Thanks to Mr. Trigg at Side Effects I guess I'm "it."
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
I'm having trouble adhering to the rules already. Book nearest me is the one I just got from the library, Mayflower, A Story of Courage, Community, and War. It's got one of those awful Marketing Department subtitles that tries to simultaneously create an air of intrigue and give the shelf-stockers at Barnes & Noble an idea where to put the book. Unfortunately page 123 yields an uncharacteristically brief, uninformative and deadly boring three sentences.
The next book nearby is actually a journal. And page 123 is a photograph. Am I cheating by posting from page 124? It does give me a reason to post some 19th century beefcake though.
"He was a writer, a publisher, an award winner, an antiquarian, and a man whose commitment to his craft nearly cost him his life. Gurney's work was commissioned by thousands of patrons during his remarkably long career and in return, it became the subject of many articles and the devotion of collectors. Hundreds of his images can be found in the New-York Historical Society's Library, but not all in one place."This from Painting with the Sunbeams of Heaven. Jeremiah Gurney, Photographist by Sandra Markham, in The New-York Journal of American History (the bulletin of the New-York Historical Society, Fall, 2004).
Jeremiah Gurney was a prominent and prolific New York City "photographist." His main competitor was Mathew (sic) Brady, and like Brady, he was a consummate entrepreneur and self-promoter (take a look at his "100 (and 89) Gurney's Premium" advertising flier for one of his earlier studios. He rented rooms at 189 Broadway from 1840 to 1852). So successful was his business that in 1858 he built himself a three-story white marble studio at 770 Broadway; "J. Gurney's Photographic and Fine Art Gallery" was open til 9 pm every night. Along with his son, Gurney created singular (literally) daguerreotypes as well as mass-market cartes des visites of celebrities, noted actors, respectable families and quasi-scandalous lady gymnasts til about 1874.
I will do my best to keep the tag going although it feels awfully like I'm heaving some virtual chain letter/albatross onto the next sucker... I'll nominate Le Divan Fumoir Bohemien, Morbid Anatomy, Sit Down Man You're A Bloody Tragedy, pathetica, and Daily Poetics.
Images: American Youth, 1852-1856, by Jeremiah Gurney, from the Getty; Gurney premium, c.1840s, from Grand Monde; Parmly and Ward Families and Friends, April, 1862, from N-YHS.