24 January 2023
Today marks sixteen years of the Endless Bookshelf, and the past year was an eventful one to be “simply messing about in books”. To have played a part in the long history of The Book of Ryhmes (1829) by Charlotte Brontë, now at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, was a signal delight. It was a good year to be a reader, too.
The Endless Bookshelf book of the year, The Silverberg Business by Robert Freeman Wexler (Small Beer Press, 2022), is a work that affirms the utility and possibility of fiction, and it’s a weird, fascinating story.
There were plenty of other recent books of note:
— Alice Elliott Dark. Fellowship Point. A Novel. Mary Sue Rucci Books | Scribner, . Noted here
— Elizabeth Hand. Hokuloa Road. Mulholland Books. Little, Brown, . Noted here
— R. B. Russell. Robert Aickman. An Attempted Biography. Tartarus, .
— R. B. Russell. Fifty Forgotten Books. With numerous illustrations. 255 pp. Sheffield : And Other Stories, 2022. Reviewed here
— Christelle Téa. Bibliothèques. Dessins 2018-2021. Librarie Métamorphoses, . Exhibition catalogue.
— Mark Valentine. The Fig Garden and other stories. Tartarus, . An excellent new collection, with several original stories.
— David R. Whitesell. A Curator’s Wunderkammer. A Decade of Collecting for the University of Virginia. Exhibition Catalog. [Charlottesville: University of Virginia Library], 2022. Reviewed here
— Eric G. Wilson. Dream Child. A Life of Charles Lamb. Yale University Press, .
— Paul Witcover. Lincolnstein. A Novel. [Hornsea:] PS, . Reviewed here.
I found one antiquarian title I had been seeking for many years :
— F. & E. Brett Young. Undergrowth . Cassell, [Popular Edition, 1925].
Your correspondent is an optimist by temperament and looks forward to what the year ahead will bring. I’m still working my way through Proust in the Pléiade edition, with pleasure. I lost momentum during the crazy, circling jealousies of La prisonnière
, which rewards with flashes of humor (and the short sudden passage on the heat death of the universe); I am currently at the stage of Albertine disparue
. A few pieces of writing are forthcoming in the Book Collector and elsewhere, and others are in progress on the desk. 23 April 2023 is the centenary of the birth of Avram Davidson
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In February, I expect to be at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena, booth 514 (James Cummins Bookseller) at the Oakland Marriott City Center, Friday 10 February through Sunday 12 February. If you are in the vicinity, come by and say hello (and please let me know in advance if you would like a pass). I will have a handful of Temporary Culture publications on the booth.
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