Blind Date with Obvious State
I have never been on a blind date before...until today. It was exciting, spontaneous and love at first sight.
Obvious State is one of my favorite literary crushes. They are a literary goods and gifts studio based in New York City and cofounded by Evan and Nichole Robertson. Their thoughtfully designed creations are inspired by classic literature, stimulating language and are presented in an aesthetically beautiful and minimalist fashion. Their goods include a vast array of art prints, coffee mugs, bookmarks, postcards, tote bags, paper goods, illustrated books and candles. I love the philosophy behind what they do…..in their words “We aim to create art and thoughtfully designed goods and gifts that prompt conversations and bring aesthetic joy to everyday objects.”
August saw the launch of their first blind date with a book series. You may be wondering what exactly is a blind date with Obvious State - it is quite literally, a blind date with a book. A few clues are given on their website as to what the chosen literary classic will be and soon after ordering, a package of literary surprises are delivered to your door. If you love classics, great literature, and the thrill of surprises, then this may be the perfect match for you too.
Obvious State plan on releasing a new illustrated classic each month and this is something that I will happily take part in on occasion for myself or as gifts for friends and family. It is a great concept and I must add that it’s rather fun having a mysterious surprise waiting for you in your mailbox.
I ordered their first blind date offering and was curious to see what treats awaited inside. I was not disappointed - upon opening the package, there were 2 lovely illustrated books of T.S. Eliot’s 1915 poem: Let Us Go Then: The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. The additional copy was a thank you treat from Obvious State, so my extra copy went to a friend. In addition to these, there was a 5x7 art print, 2 mini notebooks, a bookmark, a quotation pencil and sweet lollipop (this was a big hit with my daughter). All the items are thematically related and gorgeously illustrated!
Although I enjoy poetry, reading and analyzing it is not my strong suit. So it has taken me quite a few readings and pondering about this particular piece. I did find it extremely helpful to listen to Obvious State’s Literary Happy Hour podcast discussing Eliot’s poem. I gained a better understanding of the poem and will certainly come back again and again to see what new perspectives and thoughts I discover about the poem.