Thursday, March 12, 2009

Short Break

My apologies for having been away from the blog for a little while. In the period of about a week after I send out an anouncement of a new title, every waking hour (it seems) is given over to making sure that the right books get sent to the right people at the right addresses and in as timely a fashion as possible. Every time 1 or 2 a.m. comes around, going to bed becomes a much more attractive option than logging in to sort out a blog post.

The Attack on St Winefride's Well is now sold out in the special state and all the copies ordered are on their way around the world. It also seems that at just the moment I let the world know about a new book someone invariably contacts me, always a new customer, saying they would like a large order of other titles. I'm not complaining, simply explaining why blogging hasn't been at the top of the priority list.

But I wouldn't want ya'll to think that The Attack is my entire world at the moment. R and I had an extremely pleasant Sunday morning at an antiques fair in Woking - is it only me who sees the irony of holding such events in the sports halls of leisure centres!? And then, in the afternoon we 'discovered' three large antique centres in Farnham. I had been a little wary of that at first since my only experience of the area was when I cleared a house of thousands of books in nearby Farnborough; an experience which left me wondering what the point of cartography might be if road maps could bear so little resemblance to the route of roads on the ground. But it turned out much different and although I didn't find vast numbers of things to buy I did come across the charming chap on the CDV above looking somewhere half-way between sheepish and proud in his get-up as a mini Highland Laird.

Also, there were some large Lehnert and Landrock photogravures which I snapped up for a fiver each. Lehnert and Landrock were a pair of photographers working at the turn of the 19th/20th century in North Africa and the Middle East. Never as explicit as Von Gloeden and his ilk, L&L were of a school of European photography in the Arab world which included the likes of the Zangaki Brothers - views, postcards, and the occasional 'Type Arabe': a semi-draped Arab girl or boy looking directly and supposedly seductively at the viewer. You don't have to be a genius in the field of pictorial analysis to know that their primary erotic gaze was directed towards the girls and young women of the region but there was, from time to time, a nod to the travelling queers in the production of the occasional homo-suggestive image. Their output was mainly to be used as postcards but they occasionally created larger images in photographic and photomechanical formats. Some of these can sell for reasonable amounts of money. As always though, the thing that sells best is sex; the silver/platinum print images they produced of naked Arab girls can be worth upwards of £100 each, even when printed as simple postcards.

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