Passionate Journey, or My Book of Hours, is a wordless novel of 1919 by Flemish artist Frans Masereel. The story is told in 167 captionless prints, is the longest and best-selling of the wordless novels Masereel made, it tells of the experiences of an early 20th-century everyman in a modern city. Masereel's medium is the woodcut, the images are in an emotional, allegorical style inspired by Expressionism; the book followed 25 Images of a Man's Passion. German publisher Kurt Wolff released an inexpensive "people's edition" of the book in Germany with an introduction by German novelist Thomas Mann, the book went on to sell over 100,000 copies in Europe, its success encouraged other publishers to print wordless novels, the genre flourished in the interwar years. Masereel followed the book with dozens of others, beginning with The Sun in 1919. Masereel's work was lauded in the art world in the earlier half of the 20th century, but has since been neglected outside of Western comics circles, where Masereel's wordless novels are seen as anticipating the development of the graphic novel.
The story follows the life of a prototypical early 20th-century everyman. It is by turns comic and tragic: the man is rejected by a prostitute with whom he has fallen in love, he takes trips to different locales around the world. In the end, the man leaves the city for the woods, raises his arms in praise of nature, dies, his spirit rises from him, stomps on the heart of his dead body, waves to the reader as it sets off across the universe. Frans Masereel was born into a French-speaking family in Belgium. At five his father died, his mother remarried to a doctor in Ghent, whose political beliefs left an impression on the young Masereel, he accompanied his stepfather in socialist demonstrations. After a year at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts in 1907, Masereel left to study art on his own in Paris. During World War I he volunteered as a translator for the Red Cross in Geneva, drew newspaper political cartoons, copublished a magazine Les Tablettes, in which he published his first woodcut prints. In the early 20th century there was a revival in interest in mediaeval woodcuts in religious books such as the Biblia pauperum.
The woodcut is a less refined medium than the wood engraving that replaced it—artists of the time took to the rougher woodcut to express angst and frustration. From 1917 Masereel began publishing books of woodcut prints, using similar imagery to make political statements on the strife of the common people rather than to illustrate the lives of Christ and the saints. In 1918 he created the first such book to feature 25 Images of a Man's Passion, he followed its success in 1919 with Passionate Journey, which remained his favourite of his own works. The black-and-white woodcut images in the book were each 9 by 7 centimetres. Masereel self-published the book in Geneva on credit from Swiss printer Albert Kundig in 1919 as Mon livre d'heures in an edition of 200 copies, it was printed directly from the original woodblocks. German publisher Kurt Wolff sent Hans Mardersteig to Masereel to arrange German publication in 1920, it was printed from the original woodblocks in an edition of 700 copies under the title Mein Stundenbuch: 165 Holzschnitte, Wolff thereafter continued to publish German editions of Masereel's books in inexpensive "people's editions" using electrotype reproduction.
The 1926 edition had an introduction by German writer Thomas Mann: Look at these powerful black-and-white figures, their features etched in light and shadow. You will be captivated from beginning to end: from the first pictured showing the train plunging through the dense smoke and bearing the hero toward life, to the last picture showing the skeleton-faced figure among the stars. Has not this passionate journey had an incomparably deeper and purer impact on you than you have felt before? The German edition was popular, went through several editions in the 1920s with sales surpassing 100,000 copies, its success prompted other artists to produce wordless novels. The book won an English-speaking audience after its 1922 US publication under the title My Book of Hours. Printed from the original woodblocks in an edition of 600 copies with a foreword by French writer Romain Rolland. English-language editions took the title Passionate Journey after publication in a popular edition in the US in 1948.
An edition did not see print in England. It has appeared in many other languages, including Chinese popular editions in 1933 and 1957; some editions since 1928 have cut two pages from the book: the 24th, in which the protagonist has sex with a prostitute. Dover Publications restored the pages in a 1971 edition, American editions since have kept them. I believe. Masereel uses an emotional, Expressionistic style to create a narrative replete with allegory and social criticism—a visual style he continued with throughout his career, he expresses a broad variety of emotions through unexaggerated gestures. Most characters are given simple, passive expressions, which provides emphatic contrast with characters expressing more explicit emotion—love, ecstasy, he considered Pas
Gods' Man is a wordless novel by American artist Lynd Ward published in 1929. In 139 captionless woodblock prints, it tells the Faustian story of an artist who signs away his soul for a magic paintbrush. Gods' Man was the first American wordless novel, is considered a precursor of the graphic novel, whose development it influenced. Ward first encountered the wordless novel with Frans Masereel's The Sun while studying art in Germany in 1926, he established a career for himself as an illustrator. He found Otto Nückel's wordless novel Destiny in New York City in 1929, it inspired him to create such a work of his own. Gods' Man appeared a week before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, its success inspired other Americans to experiment with the medium, including cartoonist Milt Gross, who parodied Gods' Man in He Done Her Wrong. In the 1970s Ward's example inspired cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner to create their first graphic novels; the wordless novel Gods' Man is a silent narrative made up of prints of 139 engraved woodblocks.
Each image moves the story forward by an interval. Ward wrote in Storyteller Without Words that too great an interval would put too much interpretational burden on the reader, while too little would make the story tedious. Wordless novel historian David A. Beronä likens these concerns with the storytelling methods of comics; the artwork is executed in white. Ward uses symbolic contrast of dark and light to emphasize the corruption of the city, where in daylight the buildings darken the skies. Ward exaggerates facial expression to convey emotion without resorting to words. Composition conveys emotion: in the midst of his fame, an image has the artist framed by raised wineglasses; the story parallels the Faust theme, the artwork and execution show the influence of film, in particular those of German studio Ufa. The placement of the apostrophe in the title Gods' Man implies a plurality of gods, rather than Judeo-Christianity's monotheistic God, it alludes to a line from the play Bacchides by ancient Roman playwright Plautus: "He whom the gods favor, dies young."
A poor artist signs a contract with a masked stranger, who gives him a magic brush, with which the artist rises in the art world. He is disillusioned, he wanders around the city, seeing his auctioneer and mistress in everyone he sees. Enraged by the hallucinations, he attacks one of them; the artist is jailed for it, but he escapes, a mob chases him from the city. He is injured. A woman who lives in the woods brings him back to health, they have a child, live a simple, happy life together, until the mysterious stranger returns and beckons the artist to the edge of a cliff. The artist prepares to paint a portrait of the stranger but fatally falls from the cliff with fright when the stranger reveals a skull-like head behind the mask. Chicago-born Lynd Ward was a son of Methodist minister Harry F. Ward, a social activist and the first chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union. Throughout his career, Ward displayed in his work the influence of his father's interest in social injustice, he was early drawn to art, decided to become an artist when his first-grade teacher told him that "Ward" spelled backward was "draw".
He excelled as a student, contributed art and text to high school and college newspapers. In 1926, after graduating from Teachers College, Columbia University, Ward married writer May McNeer and the couple left for an extended honeymoon in Europe. After four months in eastern Europe, the couple settled in Leipzig in Germany, where, as a special one-year student at the National Academy of Graphic Arts and Bookmaking, Ward studied wood engraving. There he encountered German Expressionist art, read the wordless novel The Sun,a modernized version of the story of Icarus, told in sixty-three wordless woodcut prints, by Flemish woodcut artist Frans Masereel. Ward returned to the United States in 1927, freelanced his illustrations. In 1929, he came across German artist Otto Nückel's wordless novel Destiny in New York City. Nückel's only work in the genre, Destiny told of the life and death of a prostitute in a style inspired by Masereel's, but with a greater cinematic flow; the work inspired Ward to create a wordless novel of his own, whose story sprang from his "youthful brooding" on the short, tragic lives of artists such as Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Shelley.
In March 1929 Ward showed the first thirty blocks to Harrison Smith of the publisher Smith. Smith offered him a contract and told him the work would be the lead title in the company's first catalog if Ward could finish it by the summer's end; the first printing appeared that October. The trade edition was printed from electrotype plates made from molds of the original boxwood woodblocks.
25 Images of a Man's Passion
25 Images of a Man's Passion, or The Passion of a Man is the first wordless novel by Flemish artist Frans Masereel, first published in 1918 under the French title 25 images de la passion d'un homme. The silent story is about a young working-class man; the first of dozens of such works by Masereel, the book is considered to be the first wordless novel, a genre that saw its greatest popularity in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Masereel followed the book in 1919 with Passionate Journey. Masereel had grown up reading revolutionary socialist literature, expressed his politics in A Man's Passion, it owed its visual style to mediaeval woodcuts. The book was popular in German editions, which had introductions by writers Max Brod, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann. Frans Masereel was born into a French-speaking family in Belgium; when he was five his father died, his mother remarried to a doctor in Ghent, whose political beliefs left an impression on the young Masereel. Masereel grew up reading Marxist and anarchist works by such writers as Karl Marx and Peter Kropotkin, accompanied his stepfather in socialist demonstrations.
After a year at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts in 1907, Masereel left to study art on his own in Paris. During World War I he volunteered as a translator for the Red Cross in Geneva, drew newspaper political cartoons, copublished a magazine called Les Tablettes, in which he published his first woodcut prints. In the early 20th century there was a revival in interest in mediaeval woodcuts in religious books such as the Biblia pauperum; the woodcut is a less refined medium than the wood engraving that replaced it—artists of the time took to the rougher woodcut to express angst and frustration. From 1917 Masereel began publishing books of woodcut prints, using similar imagery to make political statements on the strife of the common people rather than to illustrate the lives of Christ and the saints. In 1918 he created the first such book to feature a narrative, 25 Images of a Man's Passion, thus the earliest example of the wordless novel genre. 25 Images of a Man's Passion tells of a young man who protests injustice against the working class in an industrialized society.
The man is born to an unwed mother, struggles to make a living, drinks and whores with his coworkers. He educates himself by reading and talking with his coworkers, is executed by the authorities for leading a revolt against his employer. Scenes from 25 Images of a Man's Passion The title and content of the book have biblical resonances with the mediaeval woodcuts from which they draw inspiration. In line with Masereel's politics, the Common Man is martyred instead of Christ; the cover of the German edition depicts the main character burdened Christ-like with a crucifix. Visually, the book owes much to Expressionism, though experts disagree on whether to label Masereel's work Expressionist. Perry Willet finds parallels between the story arc of Masereel's book and that of Expressionist playwright Ernst Toller's The Transformation, though Masereel's work was the more political—Toller lacked Masereel's commitment to socialism. Socialist themes of the martyrdom of the working class were common in wordless novels.
Printed from twenty-five woodcut blocks, the book was first released in 1918 by Édition de Sablier, a Swiss publishing house of which Masereel was a co-sponsor. It was first offered as a numbered collectors' edition, followed by trade editions. Kurt Wolff produced an inexpensive German edition in 1921; the German edition was popular, its several editions had introductions by writers Max Brod, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann. In the same Expressionistic style, Masereel followed Man's Passion with Passionate Journey, The Sun, Story Without Words, The Idea. Gods' Man Graphic novel 25 Images of a Man's Passion online at the Frans-Masereel-Foundation website
Une semaine de bonté
Une semaine de bonté is a comic and artist's book by Max Ernst, first published in 1934. It comprises 182 images created by cutting up and re-organizing illustrations from Victorian encyclopedias and novels; the earliest comic by Ernst, Répétitions and Les malheurs des immortels, date from 1922, the year the artist moved to Paris. They were created in collaboration with poet Paul Eluard. Ernst went on to produce numerous comic-based paintings, more comic books; the largest and most important before Une semaine de bonté were La femme 100 têtes and Rêve d'une petite fille qui voulut entrer au carmel. Une semaine de bonté was completed in 1933 during a visit to Italy. A few of Ernst's sources were identified: these include illustrations from an 1883 novel by Jules Mary, Les damnées de Paris, a volume of works by Gustave Doré Ernst purchased in Milan; the completed novel was first published in Paris in 1934 as a series of five pamphlets in a limited edition of 816 copies each. It became more available when reprinted in 1976 as a combined single volume of 208 pages plus English preface, by Dover Publications in the US.
Until 2008, the original collages of Une semaine de bonté, which Max Ernst kept throughout his life, had only been exhibited once in their entirety: in March 1936 at the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Madrid. Modern exhibitions: 2008 Brühl, Max Ernst Museum 2008 Hamburg, Kunsthalle 2009 Madrid, Fundación cultural MAPFRE 2009 Paris, Musée d'Orsay The work appeared in five volumes, but is divided into seven sections named after the days of the week, beginning with Sunday. "Ernst had intended to publish it in seven volumes associating each book with a day of the week... The first four publication deliveries did not, achieve the success, anticipated; the three remaining'days' were therefore put together into a fifth and final book." The first four published volumes covered a day each, whereas the last volume covered three: Thursday and Saturday. Each of the seven sections is associated with an element, is provided with an example of the element, an epigraph; the overall structure of the novel is as follows: Furthermore, Thursday is subdivided into two subsections, based on two examples provided for "blackness", Friday is subdivided into "trois poèmes visibles".
Une semaine de bonté comprises 182 images created by cutting up and re-organizing illustrations from Victorian novels and other books. Ernst arranged the images to present a surreal world. Most of the seven sections have a distinct theme. In Sunday the element is mud, Ernst's example for this element is the Lion of Belfort; the element of the next section, Monday, is water, all of the images show water, either in a natural setting, or flowing inside bedrooms, dining rooms, etc. Some of the characters are able to walk on water; the element associated with Tuesday is fire, so most of the images in this section feature dragons or fantastic lizards. The last of the large sections, contains numerous images of bird-men; the element of Thursday, "blackness", has two examples instead of one. The first example, "a rooster's laughter", is illustrated with more images of bird-men; the second example, Easter island, is illustrated with images portraying characters with Moai heads. Friday, the most abstract part of the entire book, contains various images that resist categorization.
They include collages of human bones and plants, one of, used for the cardboard slipcase, meant to house all five volumes of Une semaine de bonté. The final section of the book, contains 10 images; the element given is "the key to songs". The section, with it the book, ends with several images of falling women. No full interpretation of Une semaine de bonté has been published; the book, like its predecessors, has been described as projecting "recurrent themes of sexuality, anti-clericalism and violence, by dislocating the visual significance of the source material to suggest what has been repressed." An analysis of Sunday was published by psychologist Dieter Wyss, who subjected the work to post-Freudian psychoanalysis in his book Der Surrealismus
Frans Masereel was a Flemish painter and graphic artist who worked in France. He is known for his woodcuts, his greatest work is said to be the wordless novel Passionate Journey. He completed over 20 other wordless novels in his career. Masereel's woodcuts influenced Lynd Ward and graphic artists such as Clifford Harper and Eric Drooker. Frans Masereel was born in the Belgian coastal town Blankenberge on 31 July 1889, he moved to Ghent in 1896, where at the age of 18 he began to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in the class of Jean Delvin. In 1909, he visited Germany, which inspired him to make his first etchings and woodcuts. In 1911 Masereel settled in Paris for four years and emigrated to Switzerland, where he worked as a graphic artist for journals and magazines. Masereel could not return to Belgium at the end of World War I because, being a pacifist, he had refused to serve in the Belgian army. Nonetheless, when a circle of friends in Antwerp interested in art and literature decided to found the magazine Lumière, Masereel was one of the artists invited to illustrate the text and the column headings.
The magazine was first published in Antwerp in August 1919. It was an literary journal published in French; the magazine's title Lumière was a reference to the French magazine Clarté, published in Paris by Henri Barbusse. The principal artists who illustrated the text and the column headings in addition to Masereel himself were Jan Frans Cantré, Jozef Cantré, Henri van Straten, Joris Minne. Together, they became known as'De Vijf' or'Les Cinq'. Lumière was a key force in generating renewed interest in wood engraving in Belgium; the five artists in the'De Vijf' group were instrumental in popularizing the art of wood and linoleum engraving and introducing Expressionism in early 20th-century Belgium. Masereel's woodcut series of sociocritical content and expressionistic in form, made Masereel internationally known. Among them were the wordless novels 25 Images of a Man's Passion, Passionate Journey, The Sun, The Idea, Story Without Words, Landscapes and Voices. At that time Masereel drew illustrations for famous works of world literature by Thomas Mann, Émile Zola, Stefan Zweig.
He produced a series of illustrations for the classic Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak by his fellow Belgian Charles De Coster. In 1921 Masereel returned to Paris, where he painted his famous street scenes, the Montmartre paintings, he lived for a time in Berlin. After 1925 he lived near Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he painted predominantly coast areas, harbour views, portraits of sailors and fishermen. During the 1930s his output declined. With the Fall of France to the Nazis in 1940 he fled from Paris and lived in several cities in Southern France. At the end of World War II Masereel was able to resume his artistic work and produced woodcuts and paintings. After 1946 he taught at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar in Saarbrücken. In 1949 Masereel settled in Nice. Between 1949 and 1968, he published several series of woodcuts that differ from his earlier "novels in picture'" in comprising variations on a subject instead of a narrative, he designed decorations and costumes for numerous theatre productions.
The artist became a member of several academies. Frans Masereel was entombed in Ghent; the cultural organization Masereelfonds was named after him, as was the Frans Masereel Centre studio facility at Kasterlee. Masereel's woodcuts influenced Lynd Ward and graphic artists such as George Walker, Clifford Harper, Eric Drooker, New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno. Arise Ye Dead The Dead Speak 25 Images of a Man's Passion / The Passion of a Man Passionate Journey / My Book Of Hours The Sun Political drawings Story Without Words The Idea The City Figures and Grimaces The Work Landscapes and Voices The Siren From Black to White Dance of Death June'40 Destinies 1939-1940-1941-1942 Earth under the sign of Saturn Remember! Angel Phenomena Ages of life Youth Ecce Homo Key to Dreams Our Times The apocalypse of our time Why? My book of images My country Night Adventure Night and his Daughters China Memories Stations From Decay to Triumph Poets The face of Hamburg The road of men Couples My home Antwerp Hands Vice and passion I love black and white Picture
Southern Cross (wordless novel)
Southern Cross is the sole wordless novel by Canadian artist Laurence Hyde. Published in 1951, its 118 wood-engraved images narrate the impact of atomic testing on Pacific islanders. Hyde made the book to express his anger at the US military's nuclear tests in the Bikini Atoll; the wordless novel genre had flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, but by the 1940s the most prolific practitioners had abandoned it. Hyde was familiar with some such works by Lynd Ward, Otto Nückel, the form's pioneer Frans Masereel; the high-contrast artwork of Southern Cross features dynamic curving lines uncommon in wood engraving and combines abstract imagery with realistic detail. It has gained appreciation in comics circles as a precursor to the Canadian graphic novel, though it had no direct influence; the story tells of the American military evacuating villagers from a Pacific island before testing nuclear weapons. A drunken soldier attempts to rape a fisherman's wife during the evacuation, the fisherman kills him.
To avoid capture, the couple hide. The child witnesses the death of the parents and destruction of their environment from the ensuing atomic tests. Born in Kingston upon Thames in England in 1914, Laurence Hyde moved with his family to Canada in 1926, they settled in Toronto in 1928. His strongest artistic influences included the painter Paul Nash and the printmakers Eric Gill, Rockwell Kent, Lynd Ward. From the 1930s Hyde did commercial pen-and-ink and scratchboard illustrations, ran a business providing advertising illustrations, made wood engravings and linocuts for books, he gave up on two series of prints, titled Discovery and Macbeth. Hyde worked in Ottawa for the National Film Board of Canada from 1942 until his 1972 retirement; the wordless novel had become rare by the 1940s. Such books tended to be melodramatic works about social injustice. Hyde was familiar with some of the German Otto Nückel's Destiny; the only work he knew of the Flemish artist Frans Masereel, the form's first and most prolific practitioner, was Passionate Journey, which he had read in a 1949 American edition.
Like his forebears in the genre, Hyde had a left-wing agenda. When Southern Cross appeared, the genre had been out of the public eye for so long that Hyde included a historical essay to orient the reader. Hyde had asked Ward to proofread this history, but the book was published without Ward's corrections—errors remained, such as Masereel's forename given as "Hans", a listing of only four of Ward's six wordless novels. Words are capable of expressing complicated and subtle notions... But for directness and universal interpretation, under certain conditions, are unrivalled, it depends on what you want to say. Hyde made Southern Cross to express his anger at American nuclear tests in the Bikini Atoll in 1946 following the atomic bombings in Japan, he worked on it from 1948 to 1951. Each image is 4 by 3 inches, centred with broad margins; the one exception is of a 7 in × 6 in full-page image that bleeds off the page. Hyde carved dynamic curving lines uncommon in wood engraving. Blacks overwhelms the figures they surround, abstract images contrast with realistic detail in the flora and fauna.
Southern Cross was published in a limited edition by Ward Ritchie Press in 1951 on Japanese paper with the images on the recto and the verso left blank. Rockwell Kent provided the introduction. Hyde dedicated the book to the Society of Friends, he was not present at the book's pressing and thus was not able to correct some blocks that he had not carved enough to produce satisfactory prints. The book was republished twice in 2007: Drawn and Quarterly released a deluxe facsimile edition with additional essays by Hyde and an introduction by wordless novel historian David Beronä, George Walker included Southern Cross in his anthology of wordless novels Graphic Witness. Man... can tie himself up in words to the point of persuading himself that dropping atom bombs on people he's never seen is a kind of shrewd move in an exciting chess game. He needs something simpler, like pictures, to remind him of what dropping bombs on innocent people is like. In a talk with the CBC in 1952, literary critic Northrop Frye praised Hyde's visual skills, but said, "There's no point in getting the book for your library unless you like the engravings themselves as separate works of art."
He found the book a quick read in contrast to the time it took to make it, called its "continuity" a weak point. He considered the visualization of the bomb's destruction of living things the strongest justification for the work. Comics critic Sean Rogers praised the work the pacing and action sequences, but felt it had less impact than such earlier works as Masereel's Passionate Journey or Ward's Vertigo. Rogers found the anti-nuclear message less effective than that of comics such as Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen or Gary Panter's Jimbo. Comics scholar Roger Sabin found the book unconvincing, "a well-meaning but facile piece of agit-prop". Reviewer Erik Hinton praised the artwork while calling the story "the progeny of historical lip-service and the hot-button anxiety of the destructivity of modern warfare", considered Ward and others of Hyde's predecessors more proficient at the medium. Southern Cross has gained appreciation in comics circles as a precursor to the graphic novel in Canada, though it had no direct influence on Canadian comics—it was ma
The Life and Times of Conrad Black
The Life and Times of Conrad Black is a wordless novel by Canadian artist George Walker, published in 2013. Walker's followed up his first wordless novel, The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson about the death of the well-known Canadian painter, with a biography of the media mogul Conrad Black. Walker stated his motivation was that Black was "one of the most outspoken and charismatic characters in the elusive one per cent of people who make up the establishment in Canada, he is a public person of international stature, at one time a media baron and still a man of great influence and wealth." Black approved of the book, signed a few copies. Black is the author of numerous books and newspaper articles and has a reputation for the verbosity of his prose.100 wordless black-and-white woodcut prints make up the book telling Black's life story. Walker based the images on photographs, many from newspapers or magazines and familiar to the public, he communicated with Black via email. Walker hand-printed the first edition of the book in a limited boxed edition of 13 copies, symbolic of the thirteen boxes Black removed from his office when it was investigated in 2005.
Each copy was signed by Black and priced at $1,500. A popular edition appeared from Porcupine's Quill in 2013. Walker's choice of Black as a subject stands in contrast to wordless novel traditions, which focused on emotional working-class characters and socialist politics. Walker does not use the book to attack or belittle Black, but relates the mogul's story from his days at Upper Canada College—where he was caned—through his rise in the media, his arrest and imprisonment for fraud and obstruction of justice and release from prison. Official site