Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unique Atmosphere of That Time and Place

We're going back through the archives and sharing some thoughts about John and his work that have crossed our path over the years.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How Much Marshall?

I recently thumbed through The Figure in the Shadows and came across a few memorable excerpts of Lewis happily walking along Main Street, seeing a fountain at the traffic circle, and later encountering the titular figure outside of a Masonic Temple. These are memorable scenes, yes, and ones with a clear setting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Note of Thanks

We were reminded last month that we were coming upon an anniversary: a decade since the founding of what has gone on to become this website, Bellairsia. Five years ago we said it didn’t seem like a mere five years had passed since we started this little project of ours. Five years after that and it doesn't seem like a decade has passed either, but the ticking clock says otherwise. It started innocently enough – a desire to celebrate the work of a favorite author – but I dare say the two of us were not prepared for where it led.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who's Who: John Cameron Swayze

While pressed to come up with a nun-sounding name in order to gain access into Nyarlat-Hotep’s domain, Fergie blurts out, "And I am Sister Francine Hildegarde Ursula John Cameron Swayze [The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost; 141]."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time Capsule: First Agriculture College

February 12, 1855: Today the Spartans celebrate the date when Michigan Governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed a bill establishing the nation's first agriculture college, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan in East Lansing, Michigan.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Goreyana: The Doom of the Haunted Opera

Notes from Goreyana about The Doom of the Haunted Opera:
The book was published in 1995 by Dial Books for Young Readers and features a wraparound dust jacket design and frontis illustration by Edward Gorey. The back cover of the dust jacket is particularly colorful. Using a dream sequence for inspiration (don't most dreams play out in black and white?), Lewis and Rose Rita are shown being set upon by headless opera goers and bats!

When this book was published, I was offered the three pieces of original artwork by Mr. Gorey. Unfortunately, at this time the prices for Mr. Gorey's art were jumping significantly - in fact the price for this art was double what earlier art from the series had been priced at just two years previously - so I could not add this art to my collection. I do still have the full size xeroxes sent to me by Gotham Book Mart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Light Through Yonder Window

We once mentioned that John’s ability to casually toss out book titles may have caused more than a few people to spin their wheels searching for books that don’t exist. We dare say On the Restoration of Charmed Circles may still yet be published, though we won’t hold our breath waiting for it (or the film adaptation – let us not be silly). But John’s done the same with other passages in his work, too – describing something that may not exist in this world, yet may have one or more real-life antecedents.

#JohnBellairs