Books As Art: Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine Trilogy

I just read three books in an hour. True, they’re short kid-length books. An epistolary trilogy whose essence I’m at a loss to fully capture. All I can say is the Griffin and Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock is a joy to read. Yet, it’s also sad, hopeful, poignant. And so achingly human. I’ll treasure it and read it many times. The main story that … Continue reading Books As Art: Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine Trilogy

Emile Zola’s L’Œuvre (The Masterpiece): Fine Line Between Artistic Genius and Mental Illness?

Why Emile Zola’s title has been translated as The Masterpiece isn’t very clear to me. Literally, l’œuvre means “the work;” “masterpiece is “chef d’œuvre.” Zola’s main character, artist Claude Lantier, actually fails to produce a masterpiece. It isn’t even obvious that Claude thinks of the large piece he’s been working on as a potential chef d’œuvre. He is obsessed by it—that’s clear enough. But as … Continue reading Emile Zola’s L’Œuvre (The Masterpiece): Fine Line Between Artistic Genius and Mental Illness?