Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Book by Edgar A. Guest

“Now” - said a good book unto me -
“Open my pages and you shall see
Jewels of wisdom and treasures fine,
Gold and silver in every line,
And you may claim them if you but will
Open my pages and take your fill.

“Open my pages and run them o’er,
Take what you choose of my golden store.
Be you greedy, I shall not care -
All that you seize I shall gladly spare;
There is never a lock on my treasure doors,
Come - here are my jewels, make them yours!

“I am just a book on your mantel shelf,
But I can be part of your living self;
If only you’ll travel my pages through,
Then I will travel the world with you.
As two wines blended make better wine,
Blend your mind with these truths of mine.

“I’ll make you fitter to talk with men,
I’ll touch with silver the lines you pen,
I’ll lead you nearer the truth you seek,
I’ll strengthen you when your faith grows weak -
This place on your shelf is a prison cell,
Let me come into your mind to dwell!”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bladorthin the Grey?

Loved this bit from Mental Floss, naming 17 famous literary characters who were almost named something else.  Bladorthin the Grey just doesn't have the same ring to it that Gandalf does.  See what you think of the others.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

She was two feet, eight inches tall, but Mercy Lavinia Bump (or Mrs. Tom Thumb) was a nineteenth century icon.  Vinnie was born on October 31, 1841 in Middleborough, Massachusetts, to a family of good standing.  All of her siblings (except for her younger sister, Minnie) were normal sized.  Vinnie had a form of proportionate dwarfism (probably caused by a pituitary disorder).  She had a very loving and normal childhood, even teaching school for a short time.  She left home to appear on a floating palace of curiosities and eventually crossed paths with P. T. Barnum.  Barnum introduced her to General Tom Thumb and their wedding would captivate the nation, preempt coverage of the Civil War, and usher them into the White House and the company of presidents and queens.  They traveled the globe, met Brigham Young, and were among the first passengers on the new Union Pacific railroad linking the country and also among the very first Americans of any size to travel to the new colony of Australia.  This is a novel of the Gilded Age and one woman's public triumphs and personal tragedies.  After you've read the book, you may want to explore The Lost Museum which reconstructs Barnum's American Museum in an interactive fashion, and also provides much history about Barnum and his various performers.

Vinnie died in 1919 at the age of 78,  She was a remarkable person, who never let her size define her.

Justin Rowe, Book Sculptor

Justin Rowe is a Book Sculptor whose work is cut free hand with a scalpel and assembled with gum Arabic.  Here's a link to a fairytale exhibit he has done, and another link to an article that explores his amazing talent.  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bookends of the Earth

These sculptural bookends by Chicago-based artist Garth Borovicka cleverly utilize the layers of wood and the growth rings within to symbolize the sedimentary layers of the Earth. They compare microcosms and macrocosms, exploring the similarities of naturally occurring patterns on small and large scales.  In both instances these patterns represent the passage of time on either a relatively short span or a massive one. As a further play with the theme of scale, each set is cut from a larger landscape built by the artist. When displayed as bookends they make reference to the life cycle of a tree and its various uses.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...