07 10 / 2013
Well, not officially. Maybe it is somewhere, I don’t know.
Who cares? Every day is dictionary day for OED researcher Jon Danzinger, whose job I might want and with whom I would definitely have a drink, although I have never met him. All of this is based on this profile about his job in which he adores librarians who obviously adore him too.
It is also eternally etymological for Emily Brewster, associate editor at Merriam-Webster, who argues in this video that “liberry” may be acceptable pronunciation caused by dissimilation. I admit I like the theory of descriptivism better than the practice: understanding why something happens does not make it any less annoying. I don’t really want her job, but may still enjoy a hypothetical drink with Ms. Brewster and her absolutely perfect teeth.
11 4 / 2013
28 1 / 2013
My friend Adam Seelig emailed me in December:
How the hell are you?! Ken Sparling has entrusted me with one of his gorgeous one-off collage-like books that’s part of his “serial library” that can only be distributed person-to-person, à la Frank O’Hara “personism” (as Frank put it: “I confess that it may be the death of literature as we know it”!). I would love to relay it to you. Interested?
Oh, and no surprise: the writing, Ken’s, is brilliant!
I couldn’t resist an invitation combining two of my favourite things – libraries and book binding – so Adam and I met on Dundas Street West on a snowy night to make the hand off. It’s nice to see friends bearing books.
Them Damn Jalopy is a one-of-a-kind, handmade/modified collage book and novel by the one-of-a-kind Toronto author Ken Sparling. A librarian by day, Ken has created a private library of these books, which he has named the Serial Library.
As I am wont to do with library books (I spend a lot on TPL fees, okay?), I took my time opening it up. And when I did I saw this:
The story is confessional and heartbreaking, featuring Sparling himself and a cast of characters including children Mark and Deve, lovers Femur and Septum, God, Pillow, and someone named Lance. The text is laid out in a bewildering array of fonts that could give a graphic designer a stress migraine, but here works to add to the effect of a chorus of voices.
The found illustrations are carefully chosen and inserted on ragged-edge pages of variable size, creating the effect of a scrapbook of artifacts, a case file, a cabinet of wonders. Sparling has preserved elements of the original book, including the dust jacket which he’s cannily flipped over. I was reminded of Anne Carson’s Nox more than once – and the fact that TDJ is unique makes me like it even more.
The sad thing about library books is that you have to return them, eventually. Or in this case, I’m going to pass it on to a friend. When I’m done.
29 11 / 2012
15 10 / 2012