What do you do for a living?
I'm an editor, designer and writer.
What's on your bookshelf?
Too much to list exhaustively, but here are highlights:
Books on 30 languages other than English, a few of which I speak passably
or marginally, a few more of which I know at least a bit about, and
the rest of which I'll get to.
Scores for Handel's Messiah and the last movement of Beethoven's
9th Symphony, staples of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's seasons (we
have to give back all the other scores when we're done with them).
Books by Umberto Eco as well as by other writers on semiotics.
A number of books on Buddhism, especially Zen, notably by Thich Nhat
Hanh, but also by an assortment of others (I particularly recommend
The Empty Mirror by Janwillem van de Wetering for those interested
but not long experienced with Zen).
Quite a few books by and about C.G. Jung and related topics. Nothing
at all by or about Freud I can borrow those from a library if
I need them.
Books by Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince, Discourses
whom I appreciate especially for his play La Mandragola
and for his wit and intelligence. He's generally misunderstood.
Modern Music, by Paul Griffiths.
Books by Arthur Koestler (The Act of Creation, The Ghost
in the Machine) and Edward de Bono.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs.
Collected poems of Salvatore Quasimodo, bought in Florence on my honeymoon
and worthwhile for anyone with even a bit of Italian (and a dictionary).
Poetry by T.S. Eliot and a few others.
Fiction, notably by Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien,
as well as by W.G. Sebald and some others (Eco is included in this though
mentioned earlier). My fairly thorough Vonnegut collection, read in
high school (i.e., a long time ago), is in my parents' basement. I am
The complete, unexpurgated scripts of Monty Python's TV shows.
A large number of classics of world literature, almost all of them
belonging to my wife, Aina
Arro, who read many of them while touring as a professional figure
Books on calculus and on relativity as well as a couple of physics
and math quick references.
Travel guides for such places as L.A., Chicago, London, Italy, Israel,
England, and Iceland.
A small but growing hackle-schmackle of linguistics references.
Copies of the Literary Review of Canada, which I design.
More than 160 volumes of plays, most of which volumes contain several
plays each, acquired in the course of getting a BFA, MA and PhD, all
in theatre. With few exceptions they have been touched only to pack
and unpack them when moving since I finished my last degree in 1998.
Most of the books of Richard Schechner, who was the subject of my dissertation.
A complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1964 edition,
which I relieved my grandmother of when she was moving to someplace
too small to contain them.
Masterworks of the No Theater, by Kenneth Yasuda. This is, yes,
a volume of plays, but it's an especially good book, and my play Cordelia
owes much to it.
An assortment of books on dramatic theory and criticism, theatre history,
cultural studies, and so on.
The National Geographic Atlas of the World. This edition, aside
from being heroin for a map addict, is noteworthy in that it was published
just at the time the USSR was breaking apart and Germany was reuniting.
Books on art, notably a book of collected art from the Albright-Knox
Gallery in Buffalo and Phaidon Press books on Jenny Holzer and Gian
Lorenzo Bernini. Next on my list: Gerhard Richter (so come on, Phaidon,
hurry up and put out a book of his stuff).
Books on medieval history and culture.
Illustrated books of Edward Lear verse and at least two volumes of
Calvin & Hobbes cartoons (my collection of Doonesbury
books is in my parents' basement, along with many other books I wouldn't
mind having back within reach).
A limited-edition leather-bound copy of Stoney Country 19701980,
a celebration of the place where I grew up, filled with photos (and
some text) by my dad, Warren Harbeck.
Bound volumes of my master's thesis (Paratextual Pragmatics: A study
of usages of printed paratexts in commercial and nonprofit theatre in
Boston, 19934) and my doctoral dissertation ("Containment
Is the Enemy": An ideography of Richard Schechner).
Copies of the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Health Care in Canada survey brochures
(also available on
the web), which I designed, edited and wrote much of. They were
funded by Merck Frosst in cooperation with several interested groups.
I did them as part of my day job.
Memoirs of a Depression Bum, by Robert G. Baldwin (my step-grandfather)
as told to Dorothy Baldwin (my grandmother) with illustrations by me.
Offprints of articles I've published in journals (PDFs of some of the
originals can be downloaded from my home page).
The Ultimate IQ Challenge, edited by Marcel Feenstra, Philip
J. Carter, and Christopher P. Harding; it contains some puzzles by me.
Copies of Active Voice, the newsletter of the Editors' Association
of Canada, which I designed for three years (and then decided I needed
a rest from it).
Copies of MC², the national
magazine of Mensa Canada, which I edit and design.
Dictionaries, books of quotations, a thesaurus, and similar reference
A few translations of the Bible, including one in German and New Testaments
in Irish Gaelic (Tiómna Nua), Koine Greek, and Esperanto.
A few shelves full of CDs with music covering about eight centuries,
with a certain emphasis on medieval/Renaissance music and 20th-century
music of a wide range of types. The kinds of music I don't like are
And a few other random bits and pieces.
So, um... what about your professional skills?
You can find out about my editorial skills and background in my entry
in the Online Directory of Editors maintained by the Editors'
Association of Canada. If you're interested in seeing my résumé,
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org;
be so good as to say who you are and what your interest in it is. I
also have copies of letters of
reference for your reading pleasure.