A new book by R. Scott Williams about Richard Halliburton, the famous adventurer who completed his dream home in 1938, a modern structure known as Hangover House built on a hillside in Laguna Beach, is about to be released by The History Press.
“The Forgotten Adventures of Richard Halliburton, From Tennessee to Timbuktu,” explores Halliburton’s rise to fame and the cultural changes taking place in the United States that contributed to his successes and tragic failures. Against the backdrop of the 1920s and the Great Depression, Halliburton’s exploits around the globe made him an internationally known celebrity and a famous travel writer and lecturer of his day. From climbing Mount Olympus in Greece, to swimming the Panama Canal, to literally flying all the way to Timbuktu, Halliburton experienced and wrote about adventures that others never even believed possible.
Shortly before his death, Halliburton’s father, Wesley Halliburton donated his family’s artifacts to Rhodes College in Memphis. Bill Short, the school library’s associate director collaborated on the book with Williams.
The book will be available at HistoryPress.net, on Amazon.com and where books are sold on Nov. 5. In addition to never-before-published photos, the book also includes rare letters, memorabilia, documents and photos of artifacts that provide a unique glimpse into the life of this fascinating writer.
Scholars Refocus on Banished Photographer
Controversial Hollywood photographer William Mortensen moved to Laguna Beach and opened a studio and a photography school in 1931. He preferred the pictorialism style of manipulating photographs to produce romanticist painting-like effects. Using pre-Photoshop digital effects, Mortensen created wild images of witchcraft and horror, propaganda and persecution, along with sensuous nudes and character studies.
At his Laguna Beach headquarters, he also wrote best-selling books and instructional articles for major magazines and had a great impact on the world of photography.
That was upended by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and other purists of Group f.64, seven 20th-century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed photographs. They sought to erase Mortensen’s influence and largely succeeded in doing so.
Two recently released books from Feral House publishing seek to resurrect the work of what some called the master.
Available again after a 65-year banishment, is William Mortensen’s irreverent and revolutionary book on photography and psychology, “The Command to Look, A Master Photographer’s Method for Controlling the Human Gaze.” Co-written by George Dunham, it was one of Mortensen’s most influential and sought-after books. Reproduced in full by Feral House, the book includes essays by Michael Moynihan and Larry Lytle and reproduces 66 images of Mortensen’s best work and text by the wittiest and most biting writers on photography of their time.
Also just released, “American Grotesque,” is a lavish retrospective of grotesque, occult, and erotic images by Mortensen, 1897–1965, containing a biographical account of his life along with his own eloquent manifesto called “Venus & Vulcan.” “American Grotesque” includes over 100 plates of Mortensen’s work, many published within for the first time.
Both books are available at feralhouse.com., Amazon, Barnes and Noble and most other chain stores and independent bookstores.
Daring Writers to Look Within
To look at one’s life honestly, says Roger Housden, is an act of courage that can bestow upon the brave the transformative gift of self-knowledge.
In his upcoming “The Dare of Memoir” workshop, the renowned author of “Ten Poems to Change Your Life,” and 20 other titles, offers participants the opportunity to deeply look at past experiences to possibly discover truths and feelings long buried.
“It’s a dare because it means telling the truth, not the factual truth of what happened necessarily, but the emotional truth of the time as you experienced it,” said Housden.
“Experiences shape who we are,” he said. By using brief writing exercises, moments from your life can be examined to help clarify and heal the past and to provide insight into how those situations influence the person you’ve become and perhaps illuminate a path towards a more authentic future.
The one-day workshop will be held at a private home in Laguna Beach on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4:30. Both writers and non-writers who wish to explore the deeper layers of their life journey are invited.
The cost is $125. To register send your check to Roger Housden at 26 Skylark Drive, #8, Larkspur, Calif., 94939 or pay by PayPal. A $5 service fee is added for PayPal.
For questions call Mary McManus at 949.933.1783.