Posts Tagged ‘books’


August 15, 2011

From Facts for the People: or Things Worth Knowing. A Book of Receipts in which Everything is of Practical Use to Everybody, Philadelphia: Laraway & Holstz, 1850: 22, via.

Clearly, I need this

October 17, 2010

A curved whiskey-book desk (whiskook? bhiskey?). I mean, what do I actually have to do to get this shit in my life?

via Centuries of Advice & Advertisements.

Latest [Durham!] library-borrowings

October 16, 2010

Having just returned from a rough and tumble book-hunt through Durham Main Library—

  • Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller, New York: Columbia UP, 1984.
  • Maurice Blanchot, The Space of Literature, trans. Ann Smock, Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1989.
  • Edna St Vincent Millay, Letters of Edna St Vincent Millay, ed. Alan Ross MacDougall, Westport, CT:  Greenwood P, 1977.
  • Helen Vendler, The Odes of John Keats, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003.
  • James O’Rourke, Keats’ Odes and Contemporary Criticism, Gainesville, FL: UP of Florida, 1998.
  • Earl R. Wasserman, The Finer Tone: Keats’ Major Poems, Baltimore: John Hopkins P, 1953.
  • Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets, 1789, Oxford: Woodstock, 1992.
  • Germaine Greer, Slip-shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet, London: Viking-Penguin, 1995.
  • Joseph Phelan, The Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005.
  • Angela Leighton, On Form: Poetry, Aestheticism, and the Legacy of a Word, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007.

Ah, excitements! Going to bed now to start on them all. I shouldn’t be let loose in libraries. I only stopped when I did because I couldn’t physically carry any more books back to college (and for want of tea, I’ll admit).

Booklust of the day:

October 16, 2010

Um, yeah. So, I’ll just let this speak for itself, then.

From and via the wonderful book-aesthete:

Bookbinding by Suenonius Mandelgreen. Middelburg, 1757. – 1793

Brown-carmine morocco, gold-tooled. The covers are filled with decorations of interlacing ribbons with foliage and flowers in the resulting compartments, made by many small tools. On both covers is a circumscription: ‘A grateful reminder of the honour bestowed on the 5th of the autumn month 1757. On the occasion of the joyful dinner, on the happy birth of Willem Zelandus van Borssele, whom the Lord will appoint to the noble seat of his father, for the benefit of country and church, is the respectful wish of A.L. Callenfels, S. Mandelgreen and L. Taillefert. D.Z’. Signed at the bottom of the front cover ‘S. Mandelgreen fecit’.

*cue serious wanting*

Why I love Sontag.

September 17, 2010

June 13, 1996

New York

Dear Borges,

Since your literature was always placed under the sign of eternity, it doesn’t seem too odd to be addressing a letter to you. (Borges, it’s ten years!) If ever a contemporary seemed destined for literary immortality, it was you. [111]

…Your modesty was part of the sureness of your presence. You were a discoverer of new joys. …You showed that it is not necessary to be unhappy, even while one is clear-eyed and undeluded about how terrible everything is. Somewhere you said that a writer—delicately you added: all persons—must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. (You were speaking of your blindness.)

…You said that we owe literature almost everything that we are and what we have been. If books disappear, history will disappear, and human beings will also disappear. I am sure you are right. Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. …Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human. [112]

…(Borges, it’s ten years!) All I mean to say is that we miss you. I miss you. …


Susan Sontag, ‘A letter to Borges’, Where the Stress Falls, London: Penguin Books, 2009 [2001]: 111-113.

Things I would like, oh yes

September 2, 2010

This set.
This print.
This book.
This dress.
These pants.
These shoes.
These shoes.
These shoes.
Oh, and this alien abduction lamp.


August 8, 2010

Today’s acquisitions:

  • Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories, London: Oxford University Press, 1959 (A pretty little World’s Classics edition, light enough for me to consider taking it with me to Durham, for comfort).
  • Janet Frame, Faces in the Water, London: The Women’s Press, 1991 (Another talented New Zealander, I’ve been meaning to read her for a while, and this, a novel of madness, seemed as good a place as any to start).
  • Christopher Fry, The Lady’s Not For Burning, London: Oxford University Press, 1951 (A play that has been on my list forever, and a lovely second edition).

Today’s gustatory pleasures:

  • A good slab of semolina halva.
  • Just-unripe banana with strawberries, walnuts, greek yoghurt.
  • A very gingery cup of black chai.
  • Hazelnut cream wafers.
  • LASAGNA (cherry tomato, spinach, lemon).

Food and books aside (I finished a Sontag; I started the Barrett/Browning correspondence), I meditated in the morning, went for a walk in the afternoon, watched Miss Potter in the evening, and am now, at night, pulling on socks (it is chilly) and warring (with a very slothful, newly-bathed puppy) for possession of the pillows.  Such was my day. Not productive in any true sense, but calm and uneventful, as I needed it to be. And as testament to my growing and dealing: I twice felt a kind of happiness.

Booklust of the day:

August 1, 2010

Anyone have a spare £1400? Because I’d sorta like this for my collection. Y’know. Just hintin’.

From Bloomsbury Auctions:

48. Straw Binding. NOUVELLES ÉTRENNES SPIRITUELLES, woodcut frontispiece and vignettes, occasional light staining, HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY STRAW BINDING OVER RED MOROCCO, covers with straw mosaics in natural tones, greens, browns and oranges depicting flowers in a vase (upper cover) and a bouquet of flowers tied with a ribbon, a little chipping to straw borders, a few very small ink stains to upper edge, red morocco spine in compartments, richly gilt and with black morocco label, rubbed, g.e. (rubbed), Paris, de Hansy, 1778.

est. £1200 – £1400

*** Straw bindings are rare and one in this remarkable state of preservation is of the utmost rarity.

And the cincher?


So yeah. Anytime.

[via book-aesthete]


April 25, 2010

via loupgarou.

Books, books, books, (presumed) dustiness, white sheets.

Latest borrowings:

April 5, 2010

(via muszka)

Thomas Dumm, Loneliness as a Way of Life, Cambridge, MA: Harvard U P, 2008 (which I will be quoting from in the near future, I feel).

Andrew Nash (ed.), The Culture of Collected Editions, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Rodney Phillips et al.,  The Hand of the Poet: Poems and Papers in Manuscript, New York: Rizzoli, 1997.

Robert Gittings, The Odes of Keats and their Earliest Known Manuscripts, London: Heinemann, 1970.

Marta L. Werner, Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing, Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995.

Walter Vandereycken & Ron van Deth, From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls: The History of Self-Starvation, London: Athlone Press, 1994.

Margaret Homans, Women Writers and Poetic Identity: Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Brontë, and Emily Dickinson, Princeton, NJ: Princeton U P, 1980.

Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, London: Vernor & Hood, 1806.

And finally, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Make Bright the Arrows: A 1940 Notebook, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1941; and The Buck in the Snow and Other Poems, New York and London: Harper & Bros., 1928.