HIGHLIGHTS

Libri Belli

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Popular wisdom teaches us that we should never judge a book by its cover and that looks can be deceptive, reminding us that we should not simply go by the outward appearance of people and things. In some cases, however, it’s a good thing to break the rules – where book covers are concerned, for instance, because, as Livia Satriano says: “if it’s true that surprises can be concealed under an ugly cover, a good-looking cover seldom defies expectations”.

Livia, passionate about vintage and an expert on visual culture, music and communication, has recently launched an online shop Libri Belli (http://libri-belli.it/), where she collects and sells books that are unusual and bizarre in both subject matter and form, as well as rare editions of great classics: from a cultural history of dandyism - Storia inimitabile del Dandy (1965) [The Dandy: From Brummel to Beerbohm (1960)], to Essere Belle (1975), which contains tutorials, advice and beauty secrets from long ago, to Tommaso Landolfi’s A Caso (1975), cover curated by John Alcorn and fantastic drawings by Edward Gorey, and a 1974 Italian edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, containing original illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley and an introduction by Alberto Arbasino.

All the books are old and come from Livia’s personal library, amassed over the years, largely from market stalls, second hand bookshops and specialist dealers.

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