Snail's Postcard Post

Summer Reading

Snail here! Today my friend Bookworm picked out postcards from my collection.

Clockwise from upper right:
Anais Nin, New York City, 1971.
Photograph by the ultimate photographer of contemporary writers (1970’s-), Jill Krementz (who also happens to be the widow of Kurt Vonnegut).
Postcard acquired at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco 

Oscar Wilde, c. 1882.
Photograph by Napoleon Sarony. A U.S.-based portrait photographer and lithographer, Sarony is best known for his images of theater stars. It is said he paid Sarah Bernhardt $1,500 to sit for him, the equivalent of over $20,000 today. Not a far cry from the legendary drama queen, Sarony took a series of photographs of Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde No. 18(not the one above) became the subject of a Supreme Court case, Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony III U.S. 53 (1884), in which the Court upheld the extension of copyright protection to photographs. Sarony had sued Burrow-Giles after it used unauthorized lithographs of Oscar Wilde No. 18 in an advertisement, finally winning $610 (about $12,000 today).
Postcard sent to me from a former teacher. For another wonderful black and white photograph postcard from him, and to read one of his letters, check out the post titled ‘The Beach.’ 

Anne Sexton in her office, Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts, 1961.
Photograph by Rollie McKenna (RIP 2003). McKenna photographed many authors (her first author photograph was of Truman Capote), particularly poets, including the portraits of Dylan Thomas.
Postcard acquired at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco

William Faulkner at his home in Oxford, Mississippi, 1947.
Photograph by the popular, world-class 1940’s-’50s photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson
What’s special about this photograph is it captures Faulkner in his element. He was most at peace on his family land in Oxford where he could drink and write all day in the company of his beloved dogs. Loathing to leave such comfort, Faulkner nearly bypassed the trip to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in 1950. It is said that when he gave his beautifully eloquent speech at the prize banquet (you can hear recordings on YouTube and elsewhere), he spoke so quietly that most of the guests and the press could not hear him.  

2005 postcard for the Vermin on the Mount Valentine’s Day reading event, illustrated by punk comic illustrator and zinester Ben Snakepit. Now in its eighth year, Vermin on the Mount is an irreverent author reading series. It made its home at the Mountain Bar in Los Angeles’ Chinatown until the dive closed. Now it scurries among several holes.

Front and back of postcard for the new novel The Orphan Master’s Son.It seems that this print is part of a series of four postcards that fit together in a square to give the complete information.















RIP 2008. Not only did Oakley Hall write a prolific amount of Western and crime novels, but he did just as much for other writers (not to mention inspiring a rock band). The “Warlock” (1958) and “The Downhill Racers” (1963) author headed the University of California Irvine writing program, where his students included Richard Ford and Michael Chabon, and he co-founded the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, still run by his family, which fosters a spectrum of writers ranging from beginning students to Amy Tan and Anne Lamott, and where Oakley Hall’s tireless generosity and passion for writing is greatly missed.

Top: Cadets at the Virginia Military Institute reading Howl! 1996, photograph by Gordon Ball, Beat aficionado and project collaborator of Allen Ginsberg’s. Classic postcard from City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, sent by a friend who decorates everything with stickers.

Middle: City Lights Bookstore’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, June 2003. Storefront hung with banners quoting Pablo Neruda:
Tyranny cuts off the singer’s head
But the voice from the bottom of the well
Returns to the secret springs of the earth
And rises out of nowhere through the mouths of the people 

Bottom: Also located in San Francisco, a beautifully designed postcard for the now-closed radical bookstore, Babylon Falling.

This entry was published on July 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm. It’s filed under Series and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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