Simple composition of hardback books, raw of books on wooden deck table and blue backgroun

Writing Samples

Even if you can’t hold it in your hands, it is still art—at least, that appears to be the consensus as of mid-2021, when the NFT art market has mushroomed by more than 800 percent—or $429 million—in value since the year began. Read the rest at Art and Object. (image: Ali Sabet)

Ali Sabet digital art

If you thought understanding cryptocurrency was challenging, NFTs might as well be another language. But bookpeople are smart, we can figure this out. More at Fine Books (Image: NYAN CAT/CHRIS TORRES)

A Pop-Tart cat with rainbow flying through space.

Peter McGough has a smartphone. That may not sound particularly newsworthy in 2019, but for an artist who famously eschewed modern conveniences like electricity, this is a surprising revelation. Read the interview at Art and Object

Cover of Peter McCough's book entitled "I've Seen the Future and I'm Not Going."

The typical fate of a television set and its contents post-production is not pretty; cast and crew may select a memento or two, but the scrap heap is the usual destination. Not so for many of the set pieces and paper props from the beloved Apple TV+ series Dickinson (2019–2021). The Houghton Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, have acquired many of the pieces that helped transport viewers back to the 1800s. The bulk of the paper materials—scripts, reproductions of poems, letters, and newspapers—went to Cambridge, while costumes and other props will be pressed into service in Amherst after the museum’s major renovation wraps up this summer.

Dickinson.jpg

The summer catalogue from London’s Peter Harrington includes rock ’n’ roll legend Elvis Presley’s annotated copy of The Prophet by Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran. The volume of twenty-six prose poems is being offered for £19,500 ($26,670) and is the first time this particular copy is for sale in the UK. (image: Peter Harrington)

Elvis Presely's annotated book

Before people could easily post their opinions on Twitter, they traded barbs and fiery accusations via hastily typeset and cheaply printed pamphlets, oftentimes inciting fear and fueling outrage. As with some media today, there were no rules imposing fact verification or source attribution, leading to the spread of what we might label “fake news.” Back when printing presses ruled the day, such eruptions were called “pamphlet wars.” 

 

Read the rest at Humanities Magazine. (Image: 

Franklin and the Quakers by James Claypoole, published in Philadelphia, 1764. Library Company of Philadelphia)

Pamphlet image of Benjamini Franklin and the Quakers.

Published on May 1, 1845 in Boston by the Antislavery Office founded by abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself” sold 5,000 copies within four months. By 1847, this first of three autobiographies to be written by the famed escaped slave-turned-orator had gone through nine editions, and by 1860 — a year before the outbreak of the Civil War —30,000 copies were in print, robust statistics for any book in antebellum America, while translations in German and French secured an international readership for its central message — a clarion call against the pestilence of slavery that infected the American South. Read the rest at Literary Features Syndicate (image: Barry Moser)

A black and white woodcut engraving of Frederick Douglass.