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The latest books and literature reviews, comment, features and interviews, with extracts from famous texts and neglected gems.

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump: Ode to 45

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump

 

Donald Trump’s poetry is composite blend of Tweets, speeches and interviews  edited by Rob Sears, who notes the “little known alternative fact that the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, has long been a remarkable poet.”
The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump considers Trump “a modern-day Basho or Larkin” with smaller hands.

The greatest misapprehension about DJT corrected by this volume, however, may be the idea that he sees money and power as ends in themselves. In fact, just as Wilfred Owen turned his wartime experiences into poetry, and Slyvia Plath found the dark beauty in her own depression, Trump is able to transform his unique experiences of being a winner into 24-karat verse. He didn’t build a huge real-estate empire for the billions; he did it so he could write poems…

Highlights:

I won!

Well, we’ve had some disasters, but this is the worst

Bad hombres

I’ve known some bad dudes
I’ve been at parties
They want to do serious harm
I’ve seen and I’ve watched things like with guns
I know a lot of tough guys but they’re not smart
We’re dealing with people like animals

But they are the folks I like the best—by far!

I am the least racist person there is

I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks
I remained strong for Tiger Woods during his difficult
period
Oprah, I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice
Kanye West—I love him
I think Eminem is fantastic, and most people think I
wouldn’t like Eminem
And did you know my name is in more black songs than any
other name in hip-hop?
You are the racist, not I

I respect women, I love women, I cherish women

Vagina is expensive
No more apologies—take the offensive!

Hot little girl in high school

I’m a very compassionate person (with a very high IQ)
Just think, in a couple of years I’ll be dating you
It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees
Come here, I’ll show how life works. Please.

We’ve got to stop the stupid

You know what uranium is, right?
It’s a thing called nuclear weapons and other things like lots
of things that are done with uranium including some bad
things
I have to explain this to these people, they don’t even understand basic
physics, basic mathematics, whatever you call it
I mean, they’re like stupid

Look at the way I’ve been treated lately

I should have been TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year
Just like I should have gotten the Emmy for The Apprentice
I should have easily won the Trump University case
I should have won New York state but I didn’t
I unfairly get audited by the I.R.S. almost every
single year
No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—
has been treated worse or more unfairly

Spotter: The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump , Dangerous Minds

Posted: 13th, November 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Peter Dahmen’s stunning pop-up books

 

Pop-up books done well are gorgeous. So here’s a peeks at the work of Peter Dahmen and his video Most Satisfying Video of Pop-Up Cards.

 

 

Spotter: The Kid Should See This

Posted: 26th, October 2017 | In: Books, Gifs, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


A flame-activated edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

 

The Anne Petronille Nypels Lab at Holland’s Van Eyck Academie showcases the work of French graphic design collective Super Terrain. They’ve created a version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in heat sensitive ink. At room temperature the book’s text is secreted under a layer of black substance. Heat it up and the words are revealed.

 

Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451

 

Spotter: Open Culture, Flashbak

 

Posted: 22nd, October 2017 | In: Books, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


KLF issue instructions for getting your book signed

If you want the KLF to sign your book, you’ll need to obey their rules.

 

Posted: 23rd, August 2017 | In: Books, Celebrities, Music, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Children’s book confuses readers with 5 bananas graphic

fail 5 bananas book

 

“I imagine a child learning to count from this book and then just being incredibly confused for the rest of their life,” writes GooseHerder on Reddit.

 

Posted: 10th, August 2017 | In: Books, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Stephen King’s recipe for successful writing

Stephen King In On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft addresses the importance of a good night’s sleep and become a better writer:

Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule — in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk — exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.

In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives. And as your mind and body grow accustomed to a certain amount of sleep each night — six hours, seven, maybe the recommended eight — so can you train your waking mind to sleep creatively and work out the vividly imagined waking dreams which are successful works of fiction.

How do you achieve wakeful dreams?

The space can be humble … and it really needs only one thing: A door you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world that you mean business. . . .

If possible, there should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall. For any writer, but for the beginning writer in particular, it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction. If you continue to write, you will begin to filter out these distractions naturally, but at the start it’s best to try and take care of them before you write. … When you write, you want to get rid of the world, don’t you? Of course you do. When you’re writing, you’re creating your own worlds.

 

Nonsense, of course. Distraction is welcome. Although it does reduce the risk of some spilling coffee on your laptop.

Spotter: Brain Pickings

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Hunter S. Thompson typed out The Great Gatsby & A Farewell to Arms word for word

hunter s thompson great gatsby

 

Learning to write is hard. Leaning to write well is a grind. Hunter S. Thompson put in the hard yards, typing out whole pages of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. He did this “just to get the feeling,” writes Louis Menand at The New Yorker, “of what it was like to write that way.”

Johnny Depp told The Guardian:

“He’d look at each page Fitzgerald wrote, and he copied it. The entire book. And more than once. Because he wanted to know what it felt like to write a masterpiece.”

Josh Jones adds:

In a 1958 letter to his hometown girlfriend Ann Frick, Thompson named the Fitzgerald and Hemingway novels as two especially influential books, along with Brave New World, William Whyte’s The Organization Man, and Rona Jaffe’s The Best of Everything (or “Girls before Girls”), a novel that “hardly belongs in the abovementioned company,” he wrote, and which he did not, presumably, copy out on his typewriter at work. Surely, however, many a Thompson close reader has discerned the traces of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Hemingway in his work, particularly the latter, whose macho escapades and epic drinking bouts surely inspired more than just Thompson’s writing.

Spotter: Open Culture

 

Posted: 11th, June 2017 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Vladimir Putin is playing things by the book: this book

21st Century Bastards Vladimir Putin - action figures for the post-truth age

 

Is Vladimir Putin following a book, namely The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia by Aleksandr Dugin, aka “Putin’s Brain”. You can read it on Wikipedia:

The book declares that “the battle for the world rule of [ethnic] Russians” has not ended and Russia remains “the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution.” The Eurasian Empire will be constructed “on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.”

The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.

Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because “Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics”.

The book stresses the “continental Russian-Islamic alliance” which lies “at the foundation of anti-Atlanticist strategy”. The alliance is based on the “traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilization”.

Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke “Afro-American racists”. Russia should “introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements — extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics.”

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 6th, June 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The screaming abdabs: Anthony Burgess’s Dictionary of Slang

Anthony Burgess,

 

Manchester-born writer and academic Anthony Burgess began work on a dictionary of slang –  “the home-made language of the ruled, not the rulers, the acted upon, the used, the used up. It is demotic poetry emerging in flashes of ironic insight.”

Entries in A from Anthony Burgess’s lost dictionary of slang

Abdabs (the screaming) – Fit of nerves, attack of delirium tremens, or other uncontrollable emotional crisis. Perhaps imitative of spasm of the jaw, with short, sharp screams.

Abdicate – In poker, to withdraw from the game, forfeiting all money or chips put in the pot.

Abfab – Obsolescent abbreviation of absolutely fabulous, used by Australian teenagers or ‘bodgies’.

Abortion – Anything ugly, ill-shapen, or generally detestable: ‘You look a right bloody abortion, dressed like that’; ‘a nasty little abortion of a film’ (Australian in origin).

Abyssinia – I’ll be seeing you. A valediction that started during the Italo-Abyssinian war. Obsolete, but so Joyceanly satisfying that it is sometimes hard to resist.

Accidental(ly) on purpose – Deliberately, but with the appearance of accident: ‘So I put me hand on her knee, see, sort of accidental on purpose.’ (Literary locus classicus: Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine, 1923.)

Arse – I need not define. The taboo is gradually being broken so that plays on the stage and on radio and television introduce the term with no protest. The American Random House Dictionary … is still shy of it, however, though not of the American colloquialism ass. Arse is a noble word; ass is a vulgarism.

NOTE: Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange is cited three times in the historical Oxford English Dictionary: ‘thou’, ‘your’ and ‘droog’ which was invented by Burgess in the novel and appears on the first page: “There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim.”

Via: The Anthony Burgess Foundation and Flashbak, which has more.

Posted: 3rd, June 2017 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


This Is How We Dot It: the daily lives of seven kids in seven countries

 

This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe features the daily routines of seven children from different countries around the world (Japan, Peru, Iran, Russia, India, Italy, and Uganda).

In Japan Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda Daphine likes to jump rope. But while the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days — and this one world we all share — unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as a mirror reflecting our common experiences.

 

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 17th, May 2017 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


F.T. Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook: the recipe for every faddish dinner you’ve ever had

Faddish, modish food was played with brilliantly in 1932, when Italian futurist Filippo Marinetti (1876–1944) published Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook, a cookbook that would trigger a “revolution of cuisine”. Humans, said Marinetti, “think, dream and act according to what they eat and drink”.

 

futurist-cookbook FT MArinetti

 

The introduction is choice:

Contrary to the predictable criticisms, the Futurist culinary revolution, illustrated in this volume, is aimed at the high end, noble and useful at all to radically change the power of our race, fortifying, dynamizing and spiritualizing it with brand new dishes in which experience, intelligence and imagination economically replace the amount, the banality, repetition and the cost. Our futuristic kitchen, set like a seaplane engine for high speeds, will seem crazy to some trembling and dangerous traditionalist. It wants to eventually create a harmony between the palate of men and their lives today and tomorrow… It is optimism at the table.

Suzanne Brill notes:

Futurist food was full of suggestiveness and provocation. Sex was one topic, the thrill of air travel another. Along with recipes for “Sculpted Meat” and “Man-and-Woman-at-Midnight” came whole scenarios for acting out themed meals while sitting in a biplane. The art chefs of our day, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià, surely perpetuate what Marinetti began.

By way of a taster, here’s the recipe for The Excited Pig: A “whole salami, skinned” is cooked in strong espresso coffee and flavored with eau-de-cologne.”

Spotter: Flashbak, which has a lot more on FT Marinetti’s recipe book.

Posted: 1st, May 2017 | In: Books, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


500 Years of “Vulgar Tongue” Slang In One Dictionary

Green’s Dictionary of Slang

 

If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning of obscure words, Green’s Dictionary of Slang is the place to go.

“The three volumes of Green’s Dictionary of Slang demonstrate the sheer scope of a lifetime of research by Jonathon Green, the leading slang lexicographer of our time. A remarkable collection of this often reviled but endlessly fascinating area of the English language, it covers slang from the past five centuries right up to the present day, from all the different English-speaking countries and regions. Totaling 10.3 million words and over 53,000 entries, the collection provides the definitions of 100,000 words and over 413,000 citations. Every word and phrase is authenticated by genuine and fully-referenced citations of its use, giving the work a level of authority and scholarship unmatched by any other publication in this field.

Green tells us a bout the roots of slang:

Slang is a product of the city and without cities there is no slang. London was a great city – in contemporary terms – by the 16th century, and was seen as such before that. It had upper, middle and working classes. But slang is also a product of the street, a bottom-up creation, and as such condemned as a debased and marginal lexis. In a world where printing was still a relative novelty, and books therefore tended to be devoted to the concerns of the educated and powerful, slang was simply ignored. It is my belief that just as the criminals of the 16th century used their own non-standard language, there existed alongside it a non-criminal slang vocabulary, used primarily, as it is now, by the poor.

He adds:

I would call slang a ‘counter-language’, the desire of human beings, when faced by a standard version, of whatever that may be, to come up with something different, perhaps parallel, perhaps oppositional. For me, that is what slang does in terms of language.

See more at Green’s Dictionary of Slang. I hope to featrrue his writings and work on Flashbak

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


You can buy George W. Bush’s portraits of US military veterans

Former US president George W. Bush’s portrait of post-9/11 US veterans is on sale. Called Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, all author proceeds will be donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, “a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war”.

The book’s authorship and the eponymous ‘Center’ suggest the project is mostly about Bush, rather than the veterans. But do we mind the grandstanding so long as the hurt get help?

Can we overlook what many see as the ‘lies‘ that led to Bush declaring the “second stage of the war on terror” on 11 March 2002, six months after 9/11? The Bush administration went looking for the enemy. It identified Saddam Hussein and then hunted around for a cause to get him. Was the Iraqi leader behind 9/11? Did Saddam have Weapons of mass destruction?

Was it as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd put it ‘the latest chapter in the culture wars, the conservative dream of restoring America’s sense of Manifest Destiny. Extirpating Saddam is about proving how tough we are to a world that thinks we got soft when that last helicopter left the roof of the American embassy in Saigon in 1975’?

 

bush portraits courage

 

Is this book a self-help book for Bush, who only continued the long-held US policy of intervening in foreign affairs?

The book’s blurb tells us:

Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation’s call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.

So long as it helps, right…

Posted: 5th, March 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Game of Thrones spoilers

Books. Ever hear of them?  The Sun says “SHOCK LEAK Game of Thrones fans sent into a frenzy as ‘entire plot for season seven leaks online’”. Games of Thrones is based on a series of books by George R.R. Martin. If you want to know what happens in the TV version, why not just, you know, read the books?

Yes, yes, the TV version does differ from the books. Producer David Benioff says the show is “about adapting the series as a whole and following the map George laid out for us and hitting the major milestones, but not necessarily each of the stops along the way”. But you get the gist of the plot.

The Mail says “a Reddit user going by the name awayforthelads posted an enormous list of very detailed spoilers”.

How do we know to trust awayforthelads? Maybe they made it up? After all, the Sun looks at the leaks and says it is”reveals a pregnancy and a saucy romp between two main characters”. Sex in Game of Thrones is like the weather at the end of the evening news. It’s expected. As for a pregnancy, the show is about dynasties. Kids are part of the process.

And then comes the truly conniving part: the Mail wants to turn the taps open on that leak.

 

Game of thrones spoilers

 

If you want to read the leaks, you can, of course. If you enjoy escapism, you might want to pass over the leaks and just wait for the entertainment.

 

Posted: 8th, November 2016 | In: Books, Reviews, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Douglas Fairbanks Jnr makes Fettuccini for Four: Nobs & Nosh – Eating with the Beautiful People

Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. shares his Fettuccini for Four:

 

In 1975 Allan Warren published Nobs & Nosh – Eating with the Beautiful People featuring his photographs of stars, VIPS and toffs accompanied with recipes and their thoughts on food.

Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. shares his Fettuccini for Four:

Cook the fettuccini until aldente – not soft – and then drain well.

Add: 1 cup of thick cream, 3 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Mix carefully and slowly, so as not to break the fettuccini. Serve immediately.

The book is fabulous. Read it all on Flashbak.

Posted: 11th, October 2016 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Howard Gayle and ‘Digger’ Barnes: When Liverpool FC rejected racism

Howard Gayle was the first black footballer to play for Liverpool. The State wanted to reward Toxteth-born Gayle for footballing whilst black and working with the anti-racism charity Kick It Out with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). But Gayle, 58, was unimpressed.

 

howard gayle liverpool

 

He explains why he rejected the gong:

If they want to be inclusive and accepting of black people around the UK and the Commonwealth, then they need to change the title of it – as it’s an exclusive club being an MBE or OBE or one of those gongs.

A lot of people around the world contacted me to say they accepted my decision and that the title of MBE did rankle.

In his book 61 Minutes In Munich, Gaytle talks about the racism that was rife in football and society. In the 1970s and 1980s, English football was infected by racism.

Gayle recalls an episode with Liverpool enforcer Tommy ‘Anfield Iron’ Smith.

Tommy tried to distract me by making nasty comments related to the colour of my skin. For a while, I somehow managed to restrain myself…

I received the ball, controlled it, and lashed a shot towards goal. Tommy Smith was on the other team and it hit him on the leg. It clearly stung and some of the other players started laughing. I had a smile on my face as well. I saw it as karma. Tommy responded with a tirade of abuse. It was ‘black this, black that’.

The place went quiet. Everybody could hear it, including the staff. He was a legend. I was a nothing. Nobody said a word.

I’d had enough of him (Smith): this bitter old man. So I went over and squared up: nose to nose. I looked at him dead in the eye.

“You know what, Tommy; one night you’ll be taking a piss at home and I’ll be there waiting for you with a baseball bat,” I said, calmly. “And then we’ll see what you’ve got to say.”

I wanted to start a fight with him. And then he walked away…

Graeme Souness was the only one that came over in the immediate aftermath. “Well done, Howard,” he said. “Tommy deserved that”. Graeme was a true leader.

Other might have just lamped Smith.

He adds:

After I left, John Barnes became the first black player to be signed by Liverpool from another club. He quickly earned the nickname of ‘Digger’, after Digger Barnes in the Dallas television series. Personally, I wouldn’t have accepted that because of its closeness to the ‘N’ word.

Hyper-sensitive? Seeing racial undertones in a nickname given to player who would be idolised at Anfield?

Things have changed. Now professional football might well be the lest colour conscious occupation in Britain – one in four of professional footballers is black.

Via: Guardian

Posted: 7th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Books, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jamie Vardy’s skittles vodka and Sam Allardyce’s pint of wine

Jamie Vardy is plugging his autobiography. The Leicester City and England striker tells a good story in From Nowhere.

I had a three-litre vodka bottle at home I would put loads of Skittles sweets in. After that, you can drink the vodka neat and it tastes just like Skittles. When I was bored at home in the evening I’d pour myself a glass, sit back and enjoy. The vodka was decent but it wasn’t doing much for my dead leg, which didn’t stop bleeding for ages.

Dave Rennie, the physio, said he couldn’t believe it wasn’t improving. He’d seen a torn calf muscle heal quicker. He pulled me aside one day when nobody else was about.

“What are you doing?” Dave asked.

“Nothing I wouldn’t normally do,” I replied. Then I explained that what I’d normally do was drink Skittle vodka.

“Well, that will be why, then,” Dave said.

In other news, during a sting which has caused England manager Sam Allardyce to be investigated by the FA, he appears to have drank a pint of wine. The Guardian notes:

One question our useful feature doesn’t answer is what exactly is the England boss drinking in the picture on the front page of the Telegraph. The beverage is in a pint glass but it’s definitely not beer and doesn’t look like lager. Football365 are suggesting it’s wine…

A pint of wine? Skittles vodka. It’s like the football revolution with it microbiotic diets and image rights never happened. Football might have been repackaged for the lentil-munching classes, telling us to sit down, shut up and pay up, but here is evidence that something of the old game lingers. And you know what – we love it, don’t we.

Posted: 27th, September 2016 | In: Books, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Estate by Robert Clayton: buy the book, see the show, love the pictures

Robert Clauton esate

 

Robert Clayton’s Estate is now on display in a major solo exhibition at Four Corners, 121 Roman Road, London E2.

The exhibition also sees the launch of his new short film about the work featuring Jonathan Meades. Large scale prints and a film are on show for free until May 29th.

Find out more here.

You can see a selection of Robert’s wonderful photographs on flashbak.

And then you can buy the book. Do so. It’s really terrific. Buy it here.

 

estate robert clayton

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Books, Reviews, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kenneth Williams’ last diary entry is a powerful read

ken williams obit

 

Kenneth Williams (22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988). His diary entry for the day before he died is a powerful read:

 

kenneth williams

Posted: 15th, April 2016 | In: Books, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Punctuation in novels: words stripped from books leaving only the punctuation

Punctuation in Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (left) and in Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (right).

Punctuation in Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (left) and in Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (right).

 

Adam J Calhoun stripped two books of words:

Inspired by a series of posters, I wondered what did my favorite books look like without words. Can you tell them apart or are they all a-mush? In fact, they can be quite distinct. Take my all-time favorite book, Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. It is dense prose stuffed with parentheticals. When placed next to a novel with more simplified prose — Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy — it is a stark difference (see above).

The beauty of good punctuation.

Posted: 17th, February 2016 | In: Books | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


For sale: Tolkien’s map of Middle Earth

tolkien map

 

You can own a map of Middle-Earth annotated by Tolkien. Some lucky so-and-so found the map slipped inside a copy of Lord of the Rings. It’s yours for £60,000.

The Guardian.

It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith – a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”.

“The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril,” said Sian Wainwright at Blackwell’s. “He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end.”

He also drew these maps:

middle-earth map 5 middle-earth map 4 middle-earth map 3 middle-earth map 2 middle-earth map 1

Spotter

Posted: 24th, October 2015 | In: Books, Reviews, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0