In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.
It's finally here! After three years of effort, I'm thrilled to announce that Jonathan's book of photographs of the turbulent years of the late 1960s and early 70s, How Many Roads? is finally launched. In addition to the book's 91 sepia-toned photographs, it contains an introduction by Teju Cole, essays by Steve Tozer, Hoyt Alverson, and myself, and a preface by Jonathan.
We've published it in both a paperback version and a limited-edition hardcover, with or without a signed photographic print. The books will be available for pre-order at special prices through the end of October. Paperbacks will ship soon, hardcovers at the end of the month. All the details are on the Phoenicia Publishing website.
We hope you'll take a look; this book would be a good gift for anyone who remembers or is curious about the 60s, or who'd like their children to know what it was like. (And, of course, it could be a great passive-aggressive gift for someone you know who voted for Nixon!)
This past Wednesday, we held a lancement (launch party) at our studio, which meant that we had to clean and reorganize it -- for the first time, really, since we moved in. So not only do we feel like we have a book we're proud of, but we've got a studio that feels almost new.
For my own part, I'm extremely happy this project is finally out in the world. The book's title, drawn from the Bob Dylan song, not only echoes one of the book's sub-themes -- what the interstates did to rural New England -- it also describes the circuitous path we've been on to this point! Jonathan and I have done so many publishing projects for clients and other people in the past that it makes me very happy to finally see some of his own work collected permanently in book form. It's part of his own photographic legacy, and it's also social documentation of an important period in American history that has a good deal to say to us today. Although these photos were taken before we met, our experiences of that time were similar. The process of revisiting this part of my own past has been both interesting and fruitful: I understand more about how I was shaped by these events, and also about the fateful turns our world has taken since then. Meanwhile, the accounts of the people and events of those years are already becoming simplified, distilled, and distorted -- or so it seems to me. Even recent history deserves a closer and more first-hand look than the textbooks are likely to give.
It's been fun riffling through old albums for amusing pictures to share on FB on TBT (Throwback Thursdays,) and I thought, why not re-post them over here? Making homemade pizza has been J.'s specialty for longer than I've known him, which is well more than three decades now -- we've got LOTS of pizza pictures. Here's one from our Vermont kitchen in 1986. We're stillusing that rolling pin and old banged up aluminum flour measure, as well as the cookie sheet I'm holding. I think both those pizza peels are history by now, though.
When I cross on the Rosemont/Van Horne overpass to Outremont, I always feel like I'm entering a different world. Down below, on one's bike during better weather, the change is less dramatic but still significant. The Mile End, with its boutiques and restos and young energy, is in the midst of gentrification. But this part of Outremont, close to the more industrial end of Van Horne, which then becomes a shopping street, is an enclave of Hasidic Jews. When I drive or bike on these streets I feel like time has gone backward, and that behind the hurried steps of the black-clad men and the women in black skirts and wigs with headbands or hats, often pushing old-fashioned baby carriages, lies a life about which I know almost nothing. I stop at Cheskies and buy a loaf of challah or some rugelach, but it is a commercial exchange, nothing more: ours are separate solitudes and will remain that way.
Along with what seemed like half of Mexico City, we went to the zoo today. We watched a few animals, including homo sapiens.
The big cats were particularly impressive. I had just finished reading Life of Pi, so the size and majesty of the bengal tiger (not shown here; his body was mostly behind a rock) felt especially immediate today. The panther seemed agitated and paced back and forth on top of his rock ledge, ominous and menacing.
I had never seen a jaguar before. Hold him in your mind, for he's important to Mexico, and coming back soon in a different guise.