Mentioning Virginia Woolf’s Orlando in the Argosy Books post made me remember that I had taken a couple of photos this past winter to show off my copy, just after I’d finished reading it. Of course I meant to review it, too, but my mind was so thoroughly blown that I still haven’t been able to take on the task of putting together anything coherent and less than thirteen pages long. (I think one of the only concrete things I said about it to Kakaner after I finished it was OH MY GOD LITERARYGASM. Textuality, sexuality, creation of artistic/sexual/romantic identity over time, creation of history, individual experience of time, all delivered with outrageous style and wit… It’s the kind of book I wish I could take a course or three on, but I loved equally what I understood of it, and what I didn’t.)
So, have some pictures of the book in the meantime. Maybe they’ll go partway towards communicating the extent to which I love this book.
It’s not an outstandingly pretty edition, but there are so many little things I love about it: the size (it’s about the same height as but an inch or two wider than a modern mass-market paperback), the worn teal binding, the fact that it’s still printed in letterpress, the unmistakable dry sweetish old-book smell. Also, it was one of the few things that I bought at the archetypal local bookstore-that-was-independent before the owners sold it in 2007.
Also, the brief and mysterious inscription on the endpapers:
Anyone out there who can read Sanskrit…?
Just two more photos under the jump.
Why yes, it is a fictional biography that includes an index before “THE END.”
I have also seen Sally Potter’s 1992 film adaptation with (swoon) Tilda Swinton, and thought that it was much lighter, but not without substance; it’s also massively eye-candyish, and enjoyable for me from that respect alone. I’d love to see it another time – same goes for re-reading the book, needless to say.