News For March/April 2006


Getty Publications has released three important books in recent months, one of which--ANTIQUITY AND PHOTOGRAPHY--was tied in with the gala re-opening of the Getty Villa in January, 2006.

Compiled by three wellknown curators--Claire Lyons, John Papadopoulos and Andrew Szegedy-Maszal--ANTIQUITY AND PHOTOGRAPHY is packed with photographs of ancient classical sites which show them as they actually are, rather than interpreted by a draftman's or painter's hand. The handsome volume also contains a detailed discussion of the influence of photography on archaeology, an analysis of the way antiquity is depicted, and biographical studies of two major photographers, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey and William James Stillman.

In 1764, Johann Joachim Winckelmann published a key early instance of art-historical thinking. The Getty Research Institute has translated the original 1764 edition into English for the first time as HISTORY OF THE ART OF ANTIQUITY. Dazzled by the sensuous and plastic beauty of recently excavated artifacts--coins, engraved gems, vases, paintings, reliefs and statues--Winckelmann synthesized the visual and written evidence then available into a systematic history of art in ancient Egypt, Persia, Etruria, Rome and, above all, Greece.

The work is prefaced by Alex Pott's perceptive discussion of Winckelmann's achievements and its lasting effect on the artistic and literary culture of the late Enlightenment.

The seventh volume in the popular series, A Guide to Imagery, ANGLES AND DEMONS IN ART explores portrayals of creation, the afterlife, the paths of salvation and evil, and angelic and demonic beings in Western art. The book is lavishly illustrated with paintings, reliefs, manuscript illuminations and mosaics from some of the world's premier museums. Explanatory notes highlight the iconography in each illustration. Each entry includes a summary of the essential characteristics of the icon in question, the derivation of its name, and the historical period when it first appeared.

The goal of the Guide to Imagery series is to explain common symbols used in art.

The Getty's publications are available at bookstores or by calling 800-233-3431.


LSU Press last published an original novel back in 1994--John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Confederacy of Dunces. Now the company has reversed policy and begun publishing original fiction again, under the Yellow Shoe Fiction banner, commencing with IF THE SKY FALLS, a collection of stories by Nicholas Montemarano.

As Publishers Weekly noted, Montemarano "plays with the purpose and effect of storytelling in his dark, powerful debut collection even as he crafts believably troubled psyches...He handles brutality and abjection with ambiguity and subtlety while taking assured metafictional steps."

LSU Press first published original fiction in 1968. It was the publishing landscape of the 1990s that led to the decision to anbandon it after a mixed record of successes and failures. Instead of doing original fiction, the Press launched its Voices of the South series, which reprinted previously published novels and story anthologies.

"We brought back a whole lot of excellent books that had first been published from the 1920s into the 1990s, and that series did well for us for a long time," said editor John Easterly. "But always among the staff of the Press there was a feeling of loss as a result of the fact that we weren't publishing original fiction anymore. That's because as a publisher, perhaps the greatest thing you can do is introduce a new work of fiction to the world--take a chance on it, which often means taking a chance on a new writer and that writer's creative vision."

The Yellow Shoe Fiction series will publish only one book a year at first. Editor for the series is Michael Griffith, who teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati and formerly worked for LSU Press.

News For March/April 2005