Monthly Archives: September 2008

Illuminating the ordinary

September 2, 2008
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Illuminating the ordinary

The Popmatters website recently posted an interesting review of William Davies King’s new book Collections of Nothing. In the review David Banash praises King for using an introspective meditation on his own habit of collecting to produce a revelatory look at the everyday objects that fill our lives. Banash writes: In his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction… Benjamin suggests that the power of the camera to bring our world into focus dramatically alters our perception of it, most often by slowing things down or getting us much closer to them, and King’s fascinating habit of collecting does, I think, something much the same.… King is one of the few people who have taken the time to really look at our world of disposable objects. His practice of collecting has slowed him down and shifted him into a new mode of consciousness, and he thus allows us something like a close-up, slow-motion pan across all the objects that we so quickly turn away from that they never really register with us as the things that they are. King’s altered consciousness is not a gateway into some other world, but a blinding illumination of our . . .

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Press Release: Stark, Three Parker Novels

September 2, 2008
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Press Release: Stark, Three Parker Novels

New in Paperback—The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of Richard Stark’s Parker series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to. Stark’s ruthless antihero is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir. Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Richard Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. Novels in the Parker series include: The Hunter The Man with the Getaway Face The Outfit Read the press release. Also read an interview with the author. . . .

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Press Release: Wyke, Caesar

September 1, 2008
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Press Release: Wyke, Caesar

When Julius Caesar’s assassins walked out of the Roman Senate, they had no way of knowing that the man whose body they left behind would rise to unparalleled prominence in death, becoming as much a myth as a man. A potent symbol of everything from hubris to the good life, Caesar has become one of the central icons of Western culture, instantly familiar to schoolchildren and scholars alike. Caesar is classicist Maria Wyke’s witty, irreverent tour of the Caesar legend, a deeply learned but lively look at just what it is about this man that has fascinated us for two millennia. Focusing on key moments from Caesar’s life, Wyke shows how, in era after era, Caesar’s story is reworked and reconfigured to suit the needs of countless cultural and historical figures, from Mussolini to Madison Avenue. Her knowledge is broad and surprising, encompassing Plutarch’s Lives and Xena: Warrior Princess, Caesars Palace and the Annals of Tacitus—and with each reconfiguration of the Caesar story, we get another glimpse of the astonishing power this long-dead dictator still exerts over our cultural imagination. Filled with anecdotes and thoroughly contemporary, Caesar will entertain and elucidate friends, Romans, and countrymen alike. Read the press release. . . .

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