Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Worn Collars - Part Fourteen - "Furtive Glance"

Worn Collars

Part Fourteen

"Furtive Glance"

            “When I...”
            NO... I am NOT going to ‘box up’ and ‘lug away’
            The contents of Arlington St. John’s rare book room

            Not today:  It took me forty years to do that so you may wait
            A while longer.
            Today I will talk about more ‘small things’ of a ‘rare book’ that
            Add up.
            I do not want to be the ‘raging at’ all the time... but we must have borders... and border lands that... responsibly... are acknowledged to...:  Well... most are just a glance for me...; they are... a glance from me.  I didn’t... okay... a ‘furtive glance’; let me call them that.  Furtive glance from me.  Does one do that with a rare book?  Of course... unless... of course... one is so deeply burrowed in their biblio confusion hole that one forgets these are ‘just old books’ we are:
            What are my sayings?
            I am saying there are very much two worlds at clash.  The lightning and borealis  from the bibliognostes.  And... the miss mouthed cardboard box of ‘old book’ biblio underwear (Part Thirteen) “I STAND THERE”... a torn out title page (“lacks title”)... be the other.
            Oh... the... other.  That other thinks the other-other is the other-other that is the
            PROBLEM other ...carrying off this ‘old book thing’ “a little too far.
            Fine... and damn you.

            Nicolas Basbaines premiered, as a.... thick dust jacketed six hundred and thirty-eight page.... modern revisionist presentation of ...presentable... bibliomania... JUST DAYS BEFORE the bibliosmartphone galaxy collided with the ‘old ways’ (1995).  Such a rogue.  Of course I read it ...all... cover to cover.  PROBABLY SHOULD memorize it?
            I don’t feel so... nor do the ‘much else’ set.  Subsequently he has parleyed ‘that’ into a ‘new book about’ (bibliotopic brainstorm subject that will ‘float’ meaning... get many people to buy the newest ‘his’ new book) (this intention, for the record, is the direct OPPOSITE of a rare book... and rare books IS his subject choice...:  A rare book has a foundation as a ‘publishing failure’).  I don’t care and he doesn’t care either.  Just give him a check for standing up front with a sticky ‘Hello My Name Is’ and he’ll carry the flags of bibliogentlemadness ‘up island’.
            I won’t.  No:  I hate you.
            Ok so the magic key of this (“hate you”) found in ‘Basbaines’ is... my previously introduced character (“OH isn’t HE a CHARACTER!”) Obadiah Rich (Part Seven) who Nick (Basbaines)... I quote exactly... (page 157-158)*** “...domestic chaos in Spain that lead to the looting of many old libraries.  A perceptive intellectual, Rich was quick to grasp the opportunities and snapped up old books and manuscripts that were being sold in black-market street stalls and marts...”.  That’s it;  looting (purloining) rare book rooms and selling their abundant iota at ‘below radar’ to “perceptive (rare book knowing) intellectual(s)”  This is the second ‘that’s it’ in this essay.  The first was, I remind:  “Books are burned, readers are beheaded” (Part Five)  That’s still the THE ‘it’.  This second ‘it’ explains the ...rare book man sitted at his rare book desk in his rare book room.  It is “it”... because...
            Of the ‘homes’
            I go in
            Have very, very... very little
            If any... printed anything
            At all
            Including ‘no books’
            At all.

*** :  Basbaines, Nicolas, A GENTLE MADNESS, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1995.

            That includes not having Nicolas Basbaines’ revisionist bibliomania venture (adventure?) ‘book’.  No... and it is ‘venture’ for... he wants the money from writing the books; it... is... a... venture... especially now that he has revised and updated ‘it’ (GENTLE MADNESS) to include the computer as a ...well... ‘rare book’ ‘too’.  But I find his books?  No:  Not... in any home at all and ‘no one’ having read ‘it’ at all... too.  You want market proof?  The books of his do not even show up in thrift shops for a buck.  Before such can ‘go’ to the thrift shop it has to be THERE (in the home) to GO... THERE (be ‘donated’ to a thrift store).
But... the point is that there is ZERO printing ...and any reading of this printing... is, too, ZERO... ‘in the home’... “for the most part”.  That makes the ‘I hate you’ hated group very, very... very large.  So that is why the DOOR to the rare book room is ‘closed’.  No bibliognoste will let a ‘you’ dribble powdered sugar from your “stuff your mouth” donut ...even ‘near’ the closed door.
            Because the packet of the ‘furtive glance’ “extended” is, within the rare book room, being affirmed (studied).  For example.  I am ‘old’ imprint eyed of my furtive glances.  Just one furtive glance for one furtive second on one furtive “DO I?” imprint then:  Later... later-later... but I never forget... I “FINALLY”...

            ‘Get around to it’ and there it is “SURE ENOUGH” that same furtive glance of an imprint “I WONDER WHERE THAT IS?”.  That... I did... one day on... one imprint.  It (the imprint) said ‘Brown’s Corner, Maine”.  The “I wonder...” is the nice way of saying it.  The rare book room ‘sitted’ way of saying it is... “WHO... was the IDIOT who thought of dragging (by oxen) a PRINTING PRESS to that THERE, then setting up a commercial print shop... for having the local passing-by folk ... traveling through the ‘Brown’s Corner, Maine” crossroad of an intersection... actually stop into the printing store at this intersection and hire that printer to PRINT A... BOOK. 

            “Okay...”.  Your following this?  ‘Imprint’ from a printer in the middle of nowhere,  Is it ‘cool’ or ‘nuts’?  Do I care...
            What you care.
            No.  I don’t.  I hate you.
            I love the imprint.  It actually exists.  It is very rare; the imprint.  So is the book.  The book... printed there... is about... the (GET THIS GUYS) populating of North America by Native Americans who... fled from Atlantis... ‘when Atlantis sank’.  That’s the book that was printed at Brown’s Corner, Maine.  I have not located anything else printed there.  That makes this imprint a ...rare... Maine... imprint... too.  That’s in addition to the book being a true ‘rare’ book.  I can be sure this is falling into place for you.
            You now care about imprints.
            You don’t?
            That is why I hate you.
            I hate you but... I like looting libraries for rare imprints that I notice as a furtive glance.  It adds up; why I hate you.

            This book; the ‘Brown’s Corner’ book... is a rare book... by its author, John B. Newman.  He wrote other equally furtive books.  Too.  For example, he wrote “TEXAS AND MEXICO IN 1846”. Printed in New York City.  Forty-eight pages “with a map” and that map having a red, white & blue American flag on it... with the whole in ‘yellow printed wrappers’.  It’s a rare book too... “about the Mexican War”.  Sort of.   “Ahhhh...”:  There is one for sale online right now (July, 2015) for 10K plus.  It’s a rare book, I promise.  NOT as rare as the Brown’s Corner imprint but... like... who cares.  No one can even FIND that rare book so.. ‘none for sale’.  Also... who wants a book about Indians from Atlantis... written ‘by a nut’ and printed in Nowhere, Maine?
            No one.  Except a bibliognoste in his rare book room.  HE... wouldn’t even open the door to let ANYONE in the day he ‘found that’.

            That is the... closed door.  Bibliomania does not see you.  Acknowledge you.  Or care about the ‘that’s’ of the ‘normal people.  I... they... we... NOT YOU... bibliobuck-up and “carry-on” (Wasp).  Outside the rare book room door are “the people” with their vomit on their shoes.  This last is from Hunter S. Thompson:  “Most of them manage to avoid vomiting on their clothes but they never miss their shoes” ****.  If you like to ...not care... about the furtive glance of an ‘imprint’... what about ‘bindings’?  That realm of furtive glances will consume a rare book room’s entire ‘lifetime’... too.  I ‘love’ ‘old book bindings’... furtive glances.  Do not tell me you do too; it is only vomit on your shoes I see when you say that.  What?  Others?  Well how about just the little applied paper tag tipped into the ‘old book’ that was tipped by the binder to ...declare his craft; the HE bound this book; a ‘binder’s ticket’.  Those are different from similar looking ‘bookseller labels’.  I love old book binder’s old... binder’s tickets.  Do you?  Don’t you dare say so...:  Your standing in your
            Underwear (Part Thirteen).
            I even “OH LOVE” a ‘an old rebacking with the original spine laid down’.  The older the better for that... meaning... I ‘love’, for example, a book that was ‘respined’ “in 1742” “at Cambridge” (Massachusetts)... and oh should that binder’s craft work be, by furtive glance, seen to be a ‘ticketed’ by that binder’... too:
            “Something like that exists?”
 Oh I see ‘stuff like that’ all the time with just a
            Furtive glance.
            Within the closed door of my rare book room (bibliomania).

**** Thompson, Hunter S.: “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved”, SCANLAN’S MONTHLY, Vol. 1, No. 4, June, 1970.


  1. ...and,,,the Boy Scouts of America "merged" (discontinued?) the bookbinding merit badge into the graphic arts merit badge in 1987...recollection tells me that at one time the Girl Scouts of America had a bookbinding merit badge too...so much for the art and craft of bookbinding...my "binder's tickets" are long gone...I can't find my mess kit either...

  2. No "furtive glance" for me, if I thought that I was looking at a rare old book, rebound and ticked, I would GAWK at it, and probably DROOL as well.

  3. So much for the text, with Atlantis sinking and the Native Americans. However the bookees at Starbucks will eat up the info on Brown's Corner. One of them will claim a connection. It's their HERITAGE.