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Here is a tantalizing excerpt from the review by Calum Gardner, which explores the history of curio cabinets and their relationship to this odd and delightful book of baubles:
The “cabinet of curiosity” was once a staple of the private home of the wealthy eccentric, containing unique and unusual objects from around the globe. When Elias Ashmole donated his collection – by that stage rather larger than a cabinet – to found the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, it contained a stuffed dodo, said to be the last to be seen in Europe. Thanks to the magnanimity of people like Ashmole, objects of private curiosity became those of public education as the modern museum evolved. However, a few in the old style remain … But perhaps the institution which best preserves the spirit of the cabinet of curiosities is the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, whose miscellany contains dioramas depicting obsolete theories of magnetism, portraits of every dog sent into space by the Soviet Union, and a carving of a scene of a room with figure and furniture all inside the stone of a peach. The museum never admits its own absurdity and anachronism, its dim rooms behind a near-anonymous storefront maintaining the experience that visitors to a private cabinet would have had, that they were privy to a secret history of which the world outside was ignorant. To those who have visited the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the experience of reading Daniel Canty’s Wigrum will be strikingly familiar.
To see a few of the darling illustrations from the book and read selections from its intriguing chapters, also see the latest issue of Geist magazine.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked our staff to recommend favourite Talon books that they felt contributed to the advancement of women and to the feminist literary canon.Tuesday February 6, 2018 in Meta-Talon
By Carl Peters
On Meta-Talon today, please enjoy the full text of the presentation given by Carl Peters at the Modern Languages Association convention in New York City on January 7, 2018. This talk responds to the question posed in the MLA convention session Rhetoric in Post-Factual Times: how to perform textual analysis in a time when facts are no longer the marker of good argumentation. (Peters’s talk is also related to his work on Stein; Peters is recently the author of Studies in Description: Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.)Thursday December 21, 2017 in Meta-Talon
Our little end-of-year present to you is a miniature from M.A.C. Farrant’s delightful collection of very short stories, The World Afloat. Happy Holidays from Talonbooks!
Our Spiritual Lives
We’ve seen stains on tea towels that look like Jesus Christ’s face so we know he exists. And we know that dried seaweed can save the Douglas fir from extinction so we hang dried seaweed from the tree’s branches.Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Meta-Talon
A finalist for the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, In a World Created by a Drunken God has been in steady demand since it was first published 11 years ago. From 2006 until the end of 2017, In a World Created by a Drunken God was in print with its original cover, which showed moving boxes and a flip phone. Now, Talonbooks has reprinted In a World Created by a Drunken God for the fourth time, and it wears a dynamic, new cover …
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.