Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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Unpacking the Packing List

Back when I first moved in with my present partner, I made an effort to organize my possessions. It failed, ultimately, as anyone who ever saw my "office" off our 617 Napa Street kitchen after, say, 1994 could tell you. But I did manage to create file folders that I'm still using to this day. I was also able to catalogue most of the books that I consigned to our storage space. Here are the notes I made for the enigmatically named "Box 3," completed on 2/19/92. Like most of my boxes of books at that point in my life, it was probably a Black Mountain Water box inherited from Annalee, who used to have bottles delivered to her apartment. Those were the days. I should also add that I was making no effort back then to group books according to author, period, or content. I merely tried to squeeze as many books as possible into each box, necessitating a wide range of shapes and sizes. Without further ado, then, I present this archival document of my archival impulse. Wait. You object? This bores you silly. Sorry, friend. May I humbly suggest, though, that you read my "About De File" sidebar -- you'll have to scroll down a ways -- on the right of my LJ layout. Anyway:
FAINT WHITE SPRAY-PAINT

1) Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures
2) Art Nouveau: Prints, Illustrations, and Posters
3) Georgia O'Keefe: Arts and Letters
4) George Nakashima, The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections
5) Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare (Pelican)
6) The Taming of the Shrew, "" ("")
7) Antony and Cleopatra, "" ("")
8) The Winter's Tale, "" (Folger Library)
9) The Tempest, "" ("")
10) Macbeth, "" (Signet)
11) King Lear, "" (Signet)
12) Kenneth Burke, Towards a Better Life (novel)
13) Libido (sexuality journal, Winter 1990)
14) Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub
15) Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (Oxford)
16) Lessing, Nathan der Weise
17) A Guide to Old English, Bruce Mitchell + Fred C. Robinson
18) Word-Hoard, Stephen A. Barney
19) The Phantom Ship, Captain Marryat (Flying Dutchman tale)
20) James Fennimore Cooper, The Red Rover
21) Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
22) Ovid, The Art of Love
23) Edmund Spenser, The Fairie Queen (Longman Annotated English Poets)
24) St. John's College Catalogue, 1984-85
25) Figures of Speech: American Writers and the Literary Marketplace, from Benjamin Franklin to Emily Dickinson, R. Jackson Wilson
26) Joy of Cooking (paperback edition, water-damaged)
27) Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
28) Heine (Heinrich - poems and prose in an old 'Fraktur' edition)
29) Nathaniel Hawthorne, Selected Tales and Sketches
30) The Folksinger's Guitar Guide
31) James Joyce, Dubliners
32) Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life...
33) Measure for Measure, Shakespeare (Pelican)
34) Troilus and Cressida, "" (Signet)
35) A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas (blue envelope)
36) The Book of Mormon
37) German quarterly on 'Geschichtswissenschaft' from 1899
38) Dissertation on Goethe's Faust, 1920
39) Herman Melville, Moby Dick (Signet)
40) Frantz Fanon, A Dying Colonialism
41) Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals
I wish I could say that my book-buying tendencies have become more orderly over the years. Or at least I wish I could say that I wish that and mean it. But the truth is that I still buy all manner of strange titles in used bookstores, library discard sales, and thrift stores. The only difference is that I now lack the time and opportunities to pursue this quixotic quest with the cocido-loving zeal that I once did. Did I mention that I'm sorting through old computer files of late in search of rich chocolatey goodness?
Tags: archive, autobiography
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