The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend

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It Will All Be Over Before You Know It… — A six-page, six-chapter comic by the brilliant Richard Sala (a must for fans of Edward Gorey, I’d say).

Something Lost — Edmund de Waal, ceramicist and author of The Hare with Amber Eyes, on inspiration for writing and art at The Browser:

[T]here is still something extraordinary about art which comes out of an encounter between a person and a material. The further you get away from that, the more you get into something which is commodified and reduced to a series of other people’s interactions with it. There is something extraordinary which is lost.

Talking Covers — A new blog, edited by writer Sean Manning, where authors, designers, and artists discuss book covers. The cover to Sean’s own book, The Things That Need Doing is discussed here.

The Solitary World — Ellen Handler Spitz, author of Illuminating Childhood, on the late Maurice Sendak:

Sendak knew from within the profound sense in which every child, from time to time, perceives himself or herself to be alone—an outsider—and feels the need to retreat into some private space, some nook or secret hiding place. Sendak’s books are themselves such places; they can so function even when being read aloud by an adult. Sendak’s supreme gift, as visual artist as well as author, was to discover pictorial as well as verbal and narrative means to portray the existential separateness of childhood.

And finally…

Championship Hoarding — Steven Heller on “stuff”:

It is one thing to have stuff and another to collect it. It is one thing to accumulate stuff and another to exhibit it. What’s the point in just keeping stuff in drawers, out of view? Stuff is/are trophies, evidence of championship hoarding — finding the perfect rarity that no one else has found. Collecting stuff can be competitive, even if only in the mind. Therefore, showing one’s bounty is essential to having stuff. So the vehicle for display is just as essential as the objects themselves.

Have a great weekend.

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