“Our beliefs do not determine what is true or false. They do not determine objective reality. But they do determine what we see.”
In Believing Is Seeing, Errol Morris investigates the complex relationship between documentary photographs and the truth we assume they deliver. Best known as the gifted documentarian behind films such as The Fog of War, Standard Operating Procedure, and The Thin Blue Line, Morris has spent years pondering how authenticity, truth, and appearance converge and complicate one another. It is hardly surprising then that Morris’s analysis of documentary photography is insightful and accessible.
Errol Morris’s cinematic explorations often fixate on a specific figure or series of events. He then breathes life into the topic by artfully combining provocative interviews and extensive research. Believing is Seeing successfully incorporates this methodology while simultaneously deconstructing the very notion of documentary veracity. The book consists of essays, each one describing a case study in which documentary photographs created controversy, conflicting interpretations, or troubling implications. Morris elucidates both the context and reception of each image with interviews and archival research.
He also analyzes both contemporary and historical images, demonstrating that many of the same issues and questions have been recurring since the advent of photography. Whether the photograph was taken in 1855 during the Crimean War or in 2003 at Abu Ghraib, our collective tendency to equate an image with a finalized truth has been problematic. To borrow Morris’s succinct phrasing, “…photographs allow us to think we know more than we really do. We can imagine a context that isn’t really there.”
This interview airs beginning Wednesday, March 28.
The Patawomeck Indians played an important role during the clash over the first Virginia settlement at Jamestown. Robert Green, the 21st century Patawomeck Chief, talks to Debby Klein about his work to preserve the rich lineage of his tribe on CRRL Presents, a Central Rappahannock Regional Library production.
The game’s afoot when British historian and professor of history at the University of Exeter Jeremy Black elucidates the scintillating mind of Sherlock Holmes; the tenebrous character of Dr. Moriarty; and the rather obtuse Dr. Watson, who chronicled Holmes’ adventures. Professor Black analyzes Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character and the escapades that emanated from Holmes’ digs at 221B, where it is always 1895 in London. Black is the author of more than 100 books on European (and especially British) history, including London: A History. He has previously given highly popular Great Lives lectures on figures ranging from George III and Napoleon to James Bond.
All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are free and open to the public.
For more about the life of Sherlock Holmes check out these resources from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.
Grace Manning is a fifteen-year-old candy striper at a local nursing home, Hanover House, with a spunky attitude. Her life has been in a free fall since her father recently left her mother, sister, and her to build a new life with a woman from the church where he used to take his daughters every Sunday. Grace's mother doesn't quite have a stance on her beliefs about God, but church was always the place Grace and her sister Sophie went with their father. Now that their father is gone Grace has to come to terms with her religious beliefs. In God is in the Pancakes, by Robin Epstein, Grace must sort out life, love, friendship, and God.
When one thinks about the U.S. Civil War, or the War Between the States, one does not come up with images of food and recipes. Rather, it is the exact opposite: we think about hunger and even starvation. But the truth is, some of the most creative recipes are invented at times when the basic food elements are scarce.
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg is a wonderful book. It's funny, it's southern, it has quirky characters, but a wonderful sense of family and place. "This classic and folksy novel takes readers back to the thirties, where a friendship blooms between two girls who run a homey, little cafe in Alabama. A story of food, love, laughter, and even murder unfolds as an elderly woman relates her life story to a middle-aged friend." (Book summary).
If you like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe here are similar titles that you may enjoy:
Clover by Dori Sanders
After her father dies within hours of being married to a white woman, a ten-year-old black girl learns with her new mother to overcome grief and to adjust to a new place in their rural black South Carolina community. (catalog summary)
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.
July 5, 1906...was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a
widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson - a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee. (synopsis)
Zita the Spacegirl gets down to business right away. It starts with two friends, a mysterious crater, and a device that opens a portal to another dimension.
Meek Joseph is immediately captured by a tentacled being with a deep sea diver's helmet. Adventurous Zita, in a daring effort to save her friend, follows the creature through the portal. A strange alien planet exists on the other side, and Zita finds that she is not welcomed with open arms.
The Left Bank Gang opens with a dog shuffling down the streets of 1920's Paris, keeping mostly to himself. He ignores a panhandler, but then sees another dog that he recognizes. They shake hands. One dog's name is Ezra Pound. The other's is Ernest Hemingway.
Gang is a clever nugget of alternate history fiction. Rather than focusing on complex geopolitical questions like "What if the Germans won World War II?" Norwegian cartoonist Jason turns to the zeitgeist of expatriate writers such as Pound, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and Hemingway. His hypothesis is "What if all of these starving geniuses just got fed up and turned to crime?"
As spring arrives, so does the artwork! We in Youth Services always look forward to this time of year when the weather becomes nicer and we have the privilege of seeing the work of so many local talented artists. We had an amazing and thrilling turn out this year for our 17th Annual Teen Art Show. Once again, local artist Johnny Johnson honored us by judging grades 11-12, and the artists from grades 11-12 judged grades 9-10.
This year also saw the introduction of "Artists with Influence," a chance for our amazing teen artists to give back to the community. In this case, teens have the opportunity to donate their art to Hope House, which provides a safe haven for homeless mothers and their children residing in the Central Rappahannock region who want to learn the life skills needed to become self-sufficient. As they do so, our donated artwork will be placed in their homes.
The exhibit will be available from March 3 - March 26, in the Headquarters Theater and Atrium for public viewing during regular library hours, except when programs are scheduled in the theater.
On to the winners!
View this slideshow for all winning works (displayed in order). You can also view all winning works on Flickr.
Best in Show
Savannah Patterson for Safety Net - Massaponax High School
1st Place: Christine Stacy for Little Red Firecracker - Massaponax High School
2nd Place: Tiffany St. Julien for Black and White - North Stafford High School
3rd Place: Shannon Wright for Close and Personal - Massaponax High School
Caiti Wardlaw for Inked Expression - Stafford High School
Raven Souza for Serenade - North Stafford High School
1st Place: Isabella M. K. Nguyen Dillon for Self-Portrait - Massaponax High School
2nd Place: Elizabeth Fauth for Spray of Color - Brooke Point High School
3rd Place: Summer Shank for Versus - Chancellor High School
Honorable Mention: Summer Shank for Jefferson's Berries - Chancellor High School
My husband recently returned from a successful summit of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro! He’d trained hard and I knew he was ready, but I’ve read too many mountain climbing books to sit back and relax. While it’s not that I don’t love a good adventure from the comfort of my couch, when it comes to my husband climbing a mountain thousands of miles away, somehow it’s only the dangerous parts I remember. Of course, now that he’s safely home I’m just plain proud and happy to recommend books for the future mountain climbers of the world.