The used bookstore by nature is doomed to a certain clutter. I’m not specifically referring to OUR used bookstore, though the clutter held with in the confines of the Maple Street’s Used & Rare Shop’s walls is undeniable clutter indeed, but all used bookstores in a certain capacity. Long standing used bookshops become practically archeological in their volumes, and for the curators of these businesses a dizzying sort maintenance takes place. The task is to set a balance between Borgesian fantasia and just plain and simple form and function. You’ll never find the works of Erich Fromm if the psychology section isn’t properly put aside in some semblance of order, yes? Well, I took a couple of hours to do just that today. So to extend the previous metaphor, I found a couple of treasures in the labyrinth as it were (and some Fromm too).
How freakin’ good is this cover for a book on narcissism?? If I were playing a game of Pictionary, a weird one perhaps, in which I am asked to illustrate self obsession personified, I’m not sure I could ever pick out an image this excellent. I don’t know if it’s the face or the lute or the absurd garb that does it for me, but this is self centered wacko incarnate to me. No doubt. I love it.
When I pulled this out I seriously thought Roland Topor had done the cover for a second. I mean, it looks like it right? I looked into it though, and it doesn’t seem to me that he or Szasz had any affiliation. Aw well, it’s an epic bit of design nonetheless. In fact it reminds me to ask, anybody got a used copy of The Tenant they want to sell to the shop? I neglected to pick up a copy when it was re-pressed a few years back and it looks like I’ll forever regret it! I returned the copy of Fantastic Planet I’d rented from the downtown public library on time the other day. Does that do anything for me karmically? Respect for a free service? I guess I’m probably on neutral ground, huh? Maybe next round I’ll find a book full of ideas on how to analyze that.