s just written the first English-language book in ages about Snorri Sturlusson, looks at Icelandic myth and the Tolkien connection.

A Common Reader ponders the Periplus of the ancient traveler Hanno.

My friend ‘nora points me to a lovely Gothic Revival Jewish mausoleum in Vienna.

The Lost Fort visits St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Is the TV show Arrested Development actually The Brothers Karamazov?

At Hats & Rabbits, Chris acknowledges the hard work that goes into dreams.

First Known When Lost looks at the conceit of life as a work of art.

Levi Stahl has literary thoughts on the death of Dave Brubeck.

A.E. Stallings reads a poem.

Stephanie McCarthy interviews Bill Peschel, annotator of Dorothy Sayers.

Anna Tambour shows you what it’s like to live in the path of an Australian wildfire.

D.G. Myers marvels at how cancer concentrates the mind.

Douglass Shand-Tucci finds Narnia in Copley Square.

What’s with the connection between James Joyce and Trieste?

Dylan pens two quick ghazals.

“Well, I hit the rowdy road, and many kinds I met there…”

The best gifts come wrapped in a bit of mystery. Check out the old wooden box that surprised me this Christmas—and sent me on an art-quest.

This box is 11.75 inches square and 2.75 inches deep. The sides are painted turquoise and golden. It used to have a lock—but who is that royal rider?

After several dead ends and a lucky hunch, I had an epiphany and identified this noble fellow and the larger work he inhabits. If you’re up for a Google challenge, see if you can do the same. Scrutinize a close-up of the box cover, and don’t ignore that rectangle at the bottom.

Happy twelfth day of Christmas!

* * *

(Give up? Here’s a stock photo with identifying information. There’s a Wikipedia entry on the complete work of art, and another site shows the box-cover scene in its full context.)

“I bit off more than I can chew, only so much you can do…”

Each year, I notice an uptick in blog visitors on Thanksgiving night and the weekend that follows it, presumably because sated readers lumber to their computers in search of something savory to stuff inside their rested brains.

So here’s what I’ve collected in my mental stock-pot: a jumble of links about books, language, poetry, and art, with nary a turkey in sight.

Nancy Marie Brown sees Iceland’s trolls in Tolkien.

At Lingwë, Jason wonders what Tolkien’s “Esgaroth” means.

Leonore the linguist wonders what’s in her name.

Steve Donoghue reads Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra.

Bibliographing reads Treasure Island!!!

Cynthia Haven reads Proust in Paris.

George reads Inventing the Middle Ages.

Gargoyle Girl finds faces on facades in Prague.

Levi Stahl contemplates Thanksgiving as homecoming.

First Known When Lost reaps poetic misgivings.

Dylan sings of “bent rhyme and feeble reason.”

Pete finds a classy Walgreen’s.

Frederick Turner, the man behind neat epic poems about 24th-century America and the terraforming of Mars, has published a new book on epics.

Kevin at Interpolations wonders why he adores Moby Dick.

Julie K. Rose ponders patronymic patterns.

Photographer Guido Krüger documents his Potomac adventures in front of the Corcoran and on the streets during Hurricane Sandy.

Tim Hyde’s Photoriffs blog commingles beauty and disaster.

Jake Seliger says don’t go to law school and don’t become a doctor.

At last, a blog decrying dumb classroom projects: Wasting Time in School.

University Diaries is thankful for her students.

“In the words of Lincoln, ‘one by land and two by sea…'”

Flags! Explosions! Independence! Power outages! After dousing firework remnants and sweeping away picnic debris, ooh and aah at these sparkling links.

Michael Drout remembers the teacher who taught him Old English.

I find this odd: a play satirizing the International Congress on Medieval Studies. (It’s not that different from most professional conferences, folks.)

Nancy Marie Brown recalls stumbling into medieval Iceland.

The Medieval Material Culture blog finds LEGO castles in Massachusetts.

Megan Arnott surveys medievalism in children’s cartoons.

Scott visits Charlemagne’s Aachen, and takes pictures.

In New York, Gargoyle Girl finds the gargoyles and grotesques of Gramercy Park.

Ephemeral New York spots weeping angels in Brooklyn.

Luminarium makes cookies for the wives of Henry VIII.

Steven Hart remembers how rabbit ears died.

Interpolations administers last rites in the middle of the road.

Benjamin Buchholz tries self-critique through Sudanese art.

Laudator Temporis Actii scans the letterhead of the Society for the Prevention of Progress.

George posits a travel theorem: read instead.

So Many Books likes reading on public transit.

Friend of this blog Lex “Kid Beowulf” Fajardo is featured in A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics.

When the Gypsy Scholar’s blog was plagiarized, he got the runaround from Google.

The Grumpy Old Bookman publishes Daphne Before She Died.

In a poem about the 1980s, Dylan knows there’s no sign of life, it’s just the power to charm. He also, delightfully, spins a ghazal: “’80s Music.”

The Book Haven introduces the North Korean poet who defected.

Rose Kelleher reads forms she hates to love.

Julie Rose asks: What are your books of a lifetime?

Bill Peschel recalls how Shirley Jackson could wield an awesome curse.

Finally tanz den Spatz with Sven van Thom, Berliner popstar turned…rapper?

“In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green, and the redbird sings…”

Interesting links are the English-muffin sandwiches of the Internet: start your day with one and you’ll power that much more profitably through the hours, all thanks to lingering in the virtual Frühstückszimmer of your mind…

The Book Haven discovers what Frankenstein has to do with Walt Whitman’s brain, and, less whimsically, the man who volunteered for Auschwitz. 

Nancy Marie Brown votes for the most influential writer of the Middle Ages.

Dylan pens “Disreputable,” a great ghazal.

“Maybe the dingo ate your baby”: Steven Hart hears cruelty in popular culture.

Has Dr. Beachcombing found trolls in Staffordshire?

Brevity wonders: an essay renaissance?

University Diaries does Bloomsday.

The Classical Bookworm likes Duolingo, where translation leads to learning.

Collected Miscellany hails A Hero for WondLa.

So Many Books wonders what books mean to you.

Dan at Obscurorant underestimated H.P. Lovecraft.

Cinerati remembers Star Frontiers.

Adrian Murdoch reports on the discovery of the first Roman camp on the Mosel.

Rohan Maitzen says no, Middlemarch is not book-club suicide.

Bill Peschel thinks Hemingway and Gellhorn would hate Hemingway and Gellhorn.

Gregory Ferrand, painter of neat stuff like this, is part of Art-o-Matic.

First Known When Lost climbs “a flight of steps that end in mid-air, and there is nothing but the sky above them.”

“See the curtains hangin’ in the window…”

Summer is nigh, the beans in my garden aspire to wind ’round a trellis, and sunshine breeds an early crop of clever and interesting links.

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages finds knights at a Rhode Island community college.

Nancy Marie Brown rides an Icelandic horse named Doubt.

Jonathan Jarrett gets a kick from a medieval scribe who was also a “visual learner.”

Luminarium bakes up medieval illuminated initial cookies. (Hat tip: Dave Lull.)

Patrick at Anecdotal Evidence puts Donald Justice and Edward Hopper side by side.

The Book Haven sees fog around bad weather imagery.

Bill Peschel thinks publishers could stand to learn a little showmanship from Star Wars and Tor Books.

Jake Seliger reiterates what you should know before you start a graduate program in literature (although I think his advice applies broadly to the humanities).

Flavia, newly tenured, ponders pseudonymity and its discontents.

Adrian Murdoch finds a German museum disappointing.

James Gurney discovers a video interview with Andrew Wyeth, who wished he’d painted his father.

Dylan pens two ghazals: “And Flowers” and “Zephyr.”

Gabriele at Lost Fort takes you to the delightfully named Dunstaffnage Chapel.

George visits Mount Vernon.

Wuthering Expectations reads Washington Square.

Chris at Hats & Rabbits wonders how he’ll die.

First Known When Lost asks, “What will your epitaph be?”

“I can see the path you’re cutting…”

From Jefferson’s fascination with Old English to the indefatigability of Cajun ring-jousters, American medievalism has long enjoyed a reputation as (in the words of one prominent scholar) “a tough little sister just looking for Mister Right on the wrong side of town.” While the “Quid Plura?” kobolds and I track down traces of medievalism far afield from the D.C. area, please partake of these medieval-ish and literary links from the cleverest of souls.

Steve Donoghue reads Froissart’s Chronicles and St. Augustine’s Confessions.

Nancy Marie Brown’s A Good Horse Has No Color: Searching Iceland for the Perfect Horse enjoys new life as an e-book.

Dame Nora ekes out a medieval flower.

Ephemeral New York spies grotesques on 181st Street.

Makers of the Middle Ages is now available in print.

Steve Muhlberger alerts us to a book about a Tudor minstrel.

Julie K. Rose is reading from her novel Oleanna at Norway Day in San Francisco.

Is Edward Bulwer-Lytton mocked for all the wrong reasons?

Bill Peschel uses poet Rupert Brooke to rewrite Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Dylan pens “Ode 2.0,” a charmingly honest poem about social media.

Anna Tambour, connoisseuse of strange fruit, cultivates French crabs.

Benjamin Buchholz quaffs a cup of Khan.

Hats & Rabbits wonders what a science fiction author sees that others don’t.

Steven Hart want to give you the Kindle edition of his well-reviewed New Jersey crime novel.

Writer Beware warily eyes the restored “Poetry.com.”

Kevin at Interpolations is glad he’s no Middlemarch scholar.

First Known When Lost questions poems about poems.

“So, I continue to continue…”

“April,” said Edna St. Vincent Millay, “comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.” In the same giddy spirit, here’s a florilegium of sweet-smelling links.

First Known When Lost sees clouds in poems, poems in clouds.

Julie K. Rose, author of Oleanna, looks at meadows, trysts, and Norwegian identity.

Witan Press, publisher of scholarly medieval e-books, seeks a virtual intern.

Bill Peschel visits Cupboard Maker Books and tells parents to let their kids self-publish.

Prof Mondo spots a songwriter “at the intersection of Bacchan depravity and commerce.”

George reads In Plato’s Cave, an academic memoir.

Who deserves the Arthur C. Clarke Award? This year, there’s controversy.

Jake Seliger asks: Are you more than a consumer?

Hats & Rabbits pens a parable.

Dr. Beachcombing hails a handlist of adult changelings.

Benjamin Buchholz takes us to Oman, where they still build dhows by hand.

Y.S. Fing reviews a book about the man who invented Ignatius Reilly.

PeteLit finds Beatrix Potter’s bunnies bred from a letter.

Lingwë dabbles in absinthe.

Steve Donoghue, man of a million interests, introduces you to opera.

The Book Haven calls for an end to Orwellian “wars.”

Writer Beware! tells you why small publishers fail.

Stephen Akey reads raw Catullus.

Frank Wilson writes a haiku or two.