The blog entries have felt a little leaden lately. I thought I would write something amusing or trivial, of not cheerful or uplifting. Therefore, behold the fruits of several years of obscure book collecting in the backwaters of academic publishing!
Russell Ash and Brian Lake published Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities, in 1985 and it has seen three more editions. The most recent being in 2007. I own, or owned at one time or another, 4 titles that appear in the most recent edition:
P. V. Glob, The Bog People (London: Faber and Faber, 1969)
L. Riotte, Carrots Love Tomatoes (Charlotte, VT: Garden Way, 1981)
Charles St. Lawrence Duff, A Handbook of Hanging (Stroud: Nonsuch, 2006)
This was originally published in 1928, and updated sometime after 1961, but demand was so great, no doubt on account of its regular appearance in Ash and Lake, it was re-issued, complete with “a ready reckoner for hangmen” that assists in calculate length of rope, based on weight of the ‘subject.’
I also had, but have parted ways with:
Ryuji Nagatsuka, I was a Kamakaze (London: Abelard-Shuman, 1973)
Absent from my collection, but on my desiderata is:
Nuclear War: What’s in it for You? (New York: Pocket Books, 1982)
I have run across a few odd titles myself, that do not appear in Ash and Lake, but perhaps should:
Jack Glover, The Bobbed Wire Bible V: An Illustrated Guide to Identification and Classification of Barbed wire (Cow Puddle Press, 1977)
I have always felt that these were odd enough to warrant mention.
Christopher De Hamel, Cutting up Manuscripts for Pleasure and Profit: The 1995 Sol. M. Malkin Lecture in Bibliography (Charlottesville: Book Arts Press, 1996)
Fred McMullen and Jack Evans. Out of the Jaws of Hunland (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1918).
And I know this one is a classic anyway, but I have always liked the title.
Thomas De Quincey, On Murder: Considered as One of the Fine Arts (Richmond: Oneworld Classics, 2009)
Oh, and I almost forgot:
Niklaus Largier, In Praise of the Whip: A Cultural History of Arousal, translated by Graham Harman (New York: Zone Books, 2007)
Well, back to the brain mines for me.