Wednesday, June 29, 2011
On Monday. my friend Daniela and went to Celebrating 100 Years at the New York Public Library. I've spent many hours of the life in the Main Reading Room there, doing research and waiting for books and microfiche to come up from the stacks.
The exhibit has some books, but also a lot of stuff (ephemera, I guess you'd say). Malcolm X's diaries from his journey to Mecca, Katherine Cornell's make up box from 1947 (the base looks quite disgusting), a first edition of poems by Phillis Wheatley, a Gutenberg Bible, a 15th century Dante's Inferno, some of Jack Kerouac's notes, Virginia Woolf's walking stick, Pound's annotated manuscript of "The Wasteland," a whole bunch of dance video clips (I saw a Katherine Dunham piece from the '50s or '60s), unfortunately the audio part of the Performing Arts Library presentation wasn't working when I was there.
But by far the strangest thing there is Charles Dickens' letter opener. It consists of an ivory shaft, and a taxidermied cat's paw that originally belonged to his pet, Bob. The accompanying quote is something like "What is so great as the love of a cat?" I would say the love of a dog!
Photo lifted from www.neatorama.com.