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26. Cartooning Interviews and Events

Cartooning This May, Bob Andelman, also known as Mr. Media, has interviewed two of YUP’s experts on graphic fiction and cartoons: Brian Walker on two of his recent books, including Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau and Ivan Brunetti for Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.

And Chicago-based fans of comics and graphic novels are in for a treat: Ivan Brunetti will appear at the 27th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, which takes place on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2011. The Lit Fest is a free, two-day literary extravaganza featuring more than 200 authors, 100 literary programs and 160 booksellers.   Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau

On Sunday, June 5, from 2 pm - 2:45 pm, Brunetti will discuss his new book (and the art of cartooning in general) with two rising young cartoonists who are also based in Chicago: Chris "Elio" Eliopoulos and Onsmith. All three will be available to sign their books afterwards.

And for those outside of Chicago in need of Brunetti’s teaching, once again here is the trailer for Cartooning. Why? Because it is simply one of the coolest things ever.


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27. Yale Collects Gertrude Stein

The Steins CollectLast weekend at SFMOMA was the opening of “The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde”, an exhibition showcasing the energy, creativity, and artistic patronage of the Stein family: Gertrude, her brothers Leo, Michael and his wife Sarah. Already a hit with San Francisco Chronicle art critic, Kenneth Baker, he opened his review of the show, proclaiming: “What nerve they had!”

As American expatriates living in Paris, the Steins were absolutely pivotal in shaping the city's vibrant cultural life in the early 20th century, aggressively promoting and collecting paintings of their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, as well as emerging artists of the Parisian scene. Along the way they developed unparalleled holdings in modernist work by such figures as Paul Cézanne, Juan Gris, Francis Picabia, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Ida The accompanying catalog, featuring more than 600 images, explores the Steins' impact on art-making and collecting practices in Europe and the United States; the intense sibling rivalries that developed around key artists and ideas; the roots of Leo's aesthetic theories in the thought of William James and Bernard Berenson; Sarah and Michael's role in founding the Académie Matisse; Gertrude's complex relationship with Picasso and their artistic influence on each other; Le Corbusier's radical villa design for the family; and how they created a new international standard of taste for modern art.

To Do Later in our Fall 2011 season, we’re reviving two of Gertrude Stein’s works: Ida: A Novel and Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition, which has undergone re-revisions from the version that Stein’s lover Alice B. Toklas previously altered to exclude mentions of Stein’s former lover; some as simple, but crucial, as the word/name “May” becoming “can.” For those who need their fix of Gertrude now and a little more history on Yale’s relationship with the modernist writer at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, check out our post on To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays, available now from YUP.  

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28. Futher Introducing Alfred Kazin to Twitter, and You

Alfred Kazin's Journals Dwight Garner’s Twitter account, regularly full of humorous gems, profound observations, combining books with his dogwalking, has tweeted a few lines ( 123…) inspired by Alfred Kazin over the past few days. This morning’s issue of the New York Times, featured Garner’s review of the “remarkable” Alfred Kazin’s Journals, edited by Richard M. Cook, who published his biography of Kazin in 2008.

Born in 1915 to barely literate Jewish immigrants in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Alfred Kazin rose from near poverty to become one of the most influential intellectuals of postwar America. (We might laugh, then, part of an entry from July 16, 1992, which reads: “[Mario] Cuomo speaking of ‘An American Family.’ Only immigrants’ sons speak this way.”) To Kazin, the daily entry was a psychological and spiritual act. The journals also highlight his engagement with the political and cultural debates of the decades through which he lived. He wrestles with communism, cultural nationalism, liberalism, existentialism, Israel, modernism, as well as his own personal issues: his promiscuity, his solitude even whilst in the spotlight, his snobbery, and his deeply complicated relationship with writing.

To remind us of the importance of writing, thinking, and reflecting, Kazin, whose dates of birth and death are next Sunday, June 5, might even quote his own words: “To write is to form a thought out of nothing. There was no thought before I started to write this. I am Man Thinking. I am thinking this page; I am thinking my life.”

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29. Harold Bloom, Then, as Now, Our Uncommon Reader

The Anatomy of Influence The May 22 cover of the New York Times Book Review featured a photograph of Harold Bloom; the title of Editor Sam Tanenhaus’s essay: “An Uncommon Reader”, accompanied online by an interview at Bloom’s home in New York. As Tanenhaus writes of the new book, The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life, “[Bloom] still has many arresting things to say and says them, often, with exquisite precision. He is, by any reckoning, one of the most stimulating literary presences of the last half-century.”

At the end of the PEN World Voices Festival earlier this month, Bloom appeared in conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Director of LIVE from the New York Public Library. The discussion centered on the new book and how it responds to Bloom’s 1973 work, The Anxiety of Influence. When colleague John Hollander reviewed Anxiety for the Times, calling it, “more than a little outrageous”, a common reaction to Bloom’s work in the academy at the time, he ultimately conceded that: “In any event, this remarkable book has raised profound questions about where in the mind the creative process is to be located, and about how the prior visions of other poems are, for a true poet, as powerful as his own dreams and as formative as his domestic childhood. From now on, only obtuseness or naiveté, in critic or psychologist, will be able to ignore them.”

The past decades have proved Hollander right, as Bloom moved from Yale’s English Department to found the Humanities Department, an interdisciplinary program of study “designed to contribute to an integrated understanding of the Western cultural tradition”, certainly the relationships and networks of influencing and influenced. Bloom talks with Holdengräber about love, memory, and the power of poetry (and Falstaff :)  ). And he talks about the writers who shaped his reading most—Shakespeare, Whitman, Crane—and what the sound and meaning of their verse have brought to understanding the human experience, how we are all influenced by the art of others. With further reading and a lifelong love for literature, Bloom has now written these reflections into The Anatomy of Influence.  Here’s a video clip from the event, but you can also download the full audio, take it with you, and listen as you go.

Harold Bloom 5.1.11 from LIVE from the NYPL on Vimeo.



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30. Jerome Charyn: June 2 at the 92Y Tribeca

Joe DiMaggio And speaking of American icons: The Yankee Clipper has had a great run so far this season, thanks in no small part to Jerome Charyn’s new biography, Joe DiMaggio: The Long Vigil. On Facebook, almost 1,800 fans have gathered this spring for new updates on Joe, his relationship with Marilyn, his status as an American icon, and to share personal stories, music, photos, videos, stats and updates from the treasure troves of info about DiMaggio online.

Don’t miss your chance to hear Charyn speak in person! At noon next Thursday, June 2, he will be at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca, where he will tell all about DiMaggio and sign copies of his book!

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31. Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan! YUP’s Newest Icon

Bob Dylan It’s the 70th birthday of Bob Dylan, once known as Robert Allen Zimmerman, and as part of our Icons of America series, David Yaffe, a music critic and professor of English at Syracuse University, has uniquely written about the musician in Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown. The subtitle may seem paradoxical for such a ubiquitous persona, but as Yaffe observes:

He exists on stage and in our dreams, our fantasies, our real and concocted histories, our colleges, our state fairs, and our concert halls at the same time. He exists as history, and yet he lives, walking into that dark, foggy unknown.

In the book, Yaffe explores Dylan’s complicated relationship to blackness (including his involvement in the civil rights movement and a secret marriage with a black backup singer), the underrated influence of his singing style, his fascinating image in films, and his controversial songwriting methods that have led to charges of plagiarism. These are the makings of Dylan’s iconic status, as part of the American postwar culture that continues to fascinate contemporaries as well as new generations of fans: in 2009, Dylan’s new album Together Through Life debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, and you can count on his concerts to fill their venues with scores of people, young and old. Check out today’s article on The Daily Beast, where Yaffe has written on Dylan’s legacy and the peculiarities and controversies that have made him such an important and lasting figure in music and pop culture.

32. Congratulations, Graduates! Keep Your Eye on the (Cosmic) Roads Ahead!

We’ve got graduation on the mind here at Yale today. This morning, President Richard C. Levin and many other speakers addressed the crowd assembled on Yale’s Old Campus for the university’s 310th Commencement exercises, complete with mascot, Handsome Dan.

The New Universe and the Human Future Always an occasion to reflect on past experiences and new beginnings, graduation sets us looking out towards change—how it happens, how we ourselves can effect it. This is certainly the perspective of a new book, The New Universe and the Human Future, by Nancy Abrams and Joel R. Primack, interpreting what our human place in the cosmos may mean for us and our descendants. Their incisive analysis of how far we have come in modern cosmology and biology leads to a startling conclusion: we are at a stage in both that allows for the invention of a shared creation story.

“There is a gaping hole in modern thinking that may never have existed in human society before,” the authors write, “we have no meaningful sense of how we and our fellow humans fit into the big picture.” They explore this problem as they conceive a vision of the future, with an emphasis on building a cosmic society, following the mantra that “To act wisely on the global scale, we need to think cosmically.” Within this thinking are approaches for how to solve the greater problems of our civilization and how we relate to the natural world around us. This is a lesson for all graduates today, for the book “is not about science per se. It’s about us and what we as a species need to do, now that we understand for the first time where we are in time and space.”

Be sure to check out the Cosmic Society on Facebook, and you can see a full list of YUP’s graduation gift suggestions here. Congratulations to graduates worldwide as they prepare for the challenges ahead and help us bring about the vision of tomorrow!

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33. Elie Wiesel’s Gift to Young America

Elie Wiesel, the prolific writer and humanitarian, needs little introduction. For the last half-century, his activism and advocacy for human rights have given him unparallel notoriety—some even credit him with our present understanding of the term “Holocaust”—not to mention his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize and the ubiquity of Night and its fictional sequels: Dawn and Day.

Although Wiesel is Romanian by birth, America has become his home. After receiving his Nobel Prize, he and his wife, Marion, started the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, and its Ethics Prize, awarded to American college students writing on particularly difficult ethical challenges and dilemmas in our society, and advocating the actions necessary for our society to undertake. For the past twenty years, “Of all the projects our Foundation has been involved in, none has been more exciting than this opportunity to inspire young students to examine the ethical aspect of what they have learned in their personal lives and from their teachers in the classroom,” writes Wiesel.

An Ethical Compass The winners of the 2011 Ethics Prize were just announced, and YUP has recently published the highlights from the first twenty years of the prize, including Rachel Maddow’s “Identifiable Lives: AIDS and the Response to Dehumanization,” in An Ethical Compass: Coming of Age in the 21st Century, with a Preface by Wiesel and a Foreword by Thomas L. Friedman. The topics of the essays range from Bosnia, the genocide in Rwanda, sweatshops and globalization, and the political obligations of the mothers of Argentina’s Disappeared to a white student who joins a black gospel choir, a young woman who learns to share in Ladakh, and the outsize implications of reporting on something as small as a cracked windshield.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our other “World of Letters” suggested gifts for graduates, as the millions of people graduating this spring reflect on their own formative experiences and look toward tomorrow’s hopes for the future. (There are gifts for History, Science, Law, and Biography fans, too!)

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34. Happy International Museum Day!

YaleLogosmallblue Around every May 18, the International Council of Museums organizes International Museum Day; this year’s theme is Museum and Memory. Because we at YUP admire our museum publishing partners and their contributions to a global society, here are some exhibitions on view now around the world, with books available from us. Some shows are closing soon, so make sure to plan quickly.


Art Institute of Chicago: “Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France

Bard Graduate Center: “Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010

The Japan Society: “Bye Bye Kitty: “Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art

The Jewish Museum: “Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore

Kimbell Art Museum: “Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910-1912”

The Menil Collection: “Ancestors of the Lake

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: “Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting

National Gallery of Art: “Gabriel Metsu

National Gallery, London: “An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Aschan Painters

Philadelphia Museum of Art: “Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion

Princeton University Art Museum: “Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage

Whitney Museum of American Art: “Glenn Ligon: AMERICA

Yale Center for British Art:Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Yale University Art Gallery: “Old Javanese Gold: The Hunter Thompson Collection


You can also check out IMD celebrations from The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Phillips C

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35. Jens Malte Fischer Remembers Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler 100 years ago today, Austrian composer Gustav Mahler died, after a tumultuous life and marriage and a rise to success between Vienna and New York. This summer, we’re publishing the bestselling biography Gustav Mahler, by Jens Malte Fischer, translated by Stewart Spencer. Fischer explores Mahler's early life, his relationship to literature, his achievements as a conductor, his unhappy marriage, and his work with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in his later years. He also illustrates why Mahler is a prime example of artistic idealism worn down by Austrian anti-Semitism and American commercialism.

Fischer has written about his first experiences with Mahler’s music; you can more about it on the Yale Books London blog.

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36. Gertrude Stein Gives Kids and Adults Something: To Do

Gertrude Stein was an American, but her presence in Europe, notably her adopted home of Paris, was incredibly influential. Not everyone was a close friend of Picasso and Hemingway, a literary avant-garde comparable to Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, collected paintings by Matisse, or the subject of Carl Van Vechten’s photographs. It was this last relationship, with Van Vechten as her literary executor following her death, that brought many of her papers and manuscripts to Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where the works of dozens of other Modernist artists, including Stein’s brother Leo and her lover Alice B. Toklas, are now kept.

To Do In association with the Beinecke, YUP has brought back one of Stein’s lesser-known works, To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays, beautifully illustrated by Giselle Potter and introduced by Beinecke curator, Timothy Young. Originally published by YUP as a text-only version in 1957 after Stein’s death, this manuscript, ostensibly a children’s book according to the author’s design, is composed of short stories for each letter. Taking into account that To Do is “a birthday book [Stein] would have liked as a child”, it is a quirky work of art that adults and children alike will enjoy. Most publishers turned it away for its intricate storytelling when Stein presented her manuscript, but YUP was proud to be the first, and with the newly-illustrated volume, we expect that the beauty of her writing will reach a new generation to delight, tickle, and even shock, as it was always meant to do.

37. YUP’s Authors Explore Black Women’s Role in Politics

Sister Citizen Earlier this week, Melissa Harris-Perry, author of the forthcoming Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, was on her way into New Haven to meet with YUP about her book, tweeting as she made the journey; her visit even hit the blogosphere at Now Rise Books blog. In the book, Harris-Perry examines the cultural life expressed in literature, religion, music, images, and stereotypes that have formed black women’s political identity in America. Uniquely, she draws on political theory, surveys, and research that create a psychological portrait, as well, in order to fully illustrate the impact of how black women see themselves within the scheme of American politics. It’s not a book about voting or elected officials; it’s the past and contemporary story of what citizenship means for a vital part of America’s population, and how the rest of us perceive our sister citizens.  

You can read about Harris-Perry’s new book and see the rest of our Fall 2011 catalog, now available online. Oh, and if you don’t recognize the title, it comes from her column at The Nation, so you won’t be deprived of her acuminous insight  before the book comes out.

Black Gotham In a similar vein, Carla L. Peterson’s contributions to the New York Times’ “Disunion” series on the Civil War have continued, with her newest piece on nineteenth-century African Americans, asking: “What Were the Women Doing?” Earlier this year, we published Black Gotham, in which Peterson explores her own heritage as part of the greater, largely untold history of blacks in New York before, during, and after the Civil War Reconstruction.

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38. From London, with Love: An Homage to Influences

Ivan Lett

I decided to take this column on the road and pay a visit to the very office where so many of the books I gush about begin their lives. Around London, like New York, a prideful smile spreads across my face when I see advertisements for upcoming shows like “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” at the National Gallery, London, knowing that we will be distributing the catalog when it is released this fall.

The Anatomy of Influence But here at Yale University Press, London, overlooking the beautiful Bedford Square, the distance of a few thousand miles hardly seems noticeable. The books are familiar, the people, whom I’ve only previously met via e-mail, are wonderful; it is in every sense to me: home. Within the larger Bloomsbury neighborhood, I’ve already been to the British Museum (smiling again at the copies of Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates in the gift shop), and I feel as though I’m long overdue to trace the walking paths of Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

Still, there is something in the name Bloomsbury that also makes me instantly think of home. Bloom. Bloom. Harold? If you have not heard his name by the time you arrive at Yale, you will have approximately 10 hours to figure it out before more than a dozen mentions have been made in your introduction to the university and you are confounded by this ubiquitous figure whom everyone seems to know. Once you learn: this guy is a big deal.

Ex Libris For literary die-hards like me, his contributions (an understatement) to cultural analysis through reading and literature are unmistakable. It was Bloom who rescued so many of the British Romantic poets from the wasteland of obscurity (Eliot doesn’t haunt this neighborhood, I hope), many of my favorites included: Blake, Byron, Shelley, Keats. As I myself contemplate the importance of Jewish American Heritage month, I fondly remember delivering a manuscript of Max Weinreich’s History of the Yiddish Language to the professor’s house, which Bloom subsequently reviewed for the New York Review of Books. I rang the bell and stood, somewhat awkwardly, with over a thousand pages wrapped in my arms as I waited for him to answer the door. I was expected, but when he appeared, I knew that he was reading me like a text, drawing out every bit of meaning from my figure, stance, and regrettably sweaty appearance (it was quite a walk with all those pages). He smiled and re-pronounced my oddly Slavic name, and I smiled, knowing exactly that bit of surprise that comes when people expect to find themselves face-to-face with a Russian giant. The giant part is true, at least.

Bloom’s new book,

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39. "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" featuring Hammerin' Hank Greenberg

There has been a lot of talk this spring about the DVD release of “Jews and Baseball: An American Story”, written by Ira Berkow, directed by Peter Miller, and narrated by Dustin Hoffman. The screenings last year at film festivals and a small number of theatrical releases brought critical acclaim from media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and Time Out New York, but now, in the midst of baseball season, is the chance for fans to appreciate and celebrate the history and triumphs that Jews have made in the sport over the past 150 years.

Kurlansky, Hank Greenberg Hank Greenberg takes a central role in the film. He was, after all, the first Jewish ballplayer to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame, and his decision not to play in the 1934 Yom Kippur game against the Yankees firmly rests in the history of the sport. Because the Detroit Tigers were in the run for the pennant, public response to Greenberg was poor, but to Jews, he became a hero, more so than he was before. In his new Jewish Lives biography, Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One, Mark Kurlansky sees Greenberg for the secular Jew he was; “not even a Yom Kippur Jew”, but the quality was nevertheless tied into Greenberg’s legacy as an athlete.

As for the stereotypes against Jews discussed in the film—that they were categorically non-athletic—it’s telling that Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg is the right-handed record holder for most RBIs in a single season and holds the #7 rank of sluggers with a 0.605 slugging percentage. The film also notes that there have been Jews in baseball every decade since the 1860s, and there have been 166 Jewish major leaguers, as of 2010.

Be sure to watch the film and for more on Greenberg, check out the Facebook page for the new biography.

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40. More from Curator Andrew Bolton on Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

McQueen Accompanying last week's opening of "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has already seen reviews in outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and "Unbeige", we neglected to mention this video interview with curator and catalog author, Andrew Bolton, taped for "Morning T"  T: The New York Times Style Magazine." Check it out and learn about the dazzling show before heading to The Met. We promise you won't be able to resist the book either.


41. China's Red Queen

Run of the Red Queen Headlines on China’s innovation have been popping up this week, as the world wonders what the next big economic development will be for the country, which recently surpassed Japan for the #2 rank in GDP.  Both The Economist and Reuters have run stories taking insight from a new book, The Run of the Red Queen: Government, Innovation, Globalization, and Economic Growth in China, by Dan Breznitz and Michael Murphree, in which they examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese economic system to discover where the nation may be headed and what the Chinese experience reveals about emerging market economies.

Breznitz and Murphree find that in our new world of globally fragmented production China does not need to master breakthrough innovations to achieve success, as popular opinion would have it. Instead, China's development is based on keeping pace with the technological advances of other nations, and mastering subsequent stages of innovation. Significantly, this development path has been drastically different from the plans and ambitions of the Chinese central government, and hence, this growth trajectory was not at all centrally planned. The book systematically tracks and explains this development path and in doing so offers a unique understanding of the Chinese political economy and its structured uncertainty.

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42. David Gelernter's Judaism

Judaism It’s not every day that you get a reflection on life, religion, and spirituality from a professor of computer science. Frankly, you might expect him to launch into a tirade on his favorite programming language. But David Gelernter is certainly no ordinary tech guru. When Gelernter sat down for his front page interview with Evan R. Goldstein for The Chronicle Review, Goldstein highlighted that Gelernter “occupies a unique spot in American intellectual life, at the intersection of technology, art, politics, and religion.”

The interview was timed to the publication of Judaism: A Way of Being, in which Gelernter tries to answer the “easy” question: What is Judaism really about? Of course, there is no simple answer, but the book attempts “to lay out a ‘common Judaism,’ a Judaism whose beauties and animating principles can be recognized and (with qualifications) agreed to by all. From there, the book explores the role of images in Judaism, questions of Jewish philosophical thinking, family and life, and finally, beauty and truth in Judaism.

Ha'Mavdil, by David Gelernter, (c) by artist But this is not a book intended for an expert; rather, Gelernter intends to present his interpretation of Judaism to everyone, certainly those who know the least about it. The book is also illustrated with Gelernter’s own paintings, which are actually a thematic series and titled after important Hebrew words and phrases (the one to the left is Ha'Mavdil, "who distinguishes/separates"); these themes, he writes, “are presented in this book just as they present themselves to practicing Jews: visually; as mental images.”

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43. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Now Open at The Met; Interview with curator Andrew Bolton

McQueen We’ve teased for months, but the wait is finally over: today, the exhibition “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Organized by Costume Institute curator, Andrew Bolton, author of YUP’s accompanying catalog, the show features approximately one hundred examples will be on view, including signature designs such as the bumster trouser, the kimono jacket, and the Origami frock coat.

Earlier this year, we interviewed Bolton on his reflections on how McQueen’s designs have contributed to fashion and the most memorable aspects of his influence.


Yale University Press: McQueen’s designs are popular with celebrities and the public alike; what is it about his designs that make them so special/appealing?

Andrew Bolton: Much of the appeal of McQueen's fashions derives from their theatricality, often conveyed through their historicized silhouettes. McQueen was drawn to periods in which fashions were particularly extreme and exaggerated, such as the 1860s, the 1880s, the 1890s, and the 1950s. But while he looked to these epochs for inspiration, his fashions always appeared emphatically contemporary.


YUP: For McQueen fashion was an art form, and his runway shows were often theatrical productions. Did you have a favorite show/collection?

AB: One of my favorite runway presentations was McQueen's spring/summer 1999 collection, entitled "No. 13." The collection was inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, and featured the athlete and model Amy Mullins in a pair of hand-carved prosthetic legs. McQueen's promotion of beauty rarely adhered to classical or platonic ideals. For him, beauty was to be found in difference, in anomalies and irregularities.


YUP: McQueen has been called the most influential designer of his generation; do you think his work will stand the test of time? Where would you place McQueen in the fashion pantheon?

AB: McQueen’s impact on fashion is uncontestable. You only have to think of his “bumsters” to appreciate the extent and enormity of his influence. But his legacy extends beyond specific designs to his general philosophy of fashion. For McQueen, fashion was not just about utility and practicality but also about ideas and concepts. In this respect, he was an artist whose medium of expression happened to be fashion. Like many artists, McQueen’s fashions were reflective of his personality and state of mind. They were intensely autobiographical.


YUP: Other than McQueen's frequent use of tartan, are there specifically "British" qualities about his work?

AB: There are many British qualities to McQueen’s fashions. The most obvious is his tailoring. McQueen trained with the Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, and as early as his MA graduate collection in 1992 the influence of menswear tailoring could be seen in his fashions.

Typically, however, he would upend or subvert the principles of tailoring in his pursuit of modern, innovative silhouettes. He has turned suiting inside out, upside down, and back to front– ripping and tearing it apart like a demonic Edward Scissorhands. In fact, this punk attitude is typically British and typically McQueen. For McQuee

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44. Architecture and Religion, or the Sacred, or the Spiritual

Constructing the Ineffable  The idea of the ineffable in architecture was first developed at Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Cathedral; to many, it is the ultimate symbol of religion’s representation in modernist architecture. Ronchamp’s undulating and unregulated windows and walls address the emotional elements of religious experience. Concrete is molded and shaped to form almost sensuous shapes which are textured and create different entrances and alcoves.  The walls are punctured with windows which adhere to no typical organization, occupying different spaces all along the walls of the main section of the sanctuary.  Perhaps most notable is the manner in which the roof of the structure does not sit solidly on the walls; instead it leaves a line of light that traces throughout the whole building.

Though the idea of ineffable space was created directly in reference to Ronchamp, the questions of their connections can always be reexamined.  What is the ineffable space, or the plastic emotion? Constructing the Ineffable: Contemporary Sacred Architecture, edited by Karla Britton, takes the question of the ineffable far beyond these roots.  Many scholars raise questions and buildings to further investigate the intersections of architecture, religion, modernism, and sacred space. 

Reading the many contributions, it becomes clear that the intersections of architecture and religion are so fascinating to interpret because in many ways the questions about them are very similar. Understanding the ineffable can only take you so far, as a number of terms and practices related to building and religion are required to navigate the widely divergent opinions on these very terms and practices.  For some, the sacred is limited to a religious context, while others see it in a variety of contexts.  Each writer takes a different tack when examining the contemporary sacred architecture named in the title. Ultimately, we are asked to consider the immense power of religion and its architecture over daily life in multiple faiths, and how that design reciprocally reflects on religious practice.

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45. YUP's Fall 2011 Catalog!

Yale University Press, Fall 2011 Catalog YUP's Fall 2011 catalog, covering new books to be published from August 2011 to January 2012 is now available online! See our forthcoming books in biography, art, architecture, history, literature, psychology, environmenal studies, featuring authors such as David Margolick, Melissa Harris-Perry, Tim Jeal, Paul Starr, Nigel Warburton, Garry Wills, and so many more. You can also subscribe to get updates on more of our catalogs on Scribd.


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46. Ahmed Rashid Talks about Osama bin Laden

Taliban At the time of the 9/11 attacks, few people in America had heard of the Taliban. And in 2000, when Ahmed Rashid wrote the bestselling Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, based on his experiences as a journalist covering the civil war in Afghanistan for twenty years, traveling and living with the Taliban, and interviewing most of the Taliban leaders since their emergence to power in 1994, the book offered, and still does, the only authoritative account of the Taliban available to English-language readers. Last year, we published a second edition with a new introduction and an all-new final chapter.

Now that the story continues with the recent death of al-Qaeida leader, Osama bin Laden, Rashid has been interviewing and writing op-eds about bin Laden’s role within the organization and what his death means for the future. Yesterday, he appeared alongside John McLaughlin, Yochi Dreazen, and Paul Pillar on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show, with guest host Susan Page. He also had an op-ed that ran in the Financial Times, and his book was even referenced in the New York Times obituary for bin Laden. Today, you can listen to Rashid as he interviews on WHYY’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

47. YUP Celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month

Kurlansky, Hank Greenberg Five years ago, President George W. Bush set into law Jewish American Heritage Month that is now observed and celebrated every May in the U.S. According to the government website, http://jewishheritagemonth.gov:

The month of May was chosen due to the highly successful celebration of the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History in May 2004, which was organized by the Commission for Commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History. This coalition was composed of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration.

As one of the preeminent publishers of Jewish studies, Yale University Press has no shortage of titles to help celebrate the occasion. For JAHM, we’ll have news and updates about our Jewish Lives biography series, to which the newest addition and first American is Baseball Hall of Famer, Hank Greenberg, as well as new books from and about Alfred Kazin, Gertrude Stein, Harold Bloom, Arthur Green, Bob Dylan, not to mention our books published in partnership with the Jewish Museum.      

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48. Why Architecture Matters

Why Architecture Matters Paul Goldberger knows a little something about architecture. As the architecture critic for The New Yorker, writing his celebrated "Sky Line" column since 1997, he also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in Manhattan. After beginning his career at the New York Times, he received a Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. When he has something to say, there is a definite reason to listen.

The title of his book, Why Architecture Matters, might seem self-evident, even more so than the other books in the Why X Matters series, because architecture seems such a fundamental and foundational (no pun intended) part of civilization. Where would we be without buildings? Yes, that seems a dumb question. But, of course, that is not what Goldberger is writing. As we come to the end of National Poetry and Architecture months, Goldberger’s aesthetic appreciation of architecture, with his beautiful literary style, seem fitting to close:

The making of architecture is intimately connected to the knowledge that buildings instill within us emotional reactions. They can make us feel and they can also make us think. Architecture begins to matter when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads. It matters when it creates serenity or exhilaration, and it matters just as much, I have to say, when it inspires anxiety, hostility, or fear. Buildings can do all of these things, and more.

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49. Kate Middleton is WEARING that McQueen Dress

So unless you live under a rock, buried at the bottom of the ocean, covered in deep sea moss, you might have heard something about a wedding today. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge married his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Middleton in a ceremony this morning at London’s Westminster Abbey. William has been in the spotlight since his birth, but now the media gets to turn its attention to his lovely bride.

But let’s be honest about our Joan Rivers tendencies: who is she wearing, who is she wearing? The rumors were true: the wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton at the Alexander McQueen brand, and its elegant satin design and lace bodice are the newest topic of this Royal media frenzy. We don’t have pictures here, but you can see a slideshow on Slate.com, with an interesting article by Simon Doonan asking: “Could the elegant royal wedding signal the end of porno chic?” Well…

McQueen Congratulations all around to the happy couple! Next place to watch for Alexander McQueen's beautiful designs: the opening of the “Savage Beauty” exhibition, next Wednesday, May 4 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. YUP’s accompanying catalog is on its way to bookstores nationwide and many online booksellers already have it available, including our website.

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50. To London, with Love: Rooms with a View

Rooms with a View

Ivan Lett

When this book was first presented to me, the instinctive reaction, of course, was to think of E.M. Forster’s Room with a View, with Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own not far behind; some might call it my predictable train of thought. Those two writers, coming at the end of the long nineteenth century, followed in the paths of countless Victorian writers who used the window as a frame of perspective. How many heroes and heroines have stepped to the window to look out on the world before life-changing events like marriage, personal tragedy, and death? As a part of architecture, it serves a specific function in this regard. The image is iconic and fixed in our Western imagination and tied to a litany of feelings and emotions.

Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century, by Sabine Rewald, accompanies an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on view until July 4. Instead of Britain, it looks east to the continent, exploring paintings and drawings by German, Danish, French, and Russian artists, both popular and lesser known. In art, the ubiquity of window imagery in the early and Romantic nineteenth century shaped the organizational approach for this study, and earlier this week, The Met posted an interview with Rewald about putting together materials for the exhibition and catalog. Understanding the scope of the project and what Rewald has accomplished is enough to look upon and wonder: does the world see as I see?


Ivan Lett is Online Marketing Coordinator for Yale University Press.

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