Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I want to be like Margaret Anderson when I grow up.

Almost through L in Literary Criticism. I think once I make it through M, I will do a "Best Of The First Half" for that section. There's some amazing things ... like one whole treatise on the "anatomy of the anecdote". Also, if you're a D. H. Lawrence fan, we are the store for you; we have a whole shelf about him!

My Favorite this week is something I discovered in the middle of L:



I thought the name Margaret Anderson was familiar; then I started recognizing names in the Table of Contents, such as that of Alexander Berkman (manager and lover to the charismatic anarchist speaker Emma Goldman) and Ben Hecht (a famous screenwriter who worked on many things, including a 1941 film titled "Lydia" :ahem:). A quick search turned up this site about Margaret Anderson and "The Little Review" (click here), which describes Anderson as a perfectly marvelous woman. Of her, apparently, it was said that "She reminds you of Mary Garden, Isadora Duncan, Lysistrata, Sappho, all packed into one dynamic personality." And apparently extracts of James Joyce's Ulysses were first published in Anderson's magazine (and Anderson arrested on charges of obscenity for publishing it).

And for those interested in anarchist history, Anderson seems to have had some ties with the anarchists on the time, as demonstrated not only by Berkman's name in the table of contents but by the advertisements on the inside back of this magazine:



This covers of this issue are a bit abused, and have detached -- but the text is perfectly clear, and in remarkably good condition otherwise. We're selling this fascinating snapshot of some of the early 1900s' most liberal intellectuals for $20.00.

Also from the 1910s (and earlier) are this week's Collector's Items:



Baedeker started publishing travel guides in the 1870s, and his small-format red books quickly became popular. It's easy to understand, when we look at their lavish fold-out illustrations:



... and maps:



And I'm sure their writing was appreciated, not merely as a guide, but as a description of these faraway and exotic places. The 1890 Southern Italy Baedeker, for instance, talks about lots and lots of frescoes and ruined temples in vivid detail, and reports faithfully on things as mundane as bars:

Continuing to follow the Strada di Mercurio, we next observe ... a Tavern; towards the street is a table covered with marble and a fire-place. A door leads from the shop to the left into a small room adorned with various allusions to drinking: a waggon with a wine-skin, players and drinkers, eatables, etc. In the corner to the left a soldier is being served; above him is scribbled: 'da fridam pusillum' (a glass of cold).

The Southern Italy Baedeker is $50.00; we also have an 1899 Switzerland for $30.00, a 1912 Norway / Sweden / Denmark for $50.00, and several others. Before anyone asks -- we once had one for Paris, but it is long gone. It was really something, though!

To wrap this up, Becka (our newest!) found a great Affordable and Interesting paperback, titled Glen Baxter: His Life. The Years of Struggle. I haven't the faintest idea who Glen Baxter is (though he does seem to have a website -- click here!), but his hilariously illustrated memoirs prove that maxim about a thousand words many time over. He seems to have a fine sense of ironic hyperbole. From the first picture of "one of those long English summer days that seem to go on forever ..."



to the last, of his solemn decision to leave home ...



the whole thing is one long panorama of surreally expressive drawings, and all for $5.00!

There will be no blog entry next week because of the holiday, dear readers -- hope you won't miss us too much. Have a great Thanksgiving. We'll see you again two weeks from now!

1 comment:

Holly Sierra said...

I would love to buy the Margaret Anderson piece- Is it still available?

Thanks,
Holly Sierra

hollysierra@yahoo.com