Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thoreau at Walden

John Porcellino's graphic adaptation of the writings of Thoreau has been released through The Center for Cartoon Studies and published by Hyperion.

Booklist says Thoreau at Walden is "the latest high-quality graphic-format book from folks associated with the Center for Cartoon Studies" which "introduces another significant historical personage, Henry David Thoreau.

"Although the life and work of the nineteenth-century transcendental philosopher and protoenvironmentalist might seem an odd choice for adaptation into sequential art, Porcellino, alternative comics writer/artist and master of the minicomic, has found a way to translate Thoreau’s thinking into an involving read that exudes lightness and tranquility. Marrying his minimalist line work to Thoreau’s minimalist philosophy, Porcellino manages a striking unity of words and art that works as an effective ode to simplicity.

"Thoreau’s writings, excerpted out of chronological order, are recast into a narrative that moves from the philosopher’s self-ostracism from society and his time at Walden and into the feeling of calm reverie he took from his experiences. This will be a difficult sell to casual readers, but budding philosophers and readers looking for an unusual work will be delighted. Extensive endnotes include explanations and attributions for the excerpts and a short bibliography. Grades 8-12."

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