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Beautiful 1921 Woodcuts by Virginia Woolf’s Sister

Black-and-white beauty from a rare vintage edition.

It has been argued that music had a profound influence on Virginia Woolf’s work, her growing feminism, and her understanding of social class, sexuality, and pacifism.

The original edition of Woolf’s collection Monday or Tuesday (public library), published by Hogarth Press in 1921 in a limited run of 1,000 copies, featured stunning full-page black-and-white woodcut illustrations for Woolf’s short story “A String Quartet” by her artistically gifted sister, the acclaimed Bloomsbury painter Vanessa Bell.

The short story collection owes its title to a passage in a chapter titled “Modern Fiction” from Woolf’s classic 1919 treatise The Common Reader, where the beloved author contemplates the heart of storytelling:

Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions — trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday.

Though lacking Bell’s beautiful woodcuts, a standard, text-only version of Monday or Tuesday is available as a free Kindle download.


The Edge: Hunter S. Thompson on the Burden of the Living, Animated

“The only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”

Last year, Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson became one of the year’s best graphic novels and works of graphic nonfiction. Now, visual artist Piotr Kabat has employed a similar black-and-white graphic style in this wonderful short animated homage to Thompson, based on an excerpt from the 2010 film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. The title and focus come from one of Thompson’s most famous quotes, from the 1966 nonfiction novel Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs:

The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others — the living — are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.

For similar Thompson goodness in print form, treat yourself to Gonzo.


The Night Riders

A charming and unexpected adventure story by one of today’s most extraordinary young comic artists.

Much has been written about what makes a great children’s book, but at the end of the day, it’s like porn — you know it when you see it. That’s precisely what The Night Riders (UK; public library), the picture-book debut of comic artist Matt Furie, presents — the whimsical, imaginative story of a night frog and a mouse, who encounter a cast of wild and colorful characters on a dirt bike adventure.

Images via 50 Watts


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