Sometimes our shelftalkers go missing. Could be that they fall and are kicked under the shelves, or are taken by connoisseurs, or are misplaced by the elves we hire to sprinkle dust around the store overnight (you all know about bookstore elves, right?). Anyway, Clark’s magical shelftalker for Blaise Cendrars’ Moravagine went missing, so he mailed us a new one from his new bookstore in New Orleans, Maple Street Books.
We miss Clark.
We also think you should read this book.
In 1912, at Easter, I was starving in New York, and had been for a number of months. From time to time I took a job, by force of necessity, but I didn’t keep it a week and if I could manage to get my pay sooner than that I quit sooner, impatient to get on with my sessions of reading at the central public library. My poverty was extreme and every day I looked worse: unshaven, trousers in corkscrews, shoes worn out, hair long, coat stained and faded and without buttons, no hat or tie, having sold them one day for a penny in order to buy a plug of the world’s worst chewing tobacco.
The Improvised Life has a charming excerpt from Cendrars’s interview with the Paris Review on writing his masterpiece, Easter in New York, the origins of his nom de plume, as well as a link to the poem in french and english.
In keeping with the tradition of A Different Stripe, we’re obligated to refer you to this picture of Cendrars with his cat.
“A raw, stinking, crawling hunk of fantasy by Blaise Cendrars”
The front and back cover designs of the original English-language translation of Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars, courtesy of the excellent book and art blog 50 Watts.
Click through to see the drawing of Cendrars taped to the first page of the book as well as Paul West’s review of it.
Melting Blaise Cendrars and kitty.