• Ephemera,  Myth

    If I was a rare book collector

    Abebooks has posted a list of the 10 most expensive books it sold in 2010. Some highlights: 1. Arabic Manuscript of Al Wajaza Fi Sihhat Il Qawl Bi l Ijaza – $45,000 This is an important work on Hadith methodology (narrations concerning the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) that was originally written in the 10th century AD. This copy was published in the 12th-13th century A.D. and contained an ownership mark on the title page from a well known scholar called Ibrahim B. Sulleymanb Muhammad B. Abd Ul Aziz Al Hanafi Al Jinini, who bought it while living in Damascus in 1659 A.D. 6. Ottoman Atlas – $19,500 Published…

  • Myth,  Religion

    The Revival of Thomas Browne

    From the New York Times: He was the kind of Christian thinker, after all, who could wonder whether Lazarus would have a legal right to reclaim his possessions from his heirs after he re-emerged from the grave. He could write with great verve about why most cultures buried their dead lying down, but some had the bodies standing erect; about the macabre practice of inhaling a dying person’s last breath; and about the even more disturbing one of drinking a loved one’s ashes (a custom revived and adapted by Keith Richards, who claimed to have snorted some of his father’s remains.) As an amateur scientist and product of the early Enlightenment, Browne…