Friday, 23 August 2013

Book Launch of "Esoteric London"

Sunday October 13th at 7.00pm. Big Green Bookshop

Roger Dean is a professional photographer and a lover of London, its history, its traditions, its folklore and its photographic possibilities. For over three years he has been running the wonderful blog EsotericLondon which marries his photographic images of present day London with texts from the past, drawing parallels, informing, entertaining and endeavouring to do so with a dash of quirky English humour. Take a couple of minutes to check it out, it's well worth it.

 Now, Roger is self-publishing his favourite posts in a pocket sized publication. No coffee table tome, but a handy size to keep with you on your commute around the capital and to hopefully act as a catalyst to encourage you to hop off the Tube or the bus one stop earlier than usual and discover your own esoteric London. As a Harringay resident and a great believer in supporting independent shops he has great pleasure in revealing the physical version of his blog at the Wood Green Literary Festival in conjunction with the Big Green Bookshop.

Here are a couple of examples of Roger's work, with suitable text, giving you an inkling as to what to expect.
From Hand-Book of London Past and Present – Peter Cunningham. Published 1850:
 "For a chop or steak and a mealy potato, there is no place like “Joe’s,” in Finch-lane, Cornhill; but the beer is bad."

From Sketches of London Life and Character – Albert Smith, Editor, c.1849:
Covent Garden Market – Charles Kenney
"The patches of struggling vegetation in square, park, or garden, whose only commerce with the sun is a sort of bowing acquaintance – a distant nod exchanged en passant through the chinks of a smoky cloud – have been wittily designated “Nature put in the pound for straying.”
But this is wit at the expense of truth. They are not Nature at all, but a vile caricature, daubed in charcoal and lampblack. The petrified trees of a coal-mine have as much claim on our sympathies. They satisfy no yearnings, but are silent and sullen as the walls that frown on them. They make no response to the inward voice that “babbles of green fields;” and, like the windows of a prison, show us a glimpse of the unencompassed world only through a black grating that reminds us of our imprisonment."

(The tree in the photograph stands in front of the Daniel Libeskind-designed extension to the London Metropolitan University on Holloway Road, built in 2004. The three dramatically intersecting blocks clad in stainless steel look as if they have been hurled into the streetscape by some giant and have then settled themselves into the North London clay. R.D.)
The book will be available, for the first time anywhere, at the Festival, and we hope you can come along to admire Roger's work. 

but please email The Big Green Bookshop to confirm that you'll be attending.

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