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July 30, 2008

CFP: Study of Literature and Environment Conference

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) invites proposals for its Eighth Biennial Conference, to be held June 3-6, 2009, at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, on the theme of "Island Time: The Fate of Place in a Wired, Warming World." The conference features plenary sessions with Andrew Revkin, environment reporter for "The New York Times"; Richard Primack, editor-in-chief of "Biological Conservation"; Ruth Ozeki, author of "My Year of Meats," and many other speakers.

The ASLE seek proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and other public presentations connecting language, nature, and culture. Interdisciplinary approaches are welcome; readings of environmentally inflected fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction; and proposals from outside the academic humanities, including submissions from artists, writers, practitioners, activists, and colleagues in the social and natural sciences. Deadline for Proposals: November 15, 2008. For more information, see http://asle.uvic.ca.

July 22, 2008

Book pages as art

The site Ladybird Prints recently caught my eye; they do digital art prints of pages from old Ladybird books. There is a particular nostalgia around old children's books that becomes obvious in second-hand bookshops and antiquarian fairs. Picture books and illustrated fiction seem to dominate. Of course, old books can be taken apart and the individual pages framed as prints. Horrific! Ok, maybe its not so bad when the book in question is beyond repair, as in Kate Tempest's prints taken from damaged vintage children's books.

The (increasingly popular) process of digital photo printing, on canvas or heavy art paper, seems like a responsible alternative to ripping the book apart. (Especially if it wasn't especially well printed in the first place! Sorry, Ladybird.)

(click to enlarge)

One of the more interesting choices on the Ladybird Prints site must be the classic The Computer. How about one of these at A0 size -- that's over a metre high -- on 'watercolour paper'! (more images after the jump).

And how refreshing to see a library of lowly Ladybirds to choose from, though the offering is a bit uneven. Many different spreads are on offer for some books, only the covers are offered for others. Well, you can't scan everything, though I think some cover-only books have excellent internal illustrations. I'm thinking of books like 'The Telephone', for example.


Unfortunate also that not all the covers belong to the earlier, more engagingly designed editions of the books. Instead we get to pick from some pretty awful redesigns.

The Science & Space section contains a lot of good stuff, though again many are cover-only. One of my personal favourites, from the book Magnets, Bulbs and Batteries, isn't available, so I've put it up here: the classic picture of a girl and boy playing with batteries. The girl is peeling some zinc off a battery (!) for the boy to make a lemony electric current. Brilliant!