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Glorious collection of letters written in 1922-1934 from Miller to his chum Emil Schnellock. Miller and Schnellock, schoolboy buddies at P.S. 85 in Brooklyn (class of 1905), remet in 1921, when Miller was an aspiring writer and Schnellock a world-traveling painter. The cosmopolitan Schnellock soon became Miller's intellectual mentor, but as these letters demonstrate, the pupil dramatically outshone the teacher. What energy courses through these pages, covering Miller's last days in Brooklyn and his years in Paris! Miller declares his savage vocation in the first lines of the first letter: "Ye Gods! The first day of being a writer has nearly broken my back. I have discovered new sets of muscles, new aches, new worries." He rhapsodizes about watercoloring, Paris, whores—whatever grabs his fancy. He inserts dead-on put-downs of Henry James and James Joyce ("I see him as a . . .precious sewer, a medieval stew"). He sends wold-lists, plans for new books (one of a cinema, another on D.H. Lawrence), notes on fading writers, first versions of some of his best essays—including the prototype of "The Angel is My Watermark!" More difficult to cull—Wickes' editorial interjections help considerably here—are autobiographical details. Miller rants for pages about his wife June, but remains curiously reticent about Anais Nin. No matter—the meat here is his explosive, gargantuan, deliriously happy record of life on the gallop.

Pub Date: June 29, 1989

ISBN: 0811211703

Page Count: 192

Publisher: New Directions

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1989

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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