Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More French Artists

Bibliothèque gay is an absolute treasure trove.
The Illustration (used as a logo) is from
"Tirésias", by Marcel Jouhandeau, 1954
Click image to visit

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Airtight Garage

Quenched Consciousness (aka ‘The Airtight Garage’) is a blog exploring the work of Jean Giraud, aka Gir, aka Moebius. Basically, there doesn't seem to be many places online that give a comprehensive collection of his work. So here is one. Recommended!

Friday, November 12, 2010

More mutt...

“ A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down. — Robert Benchley

Via LibraryLand

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For Harvey...

‘Us two in the room; my dog and me….
Outside a fearful storm is howling.
The dog sits in front of me, and looks me straight in the face.

And I, too, look into his face.

He wants, it seems, to tell me something.
He is dumb, he is without words,
he does not understand himself
—but I understand him.

I understand that at this instant there is living in him and in me
the same feeling, that there is no difference between us.
We are the same; in each of us there burns and shines the same trembling spark.
Death sweeps down, with a wave of its chill broad wing…. And the end!

Who then can discern what was the spark that glowed in each of us?

No! We are not beast and man that glance at one another….
They are the eyes of equals, those eyes riveted on one another.

And in each of these, in the beast and in the man,
the same life huddles up in fear close to the other.’
—February 1878

Ivan Turgenev (born 9 November, 1818; died 3 September, 1883),
translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett
je vivrai l'amour des autres

Monday, July 19, 2010


Sunlight and Shadow
Winslow Homer

I knew there was a picture I associated with the Win Scott poem I read at my mother's funeral:

I want to show you a young girl in an orchard
Face down to a book, hair fallen forward,
The May apples' shift of white and green
Lifted around her, sun let out and in,
Such a day as you remember for unnameable
Fragrance and the long slow sound of it all,
As though it were the unopened heart of summer
Somehow known. The girl is at its center.
She is out of herself into the book,
And she and the book and the day together make
A page that holds the sun, and may be so
Forever but that of course I cannot show you
Or know myself. But I can look as long
As I grow older, and none of this will move or change.

Winfield Townley Scott
Go My Little Tragedy, XVIII

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Do not despair, gentle reader. I have not abandoned you. I'm merely temporarily incapacitated by one of the most intractably god-awful internet providers on the planet. But I will return!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little dreams...

“Our entire language is made up of short little dreams; and the delightful thing about it is that we sometimes fashion from them thoughts that are strangely exact and wonderfully reasonable.”

Paul Valéry, “On Myths and Mythology”
Thanks to coisas do arco da velha & invisible stories

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Remember this...

This is how my mother thought "proper little boys" should dress. She had this very pattern, and I was duly sent to Green Street Elementary School in Annapolis, kitted like the lad on the right. Yikes! No wonder I'm confused!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lots of Pictures!

Freshly uploaded, recent scans of Donald's innumerable pocket-sized prints of the family stay in Sweden, 1957-58. Cute kids, vintage Stockholm, Vespas, odd cars, trolleys, and a rare selection of Hugo's first photos, mostly of Scout Camp and adventures with Lisa & friend, exploring an almost car-free Stockholm, during the Suez Crisis. Click the Lucia Trio above, or here.

(In case you didn't get it - that's me in the charming pajamas, Lisa on the brink of immolation, and Gordon with his thumb in his mouth)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Reminder to self...

I prefer drawing to talking.
Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies

~Le Courbusier
via: venus as a boy

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fire and Champagne

Historically Valborgmässa (Walpurgisnacht) is derived from various pagan spring customs. Bonfires were built to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits that were then widely believed to walk among the living.1 This is followed by the return of light and the sun as celebrated during May Day. The strongest and most traditional Spring festivities are also found in the old university cities, like Uppsala and Lund where both undergraduates, graduates and alumni gather at events that last most of the day from early morning to late night on April 30, or "sista april" ("The last day of April") as it is called in Uppsala. Modern Valborg celebrations, particularly in Uppsala, consist of having a light breakfast including champagne and strawberries. During the day people gather in parks, drink alcoholic beverages, barbeque and generally enjoy the weather, if it happens to be favourable.

A Little Sanity...Please!

So this thing has spread, is what has happened, this thing of making pariahs of smokers, punishing them with ostracism. Smoking Kills!—as if it just kills generically, kills everyone, and not just the addicts who are torching three packs a day. (Which, yes, it may!) There’s a weird, angry vengefulness against smokers, who are now treated like “outsiders” in more than just the literal sense of having to cluster round the ashcan at some specified distance from an office building.

In Praise of Five Cigarettes a Day - The Awl

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

This document was adopted by the World People's Conference on Climate and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22, 2010. The conference was held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 19-22. Text from PWCCC. For more coverage of the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, click HERE.

* * *

"Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger...." Click image for full text.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I've been busy...

Sorry for the scarcity of posts recently. I've been working of a sequence of digital collages I've named the "Vim Series," after a small magazine of the same name which had a rather profound effect on me as a thirteen year-old. I'll post others in due course.

Monday, April 12, 2010


AUBURN -- Lucille Webb, the widow of photographer Todd Webb, died peacefully on Jan. 12, 2008, at her home in Auburn. She was 101 years old.

     Born Sept. 16, 1906, she led an extraordinary life. Nee Lucille Minqueau, she grew up in New York City where she attended classes at NYU and Barnard College, and studied for a year at the Sorbonne in 1924. Her career was fascinating and wide-ranging. Her first job was as personal secretary to the then famous opera star Lucretia Bori, learning and managing the many intrigues of Ms. Bori's life. Lucille went on to work at an advertising firm, Peddler and Ryan. All the while she was taking classes in modern dance with Jose Limon and Catherine Dunham, dancing briefly in both companies.

     She was extremely independent. After World War II, unmarried and in her early 40s, she ventured on a trip to Paris. There, by complete happenstance, she met Todd Webb, an American photographer living in Paris at the time. After 24 hours of knowing Lucille he asked her to marry him! His journal entry reflects that knowledge... Things are happening to me, things I hadn't planned or dreamed of. There is even the possibility I may not be a bachelor forever. Their partnership and love for one another was truly inspirational. They married in Paris, Sept. 10, 1949, and realized they were born a year and a day apart- Sept. 15, 1905 and Sept. 16, 1906. They lived in Paris for a few more years and moved back to New York in 1953.

     Todd was working as a commercial photographer and with Roy Stryker who was heading up the WPA. Todd received two Guggenheim fellowships in 1954 and '55, walking across America with his camera. Lucille held down the fort with a job in New York at one of the first firms to do market research and polling. In 1960 they were lured to Santa Fe by their old friend, Georgia O'Keeffe, settling there for 10 years.

     Lucille opened a paperback bookshop and gallery on Canyon Road and Todd taught photography. They had many adventures, traveling to Mexico often and spending time with O'Keeffe and her circle of friends. In 1971 they ventured back to France settling in the Provencal village of St. Restitut, and thence to Bath, England for a few years. They returned to the states in 1976, settling in Portland and Bath. They moved to Schooner Estates in Auburn in 1999. Todd died in 2000. Todd Webb is best known for his large format photos of New York in the 1940s, Paris in the 50s and intimate portraits of Georgia O'Keeffe.

     Lucille is survived by a sister, Lenore, 103, of New York City. She also is survived by many devoted friends. She was truly a marvel and will be sorely missed. A memorial service will be held on Jan. 25, at 10 a.m. at Schooner Estates in Auburn, in the Tenant's Harbor room. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Lucille's name may be sent to the Guggenheim Foundation, New York or the Maine College of Art, Portland.

Via:Todd Webb Photographs

Like a phantom...

Todd Webb, photographer, was a friend of my parents in Santa Fe in the 50's-60's. His wife, Lucille, ran the Paperbook Gallery on Canyon Road, and was my first book-selling employer, while I was at St. John's College. The shop, although limited in inventory, displayed a large number of Todd's photographs, and I grew to love them.

The Webbs lived on Houghton St., just up the hill from Harrington Junior High, not too far from Free Fraser's and Kaune's, (that corner of, then, College & Manhattan streets, that was to become dominated by the "Round House" and the Paseo de Peralta Loop (both ugly) but then was mostly St. Mike's, The Pink Adobe, and the Bull Ring) and seemed a part of the permanent constellation of Santa Fe life. How naif we are at that age! How quickly it becomes The Past.

Photo from loverofbeauty, click to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I've heard every single one of these
(but I've only used two myself...)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ahoy Bos'un

Been aweigh a long time around the isle of tomes. But finally making headway back to shore. Should be mooring here more often. Just loop it around that cleat there... Thanks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Timely Reminder from ZenFancy

There was an old daddy in Troy
Who said "I'm no longer a boy
But I'll bet I can show
You chaps how to go"
Which he did to his own savage joy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010



So, What IS an ISBN?


The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN is one of those contemporary ideas which were supposed to make an Art into a Science using mathematics, or at least numbers. Aside from being an ugly mark on an otherwise well-designed dust jacket, it is the means by which publishers' warehouses and, finally, bookstores can control large volumes of inventory by treating each item as an entry line in a ledger (or digital device) rather than an actual physical object. This is a function that used to be performed by the Title and Author's Name, as well as other pertinent information about the Publication (Publisher, City, Date, Edition, etc.) as well as some judgement about Type or Category, all of which required some "sense" of what the book was. Now all that has been condensed into a string of integers.

Once upon a time, the books themselves were their own filing system: each being assigned to a certain position on a topically arranged shelf by procrustean individuals known as "librarians." These gentle souls thought their main function was to assist the reader in locating the information that would further his education. In order to do so, they needed to have some knowledge, themselves, about the content and quality - such a very un-capitalistic notion! Now, of course, we know that books are just another form of Product, the purchase of which is the ultimate goal, having very little to do with education or even curiosity, beyond that which can elicited by Marketing.

The idea of having a unique and descriptive number for every title published is not, in itself, a bad one. The Library of Congress has been attempting to do that for just the titles produced in the United States as have the other national libraries of the world for their own literary outputs. In principle it is a sound and historically worthwhile enterprise. The problem arises when the same concept is applied to the very messy world of commerce, with reprints, rip-offs, revisions, short-runs, review copies, translations, condensations, collections, pirate versions, in a multitude of different languages, being produced in major cities around the world. Even an infinitely expandable system begins to break down.

Worse, though, it creates the illusion of having solved a problem which, in fact, it only causes to grow more acute: every piece of writing is not equal to every other, every publication of that work varies in quality and accuracy, fakes abound and falsehoods proliferate! Yet each is stamped with a number which gives it equal validity to all the rest. At a time when critical judgement has become a dire necessity, we've applied a system that makes no judgement at all. Ultimately, what we will get is a thin uniform gruel of digital scribendi perfectly suited to the Kindle and the iTablet. Unless we can find a way to evaluate quality without enforcing hierarchical value judgement, we are doomed to drown in a sea of digitally encoded pablum.

As an aside: Updates of the bookstall have been interrupted (temporarily I hope) by my ISP's inability or unwillingness to provide broadband service on anything like a regular schedule. Thus an upload of data from the letter I to mid-M has been held in check for 24 hours, awaiting what is laughingly referred to as 3G Service. I pray this post will make it through!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh my!

Moebius 105_100.jpg

While I wasn't looking, because I was concentrating so hard on my new Bookstall, the number of people visiting this blog passed 3000! Thank you everyone for visiting! Let's hope I can continue to balance all my online projects without injuring myself...
Artwork by Moebius

Friday, March 5, 2010



I had, originally, intended to start another blog, specifically related to book matters, in general, and the ongoing saga of my attempts to sell my library online through the Bookstall, in specific. But then I began to tackle the enormous task of simply uploading the thumbnails and brief information on each of 1200 books, and decided that the last thing I need is yet another excuse to avoid the tedium of pricing, measuring, weighing, verifying and cataloging. So I'll stick with the feature-column format in my usual blog, for now.

I've spent the last couple of long nights doing data entry (shades of my Tattered Cover days) and have managed to reach the mid-Cs - just to give you an idea of what's involved. It's a good thing I rather enjoy the task, and always have - I've often suspected I really should have been a librarian - the more tedious and daunting, the better. One of the best things about books is that, even in the midst of the most repetitive data-entry, there's always something to learn and inevitable surprises. Like anyone with an unhealthy obsession, I'm forever imagining the discovery of a rare and expensive treasure in among the dusty volumes. So, picture my surprise when I found that this:

Steve Reeves.jpg
Steve Reeves, Building the Classic Physique the Natural Way
Access Publishers Network, ISBN 9781885096050

is one of those rarities! It was bought on a lark, when a co-worker (female) in Small Package Receiving at the Tattered Cover (hereinafter called "TC Receiving") and I were joking about how our young lives had been affected by the Steve Reeves/Hercules sword & sandal epics, probably as we were receiving somebody's special-order for one of these or something similar. After some investigation, what I really found I wanted was the Steve Reeves Fan Club black silk baseball jacket, but it was much too expensive on a book-clerks salary. So I settled for the book. I do, in fact, have a small fixation on Steve, muscles, and the whole posing-strap phenomenon of the Fifties - it seems a fundamental part of my adolescent struggle to find and identify myself and, therefore, retains a special fondness.

As to why this paperback, in particular, has become valued at $148.99, I suspect it's a matter of a small original printing combined with a resurgence of interest in body-building in general and in Reeves as an historical figure, a remarkably handsome man, a survivor, and generally, it seems, a nice guy who made the best of what he was given and followed his dream to Cinecittá. I must confess I've hardly even cracked the book - fixations notwithstanding, exercise is something I tend to avoid. But I think it's a small price to pay for a fragment of the One True Hercules!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transmission interruptus


Gentle readers: As of February 24 my Internet Service Provider will go out of business. I am planning to switch to a pay-as-you-go wireless arrangement. However, I must first close out the present account, along with a sizable heating bill, then find the money for a new start-up. I'm enough of a realist to know it could take several weeks. Don't be alarmed. I will return as quickly as I can. HH

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oj, oj...


Apparently it's riskier to live in Sweden than I realized! (Translation: "Warning! Risk of Jamming. It is dangerous to transport goods in an elevator that lacks an inner-door or -gate.") Now there's even a Facebook group dedicated to "The guy who gets jammed in the elevator by his trash-can." Killen som kläms i hissen mot sin soptunna. It's really very sad.

C5E1B004-40A8-40D5-BE5B-86C299502CD9.jpg Thanks to Anna

Thursday, February 18, 2010

this bitter earth


well, what fruit it bears

what good is love

that no-one shares

and if my life is like the dust

that hides the glow of a rose

what good am i

heaven only knows

this bitter earth

yes can be so cold

today you are young

too soon you are old

but while a voice within me cries

i'm sure someone may answer my call

and this bitter earth

may not be so bitter after all

A 1960 song made famous by rhythm and blues singer Dinah Washington. Produced by Clyde Otis, it topped the U.S. R&B charts for the week of 25 July 1960 (when I was in the Navy, age 18).

Thanks to Wikipedia and The Art of Memory

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Apropos of the latter...


(February 15, 2003 might well) have been the biggest protest in history. A French academic estimated that 35 million people marched on the day, but it may have been many more. The day's protests started in New Zealand and swept round the globe, taking in more than 1000 cities and towns. Australia had its biggest demonstrations in living memory. 200,000 took to the streets of Calcutta. A similar number came out in Damascus. In Mostar in Bosnia, Muslims and Croats united for an anti-war protest. Greek and Turks came together in Cyprus to surround a British base.

The biggest single demo was probably Rome's 3 million strong march, but at least that number marched across Spain, and later well over 1 million demonstrated in the US. Rejkayavik hosted the biggest march anyone could remember. Scientists protested on Ross Island, Antarctica, and there were 15 demos in Brazil.

Days after the demo the New York Times dubbed world public opinion "the second global superpower". The great gatherings of the global justice movement laid the basis for this new kind of international protest. In July 2001, 300,000 people from across Europe marched against the G8 in Genoa, Italy. Earlier in the year the World Social Forum in Brazil had pioneered the idea of the mass international counter-conference, and in January 2002 the decision was made to organise a European Social Forum in Florence, Italy.

Read the whole article at Luna17, and remember the day tomorrow!

Ah, Capitalism...


This amazing juxtaposition of images found at We Had Faces Then just about sums it up. And we wonder why we have wars!