Literary Revisionism


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Release the kraken

British street artists Luke Egan and Pete Hamilton—aka Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellos—visited the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard this week and installed a gigantic inflatable sculpture in an abandoned warehouse on the Delaware River waterfront. The twenty purple, blue , and green tentacles are part of a piece they call “Sea Monsters HERE” that will be on display until November 16,2018.

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Shakespeare & Co. branches out

We had some very exciting bookstore news here in Philadelphia with the soft opening of the new Shakespeare & Co. bookshop in the heart of the city. Located in the ritzy Rittenhouse Square neighborhood on Walnut Street, the store occupies the former early 20th century Fidelity Trust Building. The decor incorporates original brick, steel, and wood work from the old structure in a contemporary design.

The two floors of the bookstore offer a well-curated selection of about 15,000 titles and a print-on-demand publishing machine. There’s also a cozy cafe with La Columbe coffee and snacks from the great Metropolitan Bakery.

Shakespeare & Co. is the first branch outside of New York City for the expanding chain that has no ties to the iconic Paris bookstore of the same name, or either bookshop in Prague or Berlin also capitalizing on the historic reputation.

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Cherish Your Book Scorpions


As a collector and seller of antiquarian and secondhand books, I often discover the remains of dead book scorpions. The tiny arachnids are actually pseudoscorpions and are the book lover’s friend and mostly unseen companions. Although they are harmless to humans, these ferocious little bugs devour pernicious booklice and dust mites that damage books. If you discover a live book scorpion don’t kill it, just gingerly place it in an old book.

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Philadelphia Pulse

Over the past few years, the once drab plaza around Philadelphia’s magnificent Second Empire-style 19th century City Hall has been transformed into a welcoming gathering place. Last month, the newest component of the Dilworth Park project was launched with the initial phase of the beautiful “Pulse” fountain installation. Created by artist Janet Echelman, “Pulse” traces the surface path of the SEPTA subway Green Line which runs beneath the plaza. As trains travel below the square, vibrantly colored mist erupts from a walkway in the fountain. Utilizing a high pressure misting system and LED illumination, a fog-like curtain rises from the fountain.

The installation, which is meant to evoke the steam that rose from the old Pennsylvania Railroad Station that stood across the street from City Hall during the 19th century, will eventually include a Blue Line and an Orange Line section as well. But for now, the “Pulse” at the northern end of Dilworth Park is drawing crowds nightly.


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Piles of French Novels

Vincent Van Gogh Piles of French Novels 1887


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The Circle of Classified Knowledge

Those of you who visit TBTP on a regular basis know that I am excessively fond of infographics of all sorts. I am particularly interested in early examples of the form. This wonderful set of graphics was created for a poster series during the 1930s and 1940s by the Peabody College for Teachers School of Library Science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

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According to Philip Pullman

Illustrations ©Nathan Gelgud


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Into The Wild

The South Africa-based design studio Muti has released a killer series of book cover redesigns for group of iconic novels. I love the fresh typography and the great color palette.

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Word On The Street : Philadelphia

This week it has been especially difficult to not to fixate on the enormous shitshow that is the U.S. government and the horrific treatment of women and girls in our sad culture. But once again we can find encouragement in the work of progressive American street artists such as Symone Salib. This wonderful piece popped-up this week in South Philly at Broad and Wharton Streets. The images are of the very courageous Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Dr. Anita Hill.

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