Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lafcadio Hearn and his brumous luminosity

Today I got a self-paid package on the mail from New York City’s Strand bookstore.

The fine-smelling wrap up (fragrance of cardstock and aged paper mostly) displays an orangey logo on the upper left corner that reveals the motto of this remarkable multi-shelved palace of modern manuscripts: 18 miles of books.

The book ordered is Stray Leaves from Strange Literature by Lafcadio Hearn, a ‘little mosaic of legend and fable’ (as Lafcadio describes himself) a compendium of stories reconstructed and re-written by Hearn based on ancient jewels of literature such as the Anvari-Soheili, Baital, Pachisi, Mahabharata, Pantchatantra, Gulistan, Talmud, Kalewala, etc.

The Contents as follows:

  1. Stray Leaves
  2. Tales Retold from Indian and Buddhist Literature
  3. Runes from the Kalewala
  4. Stories of Moslem Lands
  5. Traditions Retold from the Talmud
The book printed in 1884 is in almost mint condition, considering the age. It was among the Modern Rare editions printed ones. I can wait to immerse myself in the brumous luminosity of Lafcadio’s ways.

Here a link to a Lafcadio Hearn website with more information on this amazing man who after strolling around Greece, Ireland, New York, Cincinnati, and New Orleans, settled in Japan, where his art flourished as beautiful as a garden in bloom during a tea ceremony.

Gracias to Lafcadio, to the Strand bookstore, and to the dear friend that took me there for the first time.

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