Monday, May 6, 2013
This blog has been catching up on its beauty sleep for a long while, but the Folio Club continues to post on Facebook and is now in the midst of hatching secret plans for our next issue. In the meantime, issue six has been generating hugely enthusiastic responses. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. Image: Preliminary sketches by Onsmith for the cover of Folio Club issue number six.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
here and will be available from other outlets soon. Better yet, ask you favorite local bookseller for it, and support the indie spirit this holiday season!)
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
second issue of the Folio Club. Copyright 2010 by Robert Pranzatelli. All rights reserved. Image: Andy Warhol, Flowers.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
here. What strikes me today is how thoroughly I enjoy the covers that Harvey Kurtzman drew for a number of the early issues. They epitomize so much of what I love best in comic art. Kurtzman passed away nearly twenty years ago, but his birthday is this Wednesday, October 3. It seems a fitting moment to post another of his masterful covers and remember him with an admiring smile. Image: Cover of MAD No. 7, 1953, by Harvey Kurtzman. You can see two other Kurtzman covers in my previous post about him, here.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
an earlier consideration of E. M. Forster—of my high regard for the vastly underrated Forster novel of which this film is a faithful adaptation. It’s difficult now to believe that the movie, which holds up splendidly, is already a quarter-century old, and even more difficult to believe that Forster composed the novel a century ago, in 1913-14. (He made important revisions to the manuscript decades later, in both the thirties and the fifties, before leaving it to its posthumous 1971 publication.) A website called “Cinema Queer” features an excellent review essay about the film, with a number of stills. Though posted a few years ago, the essay is still relevant. Be forewarned, however: like many articles about this book and movie, it gives away the ending. I read the book before I saw the film, and I began reading with no idea how the story might end. From the first page I thoroughly enjoyed it, but as I neared the final chapter it seemed to me impossible that Forster could resolve the plot in a way that would satisfy me. Ah, but he did—I won’t reveal how—and though the ending may not be to every reader’s taste, I regarded it (and still do) as brave, thrilling, and magnificent.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Count Leo (in Russian Lev or Lyov) Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a robust man with a restless soul, who all his life was torn between his sensual temperament and his supersensitive conscience. His appetites constantly led him astray from the quiet country road that the ascetic in him craved to follow as passionately as the rake in him craved for the city pleasures of the flesh. In his youth, the rake had a better chance and took it. Later, after his marriage in 1862, Tolstoy found temporary peace in family life, divided between the wise management of his fortune—he had rich lands in the Volga region—and the writing of his best prose.Tolstoy’s miracle, as has often been observed, is the sense of life, of lived reality, that permeates his best work, especially Anna Karenina. Open that enormous novel to any page and start reading and you will instantly feel you are in the midst of the characters’ lives, as life is lived daily, in motion—both outward and inward motion. This lifelikeness or “actuality” (as Lionel Trilling called it) has been attributed to various causes: Trilling credited Tolstoy’s moral vision and affection for his characters, Nabokov pointed to Tolstoy’s handling of time. James Wood has focused on “the physicality of Tolstoy’s details”—brought to the fore in Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s translation of Anna Karenina, which Wood praised in the New Yorker in 2001. As he points out, Tolstoy “is not interested in telling us what things look like to him [emphasis added], and he is not interested in telling us what else they resemble. This is why he eschews simile and metaphor at these moments of physical description.” I particularly like Wood’s observation that Tolstoy’s descriptive details portray signs of wear on everyday objects, reflecting their ongoing use and, by extension, the lived day-to-day reality of which they are a part. Furniture, clothing, other household possessions, as well as the objects in the world beyond the home, are all seen in an ongoing state of existence, whether new or used or aged—and here we cross paths again with Nabokov’s consideration of time as a key element; and, as time means for humans a progression toward death, we recall Trilling’s view that it is Tolstoy’s humane feeling for his characters, his moral vision, that is the crux of the matter. The three factors intertwine; the rooms have been lived in and are being lived in; the book is being lived in; and as we read it we enter and live in it too, to a greater extent than with any other author.