twas the night before Christmas and jupe talks about books, shockerini


I have been finishing books:

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani 12/22/19

The Real Life of Anthony Burgess by Andrew Biswell 12/21/19

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri Temple Classic edition 12/21/19

Having finished The Divine Comedy I have begun over using the Sanders and Birk version.

Image result for the inferno sanders and birk

I want to choose another translation that is more literal to read along side it. I like that the Los Angeles art critic, Doug Harvey, starts and ends his preface with a quote from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

Image result for alexander and the terrible

I discovered that I own the Sayers translation of the second two volumes of Dante but apparently not The Inferno.

I learned from Doug Harvey that Birk, the illustrator, has strong feelings about the need for representational art and has been consciously influenced by Gustav Doré . The other book that Harvey says that Doré  is “one of the most acclaimed and successful artists of the nineteen century” and “also one of the inventors of the comic book and arguably the originator of much of the vocabulary of graphic narrative.

I have compared the first etching of Birk’s Inferno to Doré ‘s and he uses the same visual composition. I can’t find it the entire Birk etching online but this will help you get the idea.

Image result for the inferno sanders and birk

Gustave Doré - Dante Alighieri - Inferno - Plate 1 (I found myself within a forest dark...).jpg

I think that is very cool.

Also, I picked up a book my brother gave me a long time ago, R. Crumb’s Illustrated Genesis.

Image result for r crumb genesis

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Old Testament since discovering Robert Alter’s work. I was surprised and delighted that Alter’s translation was a primary source for Crumb’s book. How cool is that?

Thomas Merton – A Course in Desert Spirituality – A Review by Mark Jenkins

Mark’s been at it again. I am embarrassed that I haven’t read this one yet, but I will, I will.


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