Re: Read Evan Connell's "The Connoisseur"

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Posted by R. John Howe on June 08, 1999 at 05:06:35:

In Reply to: Re: More questions thrown into the pot posted by Steve Price on June 07, 1999 at 14:31:00:

Dear folks -

Ms. Hawks'subtle distinctions here may elevate (as I think Steve too suggests in part) a bit too much, the development that can occur as one moves into "collecting."

But I do have a suggestion. Perhaps the best treatment of the onset of collecting is in a novel by Evan Connell, Jr entitled "The Connoisseur." It is about a New York business man waiting for a plane in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who wanders into a touristy shop and buy purely on impulse a small "antique" statue. Before he gets to his plane he has been to the local university, authenticated his piece, bought several books and is already in the clutches of collecting. Throughout the book he is continually surprised at the strength of his collecting urge and about the fact that he seems to have relatively little control over either it or the way in which it develops.

I think Mr. Connell, who is clearly a collector himself, has us "cold." This book is out of print but you can find it easily on the sources, like Bibiofind that Jerry recommended in the last salon. Don't buy the first editions for $25-50. Hold out for a hard back in perhaps the $9-12 range. There is even a paperback version but it's harder to find. I buy this book and give it away to collectors frequently.

Katharine, you'll love it.


R. John Howe

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