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(A) Seymour Chwast
Mark Twain's lambasting of phony,
war-mongering patriotism reinterpreted by
one of our finest contemporary illustrators.
Written in 1910 in his 70th year, Mark Twain, having
lived through 14 wars waged by his own country on
others, declined to publish this poetic despairing
reproof against patriotism. His regular illustrator Daniel
Beard even urged Twain to issue the piece, to which
the author replied, "No, I have told the whole truth in
that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world.
It can be published after I am dead."
It took 13 years after his passing for that prophecy
to be fulfilled - and now, another 102 years later, the
legendary illustrator and graphic designer Seymour
Chwast (himself 92 years young) has fulfilled Beard's dream
of enriching the fable with illustration.
Chwast brings every aspect of his skills to this interpretation:
drawing, design, typography, type design, pastel
painting, and computer color all sit alongside each other
with Twain's text in pages that expand and pace the original.
With another century and a quarter of warfare passed since
its writing, Chwast's artwork echoes advances in technology
but Twain's message about the pointlessness of patriotism
as a marketing hook for death is only more pointed today.
SEYMOUR CHWAST (b. 1931) is one of the most highly regarded graphic designers
in American history. He has executed hundreds of advertising campaigns, designed
multiple popular typefaces, illustrated or been the subject of dozens of books,
and created several childrens' books of his own. Referred to as "the left-handed
designer," he has worked social commentary into his design for decades, including
through his biannual journal The Nose. Chwast founded the design group Push Pin
Studios with Milton Glaser, Edward Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins in 1954 and continues
to head and work via the company at age 92.
In Shops: May 22, 2024
SRP: $22.99
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