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Picturing a World

Yevgeniya Yeretskaya

Although bulb spears and even daffodil buds are showing in south-facing patches, we've still got snow on the ground here in the Berkshires. A little shivering among the flowers? With a bend in meaning from the original, this example of the paper engineering art of Ukrainian illustrator Yevgeniya Yeretskaya seems a perfect way to say goodbye, Winter—hello, S-S-Spring!

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Shaun Tan's Creatures

When I was a child, my mother had a rule that you couldn't buy a book unless you had first borrowed it from the library and knew you wanted to read and reread it. Well, as soon as I got wind of Shaun Tan's new book, Creatures, I borrowed it through interlibrary loan. The art work, of course, is terrific. I turned each page. At his comments in the final section, I started flipping back and forth. The more I got out of the pictures, the more I knew I wanted to study them again and again—and also to think more about what Tan has to say, not only about these pieces in particular, but about art and stories in general. Right. I bought a copy (from an local independent bookstore, natch).

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Valentine's meat juice

I suppose I could save this for next year's February 14th post, but, nah—it's too much fun to hold back! While transcribing a late 19th C letter from Virginia today, I came across a reference to "Valentine's meat juice." An internet search immediately turned up an Atlas Obscura article on the very thing—turns out to be a tonic made of juices extracted from meat cooked at a low temperature to retain the structure of proteins. Isn't that an excellent detail for historical fiction? Or the little brown, pear-shaped bottles could lend themselves to stories about junk dealers or children inventing magic potions to go in one they'd found. Any other ideas?

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Wilding Frieze

Exhibition alert: I couldn't help thinking of Dimples for President and The Flapper Queens when I saw Frieze in the review article The big picture: jazz age attitude captured by Dorothy Wilding. Wild, Wilding, wilder, and fun!

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