Bizarro World Mercantile

Dsc_4324_large. . . and I’m not talking about the The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction.  We’re the Bizarro World version of that fine institution.  Having been inspired by the addition to our collection of Boston Atheneum director Richard Wendorf”s excellent books The Literature of Collecting and Bicentennial Essays, my curiosity about the varieties of the independent library experience led to stumbling across The Poet’s House, which includes The Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room at Poets House (right).  Of course, with membership fees at close to our affordable price, perhaps we’re not so different after all.  Favorite line from The Literature of Collecting, thusfar, and I’m only on page 7.

“I consider the founding document in the literature of collecting to be Jean Baudrillard’s essay ‘Le Systeme marginal: la collection,’ . . . My colleagues at the Boston Athenaeum resisted Baudrillard at every turn, finding his essay to be dogmatic, illogical, inconsistent, melodramatic, and sexist — and so it is.  But Baudrillard also manages, within the space of a few pages, to raise virtually all of the issues that inform critical discussions of collecting as well as the various fictions devoted to it.  If his essay needs to be taken with a good pinch of Gallic salt, so much the better, for it is ultimately more provocative than it is systematic.”

Mr. Wendorf, who last year gave an excellent presentation here at the Mercantile on another book he has edited, America’s Membership Libraries, clearly has quite  a few surprises up his sleeve.    -Ed Scripsi

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 5:49 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. What’s bizarro is the typewriter fetish.

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