With more than 250 volumes published, DLB provides reliable biographical and critical information about writers for students, researchers, teachers, reference librarians.
We define literature as the intellectual commerce of a nation; not merely as belles lettres, but as that ample and complex process by which ideas are generated. Therefore, DLB is not limited to "creative writers." This series encompasses historians, journalists, publishers, screenwriters - figures who influence the mind of a people. DLB places the men and women selected for inclusion in the larger perspective of their national literatures and provides appraisals of their achievements by qualified scholars. Each volume includes photos of the authors at various stages of their careers, their literary associates, and places associated with their lives and works; portraits, "manuscript facimilies", and the iconography of literature.
The volume numbered 200 is actually the 252nd Dictionary of Literary Biography volume: 216 in the main series, including the early multi-volume titles; 18 in the Documentary Series; and 18 Yearbooks.
The Editorial Directors are frequently asked when the DLB will run out of material. Never. There are fields that have not yet been touched: e.g., the writers of the Orient, the Middle East, and India. Moreover, the volumes for contemporary writers require updating every generation as the writers already in DLB continue to write and new careers emerge. The 300th volume is now in the editorial pipeline.
The possibility of the DLB was introduced by Frederick Ruffner at a Ft. Lauderdale meeting on 22 November 1975. The initial planning session for the DLB, at the Yale Club library in 1977, was attended by Matthew J. Bruccoli, C. E. Frazer Clark Jr., William Emerson, James Etheridge, Richard Layman, Patrick O’Connor, Orville Prescott, Mr. Ruffner, Vernon Sternberg, and Alden Whitman. At this meeting Mr. Sternberg provided the rationale for the endeavor: each DLB volume covers writers belonging to a movement, chronological grouping, or another meaningful selection of writers. Accordingly, each volume is a literary history reference tool that can be utilized without recourse to other volumes.
The first DLB volume was published in December 1978, followed by volume two that year. Volume 100 was published in 1990. The first DLB Yearbook was published in 1981. The first DLB Documentary volume was published in 1982. The 252 volumes to date include 8,500 entries by 8,000 editors and contributors worldwide: more than 62,000,000 words.
History in Dispute | World Eras
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