Friday, 16 April 2004

On the Shelf

I got a package from Bibliophile Books today. I don't often buy from them because of their postage rates which make the purchase of only one book uneconomic. But now and again I find enough to warrant the outlay. This time they had a hardback copy of In Ruins by Christopher Woodward. I'd seen a paperback in Waterstones a while back but it was dogeared and printed on really cheap paper. The hardback is very nice indeed and was only a fiver. The blurb says, inter alia, "This elegant provocative book argues for the values of solitude, mystery and picturesque decay - seeing a ruin not as a pile of stones, but a living expression of human imagination......In Ruins is full of strange delights, exploring the melancholy charm of eternal fragments."

There it is again, see? Melancholy. More on this one later, I'm sure.

The other book I went for is Wieland Schmied's Edward Hopper: Portraits of America. You can never have too many books on Hopper, I always say. The reproductions are good quality, though not of any paintings I haven't seen before. What I was interested in was the text, which, according to the blurb, "shows how, by linking fiction and reality, concealment and revelation, Hopper's images evoke an enigmatic uncertainty, which is both mystifying and fascinating." Interesting parallels are drawn between Hopper and Giorgio de Chirico, and Hopper and Caspar David Friedrich.

If only I had time to read them now. Maybe in a lazy moment in Scotland.

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