Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saving Private Ryan’s Daughter
This is the first weekend in a month that I haven’t had a book fair to attend, and I’ve been enjoying it.
Put the finishing touches on a killer rare book catalog that will appear in hard copy in mid-November, and started on my next project, a catalog of maritime manuscripts, documents and ephemera to be called “Wet Paper.”
But mostly I just mooched around in my bedroom slippers – reading, napping, catching up on junk TV shows like “Gold Rush,” and “Ice Road Truckers,” trying to stay awake for the most thrilling World Series in a decade (what does that tell you about baseball?), and eating and drinking too much, as always. Friday night Anne Marie and I had our Irish pal Mick and his daughter Nancy over for dinner. Anne Marie’s sister Mary Tess was there, and our daughter Celia stopped by too. It was a lively bunch, and we had a wonderful time.
As the evening wore on our conversation about good movies morphed into a running gag that we soon realized had potential as a contest or game. The idea is to combine the titles of two movies into a new, third movie, whose title is at once a syntactically correct and absurd combination of the original two. The farther apart the themes of the two movies are, the better. It’s my favorite kind of game. There are no losers, and when someone comes up with a good movie combo, everyone wins.
I started off with “Saving Private Ryan’s Daughter,” which gave the game its name. That hit was soon followed by the likes of Nancy’s “American Beauty and the Beast.” Celia, a Lara Croft kind of girl herself, came up with “Tomb Raiders of the Lost Ark;” Mary Tess with “Hannah and her Sisters Act,” and Anne Marie with the more down to earth “Sound of Music Man.”
Of course no sports fan would want to miss “Raging Bull Durham.” And, considering the season, “Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead” is a must.
I guess you get the idea. I’m sure you could do the same with titles of the Great Books, but I’ll leave that for better minds.
Here’s an interesting item from “Wet Paper,” a whaleman’s shopping list. It’s hard enough to remember what you need at the grocery store when you’re shopping for dinner. Imagine shopping for supplies to last you four years!
Ephemera. OUTFIT BOOK FOR THE WHALESHIP DANIEL WEBSTER, 1858. 12mo. 37 pp. printed entries accomplished in manuscript and nine terminal pages of manuscript entries. The Daniel Webster was a 336 ton whaleship out of New Bedford, commanded by Dexter Bellows. According to Starbuck she departed June 11, 1858 for Cumberland Inlet in the North Atlantic, and returned November 23, 1859 with 50 barrels sperm, 1316 barrels whale oil, and 18,000 pounds whale bone. This book is dated in manuscript June 12, which corresponds roughly with her departure date. Outfit books listed products available from a provisioner or chandler that might be needed on a whaling voyage. These items were then marked, in manuscript, as to quantity or other specification, by whoever was responsible for provisioning the ship. In their day they served as handy shopping lists. To us they are esteemed as documentary evidence of exactly what goods in what quantities were taken on whaling voyages. This book is incredibly detailed. It lists thirty-seven pages of supplies, such as food, clothing, navigational aids, or whaling tools, each item marked as to whether or not it would be needed and in what quantity. In addition nine pages of manuscript notes give orders for slops and cordage. An excellent example, bound as issued in limp leather covers. $650
Next Week: "Long Day's Journey Into Nightmare on Elm Street?" - Nah...