The Round Table (Rational Pagans Forum)

Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
It is currently 28 Jun 2017, 22:51

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: 18 Oct 2010, 16:33 
Offline
Grand Poobah
User avatar

Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
Posts: 5793
Location: Buffalo, NY
beautiful woodcuts at link. some follow

http://www.slate.com/id/2270953/pagenum/all/#p2

Quote:
America's First Wordless Novelist
Why are Lynd Ward's amazing woodcut books so bleak?
By Sarah Boxer
Posted Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, at 8:01 AM ET
Call me crazy. Flipping through the first wordless novel published in America, Gods' Man by Lynd Ward, which came out the week of the Great Crash of 1929, I kept thinking about Moby-Dick, one of the wordiest novels ever, illustrated the next year by Rockwell Kent. Yes, Gods' Man is Moby-Dick without the text, the subtleties, or the whaling, if you can picture that—a silent moral tale of a man warring with his soul.


Told in 139 wood engravings, Gods' Man opens with a small, tempest-tossed skiff. The waves seem to talk or at least gesticulate. There's a calm after the storm. The solo sailor salutes sun and clouds, then draws the scene. (His paper stayed dry!) The boat's cleat behind him looks like a whale's tail on the horizon. Soon mast and rigging form a small Brooklyn Bridge pointing to a metropolis. (Yo, Hart Crane!) The Artistic Man walks ashore, portfolio in hand. A Dark Man in a top hat gives him a quick art history tour—Egyptian tomb artists to Van Gogh—to prove to him that every great artist had a magic pen/brush/gouge like the one he's offering. (Free, when you send us your soul.) Artistic Man trades soul for magic tool. Briefly finds fame and fortune. Learns women are whores. Retreats to the mountains and finds a Good Wife, who bears him an Artistic Child. Dark Man returns to collect. Artistic Man is torn from his Happy Home. Salutes Good Wife and Artistic Child. Sky darkens. Dark Man takes off top hat and mask. Is Death.

That plot summary's no joke. I actually did narrate it to myself, silently giving each page a caption and each character a nametag. I was probably moving my lips. It wasn't just the lack of words that made me do it; it was the heavy weather. Such Sturm und Drang moralism isn't at all unusual for wordless novels from the first half of the 20th century. Think of Frans Masereel's The Sun, a retelling of the Icarus tale; or Laurence Hyde's Southern Cross, an anti-nuke plea; or Otto Nückel's Destiny, the story of a woman's tragic life, birth to suicide. Moral fables all.
Now that the Library of America has just republished six Ward novels, repulling them from the original woodblocks and packaging them in a gorgeous deluxe edition, along with Ward's essays and an excellent introduction by Art Spiegelman (who met Ward in 1970), we can ask the question: Why are wordless stories, especially the ones carved in wood, so unrelievedly moralistic and bleak?


The moralism, if you think about it, is almost comically overdetermined by the medium—part and parcel of working wood with gouges. Most woodcuts are printed with black ink on white paper, and therefore the woodworking artist must think in black-and-white terms. Plus woodcutting is a dogged act, the very antithesis of play. As Ward himself points out in "The Way of Wood Engraving," one of his essays in the new edition, "Working with a woodblock takes on the aspects of a struggle between antagonists. … The wood is reluctant, the artist determined." The woodblock artist seems to have an almost totemistic relationship with trees: He loves them, depends on them (both paper and the block come from trees), tortures them with gouges and groovers, and then resurrects them in his art.
And then there is the issue of light, creation, and revelation. When the artist finally does prevail over his materials, conquering his blank woodblock (the carved part comes out white, the uncarved part black), his creation is a wonder, akin to Creation: He has brought "light to a darkened world," as Ward put it. To make matters worse, or better, depending on your outlook, it just so happens that sunbeams, waves, cliffs, abysses, forests, and crosses—the very furniture of allegory—all look swell in black and white.
In wood, it's almost impossible (or so it seems) to make intriguing plots and characters that aren't, well, a touch wooden. Case in point: After the great success of Gods' Man, which sold 20,000 copies in four years—the Depression notwithstanding—Ward vowed to make his plots and characters more complex. The result was Madman's Drum, which Spiegelman calls Ward's "sophomore slump." The storytelling, he notes, "begins to drown in its own avowed desire to flesh out the stock character types." It's too complicated and detailed to make out. You can't tell a mother from her two daughters (and apparently it matters). Figuring out the damn plot becomes, as Spiegelman put it, a "high-stakes game of charades." Even lip-moving doesn't help. So much for complexity!
Does this mean that the woodcut novel can aim for nothing higher than the simple moral fable or what Thomas Mann called the "pious 'block-book' "? Well, there are always undercurrents. After his unfortunate flirtation with fancy plots, Ward returned, at least ostensibly, to simplicity with Wild Pilgrimage, a proletarian tale told in 108 black-and-white and (for the fantasy sequences) sanguine-and-white woodcuts. Spiegelman praises that work for overcoming the black-and-white limits of the form by embracing them, creating "a cascade of binaries … the Subjective vs. the Objective, the Tree Trunk vs. the Smokestack, Angles vs. Curves."

Maybe Wild Pilgrimage is a cascade of binaries, but it is also, most memorably, a gusher of homoerotic imagery. The hero of this story, whom Ward loves to depict from the back, with pants tight over buns, often looks like he is schtupping the trees. Phallic objects abound: saws, carrots, jail bars, the very limbs of the characters, and possibly even a hanged man. I was so distracted that, I confess, I couldn't really follow the plot. I can see why Ward was on Susan Sontag's list of camp authors. I can see why Milt Gross chose him to parody in his wordless novel, He Done Her Wrong. I can see why Allen Ginsberg was into him. And I can see why Spiegelman, for all his admiration, places Ward's figures and landscapes "somewhere between Thomas Hart Benton," the macho WPA muralist, "and Tom of Finland," the artist of pumped gay porn.
How did Ward become such an artist? The son of a devout Methodist preacher in Chicago who also happened to be the ACLU's first chairman, Ward (1905-1985) was not allowed to see the Sunday funnies as a kid. (Too racy.) The closest he got were Gustave Dore's Bible stories. When he studied art in college, he remembers, graphic storytelling was all but verboten; his art teacher scorned any discussion of subject matter or "pictorial narrative" and told him that any art of any worth had nothing to do with communicating ideas or stories.
Finally, in 1927, during a year abroad in Germany, Ward stumbled upon European printmaking—Masereel, Nückel, Hogarth, Calot, Daumier, Goya, Kollwitz, Dürer. At last he had found a tradition he could join. It was wonderful timing, a perfect day for black-and-white thinking. By 1930, all bankers were evil incarnate and all bureaucrats easily doubled as devils. All socialism was good and all capitalism crushing. Soon Ward wasn't the only American doing silent engraved novels. (James Reid produced The Life of Christ in Woodcuts in 1930, and Giacomo Patri jumped in with White Collar in 1938.) And Ward's chosen medium, woodblock printing, had the added cachet of being a kind of physical labor. That was important then.

Block printing was the right medium for the time, which now provokes the question: Why is this deluxe Library of America edition of Ward's wordless woodcut novels, all written in the 1930s, coming out now? Spiegelman calls Ward's masterwork, Vertigo, "a key work of Depression-era literature, and useful in understanding what is being done to us right now" by what Ward called those "vast, complicated, and impersonal social forces." That may be true.
But the real reason has to do with books. As Spiegelman notes in the second line of his introduction, Ward was not only a printer but a bookmaker with "an abiding love for the book as an object." (He started the Equinox Press in the 1930s.) What's odd and paradoxical about this booklover is that he does not seem to love words. He doesn't play around with them, and the few words he actually allows in his wordless novels—for example, "Strike, "Bread," "Milk," "Slow," "School," "Net Profits," "Relief," "Fight for the Union"—are labels or signs, that is, pictures of words rather than words.

Ward's simultaneous love of books and distrust of language is, I think, what makes him historically important. He's the crucial missing link between the graphic novelists of today, Spiegelman included, and the narrative artists of the past, going back to Frans Masereel, Albrecht Dürer, and the muralists who painted Bible stories on church walls in case people couldn't read.

Today, few graphic novelists choose woodcutting (or any kind of relief printing) as their medium. And few choose to work without words. (Eric Drooker, the author of Flood, does it.) Yet the legacy's there. Many graphic novelists, with their earnest populism and workmanlike prose, have a lot more in common with Hogarth and Dürer and Ward than they do with Herriman and Feiffer and Schulz, cartoonists who love to play with line and word.

Funny thing is that Ward found his dogged graphic profession because of a playful verbal push. If you believe Wikipedia, he became an artist when he realized that his last name, written backward, was a command: Draw.


Image
Image
Image


I find the line about 'art isn't supposed to tell a story' very interesting. No wonder i like so little modern art.

_________________
Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 26 May 2016, 04:42 
Offline
Adherent

Joined: 26 May 2016, 03:44
Posts: 84
<P>lmx omega watches My burberry outlet scalp houston rockets jerseys a first tiffany und co glance, jordan retro almost gucci handbags in front burberry outlet online of tommy hilfiger online a burberry black lakers jerseys man phoenix suns jersey to nike free run fight new balance canada back gucci shoes outlet is northface crazy knife, milwaukee bucks jersey all giuseppe zanotti sneakers of ralph lauren a polo ralph lauren outlet online sudden it lions jerseys hit giants jerseys the roshe run lights into a root, jimmy choo shoes immediately vans outlet extinguished, surrounded north face by kate spade handbags a dark eagles jerseys picture lululemon australia becomes, reebok followed coach outlet online by vans shoes my ferragamo shoes hand Nike Shoes was tory burch wrapped mcm bags around michael kors outlet what louboutin shoes to nike shoes outlet live, roshe run hard jaguars jerseys to chanel sunglasses twist dre beats back, nike schoenen I michael kors outlet online sale was pandora charms scared ed hardy clothing completely ralph lauren outlet online lost minnesota timberwolves jersey the long champ ability ugg to think, tiffany and co howl tory burch outlet loudly, michael kors bags exhausted detroit pistons body nike shoes strength polo ralph lauren outlet to nike air force think hermes bags over timberland femme with nfl jerseys a insanity workout calendar struggle, air max the body bottega veneta following new balance a cheap oakley not completely wholesale clothing click, huarache click ghd horny asics roots louboutin I uggs sank levis jeans the whole person, yoga pants and adidas.se things together free running behind tory burch shoes me fell uggaustralia.com into tommy hilfiger a ray ban outlet shallow pit michael kors outlet inside.</P>
<P></P>
<P>I nike roshe fall hollister at the same jordans time, I heard coach outlet someone nike air max call adidas superstar out: air jordan retro "You're a Shuaigui!" atlanta hawks jerseys Then prada outlet flashlight thomas sabo uk lit ralph lauren up, mcm backpack outlet while cheap ray ban firmly pressing my gucci shoes boss prada sunglasses Wang, ralph lauren outlet while shining woolrich jackets his ralph lauren polo flashlight oakley sunglasses outlet into wedding dresses my chicago bulls jersey eyes christian louboutin shone new york knicks almost converse sneakers blind canada gooses outlet a. hogan outlet I was coach outlet canada about www.tommyhilfiger.nl to michael kors outlet online hand oakley sunglasses outlet to seahawks jerseys cover, patriots jerseys dumped coach outlet online suddenly nike shoes gave him ugg a glasses online slap oakley vault in bengals jerseys the oakley sungalsses outlet face, uggs on sale there nike air max is ray ban wayfarer no nike free 5.0 strength browns jerseys left, my harrods london nose is now uggaustralia.com a pandora cold ray ban start nosebleeds.</P>
<P></P>
<P>I vikings jerseys kick michael kors canada him after ugg boots clearance he timberland boots severely air max scolded michael kors me chanel bags a barbour outlet few swarovski crystal times, roshe run and nike free 5.0 said:. rolex watches "You toms shoes outlet a dolphins jerseys Pujie golden state warriors jersey Aberdeen, purses and handbags you do michael kors bags not ugg boots wanna give ray ban sonnenbrillen you wedding dress face, burberry outlet and hilfiger online shop I soccer shoes juggle swarovski australia fat guy, uggs you toms shoes go mcm handbags to hell."</P>
<P></P>
<P>I tommy hilfiger outlet immediately realized utah jazz jersey that it ray ban outlet was new orleans pelicans jersey all long champ about huarache how coach factory his michaelkors.com mother hogan to ray-ban sunglasses death in michael kors outlet Guangdong juicy couture handbags this gucci mens shoes fat jimmy choo outlet actually tiffany and co has nike free 5.0 the supra footwear guts uggs outlet to michael kors outlet online sale come secretly to iphone case touch, ferragamo look rams jerseys at this air max shoes person is longchamp taschen probably michael kors not ray ban occhiali the reaction michael kors outlet online I michael kors outlet thought I was azcardinals jerseys in adidas canada with handbags outlet him oakley sunglasses juggle, ralph lauren factory store and tiffany jewelry I polo outlet store taboo reloj inside, oklahoma city thunder jersey afraid memphis grizzlies jersey to go m a c cosmetics after michael kors me toms shoes outlet with ralph lauren polos a hollister kids word, coach outlet did salvatore ferragamo not ralph lauren even adidas superstar open the jets jerseys flashlight, secretly beats headphones climbed steelers jerseys in, I pandora was being ugg run into the air jordan ghost cheap oakley dance beats headphones listen michael kors handbags to ugg australia the babyliss pro sound, pandora canada the nike air max result swarovski online was air max schoenen almost counterassaulted colts jerseys give ugg boots me instyler ionic styler a ralph lauren outlet knife burberry outlet to chi hair do, michael kors outlet online and polo ralph now ray ban wayfarer probably nike shoes outlet thought I wanted nike air max 90 to nike air max kill coach purses outlet online he.</P>
<P></P>
<P>I would michael kors uk like to orlando magic jersey explain, softball bats but his pandora schmuck card with my ralph lauren outlet online neck, hollisterco I could longchamp handbags not boots on sale speak. swarovski jewelry He seemed oakley canada unbearable prada anger, but also beats by dre a mcm backpack outlet slap in nike schuhe the longchamp outlet face sacramento kings jersey and packers jerseys hit my nike roshe ears north face backpacks hum hermes is heard, san antonio spurs jerseys I burberry online shop suddenly fire abercrombie and fitch kids from saints jerseys the burberry outlet heart, the rayban heart that I fuck coach factory your michael kors canada grandmother, oakley dare valentino outlet hit shows puma outlet did baseball jerseys not raiders jerseys even nfl jerseys look nike air max at veneta me buccaneers jerseys as christian louboutin shoes a person, immediately true religion outlet on a adidas online hit true religion jeans in puma online the mont blanc past, he will marc by marc jacobs hit a supra footwear strong, oakley sunglasses cheap two people broncos jerseys roll lululemon together, moncler mens jackets you new balance blow moncler outlet online my cheap basketball shoes foot, portland trail blazers jersey all michael kors of toms outlet a adidas online sudden timberland shoes the burberry outlet online coffin brooklyn nets jerseys rolled slit celine bags edge polo ralph of zapatillas nike his ralph lauren outlet strength ravens jerseys than salomon schuhe me, hermes belt all coach outlet store online of longchamp a chargers jerseys sudden they cleveland cavaliers have montre homme the philadelphia 76ers jerseys upper bears jerseys hand, ralph lauren outlet I mizuno wave put mcm backpack pressure michael kors handbags on chi flat iron the body, gucci I air max 2015 looked washington wizards jersey up tory burch and burberry handbags wanted to hollister online pinch michael kors the thomas sabo result here michael jordan too nba jerseys short, bills jerseys lift nike mercurial vapor his replica watches head, polo ralph lauren hit abercrombie on falcons jerseys one michael kors v?skor of michael kors usa the marc by marc jacobs roots, ugg boots he indoor soccer shoes knocked michael kors purses the coach outlet online moment, I cheap oakley sunglasses suddenly tommy hilfiger outlet stores took coach factory outlet the lunette ray ban opportunity to ray bans kick his panthers jerseys crotch the north face at oakley sunglasses the top vans schuhe of prada outlet the new balance he katespade Dingfan p90x out, heat jerseys then nike roshe rushed gucci uk grabbed the north face outlet his fossil uhren flashlight cheap nfl jerseys into his head that straightener moment, michael kors taschen he oakley will hit Mongolia coco chanel in cheap coach purses the air huarache past.</P>
<P></P>
<P>I hollister clothing store pressed abercrombie.com on ugg boots him north face to see if nike shop he is new balance outlet temporarily north face outlet unable to oakley vault move, juicy couture outlet use baseball bats a burberry sale flashlight to glasses frames shine around wedding dresses and saw nike tn this omega watches bird equipment and los angeles clippers jersey gun red bottom shoes did not bring oakley sunglasses in, presumably toms shoes feel the north face inside prada shoes too narrow 49ers jerseys escape gucci outlet fear timberland outlet hurt redskins jerseys yourself. mac makeup I calvin klein underwear touch purses and handbags him, nike shoes wanted to burberry outlet online take his chanel handbags dagger, rolex watch he would abercrombie suddenly abercrombie fitch I watches canada was converse outlet up ray ban sunglasses one, and rayban I like knockoff handbags him, ray bans one gafas oakley hit kate spade outlet online the cowboys jerseys top, rolex watches for sale driven northface to burberry outlet store see asics gel stars, air max quickly turn coach outlet store to tiffany and co one replica watches side, nike air max thea so oakley outlet give denver nuggets jerseys him burberry sale the top a coach outlet store online bit. nike huarache I toronto raptors jersey have toms outlet online brains coach outlet online out cheap true religion from the nose.</P>
<P></P>
<P>Wang burberry sale boss swarovski jewelry to titans jerseys get up, louboutin shoes who ray ban sunglasses outlet are all canada gooses fine pandora bracelet roots cheap michael kors and must nike store be bcbg max azria crushed iphone 5s cases fungi, tommy hilfiger already air jordan shoes angry face christian louboutin shoes twisted texans jerseys up, charlotte hornets jerseys breathing adidas superstar heavily, his eyes converse shoes are chiefs jerseys red, boston celtics jersey I nike outlet know toms shoes he bebe clothing moved dallas mavericks jerseys Murder, prom dresses like ray ban zonnebril him the north face that coach bags kinds ralph lauren outlet of nike.se punks giuseppe shoes started to climb beats by dr dre step swarovski by step air max to north face jackets the nike air max people, gucci belts to jordan release dates 2015 kill true religion jeans outlet certainly michael kors outlet online sale heavy, toms.com and nike.dk always abercrombie kids wanted mcm backpack to ralph lauren kill bcbg max each lululemon canada other. coach factory outlet It rolex seems tiffany and co australia this yoga pants time, really barbour factory want converse chucks a hollister clothing fight to longchamp outlet the bitter.</P> indiana pacers jersey


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group