"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

OOPs (Out-of-Print)

Today was my first scouting day in almost two weeks.  I have a regular routine, a handful of spots I typically browse once a week.  Some visits take fifteen minutes, some take two hours.  Work has been busy and I've had other distractions (friends to see, new bars to try) and so I've had no new books or movies or music to report. 

Today was a relatively quick trip, but I did add my 26th out-of-print Criterion to the collection:  Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I (1986).  It's playing as I type this, and everything that comes out of Richard E. Grant's mouth makes me laugh. 

My credit also paid for a couple of Humphrey Bogart Blu-rays: The African Queen and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  I've seen the latter many times, but this will be my maiden voyage with the former.  I suppose I can always trade it back, but I'm anxious to see Jack Cardiff's camerawork in 1080p. 

And then there's this odd little number: William Steig's Persistent Faces (1945).

Long before Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Doctor De Soto and Shrek, Steig was a prolific New Yorker illustrator-cartoonist. 

Steig's early collections (About People, The Lonely Ones, All Embarrassed) are long on pictures and short on words. According to the dustjacket, the quirky visages in Persistent Faces "appear often enough in life to persist as images in memory." 

I grew up on Steig's abstractions (my father was a huge fan), but I admit they're not for everyone. 

Needless to say, this book smells superb.

By the way . . .

Is it just me, or does "Intellectual's Woman" look an awful lot like Shirley Jackson?   Of course, the dates are all wrong: Jackson didn't publish "The Lottery" in The New Yorker until 1948, three years after Persistent Faces.

On the other hand, Jackson went to Syracuse University.  What are the chances Steig glimpsed Jackson and her future husband Stanley Edgar Hyman at the park or on the bus and decided to immortalize her with a quick sketch?

Is that so hard to believe?  Is it?

1 comment:

  1. More persistent faces, please! I love the two you posted.