27 November 2007

salt water and moonlight

Sometimes NACO work is just so rewarding. This evening, I had a Bill Wilson without a NAR so I wrote him a note and asked for birthdate. After I sent the note, I was still working on the catalog record and noticed that his essay in the form of email on page 47 had a picturesque version of his birth information. He was conceived in Ocean City, Md. in August 1931. His mother was seeing the ocean for the first time and his parents made love on the beach. His father told him later that salt water and moonlight always had that effect. Wilson goes on to say he was born on Billie Holiday's birthday, also William Wordsworth's, in the time of Herbert Hoover. The book, by the by, is Wenk/Wilson: replyreply allforwarddeletepreviousnextclose (end construction 1) which records a project by Daniel Wenk to send a postcard of the Eiffel Tower every day to Bill Wilson, from November 18, 1999 to July 26, 2000.

25 November 2007

wind power & darjeeling

As I listened to WQXR a while ago, the announcer described the program as energy-conscious because he'd just played a work for wind instruments by Gounod. I find it energizing! Lynn Harrell on the cello.

On Friday night, I went to see "The Darjeeling Limited" which is set in India and involves a journey by three brothers. Only the older brother knows it's a journey to Mom who abandoned them for a nunnery in the Himalayas. The movie is visually rich, partly because the landscape is inherently exotic (to my western eyes) but also because the director, cinematographer, and editor have done some fine work. The story is quirky and enigmatic, wordy. The mother is played by Anjelica Huston and she carries around, unexplained, a book with a portrait of Thomas Jefferson. I guess everyone should carry around a book on Jefferson. The ending is the beginning, just like life and death and life. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0838221/

And then in today's New York Times was the article entitled "Rumbling Across India Toward a New Life in the City" about folks from "India's bleak heartland" emigrating for work to Mumbai on the Pushpak Express. Life and new life and yet again.

20 November 2007

classified and labeled but not computerized

"Collections: I collect books, and not only that, I do something unbelievably geeky with them, which is, I put little labels on the spines with Library of Congress numbers, and keep all the books in Library of Congress order. Oddly, I have never computerized the collection." -- from an interview with Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, in The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 18, 2007, p. 31. One of the illustrations for the interview is a shelf of books. The legible titles are, from left to right: Ayn Rand ...; CQB (close quarter battle); Ayn Rand, Anthem; Atlas shrugged; Who is Ayn Rand?; The tactical shotgun; The pregnancy book for today's woman; No fear ... King Lear [???]; The university wine course; The zone; Kasser's wine-food index. I can't read the spine labels but that doesn't seem like LCC order to me.