Sunday, August 22, 2010

two books in one day

Can you believe I finished two books yesterday? When's the last time that happened?!! Of course, I'm not fooling anyone, am I? Obviously, I'm not talking major tomes here. But then, size is not a measure of quality, is it?

First off, I finished pixerina WITCHERINA edited by Bill Conger. I really enjoyed it, but I also feel like I need to read it again. It's an interesting little book--part art book, part essays. It's based on an art exhibition curated by Bill Conger at Illinois University. 

From their gallery archives comes this brief description of the exhibit itself:

Pixerina Witcherina consists of works by women who address transformative forces, mythic location, and fairy-tale influence. Taking its title from an imaginary language that Virginia Woolf created to converse secretly with her niece, the work in Pixerina Witcherina transforms the representational assumptions of the narrative into whimsically abstracted visual yarns that thrive on a sense of storytelling.
 (The link also provides a few examples of the art that was featured.)

The book, however, is more than just a simple collection of photos of the art featured in the exhibit. It includes three essays, all of which to some degree speak to the "roles of women" in fairy tales. And to some degree, each uses various pieces of art, both from the exhibit and from other sources, to illustrate their points. My favorite of the essays was probably "Invocations of Fairy Tales" by Maria Tatar, but I also liked Jan Susina's "Straw Into Gold: The Transforming Nature of Fairy Tales and Fairy Art" a great deal. The essays, and the art from the exhibit for that matter, have a very feminist leaning. But as I said earlier, I'd really like to read the essays again because I know, without question, that I will glean even more from them the second, and probably the third and fourth, time around. I'm going to have Annie read this for our upcoming literature course, and am really looking forward to discussing the essays with her. (But you know what I really wish? That Ana could join us...because then I know we would gain much more insight into both the essays and into the subject of "women in fairy tales" in general.)

Oh, and I just had to share this, my favorite of the art pieces from the exhibition:

The Language of Flowers by Margaret Curtis.


Hmmm. Well, I fully intended on talking about both books here in this post, but I've just run out of steam. Besides, this leaves me something to post about tomorrow.


  1. Oh man! You're going to keep me hanging on the other book that you finished??? This one sounds so damn cool though!! It's going straight onto my wishlist!! Heading over to PBS now to try my luck :p

  2. Oooooh, I see now on the sidebar!! It's I Kill Giants :D I so need to read that one!

  3. Hi, Debi.

    I love reading days! If you're interested in the language of flowers, you might want to check out my debut novel FORGET-HER-NOTS (HarperCollins, 2010). It features the language of flowers come magically to life with lots of fun twists.

    Enjoy the last days of summer,

    Amy (Brecount White)