This project has been made possible by a grant from the Creative Arts Council of Brown University.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Old Curiosity Shops

This article appeared in the July/August 1999 issue of "Preservation: The Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation," and I came across it a few weeks ago in the RIHS Library. As it is a fairly accessible publication, I decided to seek it out elsewhere to avoid paying $0.50 per photocopied page. Unfortunately it was not available online, but I was able to access and scan it in the Brown University Rockefeller Library.
In the article Edith Pearlman recalls the Arcade as she had known it as a child. As an author by trade, Pearlman uses language effectively and evocatively, creating a visceral, sensory experience of the Arcade that is full of vibrant and captivating details.

In addition to her beautifully descriptive prose and fascinating anecdotal details, it should also be noted Pearlman's representation of the Arcade is nostalgic and romanticised- which fits the article's context of a preservation publication. The place is tangled up in a personal nostalgia for Pearlman, as many of our childhood places are. But I feel that the context of the article widens her personal lens on the Arcade, representing it more universally as a site of nostalgia, a place of another time, a place belonging to an earlier golden age on which, it seems, rose tinted glasses are being focused.

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