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Re: [PPLetterpress] Harry Kessler

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  • ken botnick
    The Red Count, The Life and Times of Harry Kessler is certainly a great document on one of the 20th century s most fascinating and important cultural
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 24, 2002
      "The Red Count, The Life and Times of Harry Kessler" is certainly a
      great document on one of the 20th century's most fascinating and
      important cultural figures. (And it is well-reviewed in Harper's by
      none other than Guy Davenport, someone who is always worth reading in
      whatever form he chooses.)

      Laird Easton does an admirable job illuminating the life of Count
      Kessler, and does really well on the nature of his relationships with
      key figures like Maillol, Gordon Craig, van de Velde, Hoffmansnsthal,
      and events like the first world war and the rise of the Nazis.
      Unfortunately, Easton's examination of the publishing of Cranach
      Press, Insel Verlag, and Kessler's relationships with Edward
      Johnston, Gill, and especially Emery Walker and the Doves Press
      legacy, get a disappointingly small amount of attention.

      I had gone to the book hoping to find some new insights regarding the
      connection to Doves. I am currently preparing a paper for the aiga
      education conference in Chicago this fall on the subject of the Doves
      legacy and its impact on Weimar's typographic revolution. "Red Count"
      does well in establishing the climate of Weimar in the twenties and
      its embrace of modernism, but Easton shows little grasp of typography
      and its role in the modernist revolution.


      kb
      --
      Ken Botnick
      Associate Professor, Visual Communications
      Washington University, Saint Louis
      314.935.8402 x 1 office
      314.968.5060 home
      http://www.em-dash.org
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