The Happy Reader #7
In This Item
The inexhaustable curator HANS ULRICH OBRIST is one of the most important figures in contemporary art. Over two in-depth conversations at the Serpentine Gallery in London, he explains how at a young age his imagination was fired up by a medieval library in Switzerland, and how today his work is still energised by the ideas, images and stories he finds in books.
Also in this issue, VIRGINIA WOOLF’s remarkable novel Mrs Dalloway inspires contributions from a stellar cast of writers, photographers, artists and crossword setters. These include thoughts on Big Ben by Will Self, memories of teenage reading by Michael Cunningham, regrets about men not wedded by Jean Hannah Edelstein and, of course, much, much more.
For avid readers and the uninitiated alike, this is a chance to reengage with classic literature and to stay inspired and entertained. The concept of the magazine is excitingly simple: the first half is a long-form interview with a notable book fanatic and the second half explores one Penguin Classics title from an array of surprising and invigorating angles, through fashion, art, lifestyle, history, film and more. The Happy Reader never patronises, nor does it seek to baffle its audience with literary name-dropping or pedantry, wearing its bookish curiosity with a playful lightness of touch, delighting in the potential for whimsy and humour. The magazine is centred on the concept of 'precious print', as embodied by Penguin Classics and Fantastic Man. It explores the myriad advantages of the printed word and image: beautiful typography, high dwell time, the matte charm of ink on paper, the calming luxury of being 'offline'. The magazine is a design object in and of itself.