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Bloomington Daze: More Town and Gown in Middle America

2007-09-11

Photo of Blaise Cronin with books

"Blaise Cronin is one of the most widely published individuals in the field of information science. Cronin is author/editor of more than 300 books, reports, peer reviewed articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and other materials. As a researcher, Cronin has produced a formidable body of work on scholarly communication. In the field of information science, it is hard to think of any other individual who has made so many sustained and varied contributions to both the academy and the profession over the last two decades." [This excerpt was from the nomination for the ASIS&T National Award of Merit which Blaise Cronin received in 2006.]

In addition to his scholarly writings, SLIS Dean Blaise Cronin has now authored his second collection of essays (a third, Bloomington Ablaze is in the works) reflecting on life in Bloomington, work at Indiana University, and his experiences in the midwest [Bloomington Daze: More Town and Gown in Middle America]. Anticipation for this book and praise for his first collection Bloomington Days are highlighted on the back cover of this new book:

"If you found Blaise Cronin's first book on Bloomington to be perceptive, witty, and a little spicy, then look forward to an escalation of all three in Bloomington Daze." —Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis, University Chancellor and Trustee, Professor, Indiana University

"... Blaise Cronin's hilarious yet affectionate words capture the bucolic surrealism of B-town for its happy inhabitants and those misguided souls only passing through." — Susan D. Gubar, Distinguished Professor of English, Indiana University, and author of Rooms of Our Own

"A wonderful blend of deft writing, wit, and critical observation." —Adelheid M. Gealt, Director, Indiana University Art Museum, and author (with George Knox) of Domenico Tiepolo: A New Testament

"The best laconic wit from the cutting edge of Blaise Cronin." — Professor Sir Graham Hills, University of the Highlands and Islands, former Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Strathclyde

"Bloomington Days blur into Bloomington Daze in this second volume by Blaise Cronin, an immigrant like many of us to Indiana University. With his native Irish wit, Blaise bursts many pretensions of both Town and Gown, as at the same time he praises what is 'best of both' in Bloomington, IN..." — J. Michael Dunn, Oscar R. Ewing Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Computer Science and Informatics, University Dean of Informatics, Indiana University

Author House - free preview of the book
"Opening night and the MAC is aglow from within. The apprentice police force, wheeled out more for experience than from necessity, is conducting the traffic with much seriousness of mien and movement. These buzz-cut Barenboims and Bernsteins of the beat have colored lights in lieu of batons, adding to, for want of a better word, the enchantment of the moment. Which brings to mind the (apocryphal?) story of John Cage who, when asked by a journalist if he went to the opera, replied: 'No, I listen to the traffic.' Don't expect white ties and tails, opera glasses and silver-topped canes, though on a really memorable night you may just espy a few of each. Sir Fopling Flutter is nowhere to be seen and punctilio is in short supply. Le tout Bloomington tries its level best, but, with rare exceptions, sartorial heights are not scaled. Even those with dusted-down finery of sorts seem content to partner sequined velvet with black trainers, Brooks Brothers with L.L. Bean. Before the curtain - and what a majestic curtain! - rises, we amble, not altogether comfortably, around the foyer, watching out for colleagues, friends and rivals, silently rehearsing our greetings and bons mots, unfortified by at-hand alcohol. Somehow there is never a proper buzz, just a general flatness, so at variance with what is about to transpire on stage. It may be a function of the foyer's brutish design and acoustics, but for whatever reason all sounds of merriment are muffled. Even a matinée at Glynbourne on a squally Sunday makes a gala night at the MAC seem autistic. If you're thirsty, there's water. No G&T, no bubbly, no liquor of any kind. The mere idea of a crush bar in the Midwest is presumably unimaginable. If there is such a thing as Calvinist opera, this is it."

Posted September 11, 2007