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Posts Tagged ‘Book

Fun with the Dewey Decimal System!…

Artist Nina Katchadourian has been having fun in libraries since 1993…

…culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from.

Readers can explore Katchadourian’s Sorted Book Project.

As we browse with newly-found enthusiasm, we might recall that it was on this date in 1593 that an arrest warrant was issued for Christopher Marlowe, after his fellow playwright– and former roommate– Thomas Kyd accused him of blasphemy.  Kyd had been arrested three days earlier, and tortured on suspicion that he’d committed treason.  Confronted with heretical documents found in his room, Kyd alleged that they belonged to Marlowe, with whom he had earlier shared the room.  The warrant was sworn, and Marlowe was arrested on 20th.  He was released on bail, but killed in a bar brawl on the 30th.

Marlowe, a contemporary and rival of Shakespeare, wrote terrifically successful plays (e.g., Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, and The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus) and popular poetry (e.g., The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, and with George Chapman, Hero and Leander).  Kyd is remembered for a single work, Spanish Tragedie, which some scholars believe was an inspiration for Hamlet.  Kyd died, penniless, in 1593.


Rest in pieces…

source: Packer Gallery

Artist Brian Dettmer explains his “Book Autopsies“:

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the cover of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

For more, visit Centripetal Notion and the gallery links there.

As we unsheathe the X-actos, we might wish a Joyeux Anniversaire to Denis Diderot, contributor to and the chief editor of the Encyclopédie (“All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings.”)– and thus towering figure in the Enlightenment; he was born on this date in 1713.  Diderot was also a novelist (e.g., Jacques le fataliste et son maître [Jacques the Fatalist and his Master])…  and no mean epigramist:

From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it.

van Loo’s portrait of Diderot

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Written by LW

October 5, 2009 at 12:01 am

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