A collection of paintings, sketches and poetic reflections about life and architecture.
Anderson’s slender debut contains thoughtful observations, but it’s also pleasing to the eye. Sixty-five brief meditations, each accompanied by the author’s own artwork, examine the nature of architecture, landscapes and humanity. Showing an aversion for “commercially driven” modern architecture, the author asks, “[W]hat are we building and why?” Inspired by the pastoral vistas of his Montana home, much of Anderson’s art reflects quiet, rural themes, but they also address the ravages of technology on spirituality. Some paintings, such as “On Desert Afternoons,” are bold and sun-bright; others are ethereal and almost haunting, such as “On the Veil of Reality,” which depicts the shadowy figure of a cow next to a dark, apparently opulent building. With its whimsical hues of green and blue, “On Imagery I” seems to encourage readers to imagine objects floating in water. The accompanying one-page vignettes are presented with the concrete eye of a poet, and like small stones tossed into a lake, they create lasting ripples of thought. For example, in “On Island Lake, The Beartooths,” Anderson captures the peaceful simplicity of a camping trip: “[t]he stump benches, the roof of pine boughs, the discolored tin ware, the primitive circle of rocks surrounding the fire, the swaying of pinion pine as a half moon appears above the horizon.” Likewise, “On Work Benches and My Father” vividly describes a father’s bruised, cracked thumbnail guiding a chisel’s blade. Other reflections, such as the author’s tribute to his son, are also memorable. (There are a few distracting typographical errors, but they are not overly worrisome.) Anderson ends the book with a somewhat lengthy author’s note that reiterates his wary stance concerning technology and architecture: “I believe we, as a society, will continue to drill deeper into the physical world, placing all our faith in science and technology. And what we will discover at the end of that investigation is a world bereft of meaning.”
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)