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Casting a spell: the bamboo fly rod and the American pursuit of perfection

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English
Description
Thirty-five million Americans--one in eight--like to go fishing. Fly fishers have always considered themselves the aristocracy of the sport, and a small number of those devotees, a few thousand at most, insist upon using one device in the pursuit of their obsession: a handcrafted split-bamboo fly rod. Meeting this demand for perfection are the inheritors of a splendid art, one that reveres tradition while flouting obvious economic sense and reaches back through time to touch the hands of such figures as Theodore Roosevelt and Henry David Thoreau. In Casting a Spell , George Black introduces readers to rapt artisans and the ultimate talismans of their uncompromising fascination: handmade bamboo fly rods. But this narrative is more than a story of obscure objects of desire. It opens a new vista onto a century and a half of modern American cultural history. With bold strokes and deft touches, Black explains how the ingenuity of craftsmen created a singular implement of leisure--and how geopolitics, economics, technology, and outrageous twists of fortune have all come to focus on the exquisitely crafted bamboo rod. We discover that the pastime of fly-fishing intersects with a mind-boggling variety of cultural trends, including conspicuous consumption, environmentalism, industrialization, and even cold war diplomacy. Black takes us around the world, from the hidden trout streams of western Maine to a remote valley in Guangdong Province, China, where grows the singular species of bamboo known as tea stick--the very stuff of a superior fly rod. He introduces us to the men who created the tools and techniques for crafting exceptional rods and those who continue to carry the torch in the pursuit of the sublime. Never far from the surface are such overarching themes as the tension between mass production and individual excellence, and the evolving ways American society has defined, experienced, and expressed its relationship to the land. Fly-fishing may seem a rarefied pursuit, and making fly rods might be a quixotic occupation, but this rich, fascinating narrative exposes the soul of an authentic part of America, and the great significance of little things. George Black's latest expedition into a hidden corner of our culture is an utterly enchanting, illuminating, and enlightening experience.
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ISBN:
9781400063963
9780307494368
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 90d4ef82-0172-55d5-ca50-8e22f7424a3f
Grouping Title casting a spell the bamboo fly rod and the american pursuit of perfection
Grouping Author black george
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-20 00:30:31AM
Last Indexed 2018-11-20 01:14:10AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Black, George, 1949-
author_display Black, George
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description Thirty-five million Americans--one in eight--like to go fishing. Fly fishers have always considered themselves the aristocracy of the sport, and a small number of those devotees, a few thousand at most, insist upon using one device in the pursuit of their obsession: a handcrafted split-bamboo fly rod. Meeting this demand for perfection are the inheritors of a splendid art, one that reveres tradition while flouting obvious economic sense and reaches back through time to touch the hands of such figures as Theodore Roosevelt and Henry David Thoreau.

In Casting a Spell, George Black introduces readers to rapt artisans and the ultimate talismans of their uncompromising fascination: handmade bamboo fly rods. But this narrative is more than a story of obscure objects of desire. It opens a new vista onto a century and a half of modern American cultural history. With bold strokes and deft touches, Black explains how the ingenuity of craftsmen created a singular implement of leisure--and how geopolitics, economics, technology, and outrageous twists of fortune have all come to focus on the exquisitely crafted bamboo rod. We discover that the pastime of fly-fishing intersects with a mind-boggling variety of cultural trends, including conspicuous consumption, environmentalism, industrialization, and even cold war diplomacy.

Black takes us around the world, from the hidden trout streams of western Maine to a remote valley in Guangdong Province, China, where grows the singular species of bamboo known as tea stick--the very stuff of a superior fly rod. He introduces us to the men who created the tools and techniques for crafting exceptional rods and those who continue to carry the torch in the pursuit of the sublime. Never far from the surface are such overarching themes as the tension between mass production and individual excellence, and the evolving ways American society has defined, experienced, and expressed its relationship to the land.

Fly-fishing may seem a rarefied pursuit, and making fly rods might be a quixotic occupation, but this rich, fascinating narrative exposes the soul of an authentic part of America, and the great significance of little things. George Black's latest expedition into a hidden corner of our culture is an utterly enchanting, illuminating, and enlightening experience.

From the Hardcover edition.
format_catalog Book, eBook
format_category_catalog Books, eBook
id 90d4ef82-0172-55d5-ca50-8e22f7424a3f
isbn 9780307494368, 9781400063963
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last_indexed 2018-11-20T07:14:10.483Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 688.7912 B6274c
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9781400063963
publishDate 2006, 2009
record_details ils:CARL0000274353|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Random House,|c2006.|xxiv, 244 p. : ill. ; 22 cm., overdrive:c09e112b-0aee-48c1-8aef-c013e44de472|eBook|eBook||English|Random House Publishing Group|2009|
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overdrive:c09e112b-0aee-48c1-8aef-c013e44de472 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Bamboo, Fishing rods -- United States -- Design and construction -- Biography, Fishing rods -- United States -- Design and construction -- History
title_display Casting a spell : the bamboo fly rod and the American pursuit of perfection
title_full Casting a Spell The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection, Casting a spell : the bamboo fly rod and the American pursuit of perfection / George Black
title_short Casting a spell :
title_sub the bamboo fly rod and the American pursuit of perfection
topic_facet Bamboo, Design and construction, Fishing rods, History, Nonfiction, Sports & Recreations