Catching up with some of the links we didn’t have room for last week, with such varied topics as the difference between a friend and an acquaintance, and some speculation that modernist abstraction may actually have fixed a problem that made Plato see art as immoral. Plus there are links to a review of a new collection of essays on Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetic legacy, and a nostalgic glimpse at long bygone days of splendid cloth book bindings.
Katy Carl, Dappled Things editor in chief recommends Caroline Langston’s last post for the Slant Books “Close Reading” section, in which Langston explores the boundaries between “acquaintance” and “friend.”
This seemed to be the criterion I came to: a friend was somebody with whom you’d shared an experience of intense authenticity, or recognition. The thread might be slender, but it had strength and was real. And in that realness, I also became real.”
The Fire that Breaks: Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poetic Legacies: Eds. Daniel Westover and Thomas Alan Holmes
[T]he essays in this new volume show how Hopkins’s still-burning fires ignited the imaginations of early modernist writers . . .. Taken together, these essays contend for what Westover calls the ‘enduring newness’ of Hopkins and demonstrate how the lessons of his verse (his linguistic innovations, his metaphysical insights) continually break forth in new contexts and with new—and sometimes surprising—meanings.” —A. J. Nickerson, in his review at Review 19.
At “Genealogies of Modernity”:
Perhaps there’s another way of understanding what’s at issue in the western tradition—not a narrative but an ethos; not a straightforward story of development but an idea that resurges in the history of western art and reaches a kind of fever pitch in the modernist project.
“Tom Break rethinks modern art’s relationship with the western art tradition.”
On August 9, National Booklovers’ Day, the Facebook page of the Met Museums of New York featured a selection of fine book bindings. You can find many different collections at the above link and browse among their many, gorgeous, gilded or silvered, cloth bindings.
I know we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but these are splendid.”—From the combox.
Below: Three of the splendid covers from the Met’s collection, with descriptions.