Woodcut and Linoleumcut Novels


Balthus. (Balthazar Klossowski)

Publisher : New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. ISBN 0-8109-1320-8.

Comment : I read the above book on the train ride to work yesterday. It's called Mitsou; (40 Images by Balthus), originally published in 1920 with a five-page introductory essay in French by Rilke. I don't have any of my Rilke books in Japan but I first fell for him with Letters to a Young Poet before I explored his poetry and other essays. In my mind this is a phenomenal recommendation for this book.

The book came into my hands by means of the 1984 reprint published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY which translated the Rilke essay into English for the first time. A quote from the intro, 'Is it a mistake to burden you with these reflections when my real purpose is to introduce you to the story with which my young friend Balthus is about to regale you? True, he will do so by drawing, without speaking to you very much, but his images will more than slake your curiosity.'

The book is a simple story told in 40 wordless woodcuts about the experience of the author, Balthus, and his cat. Rilke suggests Balthus may have been about ten at the time of the events depicted, but there is no indication how old the author may have been at the time he executed the story.

The art does not seem to recall Masereel or Ward or any of the other woodcut masters that you may have read about in The Comics Journal #208. The artist has his own voice and I particularly enjoyed his attempt to express a variety of emotion, in spite of the fact that the style is rough, thick-lined, and allowing little light into many of the pages.

What I'm particularly interested in, with regards to this book, is the interplay of comics and non-comics. Rilke sees this as an opportunity to bring his own message. I'd suspect that it's one contrary to what Balthus was trying to express. And instead, it would appear that while the essay informs the story and the story informs the essay, these are really two different and essentially separate approaches to the same topic. A very curious thing to me.

-- David Wybenga

Bocharakova, Helena.

Currie, Ken.
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Drooker, Eric.

Faye, Jules Remedios.
Publisher : Seattle: Street of Crocodiles, 1993.

Comment : A fabulous tale of Italian dreams told in linoblocks cut during the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Publisher : Seattle: Street of Crocodiles, 1999.

Gluck, Felix.
Publisher : P. Drinkwater Press, 1986.

Gothein, Werner.
Publisher : Schwenningen: Lovis Presse, 1949.

Comment : 102 Woodcuts.

Gropper, William.


Harper, Cliff.

Holzman, David.

Howson, Peter.


Hyde, Laurence.


Katz, Babbette.

Klimowski, Andrezej.


Krasauskas, Stasys.

Kuthan, Georges.

Lewen, Si.

Masereel, Frans.


Publisher : Zurich: Limmat Verlag, 1965.




Moreau, Clément.

Mousli, Lillian.

Musco, Lydia Jenkins.

Nuckel, Otto.


Patri, Giacomo
White Collar

Publisher : 1940.

Reid, James.

Stern, Christopher and Jules Fayeis.

Szutz, Istvan Szegedi.

Turzak, Charles

Ward, Lynd.




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Back Cover


Wiszniewski, Adrian