Been admiring the design of these book covers by pushpin studios associated designer Lawrence Ratzkin. Pretty cool!
Currently available on our employees favorites shelf as of 8/24/2011: Books by or about Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and Richard Feynman. Books by Don Delillo, Chuck Klosterman, Paul Auster, Daniel Clowes, Roberto Bolano, Kingsly Amis, and Oliver Sachs. Pygme, the cat, is blocking the entire bottom shelf, which holds Tad Williams and J.R.R. Tolkien. There are many more one-of books in there, as well as a whole slew of books we wish we currently had to put in there.
What would you put on your favorites shelf?
Two girls came into the store yesterday with what looked to be 8th or 9th grade summer reading lists and were asking for copies of Oedipus Rex. I took them over to the Greek Theater section, pointed out the Sophocles shelf, and told them not to hesitate if they had any questions. I was walking back to the counter when one of the girls asked if there was any difference between Oedipus Rex and Oedipus the King. I explained that- no, the only difference would be one of translation and the Rex just meant king in Latin- but suddenly that struck me as odd. Why do we commonly refer to this Greek play with a Latin title? A few other customers in the courtyard chipped in – echoing variations of the question, and so did a little research. As it happens, the title Oedipus Rex makes as much sense as calling it Oedipus Koning (Dutch), Oedipus Malek (Arabic), or Maharajah Oedipus (Hindi). Ancient Greek actually had (at least) three different titles meaning king: Anax-meaning lord or leader; Basileus- meaning chieftan; and Tyrannus- meaning king by unusual succession. This isn’t esoteric knowledge by any means, however this particular bookstore employee will now make a point of referring to this tragedy of tragedies by its original title, Oedipus Tyrannus, or by the simple English translation, King Oedipus. -