Owls Head

Overview

A derelict antiques and scrap metal business in Owls Head, Maine, is the setting of this multi-layered word-portrait of its owner, William Buck-minster, proprietor of an extraordinary collection of discarded and decaying items, no-longer-functioning remnants of previous lives. Buckminster's world, which includes both his vaunted talents in the local pool halls and his sure knowledge of the seemingly endless number of fascinating objects from his vast supply, are inspiration for Purcell's carefully crafted ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $13.58   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

A derelict antiques and scrap metal business in Owls Head, Maine, is the setting of this multi-layered word-portrait of its owner, William Buck-minster, proprietor of an extraordinary collection of discarded and decaying items, no-longer-functioning remnants of previous lives. Buckminster's world, which includes both his vaunted talents in the local pool halls and his sure knowledge of the seemingly endless number of fascinating objects from his vast supply, are inspiration for Purcell's carefully crafted meditation on collecting and entropy, and the signals both send to those of us willing to pay attention. 34 duotone footnote photographs.


About the Author:
: Rosamond Purcell is a photographer best known for her hauntingly beautiful work in the back rooms of natural history museums. She is the author of Special Cases: Natural Anomalies and Historical Monsters, collaborative works with Stephen Jay Gould, and, most recently, Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck (Quantuck Lane 2002) with Ricky Jay, who refers to her as the "doyenne of decaying objects."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Maine resident William Buckminster may be a mere junk dealer to some, but to photographer Purcell, he is a merchant-historian overseeing "vestiges from two hundred years of history" (e.g., skates and skillets, clocks without hands, 78 rpm records from the early 1900s, a miniature bed of nails, an iron lung, a corpse-like rubber baby doll leaking foam, a circular staircase, a bicycle planted up to the handle bars, a child's coffin, a fisherman's lantern, "the earliest existing brass foundry in the entire country"). Where another eye might see a trash heap, or, more generously, an unruly second-hand shop, Purcell finds "a garden of collective memories." At heart, this is a travel book, a meandering journey through "the vastness, disorder, and gentle melancholy" of Buckminster's 11 acres of sundry mutable matter, following Purcell from her first stumble upon it through two decades as she evolves from buyer to friend and as her studio grows to resemble a more composed version of Buckminster's collection. Reading Purcell is a bit like digging in Buckminster's mountains of stuff; readers come upon bits of his life, including his pool game, bits of genealogy and fragments of regional history. The end notes, peppered with about 40 photographs, were designed for scavengers as well; there's no telling what readers will find, whimsy or weight. Purcell is an acquired taste, rather like her own taste for old books ("Victorian paper tastes dry-better, actually, than the paper used in newer books"). Still, the book haunts; "perhaps," as Purcell observes, "a tea pot that holds no water is deeper than you think." (Oct. 20) Forecast: Visitors to Owl's Head, Maine, which has a famous lighthouse and a transportation museum, could pick this up, along with fans of antiquing and collecting. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971454866
  • Publisher: Quantuck Lane Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)