A major exhibition that showcases the depth and breadth of the holdings of New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections is currently on display through February 4, 2000. The exhibition, Facts and Fiction: The Fales Library and Special Collections at NYU, documents the developments of Western narrative tradition from Homer’s Iliad to contemporary post-modern New York writing. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The NYU Fales Library is located on the third floor of the NYU Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. Gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information the public may call (212) 998-2596.
On view are over 90 rare works, including a papyrus from AD 200 containing eleven lines from the Iliad, Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the 1532 edition of Chaucer’s works outlining early developments in narrative.
Beginning with Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726), the exhibition documents the development of the novel, drawing on the nearly 200,000 volumes of fiction held in the collection. Shown are such rarities as Richardson’s Pamela, Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Dickens’ personal copy of A Christmas Carol, and two copies of the extremely rare 1865 edition of Alice in Wonderland.
The late 19th and 20th centuries are represented by such works as a signed copy of Joyce’s Ulysses, a presentation copy of Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives, and contemporary works by such authors as Cormac McCarthy, E.L. Doctorow, Martin Amis, Mary Gaitskill, Kathy Acker, Dennis Cooper, David Wojnarowicz, and many others.
Special sections of the exhibition highlight Fales Library’s outstanding collection of detection and mystery, including works of Arthur Conan Doyle and the very rare Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume; the African-American novel, including William Well Brown’s Clotelle, the first novel written by an African-American; and works by such Greenwich Village writers as John Dos Passos, Floyd Dell, Dawn Powell, and others.