The Biblio File Hosted by Nigel Beale
Twenty - forty minute interviews with accomplished authors, publishers, biblio people, conducted by an excitable bibliophile.

Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company aspires to create "a theatre rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; [and] a company that performs as the Elizabethans did — in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe."

Home to more than 150 artists, the company performs Shakespeare in ways which encourage collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. It also provides training, and develops and produces new plays of social and political significance. The hope is to "inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in the everyday world, demonstrating the influence that classical theatre can have within a community".

Its mission is to establish a theatre company which, by its commitment to the creative impulse, is a revolutionary force in society, which connects the truths of the past to the challenges and possibilities of today, which finds its source in the performance of Shakespeare’s plays, and reaches the widest possible audience through training and education as well as performance.

I met recently with Elizabeth Aspenlieder Communications Director/Artistic Associate and Tony Simotes, Artistic Director to talk about why Literary Tourists should visit Shakespeare and Company, and how its programs and plays affect participants and the social and political environments in which they operate. 

Direct download: Shakespeare__Co.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT

Rebecca Romney is the Rare Book Expert on Pawn Stars and Manager at the Las Vegas Gallery of Bauman Rare Books. We met recently in Las Vegas to talk about what she does, why Bauman's is in Las Vegas, her blog Aldine, Aldus the printer, William Pickering's Aldine poet's series, and collecting fine press books. 

Direct download: Rebecca_Romney_final_Bauman_Rare_Books.mp3
Category:Booksellers -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Special Collections Library houses unique, rare, and specialized research material that documents the history, culture and physical environment of the city of Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada region, the gaming industry, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

The collections include books, pamphlets, posters, serials and periodicals, scrapbooks, archives and manuscripts, maps, architectural drawings, photographs, video and audio tapes.

I visited the library recently to talk gambling with former director now Head of Exhibits Peter Michel, for it's here that you'll find "the world's greatest collection of material on gambling and related issues, including books, journals, company documents, and manuscript collections."

Direct download: Peter_Michel_Univ_Nevada_130618_001.mp3
Category:Librarian Interview -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

This part was easy. I just clipped and pasted from here. "From ornate floral patterns to cityscapes, the boldest book designs of the Golden Age are gathered here. Readers accustomed to today’s more utilitarian bindings will find breathtaking images—gold leaf patterns intricate enough to replicate the shimmer of feathers, forests rendered in rich color and silver, and elegant allusions to Asian art. The diversity and ingenuity of these books will capture the imagination of book lovers and collectors—and anyone who enjoys design.

Selecting the most beautifully crafted and influential pieces from his two-volume, limited edition catalog, Minsky uncovers the world behind a lost art. Dividing these breathtaking designs into distinct categories, he discusses the use of silhouettes, pattern, Oriental influence and more. He also reveals key artists, their signature designs and flourishes, the designs they inspired, and the designs that inspired them.
Richard Minsky founded the Center for Book Arts in 1974 and has worked for more than 35 years to draw attention to book art and encourage artists in the field. His work has been shown around the world and remains in public collections, including the National Gallery of Art and The Victoria and Albert Museum. He has received many fellowships, grants and awards of recognition, including several from the National Endowment for the Arts."

Then came the difficult part: getting Richard to talk about this great 'Art of American Book Covers 1875-1930' project (and if you believe that...). Please listen here:

Direct download: Richard_Minsky_2_130518_002.mp3
Category:Book Collector -- posted at: 3:28pm EDT

Barbara Slate is the author of more than 300 comic books and graphic novels. She created, wrote and drew Angel Love for DC Comics, and Yuppies from Hell and Sweet XVI for Marvel. Her first character , Ms Liz, has  appeared on millions of greeting cards, in magazines, and on the Today Show; in addition, she wrote the Disney comic classics Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas, plus more than 60 issues of Mattel’s Barbie (winner of the Parent’s Choice Award two years in a row), and more than 100 Betty and Veronica stories for Archie Comics.

She is the author of You Can  Do a Graphic Novel,  "a guide to creating graphic novels- presented in the form of a graphic novel- from a veteran in the field." Her new semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Getting Married and Other Mistakes (2012) has been called 'charming and empowering'. In it, a newly divorced narrator encounters many of the social challenges that modern women must face, while undertaking a complicated journey toward finding her inner voice.

I met with Slate at her home in the Hudson Valley recently to talk about all of this, and more.

Direct download: Barbara_Slate_130518_003.mp3
Category:Comics and Graphic Novels -- posted at: 9:14am EDT

Poets House is a literary center and poetry archive - a collection and meeting place in New York that invites poets and the public to join the living tradition of poetry. Free and open to the public, Poets House’s 50,000-volume poetry library is among the most comprehensive, open-stacks collections of poetry in the United States. Hosting acclaimed poetry events and workshops, Poets House not only documents the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, it stimulates public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture.

I visited Poet's House recently to speak with Program Director Stephen Motika about why a literary tourist might want stop by here. Please listen to our conversation here:

Direct download: Stephen_Motika_Poets_House.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 11:28am EDT

The Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl has been leading tourists into bars rich in bookish history since 1998. Inside each bar, you take a drink and listen as your actor/tour guide tells of the history of the establishment and of the great authors who have hung out, gotten drunk and written there. You’ll get recitations from relevant texts and stops at "unique sites that are literary, historical, or alcoholic in nature." Tours start off every Saturday at 2pm, beginning at the White Horse Tavern, 567 Hudson Street and 11th Street, and last for three hours. (Take the 1 train to Christopher Street; Left on w. 10th to Hudson St.; Right/North on Hudson St. to West 11th Street). Tickets are $20, $15  for students/seniors. To make a reservation call (212) 613-5796.

I caught up with owner Eric Chase at the White Horse recently to learn more about the Crawl and why literary pilgrimage for many assumes such importance.

Direct download: Greenwich_Village_Literary_Pub_Crawl_130515_003.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

Richard Minsky twirling The Philosophy of Umbrellas by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Richard Minsky is a celebrated American book artist,  bookbinder and scholar who at age 13 got his first printing press. In 1968, he graduated cum laude in economics from Brooklyn College, was then awarded a fellowship at Brown University, got his Master's degree in economics, and then pursued a Ph.D. at The New School for Social Research;  two years later he chucked it all for bookbinding, art and music. He studied bookbinding under master bookbinder Daniel Gibson Knowlton

 In 1974, Minsky founded the Center for Book Arts in New York, an organization dedicated to interpreting the book as an art object using traditional book arts practices. I met recently with Richard and his graphic novelist partner Barbara Slate at their house in the Hudson Valley for libation and conversation. My objective was to pry artists books apart from these traditional book arts moorings. Listen to how successful I was here:

Direct download: Richard_Minsky_130518_001.mp3
Category:Book Designer -- posted at: 11:10am EDT

Edward Rutherfurd looking Parisien

Edward Rutherfurd was born in England, in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he subsequently worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. Abandoning this career in the book trade in 1983, he returned to his childhood home to write SARUM, a historical novel with a ten-thousand year storyline, set in the area around the ancient monument of Stonehenge. It was an instant international bestseller remaining 23 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Since then he has written six more bestsellers: RUSSKA, a novel of Russia; LONDON; THE FOREST, set in England's New Forest which lies close by Sarum, and two novels which cover the story of Ireland from the time just before Saint Patrick to the twentieth century. In 2009 NEW YORK was published, and in 2013, PARIS.

Rutherfurd is the quintessential Literary Tourist. He 'walks' the cities he writes about, researches them, imagines them, and arrives at a personal understanding of them. We talk here about this process, about the importance of learning about the ordinary lives of people from the past, of writing short stories about the places you visit, and about history as reconnaissance and "finding out what happened to the last army that went there".

Direct download: Edward_Rutherfurd_final.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

Without question, Friedrich Nietzsche is the go-to guy for those who want to sound smart at a cocktail party.  He's a philosophical superstar, ' the grandfather of postmodernism', an inspiration to thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Sarah Kofman, and Paul de Man. Nietzsche’s popularity lies, according to PhD candidate Karl Laderoute, in his rebelliousness and bombastic style. His aphoristic writing - with its lack of fully articulated argument - spurs students to think critically, says Laderoute, to develop their own views, interpret actively, recognize implicit biases and consider how science, poetry, history, and philosophy operate and intersect.

Nietzsche's famous epistemological ‘perspectivism’ suggests that  'knowing' is simply interpretion from a limited point of view. As very finite beings, humans can only engage in a limited number of cognitive processes at once. This limitation means that we can only consider phenomena, broadly construed as anything happening in the world, in small doses and in particular ways. In other words, says Laderoute, we always examine a phenomenon from some particular perspective, in which some set of interests is at play.

Listen as we discuss the implications of Nietzche's powerful world view:

Direct download: Karl_Laderoute_Nietzsche.mp3
Category:Literary Critics -- posted at: 10:14pm EDT