Saturday, July 28, 2007

five used & two new

five used

Karen Brown’s Mexico 2006

I picked this one up at Half Price Books because Brown lists two itineraries that I’ve been contemplating. A trip via rail through Copper Canyon (Barrancas de Cobre) and a visit to the lagoons on the Sea of Cortez where the gray whales give birth.

Ceremonies by Essex Hemphill

This was on the 25c sale shelf the Friends of the Library maintains. I remember Hemphill from the poetic documentary Tongues Untied and I’ve long been curious to read more.

Shark’s Tooth by Marc Elihu Hofstadter

I saw this at Black Oak. I read Marc’s two other books. Poetry.

Ploughshares Spring 2007

This was also on the Friends shelf.

Indian Days of the Long Agoby Edward S. Curtis

Another Friends item. Curtis is mainly known for his 19th C. photographs of Indians (sometimes staged). This little book has a lot of photos and drawings. I couldn’t pass it up.

two new

America: a prophecy by Sparrow

Sparrow is great. I saw this new at Analog Books. Or was it Signal? I forget. That bookstore up on Euclid. Come in the door and there’s the stack of the new Harry Potter book. Somehow I think I will be able to survive the wait.

580 Split, the literary magazine of Mills College in nearby Oakland.

I oughta send ‘em stuff. Deadline is October 1st.


Jay River said...

The Indian Days book by Curtis, if original might be worth a few bucks. Look it up at

If you enjoy the ES Curtis works you might like a new film about him. The Indian Picture Opera (dvd) found at

It shows his works in his words, derived from a Curtis slide show of 1911.

By the way, almost every Indian photo from that era was staged.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I understand Curtis carried wigs & other props to make his Euro-accultured Indians look more authentic before he took their pictures. But he was sincere in his fascination for Indian lifeways and tried his best to document what was there as well as what had already vanished.

Thanks for the tip on the documentary.

The Curtis book is a recent reprint.

Jay River said...

Perhaps his work can at its worst be called folk art, but at it's best... there is nothing else that measures up to it.

He was a helpless romantic. Most great portrait photographers are not really working in the documentary style. There was no Edward r. Murrow, or Bob Woodward over him. He framed beautiful faces in their surroundings..he did not purport to be a journalist.

Curtis said it was a vanishing race... not that people were going away, but that the race was vanishing. That is largely true today. Few are pure bloods anymore. This a mis-interpretation. the man has been badly misquoted and misinterpreted over the years.