Friday, February 10, 2017

Basilisk in Rauner

Wood cut image of a basilisk. The basilisk is a very long serpent with an arrow coing out of its mouth and a crown on its head.This year's Winter Carnival theme is "Dartmouth College of Icecraft and Blizzardry." Rauner is hosting an open house this evening (Friday, February 10) from 6:00-7:00 with plenty of old books and manuscripts, and even a very Dartmouth sorting hat. It will get you in the mood for a magical weekend.

What you may not know is that there is a Basilisk in Rauner. It is not down in the cavernous depths below the building, but on the second floor in the Rare collection. It is not very threatening to staff--none of us have been eaten, yet. Generally it stays politely within the covers of Conrad Gesners's Icones animalivm qvadrvpedvm viviparorvm et oviparorvm (Tigvri: excvdebat C. Froschovervs, 1560). There are some other cool beasts lurking in the pages--all very real to Gesner.

Wood cut image of three dragons. The one dragon is a snake-like serpent, another has wings and is in flight, and a third has wings and is rearing up. Wood cut image of a hydra. The hydra is serpent like with seven human-like heads each wearing a crown.

Come in this evening to see Rauner's Basilisk, or you can ask for Rare QL41.G372 anytime.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Off-Coloring Book

Coloring book style picture of two children in battered clothes standing by a trash heap. the caption reads "Welcome to my world"
There is something so disturbing about this book. It is an artist's book meant to make you uncomfortable and it succeeds. It is about Jean Genet, so by nature it is a bit on the raunchy side, but no worse than lots of things in our collections. What is so jarring is the juxtaposition of the theme, Genet's debauched lifestyle, and the medium, a children's coloring book.

Some things just should not be colored in--they are better in black and white and kept far away from the innocence of a box of Crayolas! Come in and take a look at Chip Duyck's Let's Play! Coloring and Activity Book based on the life of Jean Genet. It brings new meaning to adult coloring books!  Ask for Presses P595dule.