An assortment of new books

Mel Bach recently wrote about our processes for dealing with newly unpacked printed books. I am one of the small number of CAL staff who have resumed some work in the UL building and have been privileged to sit at my desk in South Wing 1 for a couple of days a week since early September. During this time I have handled a few hundred books and I must say it has been a joy to actually touch physical books again. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed this while working exclusively from home during lockdown.

My cataloguing work usually centres predominantly on material in German, Dutch and Scandinavian. I was pleased to see that some relevant Dutch titles on race, ordered in June to supplement titles referred to in my post on Dutch titles on race and decolonisation, had already arrived:

  • Mijn ontelbare identiteiten by Sinan Çankaya (C216.c.4326)
  • Hallo witte mensen by Anousha Nzume (C206.d.4240)
  • De vreemdeling: racisme uitgelegd aan onszelf by Abdelkader Benali (C206.d.4241)
  • Het laatste wat ik nog wil zeggen over racisme by Dalilla Hermans (C206.d.4247)

Another Dutch title which caught my eye and which I remembered ordering, probably because of the cover, was Nederland in tijden van droom en daad: een geschiedenis van de laatste vijftig jaar by Henk Visscher (C216.c.4250) which examines changing social attitudes over the last 50 years. The striking cover, featuring part of the painting Het Gerucht by the controversial surrealist artist Moesman, is a case in point – once deemed offensive and removed from an exhibition but a copy of it (the original is now owned by the Heineken brewing family) was included in a Utrecht exhibition earlier this year.

While I am familiar with French titles at the book selection and ordering stage, I don’t usually handle them once they are received so it has been interesting to see some of our latest arrivals. These four in particular attracted my attention:

  • L’Alcoran: comment l’Europe a découvert le Coran by Olivier Hanne (C216.c.4251)
  • Marche et démarche: une histoire de la chaussure by Denis Bruna (C202.b.4699)
  • Napoléon et le livre: la censure sous le Consulat et l’Empire (1799-1815) by Patricia Sorel (C216.c.4415)
  • Vitriol: les agressions à l’acide du XIXe siècle à nos jours by Karine Salomé (C216.c.4349)

The workflow has also led to me handling books in languages other than those I am accustomed to working with, and this has been equally fascinating. Here are just a few of the Spanish and Italian titles that leapt out at me as they passed through my hands:

  • Pasatiempo: la vida de un pintor by Luis Quintanilla (C206.d.4382)
  • Roteiro by Francisco Leiro (S950.c.201.1437)
  • Cuba frente al buen vecino: entre el contrato y la herejía by Iroel Sánchez (C216.c.4892)
  • Mis razones: mujeres poetas del Uruguay edited by Jesse Lee Kercheval, Virginia Lucas (C216.c.4894)
  • La máscara de la diversidad: de la clandestinidad a la sobreexposición by Fernando Amado (C216.c.4859)
  • Roberto Longhi: percorsi tra le due guerre by Marco M. Mascolo and Francesco Torchiani (C206.d.4540)
  • Guerra e pace dell’energia: la strategia per il gas naturale dell’Italia tra Federazione russa e Nato by Demostenes Floros (C206.d.4581)
  • Quando l’ornamento non è delitto: la decorazione in Sicilia dal Tardogotico al Novecento edited by Alessandra Buccheri e Giulia Ingarao (C206.d.4282)
  • Dio lo volle?: 1204, la vera caduta di Costantinopoli by Marina Montesano (C206.d.4549)
  • Marx nei margini: dal marxismo nero al femminismo postcoloniale edited by Miguel Mellino, Andrea Ruben Pomella (C206.d.4564)

Katharine Dicks

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