Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2002 Issue

911: Present Tragedy As Future Americana

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Daniel DiGia, [Nothing feels safe anymore], 2001 Electrostatic print with porous point pen on paste-ons

Now for the overall assessment. Does the Library of Congress’s exhibit fully capture the spirit or essence of that confusing horrifying apocalyptic day? No, but a full disclosure is due here: I must admit that as a New Yorker who saw the towers burning live, not on T.V., lives in what was the “frozen zone,” knows people who died at the World Trade Center site (my best friend’s aunt was on the first plane to hit the towers), and volunteered for several months for the Red Cross at Ground Zero serving as a relief worker and amateur peer counselor to the rescue workers, I am a hard audience to satisfy in terms of creating an exhibit that coveys the full weight of that awful day. But does the Library of Congress’s exhibit come close to conveying the multidimensional chaos and sadness of the worst terrorist strike on American soil? Yes, as much as any exhibit – especially any digital exhibit – can. The result is simultaneously moving, depressing, uplifting, and as riveting, if you’ll forgive me, as a car crash: once I started clicking on objects included in the exhibit I found myself unable to stop, even when I was immersed to the point of saturation. And perhaps that’s all that’s fair to ask of one of the many projects that exist solely to document this harrowing day, a day whose documents and artifacts will surely be collected by future generations of Americanists.

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  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.

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