Monday, July 2, 2018

Words and Images in Lyon

 These cartoons, created for World Book Day 2018 by a host of international cartoonists, were displayed in a square we walked through in Lyon this past May.
 You'll have to squint a bit to read them, and you might want to enlarge them for a better view, but I hope you'll find them as insightful and funny and wise and moving as we did that Sunday, knowing we shouldn't linger too long (the weather forecast threatened rain, and we were already feeling the odd sprinkle), but unable to pull ourselves away.
 The simple brilliance of this project -- celebrating the power of the book wordlessly, in images -- seems especially relevant to me today, once again miserly measuring out words for this blog because I've spent so many this morning on pages I hope might someday themselves become a book. . .
 More than my solipstic relation to this ode to book culture, though, the project offers so much important commentary on books as antidote to so many political and social issues of the moment, and the various national perspectives are worth considering.
 You'll find the nationality in lighter font after each cartoonist's name. . .






If I'd been more organized, I should have published this one on its own, yesterday, on Canada Day. . .

I'm pleased to say that by spending my words carefully and prioritizing that long-form project over the last year or so, I've now amassed over 200 pages, and after the six-week hiatus of our May-June travel, I've managed (barely) to meet an exchange deadline with my writing partner. So it's encouraging to think that so many clever folk still think that books matter. . . I only hope that my words, with considerable revision, will someday approach the eloquence these cartoonists manage with no words at all.

Care to indicate a favourite? Or two? Or three? 

36 comments:

  1. I choose the Brazilian Silvano Mello's cartoon because it reminds me of Growth Mindset, a concept that we have been discussing all year. We've also been talking about how reading makes your brain grow with the kindergarten children. All those letters nourishing the brain resonates with me. Good luck with your writing project!

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    1. You had such a teaching AND learning year -- you're a good example of continuing mind/brain growth.

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    2. Thank you very much Madame Là-bas!

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  2. I choose Silvano Mello's and Vladimir Samerenko's because my grandson has mild dyslexia so it is work for him to read and yet he still enjoys books because it transports him to interesting places and subjects, as well as feeds his curiosity.

    slf

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    1. Wonderful! We Nanas are privileged when we get to be involved in our grandchildren's reading experiences. I love that our local library's Summer Reading Club for kids credits being read to just as much as reading independently.

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    2. Thank you very much anonymous!

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  3. I am enchanted by the Brazilian girl watering the plant with letters and the Canadian afloat on a book in a lake of emojis.
    When will we hear more about your project?
    How many words do you manage to write in a day? I recently heard that to write a book, knock out 500 words a day. It isn't whether they are good or bad, but that you write every single day.
    I write far more than 500 words a day but not in a book. Still, am trying to do that, too.

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    1. I've said a bit about my writing project in the past, but it's still in early draft stage and the material's quite personal -- Perhaps I'll get brave in a post before too long
      Like you, I can easily write many more than 500 words daily -- for the blog, my Morning Pages, etc., but I'm not as consistent with my book project. Still, I do try to average that, and I've managed to amass those 210 pages in a year, with some pretty big chunks of away time for travel.
      You surely have a book in you -- you write well and you're living the ex-pat life with a keen sense of observation and a wilingness to amplify your experience with research.

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    2. Thank you very much Taste of France!

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  4. Silvano Mello: Watering the cerebral tree of knowledge with words!

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    1. It's pretty clever, isn't it? I love the elegance of the visual, so eloquent. . .

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    2. Thank you very much materfamilias!

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  5. I must say I love the Canadian one best... books rescuing us from a sea of unintelligible emojis. And the Little Red Riding Hood one. Lovely. But I thought they all were brilliant.
    Happy writing, Frances. xo

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    1. Me too! I'd be hard-pressed to choose a favourite. (There was a Turkish one that absolutely gutted me -- feet dangling in the air (the body hanging from a noose above, one supposed) above a stack of books that had been kicked away . . .

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  6. I like the cartoon by Luc Descheemaeker (Belgium) - a book offering a moment of respite to somebody in the middle of work, suspended in mid-air... And also the last one. Rowing a book on a sea littered with likes and emojis. It has a tragic feel about it, because obviously a book is not a very practical vehicle on those waters.
    Congratulations on your writing achievent! I admire your discipline and perseverance, while I am still struggling to find a (daily, weekly) routine which would include the space needed for a writing project.

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    1. I like that one as well, for the same reasons.
      Thanks for the kind words re my writing -- I've been feeling the opposite of disciplined when it comes to that project, but I'm trying the get back in the groove. I couldn't have done it during my first retired year -- it's taken a while to shape a routine that works, and I'm not sure I'm there yet!

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  7. Thanks so much for taking the time to capture and share these. Enjoyed each one so much it's hard to choose, but I resonated strongly with the ones mentioned above. Also the air drop in the desert (can't quite make out the attributions) and the one from Turkey. And yes if I had to choose only one it would probably be Silvano Mello's.

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    1. You're very welcome, Adelia, and your thanks is much appreciated. I do think of "the blog" when travelling and it does take some time to capture and share photos like this. As you know, my blog isn't monetized, but I feel well repaid by comments such as yours.
      The desert airdrop cartoon is from Egypt.

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    2. Thank you very much Adelia!

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  8. They are all special in their own way,but I like the canadian one most and Silvano Mello as well
    Dottoressa

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  9. I love the cartoons! They speak volumes in images.
    As for books - how to explain their worth to me? - I am part of a writers group (Firewheel Fictionistas) with about 5-20 meeting weekly to discuss our works in progress, to critique, and brainstorm, and support each other as we create new worlds on the page. Ages range from early 20s to mid-70s, and each writer and their ideas and thoughts, essays, poems, novels is as important as the next.
    I look forward to reading your longer work in the future.
    Bev / Dallas

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    1. Aren't the cartoons wonderful? And how would you and I and our ilk manage without books -- impossible, horrible to contemplate.
      I do wish I had a writing group -- I suppose it's up to me to begin looking for and/or building that in my life. Yours sounds great! Thank you for the encouragement.

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    2. I suggest you check online for any meet-ups that might be in your area, and also at the public library. There are always writers eager to meet & talk about the craft!

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  10. Thanks a lot for that kind report ! I was the organizer of the exhibition. (I was there all day on Sunday). I'm happy you liked it (including my cartoon :) !
    Bernie

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting here -- we were so pleased to happen upon that exhibition, spending at least 20 minutes looking at the various cartoons (I liked yours very much -- both the Tolstoi and the Little Red Riding Hood). And may I add that I liked your city very much and hope to get back to it someday.

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  11. Thank you for your reply. It's very important for the cartoonists to receive comments about their works
    I'll give your blog link to Silvano Mello, he will be glad to read all these compliments !

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  12. Hello!
    Thank you very much to all of you!
    It was a very pleasant surprise when I received from my friend Bernard Bouton the email with this link.
    Even more enjoyable is reading each of these comments on my work! This is very gratifying, because it makes me believe that my work has fulfilled its objective, bring reflection.
    Many thanks to everyone for their kind and encouraging words!
    A big hug, grateful, for everyone from here in Brazil!

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    1. I'm so very pleased to have provided a tiny forum here for more people to see your work and the work of your many talented cartoonist colleagues. Thank you so much for all you do to encourage us to look at our world a bit differently, to reflect more deeply on elements we might otherwise take for granted.

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    2. by the way, I have shot some pictures on that Sunday and I think (I'm sure) you are on a photo ! (you are taking pictures of the cartoons) :)

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    3. Really?! What fun! International crossings...

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    4. Yes it's funny
      But I don't know how I can send you the photos (actually 2 photos)

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    5. You could email them to me: fsproutATgmailDOTcom (substituting @ for AT, of course, and . for DOT) . . . I remember that there were two gentlemen to our right, I believe, looking at and discussing the posters as my husband and I moved along that line. I wonder if one of those was you . . .

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  13. I love all these posters and they bring back wonderful memories of going to book fairs when I was younger. The one I am most drawn to though is the one by Jinet Kustana from Indonesia, of the young man surfing on a book (or notebook) on a wave of iPads or phones or other electronic devices. It reminds me of how we are often swept away, and threatened to be overcome on a tidal wave of information and instant access, empty information often, without knowledge, and the way a book can stand for some much more, and hold us steady. Perhaps it just suits my own understanding of "news" vs "knowledge" and the idea of books and writing as being a repository of the deeper things that humans are capable of creating and passing on.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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