coming eventsComing Events

September 6

PBA

September 13

Heritage

September 18-19

Sotheby’s 

September 20

Swann Galleries 

September 21

Skinner 

September 25

Bonhams 

September 27

Forum 

Find More Events in the FB&C Calendar

In the News

Hunter S. Thompson Archive Consisting of 182 Letters to be Auctioned

Los Angeles - An extraordinary collection of 182 letters by Gonzo journalist Hunter S.Thompson... read more

Boston's Panopticon Gallery Opens "Bibliophile" Exhibition

To coincide with start of a new school year, Panopticon Gallery presents Bibliophile, a... read more

Howard Greenberg Gallery Presents "Vivian Maier: The Color Work"

New York - The color work of street photographer Vivian Maier will be the... read more

Bonhams Introduces the Griffith J. Davis Photography and Archives

New York − On October 2, Bonhams sale of Photographs will offer over 130... read more

Modern African-American Art Shines in Oct 4 Sale at Swann

New York—African-American Fine Art sales at Swann Galleries offer the opportunity to see marketplace... read more

The First Book Published and Printed in Antarctica at Bonhams NY

New York− On September 25, Bonhams sale of Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana will... read more

The First Western Book on Cosmetics & Scents will be Sold in Paris

Published for the first time in Venice in 1555, it was a precious asset... read more

Printed Matter Presents the NY Art Book Fair Sept. 21-23

Printed Matter, Inc. presents THE NY ART BOOK FAIR, September 21-23, 2018 Preview:... read more

Follow us on TwitterLike us on Facebook
Auction Guide
Advertise with Us
2015 Bookseller Resource Guide
Dear Reader

Going Places

Fine Books and Collections editor Ann J. Loftin
Editor Ann J. Loftin

When writer Erica Olsen called to ask whether Fine Books would like an article about her impending trip to Norway, I have to confess that nothing much popped into my mind. I just said, “Sure,” dimly remembering performances of A Doll’s House and my youthful attempt to understand Knut Hamsen’s Hunger. So I am grateful to Erica for taking us around, to the bookstores and printing museum, to the Ibsen museum in the summer resort town of Grimstad, and to the canning museum in Stavanger, where by 1915 some 350 million cans of sardines were being packed for export. She stayed with cousins on her father’s side (who gave her major Brownie points for coming in wintertime), impressed them with her rudimentary command of Norwegian (few Americans speak a word of it), and was lucky enough to find the house where her great-grandfather grew up. As for Ibsen, she said, “he was omnipresent, almost a pop culture figure,” the only world-renowned Norwegian writer who didn’t embarrass his native land. (Knut Hamsun is respected as a writer, but his support for the Nazis continues to offend these deeply humane people; they refuse to have a street named after him.) In a churchyard in Fjaere, a small town outside of Grimstad where her paternal grandmother grew up, Erica found a monument to Ibsen’s “Terje Vigen,” an epic poem as well known to every Norwegian as Longfellow’s Hiawatha is known to Americans. The poem, set during the Napoleonic Wars, when the coast of Norway was under a blockade by the British, tells the story of the semi-legendary Terje Vigen, who heroically tried to row a small boat to Denmark to bring back food for his starving family. Ibsen himself never starved—but he was poor enough, during the years after leaving his job as an apprentice pharmacist in Grimstad, to become thoroughly disenchanted with the artistic life in Norway, and so in 1864 he moved to Italy. He would not return to his native land for 27 years, his reputation by then well-established.

Also in this issue is the story behind the so-called “Big Book,” the bible of Alcoholics Anonymous, related by Connecticut rare book dealer Bill Schaberg. First editions of this book are highly prized—the annotated “master copy” sold at Sotheby’s for $1.5 million five years ago—but few people know the back story behind the movement that just celebrated its 70th anniversary, and Schaberg spent a lot of time digging in the AA archives to ferret it out.

So, whether you’re on the wagon or on the road this summer, I hope you’ll find something to hold your attention in these pages.

comments powered by Disqus