"Which books to paint then?" Baker writes. "I began to think about books that had been important and life-changing for me, but which I now felt I could no longer return to—books that held great meaning for me as a youth but lacked the same impact upon rereading."
"As our personalities are changed (or not) by them, so too do they absorb impressions of our lives," Baker writes. "Each book becomes its own unique individual, most especially true of the lowly paperback."
"They come to stand for various episodes of our lives, for certain idealisms, follies of belief, moments of love," Baker writes. "Along the way they accumulate our marks, our stains, our innocent abuses—they come to wear our experience of them on their covers and bindings like wrinkles on our own skin."
"As physical objects they are powerful fetishes, icons, containers of every conceivable thought and/or emotion," Baker writes. "We cart them from home to work on our commutes and they accompany us on vacations. We move them carefully packed in boxes from one domicile to another, from one phase of life to another."
"For twenty years or so I have been committed to the painting of still life," Richard Baker writes. "I say 'still life' purely as a descriptive term—the associations conjured by its use seem limited and confining for my purposes. Many of my works from the previous ten years have commingled depictions of two-dimensional representations with diverse 'rendering' of three-dimensional forms—into these hybrid conglomerations I introduced images of books in 2004."
As of December 31, Random House, the largest trade publisher in the United States, will freeze the pension plan funds of its current employees, and will eliminate the plan as a benefit for new hires.
Last night the National Book Foundation announced the winners of the 2008 National Book Awards at a ceremony in New York City.
Two states last week announced the appointments of new poets laureate. Marilyn Taylor was named Wisconsin’s poet laureate by Governor Jim Doyle. In California, the honor was given to Carol Muske-Dukes by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each will serve as poet laureate for a two-year term.
Hudson Booksellers, operator of the ubiquitous Hudson News stands so familiar to travelers, recently announced their picks for the best books published in 2008.
A sizable collection of papers, photographs, and personal items of Ezra Pound was recently acquired by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.