Friday, July 27, 2007

Even more random than usual

These books look very cute, if you have children of drawing-and-colouring-in age: a good gimmick ("Just add heads and arms!") executed with wit in an appropriate hippie-Victorian-ish style. While we're plugging, I should say that I ran across them in this exquisite design-geek boutique; which, among other virtues, is the kind of environment where a lone fat bearded man can leaf through a colouring book without anyone getting the wrong idea.

In lieu of a postcard

"And the city is situated on hills; you are hurrying along somewhere and all at once beneath your feet you have a deep green chasm with a fine river below; you are taking a walk and all of a sudden there is another street located on a bridge above your head, as at Genoa; you are taking a walk, and you reach a perfectly circular open space, as at Paris. The whole time there is something for you to be surprised at." - Karel Capek on the wonders of wandering around Edinburgh, in Letters from England.

[Letters from England, by Karel Capek, translated by Paul Selver, London, 1925. The Czech satirist holidays, sending home faux-naive doodles and matching comic prose. The first few chapters, in which he is beaten about the head by London, are much the best; they show a near-Swiftian skill with lists.]

Additional note, in the event of this blog having a Scottish reader: Yes, he is aware that your country is not part of England; no, I don't know why he chooses not to reflect this in his overall title. The translator sounds potentially English; why don't you blame him?