Friday, January 4, 2013

The heart section

There’s a wonderful passage in Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth (perhaps autobiographical) that describes an encounter between the young librarian, Neil Klugman with a young boy who tiptoes up to him and asks to see the heart section: 
“Hey, he said, where’s the heart section – a perplexed Neil, confused by the “ thickest sort of southern negro dialect” asks him how to spell it.
 The kid repeats – “The heart section. Ain’t you got no heart section? Heart. Man, pictures. Drawing books. Where you got them?

Then Neil understands that he means ‘Art’ and directs him to the appropriate section of the stacks.

On  reading this an association between heart, artist and library has clicked in my mind, totally pre digital.
Interestingly, Roth dedicated this novel to his parents with an inscription - The heart is half a prophet - Yiddish proverb.

I hope that libraries will take it easy in 2013 and slow down in selling off - (decimating) their invaluable pre digital collections. I recently discovered that a reference book by Kurt Wehlte, The Materials and Techniques of Painting, student of Max Doerner is no longer available on the shelf at our public library. In which case I just ordered a used library copy, not cheap, from alibris. How funny is that?!
But then the internet itself has become like a vast library and contact with other bloggers continues to be extremely inspiring and nurturing!

Some recent drawings from December 2012 and older:

                                                                                                                                                mcohenlabelle (MCL) © 2012

                                                                                                                                           mcohenlabelle (MCL) © 2012 
                                                                                                                                         mcohenlabelle (MCL) © 2012
                                                                                                                              mcohenlabelle (MCL) © 201


  1. HI Marcia,

    You could sure get the "heart" lesson about art
    from your drawings. God they are absolutely magnificent and awe inspiring. Weird times. I bought a magazine tonight -- it was twice the price of my novel. The young man in the store said 'the good thing is the magazine is surviving. So many are going under and they don't survive online. People want the actual magazine when they read. Love, love, love your work.



  2. Thank you Barbara! I know you are a reader. We used to joke that as a last resort, if there was nothing else at hand, you'd read the cereal box. There you have it, reading and eating - never a happier marriage than that.
    What concerns me about libraries is that they've been steadily reducing their shelf space for books in order to share with cds, dvds and computer cubicles - and in so doing sacrificing some really priceless books and not replacing them.
    It seems that a huge portion of their budget is going towards security and automation - self check out which in the long run will serve to make librarians redundant. Yikes! What to do about that?!!!!


  3. May you live in strange times. Indigo at Yorkdale is selling acrylics, watercolours, pencils, very nice watercolour pads -- Huh? Meanwhile it's hard to find the books between all the scarves, pillows, mugs, etc. It's a bookstore. I want books in a bookstore, and in a library.

    Keep drawing -- art is the answer.

    Love Barbara