Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Biblionerd's Holy Grail: The Book of all Books

I've just received the most fascinating - and nerdiest - books ever. It's Volumes 1 and 2 of The Arthurian Annals by Daniel Nastali and Phillip Boardman. It's not your crowd-pleasing stories of knights in armour of Celtic mysticism.

Much better than that. Volume 1 is an 800 page bibliography (in A4 size): a list of books. Volume 2 is the index: 250 pages telling you where in the list of books in the other volume you can find a particular book. It is utterly wonderful. Basically every reference to Arthur, the Arthurian world and related character between 1250 and 2000 is recorded here, from 'high culture' to sword'n'sorcery pulp.

For example:
Garrido, Mar,  Once Upon A Kiss, series creator Eileen Goudge, Eileen Goudge's Swept Away 6, New York: Avon Flare Books
A novel in a series intended for young girls in which the heroine travels back in time to Arthur's court by means of a computer named Merlin. There she meets Tristan, her image of a perfect boyfriend until he returns to her own time. 
Garrido is actually Eve Becker, prolific teen pulp author - Sweet Valley etc. According to this, Once Upon A Kiss is part of a series depicting feisty postfeminist teens meeting classic macho heroes from the past and (vomit) learning about love from each other:
Taking a nod from historical romances who dipped into the fun-fantasy realm of time-travel with 80′s women thrust back in time to face pirates , swordsmen and the wild west all armed with the knowledge and savvy of woman’s lib , pantyhose and contraceptives to butt heads with the stubborn, sexy men of yesteryear. Swept Away did just that – each heroine is a girl at a fictional highschool – O Henry High who mutually meet or are friends with Ashley Calhoun a wizard with computers ( obviously ) who has created a computer program that has allowed her to travel back in time. 
Sadly, even the denizens of the web haven't seen fit to post an image of the cover, but here's one from the same series:

Even I won't be buying a copy, though I bet it's interesting. How about:
Gilkyson, Eliza,  Pilgrims, recorded music, Los Angeles, Calif.: Gold Castle Records. Issued as GC-1007. Rereleased by Silver Wave Records in 1996.
An album by a folk singer with a strong New Age following. The album was inspired by the Tristan and Iseult legend and features several songs of troubled love, but none is explicitly associated with the story. 
And thanks to the bounty of the Internet, here's a track from that very album: play it at your own risk.

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