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01 November 2011 @ 03:22 pm
why I should not be allowed out in public  
So this is a thing that exists in the world, which means that I totally just embarrassed myself by flailing on a street corner in front of the local bookstore window:

The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/89119/the-annotated-phantom-tollbooth-by-norton-juster

Though it did result in a nice exchange with a bookseller:

Bookseller: Can I help you find anything?
me (in ridiculous blurt-fashion): Um, yes. I just saw a book in the window [pointing thumb over shoulder, in case it's not clear where or what "the window" is]. The Annotated Norton Juster--I mean Phantom Tollbooth--"
B: Oh, yes--it's beautiful. [walks over to book] Here you go.
me: Thanks so much! Now I just have to decide who needs this for Christmas.
B: Who doesn't need this for Christmas, I think is the question.
me: Very true.

I like it when people like books.

The Phantom Tollbooth has a special place in my heart; it's not one of the books that I read every other week, like The Secret Garden or The Egypt Game, but it was a book that taught me that you could play sly, expansive games with language. That's not something I'm good at, mind, but it's something I love when others do it, and I suspect that I learned that (and what "the doldrums" were) largely from this book. Which I now want to reread, right now.

This book also exists in the world, so I embarrassed myself again by snorting with uncontrollable laughter while reading the flap copy:
Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, by Gary Wills
http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300152180

This was the bit that did it: "Renaissance plays and poetry in England were saturated with the formal rhetorical twists that Latin education made familiar to audiences and readers. Yet a formally educated man like Ben Jonson was unable to make these ornaments come to life in his two classical Roman plays."

Inexplicable slam on Ben Jonson!

The frequent buyer sale is Sunday, so I have my eye on some purchases now.
 
 
 
S. Worthenowlfish on November 1st, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
I am so happy to know that the Annotated Phantom Tollbooth exists!
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on November 1st, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC)
It's very exciting! I'm interested to find out all the things I didn't notice when I was a kid.
litlover12: CSLlitlover12 on November 1st, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
Nice! Annotated editions are so cool.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on November 1st, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to taking a more leisurely look at this one!
Ten O'Clock Medievalist: book forttarimanveri on November 1st, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Ooh, frequent-buyer sale! I'll be in town for it... but alas, I'll be spending 120% of business hours on Saturday at a conference. Good thing most of the books I need to buy are expensive French-language diplomatics handbooks only available directly through Brepols in Belgium.
tempestsarekind: ofelia readingtempestsarekind on November 1st, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
I...suppose that is a good thing, actually, since I have a tendency to become completely reckless in my book-buying habits when they dangle the promise of "20% off" in front of me.

(I have no idea where I'm going to put the batch of books I will inevitably acquire on Sunday.)
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke: dw | brighter than sunflowersfaeriemaiden on November 2nd, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
OH. THIS IS A THING?! I am DELIRIOUSLY EXCITED about this being a thing, because I have a massive, massive emotional bond with this book due to my dad reading it aloud to me when I was little and it becoming part of our private language. (It was where I, too, first encountered "the doldrums".) :D :D :D
tempestsarekind: a sort of fairytaletempestsarekind on November 3rd, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
One of my closest college friends made a reference to The Phantom Tollbooth, early in our acquaintance, and I just went, "...we now have to be great friends forever, okay. Sorry if this is an inconvenience for you." :) It's definitely a book for which I remember exactly where I was when I first read it, and how I felt.