[Book Nerd Links] Where Famous Writers Lived…

The Homes of 18 Legendary Writers [ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST]

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A Photo Round-Up of Some Things My Mom Sees on Her Walk Home from Work, Part 2: Architectural Oddments

Going home for a few days gave me a welcome sense of clarity and renewed my creative determination. I’ve returned South happier, calmer, and aesthetically and intellectually richer. Until next time, Columbus. Until next time.

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Daily Diversion #18: Dreams and (Dis)connections

“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”-Sylvia Plath                                

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The direct nature of old architecture appeals to me: a glance transports you to another time, and a different way of life. Your imagination is free to conjure a dozen or a hundred scenarios or conversations, sometimes in mere seconds. I walk past these handsome buildings three days a week. They reside on one of the ugliest streets in the city proper. Hemmed in by nondescript banks, a mall where no one shops, and a hideous parking garage that mercilessly casts its blight to the East and West, they are easy to miss. I’ve seen them again and again, out of the corner of a careless eye. Distracted. Too busy. Focused on a destination or a passing thought. On Monday, I finally took the time to see them. It was only for a minute or two, while standing under a canopy as my best friend withdrew money from an ATM. The weird angle is a reflection of my short stature, deep concentration, and unwillingness to find a better shot. Sense of place and ambiance are acutely important to me. The necessity of feeling a connection to my surroundings is one of the odder factors in my struggle to become a better writer. It’s one of the things I have the toughest time handling, this lack of rootedness to where I live. I’m glad that I finally took the time to become better acquainted with this trio. The slideshow image is the result, a visual memory of an important moment in my deepening relationship with this city.

A Year in Books/Day 103: Art Nouveau

  • Title: Art Nouveau A Fascinating Guide to One of the Most Notable Periods of Decorative Art
  • Year Published: 2002 (A Quantum Book/Published in the United States by TODTRI Book Publishers)
  • Year Purchased: 2004
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: The average level of craftsmanship involved in Art Nouveau creations-from jewelry to illustration, textiles to furniture-is exquisite. This mini coffee table book is one part history, one part design eye candy and one hundred percent stunning. I know that I am tossing out superlatives like they are going out of business but we’re discussing Art Nouveau here. Nothing less than poetic turns of phrase will do! No matter how many times I see the still modern looking periodical illustrations or the sensuous, undulating lines of a Rene Lalique brooch or Georges Fouquet hair comb, I’m gobsmacked. Don’t even get me started on the architecture, where the tiniest detail is impeccable. It’s all covered here.
  • Motivation: It’s Art Nouveau, hello!
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 14: “Nature was to be the ultimate source book of the Art Nouveau artist, particularly the plant world, for many artists had a scientist’s depth of knowledge of botany. Flowers, stems, and leaves were chosen for their curving silhouettes. Naturally, lilies, irises, and orchids were favored, although any and every form, from palm fronds to seaweed, offered potential for development into an animated pattern.”
  • Happiness Scale: 7 1/2

    La Plume, 15 January 1898. Cover composition by Mucha.

    La Plume, 15 January 1898. Cover composition by Mucha.