I’ve had this book for ages. I bought it mostly for the cover art by Ronald McRae. The story is light and funny about a clumbsy NY writer who finds himself Hollywood’s darling. Inside in the list of other books by Carl Van Vechten, I found that he wrote The Tattooed Countess. I found a copy, but was disappointed that the cover didn’t look like this one. Maybe I’ll do a tribute image of how I image Ronald McRae would do.
Another magic moment on the first of January was going to see the new Scorcese film, Hugo Cabret. I was delighted to discover they had made a film from this graphic novel that I enjoyed so much. I found the book, written by Brian Selznick while searching for George Melies DVDs on Amazon. The story is based on a lot of real events and people from the era I adore in Paris “La Belle Epoque”. The old Gare d’Orleans which is now the Musée d’Orsey. The huge clock that is still there. The train accident where a train crashed through the walls and landed outside the building. The sad destiny of George Melies, an artistic genius who lost everything and ended selling toys out of a stand at said station. All weaved together to tell a fictional story about romantic but demoded, abandoned marvels.
That was probably the best day of 2012 (already!) and now that I survived last thursday which will probably go down as the worst day of 2012, I think I can look forward to a mild rest of the year!
Please go see the film, it is really swell!
Books I bought:
“De La Foire au Pain d’Epice” by Agnès Rosolen and Lionel Mouraux
Les 100 Plus Beaux Images: de Pierrot
du Papier à Rouler
by Editions Dabecom
“Saltimbanque” (which comes from saute sur un banc “jump up on bench” to perform) Outdoor performer.
Steeple chase: the game’s name comes from Steeplechase Park in Coney Island created by George C. Tilyou. After his visit to the Chicago World’s Fair, he decided to build an amusement park back home. One of the things he added was a mechanical horse race which the fairground was later named after.
Cinema Forain: Georges Melies first discovered what we know today as “film” as it was first presented at a fête foraine. As a magician and performer he instantly recognised the potential of this medium. Later his films were shown at fêtes foraines before cinemas and theatres for film were built. His films can be considered Cinema Forain because the fête foraine was intristically linked both in inspiration and where it was presented.
I learned that the term for the Side show in french is “entresort”. Although nobody I know seems to have heard this term, maybe because they are so out of fashion. At the fête foraine you could pay to see deformed babies in jars of formaldahyde, the fat lady, and the leopard or snake ladies. The term for “Freaks” in french is “monstres”.“Entresort” means to go in look and leave as opposed to staying to see a whole act.
Oh my goodness! I want every one of these books:
Peguin books for their 75th anniversary has re-released many of their best titles with cover artwork by leading tattoo artists. Apparently, the brilliant idea of art director Paul Buckley, a resident of Brooklyn, New York. I’ve already bought and read two, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (with art by Jen Munford) and Moon Palace by Paul Aster (with art by Grez). The first is a collection of short stories, actually traditional fairy tales, like red riding hood but with a modern/adult twist. The second is written by an excellent story teller with the themes of moon and books running throughout. I really can recommend both of them.
I don’t know if they are targeting readers with tastes like mine, but the first two were books I feel I was destined to read. They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but the artwork on these novels is just candy to my eyes and so far what’s inside the books has been sweet to my brain as well.
Amund Dietzel, tattoo artist built this work station by hand. It was auctioned off recently by Christy’s. I wonder if sold to a tattoo enthusiast?
I remember Henry Goldfield raving about this cabinet and explaining to me how Dietzel probably went about cutting those rounded edges.
You can just make out the work table behind these photos of Tatts Thomas and Amund Dietzle. The color photo comes from the book about Dieztle, “These Old Blue Arms” which I recently bought and can’t wait to read.