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Archive for November 8th, 2008

November 8th, 2008 • Posted in On Collecting

Ottawa’s Rockcliffe Bookfair

Once a year, usually in early November, cars line both sides of Springfield Road in Ottawa.

Many of them will leave filled with books. The Rockcliffe Bookfair is known not only for the quality and quantity of books for sale, but also for its great prices. More than half I’d say, of its approximately thirty thousand books go for $1.

Listen here to my conversation of a year or two ago with Chairperson Maggie Knaus.

In addition to helping organize scores of volunteers, and spending hundreds of hours on Bookfair throughout the year, Maggie is also a talented photographer.

I happen to be the proud owner of this piece…can anyone guess where it was taken?

November 8th, 2008 • Posted in Authors and Books

Bartheleme, the Rockcliffe Bookfair, and a Coleridge First Edition for $1

Picked up a copy of Donald Barthelme’s Sixty Stories last night at the unmatchable Rockcliffe Park School Annual Bookfair. Huge selection as usual, and the prices are unreal. Most books can be had for under $3.oo. Sale continues today and tomorrow. Additional booty included: Under the Sign of Saturn by Susan Sontag, Art by Clive Bell, Kermode’s Romantic Image, Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up, and…drum roll please…for one dollar, a first edition of Coleridge’s Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton…worth at least 100 times what I paid for it :)

So I read Barthelme’s ‘The Balloon.’ Amusing enough. Really takes the piss out of post-modern interpretation; the silliness of so many types of elaborate readings, when in the end, the ‘meaning’ of the balloon, we are told by its narrator, is nothing more than a spontaneous autobiographical disclosure: the unease of absence, and sexual deprivation.