The license plate says SMR RDG. One postcard reads “Escape to Yoknapatawpha!” Another proclaims “A Whale of a Time,” while a third suggests “Souvenir from Castlerock, Maine – where the road to hell is paved with adverbs. S. King.”
Fictional landscapes are the theme of Joanne Quinn’s latest cultural window exhibit: You are invited to transport yourself by reading the works of Faulkner, Melville and Stephen King.
It is only after spending some time observing this display, at least for this viewer, that one realizes the license plate translates “Summer Reading.” And the names on the postcards are sites associated with the works of well known authors: Lothlorien is the home of the elves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Winnemac is the fictional state created by Sinclair Lewis, who located a number of his books there; Hertfordshire is an actual English county where Jane Austen set her Pride and Prejudice; Castlerock, Maine, is the setting for Stephen King’s novel, Cujo. “A Whale of a Time” refers to Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
The window glass is covered with large facsimiles of postcards, the antique type featuring the name of a place. Other vacation objects are a large kite containing a smiling, sun-glasses-wearing sunburst and a group of beach balls. Scattered across the base of the window are stacks of recommended reading, images of automobile wheels, Speed Limit 55 signs, ice chests, book-filled tote bags and a colorful straw hat. Tiny cars run on black ribbons that are draped across the window, suggesting our favorite mode of vacation travel.
Quinn, graphic designer, created and mounted the exhibit with the assistance of Ann Stango, Access Services specialist, and two Outreach team student workers, Stephanie Liu and Thiomarie Matta. Quinn says that Research Support Librarians Susan Ottignon and Judith Olsen worked with her to find obscure literary sites and “funny places.”
The exhibit will remain on view throughout the summer.
Finally, don’t forget: “Lilliput – The perfect vacation spot for big shots like you.”
Also contributing: Judith Olsen and Gerald Dierkes. Photographs by Alice Bampton.
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