Monday, March 30, 2009
Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry , by Le
I love this so much. The title was too long for me to have room to put the author's name, so here it is- Leanne Shapton. Yes, it is a novel written in the form of an auction catalog.
She did something so amazing here, and did it so exquisitely well.
It might seem like a gimmick, but it is so well done, it's past gimmick and into art.
In fact, I ordered this book for the library, because of an article I read in the NYT about it, and it sounded like something kind of new and interesting and clever. Then about a week later, I realized that some of the books from that order had arrived, but I hadn't seen this one yet, so I mentioned it to a non-fiction friend at work who told me that our cataloging friend had asked her if it was hers, as it looked so much like an odd non-fiction auction catalog. When non-fiction friend denied any knowledge of the book, cataloging friend was going to send it back as a mistake! Well, I ran to tech services and saved the book. Then about half an hour later I read it has been optioned to become a movie with Natalie Portman and Brad Pitt.
It's material culture as all, it's the objects of life showing the feelings, it's the culmination of our consumer society that a love story, with tingles and kisses and tears can be told, perfectly, through a collection of toast racks and pajamas and that the debris of life can tell a story as haunting as a traditional narrative.
Hats off to Leanne Shapton for this one.
I loved it so much that I ordered my own copy, which I lent to a friend. Today she texted me and said "That may be my favorite book." I replied and said "Oh that is so great that you liked it!" She replied and said "I read it twice."
That says it all, I think.