An intimate new friend in the house of books

  Keri Walsh remembers the influence of Adrienne Monnier on the life of literary Paris @ Brick. Sylvia Beach said that she had three loves: Shakespeare and Company, James Joyce, and Adrienne Monnier. For mysterious reasons—perhaps because she wrote in French, perhaps because in the age of high modernism she preserved the habits and demeanour… Read more »

Undeceive ourselves

Wendy Bellion reflects on the pleasures of trompe l’oeil and the links between citizenship and deception in early US history @ Common Place. I have a confession to make.In the course of writing my book on art and illusion in the early republic, I was taken in by a trompe l’oeil object.It was October 2002…. Read more »

Our mechanized existence

James Polchin on the history and relevancy of 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge @ The Smart Set. In her book Motion Studies: Time, Space and Eadweard Muybridge, Rebecca Solnit writes that one of the most common phrases of the late 19th century was “the annihilation of time and space.” The steamship, the telegraph, the railroad… Read more »

The Fame Machine

John Tresch considers the technologies of fame from Gilgamesh to Facebook @ Lapham’s Quarterly. “The Fame Machine,” a brief satire included in French author Auguste de Villiers de L’Isle-Adam’s collection of 1883, Cruel Tales, asks in precise, concrete terms just what celebrity is. Fame—or “la gloire” in the original, which means glory and renown, as… Read more »