being bookish

my blogging has suffered a bit in recent weeks as my extra-sabbatical readings and writings have been a bit more demanding than i anticipated. i hope they will yield some potentially ponderous and interesting postings over here in the weeks to come. of course, you all can be the judge of that.

in addition to being book-bound, i’ve allowed myself to become a bit transfixed by fabulous finds on the web. i’ve already shared my love of Humans of New York (and i’m working on another post about that site because each visit — to the site, tumblr, or facebook page begets still more insights, musings, and intellectual tickles of joy), so i thought i might share a few other gems — one of which i found while seriously perusing a few thousand HONY photos, and the others that found me.

Underground NY Public Library — photographer Ourit Ben-Haim takes and posts photos of what people are reading while they ride the NYC subways. a truly excellent source of reading material to be found here. click here for the non-facebook website.

London bookshops do not disappoint — no, they certainly do not! this popped up on my twitter feed and i’m proud to say that i’ve visited more than half of these during my winter/spring in london. the rest will have to wait a bit.

Proustitute — even if you are not a Proust lover or connaisseur, you will appreciate this fertile literary oasis, brimming with quotes, poetry, photos, and connections to many other artforms, writers, artists, galore. including a link to the Proustitute-managed poetry site: Sharing Poetry, on which users share poems they like. more daily delights to be found via Proustitute’s twitter feed.

Writing Britain: the nation and the landscape — an article in The Guardian about British literature, British landscapes, and British authors. (does someone miss London? …)

A list of (apparently) the 10 Best Graphic Novels — also from The Guardian and happily includes the covers, which themselves make me want to reach into my screen and grab them immediately. i’m sad to report that i’ve read an appallingly low number of these (so low, that i won’t say how many.)

Susan Sontag’s Readers: Respond, Remember, and Re-read — in a recent discussion with a friend (about Sebald among other things) i wondered aloud whether Sontag fancied herself the Gertrude Stein of the 21st century. the word is apparently “tastemaker” — and a strangely Bourdieuian overtone seems to accompany much of the posthumous writing about her. this collection of essays offers readings on Sontag’s literary gifts, if you will, to film criticism. the authors talk about their favorite pieces, and in so doing offer an education on Sontag’s works for the reader. having read only little of her work earlier in my studies, and having recently “re-discovered” her a la Sebald, Aciman, and other writers with whom she moved, figuratively and aspirationally, i am occasionally surprised to find kinship with words she penned decades before, which only occur to me now. i am reminded of another moment in the same conversation (about Sontag and Sebald) when we talked about Picasso’s utterance upon encountering cave paintings from several centuries ago, “We have invented nothing…” humanity is certainly humbling.

and, because i found it in a paris bookshop window, this bit of photo-irony.

(in my future life, i want to work as the window display person in a book shop. hmmm… something swirling around in my head about sabbatical numero deux and shakespeare and company…)

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