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Monday, November 27, 2000

'Grinch' Helps Get Hollywood Back on Record Pace "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a lavishly mounted offering from the director Ron Howard, starring Jim Carrey, has virtually catapulted families into movie theater seats, dominating the five-day Thanksgiving weekend and earning an estimated $137.4 million in its first 10 days of release, nearly $74 million of it since Wednesday.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:40 AM

Boing! Pop-Up Books Are Growing Up Pop-up books may be the literary preserve of children, but lately the whirligig pages of flaps, foldouts, pull- tabs and double wheels are moving frenetically to attract grown-ups.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:26 AM

Saturday, November 25, 2000

Sense and Nonsense
At the top of the juvenile pantheon, the benevolent ruler of all that he sees, sits Dr. Seuss. In the world of children's culture, perhaps only Walt Disney has as wide and enduring name recognition. But whereas Disney was primarily an impresario and an empire builder, the Henry Ford of fantasy, Dr. Seuss, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, conformed to a different American archetype: the solitary genius who happens, almost in spite of himself, to be a canny entrepreneur.
The New York Times Magazine
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:17 PM

So Elegant, So Intelligent
T. S. ELIOT knew that his carefully constructed persona could be forbidding. He satirized himself, gently but tellingly, in a piece of light verse:
How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!
With his features of clerical cut,
And his brow so grim
And his mouth so prim
And his conversation, so nicely
Restricted to What Precisely
And If and Perhaps and But.
[A review of WORDS ALONE: The Poet T. S. Eliot, by Denis Donoghue,326 pp., ew Haven:Yale University Press.]
The New York Times Book Review
posted by Marco Graziosi 8:48 AM

Monday, November 20, 2000

You're not so bad, Mr. Grinch
The story has a moral lesson no different than Dickens's A Christmas Carol -- but with a tone that is loony rather than melodramatic. It's basically about learning what the true value of Christmas is. The Grinch (Jim Carrey) is a cave-dwelling curmudgeon who lives with his dog Max at the top of Mt. Crumpit.
CBC Infoculture
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:54 PM

Saturday, November 18, 2000

The animator of worlds
[on Wullschlager's biography of Hans Christian Andersen]
An unmarried man, without family of his own, he was dependent, emotionally and physically, on others until the day of his death, demanding assurance, consolation, praise and home comforts. In his sixties, he was described by an English visitor to one of his surrogate families as "a child ... entirely egotistical, innocently vain, the centre of life, interest, concern and meaning to himself". And after his death the great Danish critic, Georg Brandes, perhaps the first to appreciate quite how extraordinary and innovative his stories were, wrote that "Andersen's mind was wholly filled by himself".
Books Unlimited
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:41 AM

Friday, November 17, 2000

Counter Culture  - The dialogue stars in You Can Count on Me. The 6th Day thinks through cloning and capitalism. Why'd they bother with How the Grinch Stole Christmas?   by David Edelstein
The new, live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas doesn't settle for this biological-determinist interpretation of the Grinch's misanthropy. It takes a humanistic approach and gives the Grinch a lengthy "back story." See, he had some genetic problems (deformity, green pallor, a tendency to munch on glass bottles) but was also teased and driven into exile—which makes him clearly redeemable.
posted by Marco Graziosi 2:06 PM

'Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas': And He Clucked, 'What a Faaabulous Trick'
The movie is so clogged with kooky gadgetry and special effects and glitter and goo that watching it feels like being gridlocked at Toys "R" Us during the Christmas rush. Both the film and its omnivorous star, Jim Carrey, who seems to change voices every few seconds, come at you from so many directions at once that half the time you don't know where to look or how to react.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 3:19 AM

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Seussical, the Musical, , produced here in Boston, but warming up to open at the Richard Rodgers Oct. 15th in NYC, is currently something like what hatches from the egg that moon-faced Kevin Chamberlin (Horton) keeps warm through most of the show; it looks something like an elephant, but has wings. The show is a dizzying compilation of Dr. Seuss favorites revolving around faithful Horton's two major adventures involving two disparate worlds; his home, the outrageous Jungle of Nool, inhabited by birds and beasts only the good doctor could have imagined, and the tiny dust-mote world of the Who, which only an elephant can hear. His tribulations, as he holds fast to two mottos known to most early readers; "A person's a person, no matter how small" and "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, An elephant's faithful, One-Hundred percent." keep the show moving forward, somewhat fitfully.
Aisle Say (Boston)
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:57 AM

Seussical The Musical
The official home page for the musical discussed in the NY Times Review below.
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:46 AM

Is There a Dr. in the House for 'Seussical'?
How the charmed musical that could do no wrong turned into the "troubled Suessical" that could do no right has become a parable about how much Broadway has changed. What in the past might have gone unremarked as a new show's routinely bumpy road to Broadway instead became a matter for public scrutiny.
The New York Times
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:12 AM

Tuesday, November 07, 2000

Thurber's world and welcome to it
Thurber's comic hero, who came to be known as Thurber Man, is a squinty, skewed kind of guy; a digression blinking at a wife, a boss, an errand that wants him straight, and on time. He knows human nature, but not what can possibly be done about it. He is contemporary to the more dominant species, Hemingway Man, but from a galaxy far away.
CBC Infoculture
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:52 PM

Monday, November 06, 2000

Webs of weeds
The Gormenghast trilogy, together with the dazzling drawings he produced in the 1940s and 1950s, have no parallel in English art or fiction. But he paid a terrible price. This biography tells the story of his inexorable decline into premature senility in competent detail, but adds disappointingly little to previous accounts by Peake’s wife and others. By sticking relentlessly to the superficial facts of a life that operated far below surface reality, Yorke too often downgrades his subject.
Review of Mervyn Peake: My Eyes Mint Gold - a Life by Malcolm Yorke
posted by Marco Graziosi 10:53 AM

'Oz' Expert: If Ever Oh Ever a Wiz There Was
There's no yellow brick road to find the way, but starting Friday the Los Angeles Central Library is transforming itself into the wonderful land of Oz. Through Feb. 24 the Library's Getty Gallery will be home to "A Century of Oz," an exhibition featuring more than 400 items related to L. Frank Baum's classic stories.
Celebrating the centennial of the publication of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," the exhibition is presenting what apparently is the greatest number of Oz material ever publicly displayed. Among the rare items will be the Wicked Witch's hourglass and a Munchkin costume from the classic 1939 film, a fine copy of the first Oz book and the first editions of Spanish-language Oz books. All the items come from the Willard Carroll Collection, considered the world's finest.
latimes.com - Calendar Live - Books & Talks
posted by Marco Graziosi 6:09 AM

Sunday, November 05, 2000

Observer review: Hans Christian Andersen by Jackie Wullschlager
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy-tales won him fame and wealth - but he probably died a virgin. Jackie Wullschlager tells the story of the life of the great storyteller.
Books Unlimited
posted by Marco Graziosi 1:44 PM

Thursday, November 02, 2000

The sorrows of a great Dane
THE LIFE OF Hans Christian Andersen, told with thoroughness and sympathy in this new biography, was as peculiar, fascinating and painful as any of his celebrated fairy tales. This big-boned, gawky, lanky egotist was the ugly duckling, meeting snobbery and ridicule, particularly in his stuffy homeland, for several years before Denmark caught up with its most famous son’s internationalrenown.
Review of Wullschlager's bio of Andersen.
posted by Marco Graziosi 5:24 AM

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