The images vary widely, but they tend to be very strange and even disturbing—overt sexual acts, defecation, monsters, human-monster hybrids, animals acting like humans. There’s also examples of clergy behaving very badly, the sort of thing you would not expect to see in the margins of a sacred book.
Kaitlin Manning of B & L Rootenberg Rare Books and Manuscripts talks
to Collector's Weekly (previously
) about the exquisitely detailed religious texts surrounded by all manner of illustrated commentary, known today as marginalia
In his new book Ciphers
, German photographer Christopher Gielen
) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
Books and bodies.
If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
In February 1963
, a new publication
took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial
: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America.
The New York Review of Books
is now 50
. [more inside]
Although best known for iconic photographs
of his Weimaraner dogs, artist William Wegman is also a painter
. While Wegman's combined the two before, recently painting atop commercial travel postcards
, he's just published Flo & Wendell
, a children's storybook illustrated by dog photos painted over to tell a whimsical tale. Images and review
(LA Times); video
Ellen Raskin (1928-1984) is best known as a writer, author of The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel)
and the Newbery Award-winning The Westing Game
. But she always considered herself an artist first. Raskin designed over 1,000 book covers
, including the iconic original cover of A Wrinkle In Time
, the edition of Dubliners
you probably read in college, and the New Directions edition of a Child's Christmas in Wales
(Raskin did the woodcuts on the inside, too; further appreciation here
.) More Raskin covers are collected in this flickr set
from Bennington College. [more inside]
, Joyce's famously unreadable masterpiece (read it online here
), was considerably more
readable in one of its earlier drafts.
Watch Joyce cross out decipherable words and replace them with less decipherable ones! Watch him end, not with a whimper, but with a slightly less impressive whimper
! Sadly, Shem's schoolbook
, which in the finished version is a House of Leaves
-esque compendium of side columns and footnotes, was not written until much later
(according to the footnotes of that section). The introduction to this draft by David Hayman, who assembled it, is worth a read
Sunday, April 28, would have been Roberto Bolaño's 60th birthday
. The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona is holding an event that day, in conjunction with their recent exhibit of Bolaño's archive
, to celebrate the life and work of the writer. Or if you're not in Barcelona, the celebration is #DiaBolaño
on twitter. [more inside]
Proudly Fraudulent: [The Awl]
An Interview With MoMA's First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith. [Previously] [Previously]
Dreams of Space.
A blog featuring art from non-fiction children's space flight books 1945-1975. Lots of great graphics
, from the realistic
to the now fanciful
. I must also point out the wonderful Czech pop-up book
and A Trip to Outer Space With Santa
Brain Pickings presents the Best Design Books of 2012
. Because you weren't really
going to get anything done today anyway, right? [more inside]
Romance novel covers are a frequent subject of ridicule. But they have also featured highly talented illustrators like Alan Ayers
, Pino Daeni
, Elaine Gignilliat
, Phil Heffernan
, and Albert Slark
. [more inside]
They were alive and they spoke to me! That is the simplest and most eloquent way in which I can refer to those authors who have remained with me over the years.
- Henry Miller, The Books In My Life [more inside]
What if New Who had Target Novelisations
just like the old Doctor Who
Historical versions of Aesop's fables - text and pictures -
collected by Laura Gibbs. She gives thousands of historic texts in English, Latin, and Greek, but even better, has Flickr sets of the historic illustrations
(that page is sorted by artist) from editions by Rackham, Caldecott, and other artists going back to the 1400s. [more inside]
Ever since something was invented to replace it, people have been predicting the end of the book:
The Death Of The Book Through The Ages [more inside]
is Photographs, Posters, Prints & Drawings, Books, Maps, Autographs, and African-American Fine Art. Served daily. Also
. [more inside]
: authors and designers talk about the ideas behind their book covers. [more inside]
simply read Finnegans Wake
. Since it is said to make more sense when recited aloud, you could start with this recording
of James Joyce performing a passage from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section - which has been described as "one of the most beautiful prose-poems in English". [more inside]
Ten gorgeous buildings made out of books.
More views of some of them: Scanner
— Book igloo
— Tower of Babel
(with other book structures). Want to build your own? Order books by the yard from various outlets, some quite pricy, others more affordable: BookDecor
, Half Price Books Outlet
In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
is a place where the staff of F.A. Bernett Books showcase some of the more spectacular, interesting, unusual and puzzling items they have come across. Discoveries of note include: Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now
, a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America. The most influential graphic arts publication of late-1920s Tokyo
, Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut
, credited by many art historians of his time (and ours) as having modernized and revitalized the form in Western art. [more inside]
... the solar system in book
James Gurney answers
"What inspired you really to create Dinotopia?"."Myths and stories ARE real, I tried to tell her. And they're enduring. They're the one thing that lives on through the years as the physical monuments of old civilizations crumble into dust... The key to inventing Dinotopia was believing that it already existed beyond the confines of my own mind. Even if I couldn’t tell the the latitude and longitude, I believed it was out there somewhere beyond the reach of my senses. To engage readers with that reality I had to pay attention to the spaces between the paintings, the moments poised across the page turn, which each reader conjures anew." [more inside]
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece
- An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch
, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud
- Retro Living and Design from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
It started with your name' '@byleaveswelive', and became a tree
This was followed by dragons, coffins, lost sinners and, 10/10, ‘Gloves of bee’s fur, cap of the wren’s wings’
but there were only 8?
A dinosaur was found in the museum, but what of the last? [more inside]
is an exhibition at New Haven (Connecticut) libraries that contemplates our personal, intellectual and physical relationship to the library as this venerable institution—and the information it contains—is being radically transformed by the digital era. Some examples: Untitled (Suburban Homes)
by Erica Baum, Hurricanes
by Chris Coffin, and Chinese Library No. 46
by Xiaoze Xie.
A fore-edge painting (previously
, but it's been a while) is a painting on the edges of the pages of a book that can only be seen when the pages are fanned out
. Marist College has a nice history and introduction
and the Boston Public Library has an impressive gallery
Over 500 people have traveled into outer space
. While many have written books about the experience
, only a few have used more creative means to express what they saw and felt. Here are a few: [more inside]
In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry
featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch, just to name a few). [more inside]
Hey Oscar Wilde!
— A spot to archive nerd images of interest from out of print/hard to find art books, magazines, comics and other assorted ephemera laying about as well as detours into other things found about the web. Some of the pieces from the 'Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!!'
literary art collection (previously on MeFi
) may make it on here from time to time as well.
Biomedical Ephemera, or, a Frog for your Boils
is "A blog for all biological and medical ephemera, from the age of Abraham through the era of medical quackery and cure-all nostrums. Sometimes featuring illustrations of diseases and conditions of the times, sometimes fascinating ephemeral medical equipment, and sometimes clippings and information about the theories themselves." The archive page
is also a useful starting point. via Things Magazine.
Free PDFs of The History of Cartography
, vol. 1 and 2, from University of Chicago Press.
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]