Uncertainties and certainties…

The latest in my husband’s thoughts/reviews of the books on his 2013 reading list.

The New Southern Gentleman

Maira Kalman’s collage/slam book/illustrated diary The Principles of Uncertainty probably deserves better than it’s going to get here. This latest completed read from my 2013 reading list has put-up job written (and drawn) all over it.

While this book has charm, it also has smarm in abundance. Only a New Yorker with “the right connections” – in publishing, in society, in “being a New Yorker” could have gotten such a book published.

Kalman’s art is delightful (she is a children’s book illustrator/writer), but her musings on the difficulties and vicissitudes of being of Russian descent, Jewish, and a New Yorker are predictable in a way: she is impressed by traditional NYC signs of success/quirkiness, she loves and misses her dead relatives in that neurotic/theatrical way that only a Russian can, her Jewish guilt/rage/sense of impending doom both sustains her and torments her.

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