Jimmy's Reviews > The Principles of Uncertainty

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
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's review
Feb 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: female, graphic-based, non-fiction, poetic-essay, year-2000s
Read in February, 2011

How can anything be any more lovable than this little book? How can I not have loved it all along? How can I not have seen it, or read it, or perhaps just heard about it? How can such charm and sweetness and wit be unread for so long? This book is like Agnes Varda's later films in book form. But less something. And more something else. She has that same creative-no-boundaries-super-smart-but-not-academic kind of thing. How can I have just heard about it today, checked it out of the library, and read the whole thing already? This book, this book by Maira Kalman. This book full of illustrations.

Dodos and hairdos, this Maira Kalman. She who loves hairdos and oh does she love hats and mustaches too. And she loves sofas on the side of the street. And she loves collections of things. And she loves strange clothing, and old dead people. And she loves Sebald and Walser and Pina Bausch, for instance, just like I do. And she loves superfluous tassels, yes she does. She loves the backs of people, walking away, she loves taking photos of them like the kid in Yi Yi. She loves colors, oh boy. She loves colors and I love her colors too. I love her oranges and her yellows and her light greens and especially her yellows. I love her brush strokes and her squarish faces and her slender pinched faces and her squiggly hair. I love her fabrics which she embroidered with scenes from Goethe's 'Faust'. Oh I love the appendix! The appendix is one of the best parts, don't forget the appendicitis which it causes, and I love her humor and her breeziness and her meandering likeness.

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Recommend me some Sebald, s'il vous plait!

message 2: by Geoff (new)

Geoff PS-Antoine Watteau also loved people's backs!

Jimmy Hi Geoff, I love all the Sebald books, but I think a great place to start is The Emigrants. I'd love to know what you think.

message 4: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Thanks! I'll get on that.

message 5: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Ooh and I'm really into books by/about emigres, exiles, etc. Looks really good.

Jimmy All of Sebald books are about emigres/exiles, even the ones not named 'Emigrants' ;)... I'm having a good feeling about you and Sebald already.

message 7: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Just checked, and it is in stock at my local bookstore. So I'll probably pick it up soon. Thanks so much man!

message 8: by Oriana (new) - added it

Oriana Jimmy, this sounds amazing!!

Jimmy Yes, it really is!

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