The 31st National Arts & Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC February 16 - 18, 2018
"The most important weekend of the year for Arts & Crafts collectors." - The New York Times
The Arts & Crafts Book Club
Arts and Crafts collectors are also Arts and Crafts readers -- which helps explain why we have such a wonderful array of periodicals, quarterlies, newsletters, websites and books to choose from. Some provide us with information on what we collect; others give us a glimpse into what life was like during the Arts & Crafts era.
Each year we solicit suggestions from our attendees, past and future, as to what books they might like to read prior to next February's National Arts & Crafts Conference. We then select two and assign each a time and a place at the National Arts & Crafts Conference for those of you who have read either of the books to meet, discuss your ideas and share your opinions (those we always have plenty of!).
Our moderator for several years has been Pat Bartinique, a professor of English, an Arts & Crafts collector, an author and a thirty-year attendee at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference. Pat reads each of the suggested works, then narrows the list down for us based on her experience both as a reader and as a teacher.
As always, if you have any suggested titles for the future, don't hesitate to email Bruce at Bruce1915@gmail.com.
The News From Nowhere by William Morris
News From Nowhere by William Morris
Edited by Clive Wilmer (Penguin Books)
Poet, teacher, designer, publisher, and Father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris (1834-96) was also a novelist and a visionary, obsessively concerned with the struggle to achieve a perfect society on earth.
News From Nowhere (1890), called “one of the most significant English works on the theme of utopia,” is the tale of William Guest, a Victorian who awakes one morning to find himself in the year 2102. He discovers a society that has changed beyond recognition into a pastoral paradise, in which all people live in blissful equality and contentment. A socialist masterpiece, News From Nowhere is a vision of a future free from capitalism, isolation, and industrialization. It is as compelling a dream of the future as the nightmares of Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Note: Be sure to purchase the Penquin Books edition, edited by Clive Wilmer, as it also contains a wide selection of Morris's writings, lectures, journalism and letters, which expand upon the key themes of News From Nowhere.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Written in 1927, this novel centers on the Ramsay family and their visit to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920.
The action is held to a minimum, prompting critics to label it a prime example of the modern literary technique of “multiple focalization,” with little dialogue. Like the novels of James Joyce and Marcel Proust, the plot of To the Lighthouse is secondary to its philosophical introspection, as most of it is written as thoughts and observations. The novel recalls childhood emotions and highlights adult relationships. Among the book's many themes are those of loss, subjectivity, the nature of art, and the problem of perception.
“Widely acclaimed since its first publication in 1927, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse is a novel whose overt simplicity of plot hides a complex mix of autobiographical detail, searching social questions and deep philosophical enigmas. The author's innovative use of nonlinear plot, stream- of-consciousness, and varying narrators, transforms the apparently 'normal' incidents in the life of the Ramsay family into a mythic reflection on time, gender, morality, and death.”
It has consistently been rated as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Virginia Woolf considered it to “easily be the best of my books.”
"To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf
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