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Archive for March 2nd, 2012

March 2nd, 2012 • Posted in On The Book

Tipped in Treasure

Foulis books are models of beauty. Published in the 1900-1915-ish period, they’re typically crafted with superior grade materials – brushed buckram boards and gilt stamped titles – but their most recognizable and endearing feature is the tipped-in images that illustrate their pages. Take this charming little number for instance:

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Like many Foulis publications, Fellowship of Books can be had for about $20. Just look at what little treasures
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can
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be
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found inside
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its covers.

March 2nd, 2012 • Posted in On Politics

Breitbart: there’s lying and then there’s lying

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I don’t usually reduce myself to engaging with the mire political, preferring to spend my time with those [novelists and poets] whose lives are spent recruiting and fabricating lies in a quest for truth, rather than power – however, this piece by David Frum in the Daily Beast caught my attention, especially:

…indifference to detail suffused all of Breitbart’s work, and may indeed be his most important and lasting legacy. Breitbart sometimes got stories right (Anthony Weiner). More often he got them wrong (Sherrod). He did not much care either way. Just as all is fair in a shooting war, so manipulation and deception are legitimate tools in a culture war. Breitbart used those tools without qualm or regret, and he inspired a cohort of young conservative journalists to do likewise.

In time, Andrew Breitbart might have aged into greater self-control and a higher concept of public service. Premature death deprived him of the chance at redemption often sought and sometimes found by people who have done wrong in their lives and work.

And this is where it becomes difficult to honor the Roman injunction to speak no ill of the dead. It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?

Especially when that career was so representative of his times?

We live in a time of political and media demagoguery unparalleled since the 19th century. Many of our most important public figures have gained their influence and power by inciting and exploiting the ugliest of passions—by manipulating fears and prejudices—by serving up falsehoods as reported truth. In time these figures will one by one die. What are we to say of this cohort, this group, this generation? That their mothers loved them? That their families are bereaved? That their fans admired them and their employees treated generously by them? Public figures are inescapably judged by their public actions. When those public actions are poisonous, the obituary cannot be pleasant reading.

…almost makes one proud to be Canadian…

March 2nd, 2012 • Posted in Bookstores

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Emily Temple at Flavorwire gives us one take on the twenty most beautiful bookstores in the world, informing us about “bookstores so beautiful they’re worth getting out of the house (or the country) to visit whether you need a new hardcover or not.” Echoing what we at Literary Tourist consider gospel, Temple says “We can’t overestimate the importance of bookstores — they’re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once.