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Trading in Memories: Revealing the Past Through Curiosities, Relics, and Flea Market Finds
     

Trading in Memories: Revealing the Past Through Curiosities, Relics, and Flea Market Finds

by Barbara Hodgson
 

Those who wish to understand a city's history visit museums, but Barbara Hodgson prefers a different approach. She explores the streets, bookstores, and markets, where a city reveals its most private self, displaying the contents of its attics and trash bins. Back alleys, obscure cemeteries, and hidden courtyards also offer up surprising finds and capture the

Overview

Those who wish to understand a city's history visit museums, but Barbara Hodgson prefers a different approach. She explores the streets, bookstores, and markets, where a city reveals its most private self, displaying the contents of its attics and trash bins. Back alleys, obscure cemeteries, and hidden courtyards also offer up surprising finds and capture the essence of the city. Covering a wide cultural and physical geography from Brussels to Marrakech and Damascus to Portland, Trading in Memories follows Barbara Hodgson's travels through markets and other repositories of material culture around the world. The book looks deep into history through such objects as chandeliers left by French expatriates fleeing Shanghai in 1937 and glass lantern slides and stereoscope cards from around the world that attest to the human impulse for wanderlust, free or forced. This sumptuous book presents a wonderful visual and textual record of the true life and character of a place.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Hodgson, who is also a book designer, has published both novels (e.g., The Tatooed Map) and nonfiction (e.g., Italy Out of Hand). As always, she evocatively intertwines her design and verbal skills. There is the whiff of Proust here but the hands and heart of a practical rummager; her intellect, her reveries, and her well-traveled feet thread their way through the old markets and dusty shops of the cities she most favors for her adventures, made up as much of browsing as buying. She divides this heavily illustrated volume by city: London, Brussels, Paris, Rochefort, Naples, Budapest, Istanbul, Damascus, Aleppo, Aswan, Marrakech, Fex El-Djedid, Tangier, Shanghai, Stanley, Los Angeles, Portland, and Vancouver. Hodgson is a crusader for the fragile relics of the past, whether understood or mystifying. To reassure us that there is no pretension here, she calls the gatherings "old stuff," wearing her erudition lightly as she examines particular objets trouvés even as she questions the whys and wherefores of her fascination with orphaned ephemera. Readers will feel themselves tripping along after her, charmed as she picks up a long-ago discarded passport and half-imagines, half-explains the travels that the document surely knew. She writes beautifully: "I savor the taste of age and leave with threads from torn bindings clinging to my hair." Highly recommended for armchair travel and material culture collections.
—Margaret Heilbrun

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553651994
Publisher:
Greystone Books
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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