Friday, February 27, 2009

Book Portrait - 1

Meet Tama Baldwin, one of the fellows with me at VCCA this year ...

Nope, I haven't gone mad. When I was sorting out my bookshelves last weekend, I suddenly realised that what I was looking at wasn't so much a line of books but a series of portraits of the people, times in my life, even places, I cared about. I even thought briefly about categorising my shelves along these lines - the books I read on that camping holiday in France, those a particular friend gave me, the ones I read when I was pregnant. But hey, while rearranging my books is an excellent displacement activity, I decided to start smaller, with a series of book portraits. And it works beyond my expectations.

So above are books and authors Tama either recommended or gave to me, (the poetry book in front is hers - Garden.) Now I can look at these books and see Tama clearer than any posed studio photograph. Better yet, I can pick up any one of them and feel I'm having a conversation with her that's going to go on and on.

(and my soundtrack right now is Nina Simone, Feeling Good)


jem said...

I love that too. The memories and associations of a book, that add another whole dimension to it.

You know '31 Songs' by Nick Hornby - where he writes about significant songs in his life. Well, a few years back me and a few close friends wrote our own version. And then I thought I'd do the same with books, my own '31 Books', but I never got beyond a few notes. Maybe I need to look at that again.

Douglas Bruton said...

A 50 word flash, not a comment:

Dora looked at the world through the books she knew. Defined people she met by the characters she found between the pages of what she read. And in her head everything neat, no ragged ends.

Only life isn’t like that, so Dora was only truly happy when she was reading.