Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Historical or Geological?

Having been all inspired by going to Paris (read: Orsay + Louvre) last weekend, I thought I should look for an art history book to try to fight a rearguard action against my tragic levels of ignorance. I wondered about just getting Gombrich (as in "you can't go wrong with Gombrich") but thought perhaps one should look at other possibilities so I visited the online shopping emporium of my friend Mr Amazon to see what I might see.

So I went :

Books >
Art, Architecture & Photography >
History of Art & Architecture

- which seemed reasonable, and there at NUMBER THREE in the list - which contains just over 42,000 titles but I am sure you know that - is this book:

Cliff: An Intimate Portrait of a Living Legend
by Tim Ewbank & Stafford Hildred
Virgin Books (6 Sep 2007)

Erm ... ermm ... ermmm ... most odd. In fact, Cliff's not even the only oddity in the Top Ten that I am seeing right now, though he is certainly the most surprising.

What goes on here? I mean, I could guess, but I'd love to know.

Update on 9th January 2008. If you do the same thing today, the list in general makes more sense. It is still a little odd, given what it says on the tin, but not, mostly, wildly off either. Cliff has gone - or at least he is no longer near the top, which will do. However, the no. 3 slot is now occupied by this:

Somebody Else's Kids: They Were Problem Children No One Wanted! Until One Teacher Took Them to Her Heart
by Torey L. Hayden
Harper Element (1 Oct 2007)

- which, although I am sure is a jolly good book, also seems on the face of it to have fairly little to do with "History of Art & Architecture". So ... two theories. (1) Slot no 3 on the list is haunted and this is the result of poltergeist activity; (2) some art student type is working as a product editor at Amazon and this is an elaborate piece of site-specific art they are doing as a project called "What Is Art History Really?" Next week the number three slot will be occupied by a book about aircraft carriers and then one on sheepdog trials. Eventually they will have at all put together as a nice slide show and we can all laugh at the sheer wackiness of it.

Unless of course you have a better explanation??? :)

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