Old Books, New Adventures

Old Books, New Adventures

Old Books, New Adventures
12 Stories from the Depth of Libraries. Educational Booklet.
Written by Farkas Gábor Farkas
NSZL, Budapest, 2015., 360 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 640 6

2 800,- Ft

„It was the noon of 25 November 2013, and the bells were ringing. I was standing somewhat uncertain, in the lecture hall on the 8th floor of National Széchényi Library, preparing to give a half day lecture dedicated to the memory of Ferenc Széchényi who founded our Library 211 years ago. I had been thinking for a long time about that I know a dozen stories from the world of old books, all linked together by mysterious threads. Would it make sense, and first of all, would it be possible for me to tell these stories before an audience sitting in comfortable seats, and fascinate them? Time is always shorter, texts are always longer than needed, and it is always just one of these we can do something about. I have spent twenty-four years altogether working in the stores of the University Library and National Széchényi Library. It is there where I have found these stories. The reader might perhaps find this volume an eclectic selection at a first glance, as academic seriousness alternates with easy reading in it, but is not life itself similar, bringing us different experiences all the time? These stories are surely linked together by one and the same thing: curiosity. And as all the good stories start in a library, follow me and enjoy!” (Farkas Gábor)

Writings published in the book:

  • What could be on the desk of an Italian humanist? Ransanus and the dragon
  • How the first Hungarian book was made? Mystery of the Buda Chronicle
  • From Saint Petersburg to Princeton? Adventurous story of the copy of Buda Chronicle
  • How wide is brook Csele? The mysterious death of King Louis II
  • How many blades does a Czech sword have? Anatomy of a royal murder
  • Who lied in the grave? New questions related to the body of King Louis II
  • Where is the center of the world? The new cosmos of Copernicus
  • A book which had not been read by anybody? The fate of Copernicus’ theory
  • Shining star of Cassiopeia? The story of a supernova
  • Stories drawn all over the sky? Existing and invented planets
  • What happened before the battle? A unique atmosphere optical event
  • Where did Malvasia disappear? Stolen books, false stories