Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Little Shop of Horrors ; )

By his own account, Jim Rosenau was given a proper upbringing.

"I was raised with a near-religious relationship to books. Never write in a book. Don’t lose someone else’s place. How to protect its vitally-important spine. Rules pertaining to the avoidance of moisture. And, like all observant families, we were taken once a week to the library for worship."

But then, several years ago, he began to engage in unspeakable practices. He built bookcases -- out of books!

Yes, those are real books . The pages in these red volumes have been replaced by salvaged wood, making the shelves strong enough to hold actual books. (So the covers are actually being used as a kind of veneer.)

Some of his smaller shelves, though functional, are also humorous works of art. Click here to see a slide show of his "Funniest Shelves Gallery." The titles of the books from which they are composed are aptly chosen. And don't forget to look at the "Procedures" page for a factory tour, starting with the harvesting of ripe books from the Tree of Knowledge.

Catholic Bibliophagist has mixed feelings about Mr. Rosenau's enterprise. I find his work to be clever and visually amusing. And yet . . . I also view it with a horrified fascination. Intellectually, I realize that he only works with books that nobody wants, books that "look better than they read." But I can't help feeling a little queasy at their vivisection and their transformation into bibliofrankenstein constructions. And I find myself straining to read the titles of the books in his photos. I hope I won't see a copy of Aristotle's lost work on comedy.

No comments: