Friday, June 25, 2004
Austrian Expressionist painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was at odds with art critics and society for most of his brief life.
In 1906 Schiele overcame the opposition of his guardian, his mother's brother, and applied for a place at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna, where Klimt had once studied. In 1909 he left the Academy, after completing his third year. In 1911 Schiele met the seventeen-year-old Wally Neuzil, who was to serve as the model for some of his best paintings. Even more than Gustav Klimt, Schiele made eroticism one of his major themes and was briefly imprisoned for obscenity in 1912.
In 1915 Schiele married and four days later was called up but Schiele's army service did not halt the growth of his reputation. In 1918 he was invited to be a major participant in the Sezession's 49th exhibition.
In 19 October 1918 Edith, Shiele's wife, fell ill with Spanish influenza, then sweeping Europe. On 28 October she died and Schiele died three days later. If you are unfamiliar with Shiele's work, now is the time to change that. It also may be the time to look into some of the material about this influential painter that I have in stock.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
L. Frank Baum is pretty much everywhere ... at least pretty much everywhere around here. Any bookstore nearby has at least one "much loved" book written by the Royal Historian of Oz and now I've got one myself.
Published some 7 years after Baum's first success, Father Goose, His Book, 6 years after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and just before Ozma of Oz, John Dough and the Cherub is the story of John, a gingerbread man brought to life by an Arabian Exlixir of Life, who then flees from the evil Ali Dubh to an encounter with a 'Fresh-Air Fiend' on the Isle of Phreex where John meets Chick the Cherub who is the Original Incubator Baby ... this all in the first few chapters ... more action than some of John Grisham's recent efforts, no?
Written almost 100 years ago by Baum, who believed "that dreams ... day dreams with your eyes wide open, are likely to lead to the betterment of the world", John Dough is a pleasant escape that is in some weird way still topical and could be just the title you are looking to add to your collection.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
"A master storyteller, [Charles de Lint] blends Celtic, Native American, and other cultures into a seamless mythology that resonates with magic and truth" - Library Journal
Charles de Lint has been a full-time writer for more than twenty years with fifty something books published (novels, collections, novellas, etc.) and with more on the way. My daughter Kristin brought his writing to my attention several years ago. Charles is best known as a storyteller specializing in novels and story collections that bring ancient mythic themes into modern urban life. He calls his writing "mythic fiction" ... I think of it as "urban faerie" ... like the paintings of his character, Jilly Coppercorn ... or like the lives my daughter and her friends lead. Much of his fiction is set in the imaginary city of Newford, somewhere in North America. If you are unfamiliar with de Lint's work now is the time to change that.
By the way, I'm starting to think there might not be any books Charles de Lint hasn't signed ... just kidding ... but he seems to sign so many copies it might be good to look for only the limited edition material or association copies ... the button below will take you to my current stock by de Lint.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Robert E. Howard, who is known best for his fantasy tales and the creation of Conan in particular, was born January 22, 1906, in Peaster, Texas, some forty-five miles southwest of Fort Worth. In 1919 his family settled in Cross Plains, a small town in Central Texas.
In high school,Howard began submitting short stories to the publications and made his first sale, which was to Weird Tales, in 1924. By 1930 Howard had become a regular in this publication. The December 1932 issue of Weird Tales introduced Conan the Cimmerian, a Howard character who would be by far his most famous character and who would soon overshadow all his other heroes such as Solmon Kane, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Breckinridge Elkins, Steve Costigan and Belit.
It was at the height of his career in June of 1936 that Howard, despondent over the poor prognosis for his ailing mother, took his own life. We are left to wonder what tales a mature Howard might have written for us.
I've been reading Howard's work since my early teens, quite some time ago, and still enjoy much of his material. Most everyone is familiar with Conan but there is so much more from Howard worth your time. Today would be a good day to look into some of the Robert E. Howard titles that I have available.
Monday, June 07, 2004
A cichlid [pronounced sick-lid] is a fish in the Family Cichlidae. This is an immense family of freshwater fishes of almost unbelievable diversity. Conservative estimates put the number of species of cichlids at 1300. Many people have seen a cichlid without even knowing it. Oscars and freshwater angelfish, both common aquarium fishes, are cichlids.
The popularity of cichlids among aquarists likely stems from three things: many are easy to keep, there are so many kinds and they do interesting things. With few exceptions cichlids can be kept and bred easily in aquaria.
Hundreds of species are currently available in the hobby and many can be kept with a minimum of equipment in aquaria ranging from 10 gallons on up. You might want to look at some of the key references about these fish that I have available using the button below.
Welcome ... I've started a new version of my books website based on blogging.