The Cemetery of Forgotten Books

by Charles Stirton July. 03, 2007 10634 views

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books

This posting celebrates the history of the written word and the mystery of ancient books.

The title for my picture is inspired by the fascinating book The Shadow of the Wind by the Barcelona born writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a labrynthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print.

''The Shadow of the Wind'' opens in 1945 in Barcelona, bleak and still shattered by the Spanish Civil War. Throughout, in fact, the residue of the war's fraternal horror is the grave thematic substratum beneath capers and mystifications.

Daniel, a 10-year-old boy dangerously grieving for his mother's death some years before – ‘'I can’t remember Mommy's face'' – is taken by his solicitous bookseller father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. In this Borgesian labyrinth each book awaits someone to choose it, make it part of his or her life, and thereby renew its own lost life. Mostly for its handsome binding, little Daniel picks out a novel eponymously titled ‘'The Shadow of the Wind,’' by an obscure Spanish writer, Julián Carax. The choice will melodramatically shape the child's life, launching him as a young man, five years later, upon the garish, gothic quest that is the elaborate centrepiece of Ruiz Zafón's novel. At the same time, among other dramatic and interlocking quests that go back to the 1920's, it will shape an odd redemption for Carax's own dark tragedy.
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Interested?

Read more of Richard Eder's review on:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E2D9143BF936A15757C0A9629C8B63 [query.nytimes.com]

An internal skyscraper of ancient books in the British library Foyer.

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There are 18 comments , add yours!
Charles Stirton 12 years, 4 months ago

As a book lover and collector I am thrilled and encouraged by all your comments. Today I was in Oxford which has a terrific array of old and modern bookshops. I bought a fascinating book on alchemy and alchemists and have nearly finished reading it on my train journey back to Bath. It has some wonderful phrases which I will be using for future postings on this subject. I am stunned at how many new books come out each year on so many subjects. Long live books.

12 years, 4 months ago Edited
Hedwiga 12 years, 4 months ago

Yes, The book by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is really good. I coundn't stop reading before I've finished!

12 years, 4 months ago Edited
Krystyna Knypl 12 years, 4 months ago

good photo, great title!

12 years, 4 months ago Edited
Storytaylor 12 years, 5 months ago

a very good photo.books, books, books always friends.the paper smell is unique.books forever.

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Elke 12 years, 5 months ago

A great title !!! Thanks for the reading rehearsal !!! I´m very
interested now !

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Colin 12 years, 5 months ago

It's good to see, these old books are being kept,,,,,

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Rozariasbanned 12 years, 5 months ago

I dreamt I had been in this blog entry... or one just like this and left a comment... about...books?! nah, gotta be my mistake :)

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Lisa 12 years, 5 months ago

There's something about turning the pages and resisting the urge to peak ahead that makes reading a book so much fun. There's that pause when you turn the page that you wonder what will happen next. Reading a book makes you part of the story in a hands on kind of way. Um, I love books too. :) I can spend hours in library or book store too. It's the smell and the thought of the possibilities I think.

Love this post!

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Pete 12 years, 5 months ago

sad that books get to be forgotten
Thanks for dropping by and leaving the comments

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Michelle 12 years, 5 months ago

Great post. I love the title.

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Christine 12 years, 5 months ago

Libraries have always fascinated me ! I can spend hours
looking at books. I must admit I don't always read the ones
I buy ! The Shadow of the Wind...I shall order it for my
birthday, thank you for the idea.
Impressive cemetery ! Great post

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Karolina 12 years, 5 months ago

I want aaaaallllllllll this books!!:)))))))

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Silke 12 years, 5 months ago

Yes - that`s right, Charles!
And this is why it is important to provide this knowledge for our children. Today too many of them don`t read any more.
A negative side effect in our electronic world!
:-(

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Charles Stirton 12 years, 5 months ago

Nope, just my commentary. The new modern British library is very impressive. It is situated just behind St. Pancras and Kings Cross Stations.

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Kasia 12 years, 5 months ago

wow! impressive...
is it Your cementery?

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Charles Stirton 12 years, 5 months ago

Yes books have an inherent beauty in themselves and th eolder often more so.
A few additional thoughts about books.
Futurists have been predicting the demise for books for so long that the idea has become intellectually fashionable. If that is so why are there so many new titles in the shops and an explosion of translations from one language into another? In the end who wants to read an electronic book on the toilet or on the beach!

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
Silke 12 years, 5 months ago

Oh yes, I`m VERY interested!
But only in german, please!! :-)

That`s a great pic & a great title!
[b] I love books to adore[/b].
I think read 1000 or more! But they`re not always forgotten! There comes a situation in your life, when you will remember!
I speak from experience!

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
David Swatton 12 years, 5 months ago

Nice shot and interesting title - sounds like a good book too!

12 years, 5 months ago Edited
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