Monday, September 29, 2008

For Suse

Alas, the cover of this book is not knitted. However, it is described thus:

"imported from Italy by Clarence House Imports of New York. Designed by Kazumi Oshida, the Chequered Lady pattern was hand-printed in thirteen colours. Its vine-and-flowers motif could well be that of the parlor curtains of Belle Reve, the old Louisiana homestead where Blanche and Stella lived before coming their separate ways to Elysian Fields - via a streetcar named Desire..."

Illustrations are by Al Hirschfeld "the supreme caricaturist whose drawings have enlivened the drama pages of The New York Times for nearly sixty years....Like the fine actors who have created the roles on the stage, Hirschfeld's drawings for Streetcar evoke the tensions, the surface appearance, the inner psyche of Stanley, Blanche, Stella, Mitch, and the other dramatis personae. And like the craftsmen who manipulate the stage lighting, he has bathed each illustration in glowing color but left one area in stark white to reveal, as with a spotlight, the symbolic crux of the scene."
"Nothing could be more lucid than these text pages, the speakers' names set forth in small capitals, the stage directions in clear but unobtrusive italics, the actors' lines in the expansive fourteen-point size with four points of leading, and - above all - in the use of Times Roman types throughout the book."

All of the above are quotes from the publisher. In addition, there is an introduction written by Jessica Tandy which starts - "Playing Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' changed my life...."

I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am Suse. Thanks for encouraging me to take this book off the shelf...sometimes we live with something beautiful but never see it!!

I'm trying to complete my library duties prior to the new year....but am not sure if I will be able to do it, so Northanger Abbey and Simplicissimus may have to wait....

It's strange...each of these books will now forever be connected in my mind to the person who chose to see it. It's quite lovely.

[I shall certainly try to take photos of the Rosh Hashana food (all cooked by my mother, I should add) and perhaps include our family honey cake recipe.]


bluemountainsmary said...

I am grateful to you AND Suse as this is definitely my kind of book too!

Oh yes please to the Honey Cake. We of Dutch blood love us some honey cake!

Julia said...

Have a great holiday, oh kind librarian. Northanger Abbey can certainly wait!

And perhaps we'll have to do a honey cake review around the world. The Czechs seem to think they made the recipe up themselves!

Suse said...

The cover of the book is glorious! Wow.

And who would have thought to use a caricaturist to do the illustrations for a play, but of course for 'Streetcar' it is PERFECT.

Thank you dear dear Eleanor!

I was going to say that Elizabeth Taylor and I share a birthday, but then realised that it was Vivien Leigh who played Blanche. Elizabeth was in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, wasn't she? I do get those plays confused sometimes. Oh well, we still share a birthday, but it wasn't quite the appropriate anecdote I was expecting it to be.

Suse said...

ps. happy new year!

eurolush said...

I'm hoping there will be MORE book requests from your beloved I really don't want to see this feature come to an end.

Another gorgeous book...

Looking forward to hearing about the food Mom prepares for the new year...

My other mother taunted me yesterday on the phone, describing in excruciating detail what she was preparing for the family dinner on Sunday evening. Evil, evil, evil.

I found her actions deplorable.