Today's Papers, October 16

The Illustrated Elements of Style

From the sound of this article in Newsday, Maira Kalman's new book (for adults) wins the quirky award today. After picking up Strunk and White's Elements of Style at a rummage sale a few years back, Kalman was inspired not only to illustrate the classic style & grammar guide but also to create an opera based on the book, which read like Gertrude Stein to her.

If happen to find yourself in New York on Wednesday, October 19, at 8, you can catch the operatic "Elements" at the New York Public Library (Fifth Ave. and 42nd St.).  The songs include "Hyphens" and "Be Obscure Clearly!" Nico Muhly composed the music.

A designer and painter in addition to her writing work, Kalman has written thirteen books for children, including the highly praised Fireboat (about September 11th, among other subjects).

Who knows what she'll do if she comes across Fowler's Modern English Usage at a flea market? A full-length ballet? A Super Bowl halftime show? The possibilities are endless.

Update, October 19th. The New York Times, who was scooped on the story by Newsday, reports on Maira Kalman's new book and song cycle.


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Susan, this is just too good to be true! I'm definitely going to check out the illustrated edition. I don't think the opera will make it to Smalltown :)

Years ago, when I should have been reading Strunk & White (and when I should have had a clue about what a fantastic writer White was), I didn't. This will change. Thanks for the link, Susan!

Wow, that sounds really cool! I love Maira Kalman, and I'm a total grammar nerd. This is perfect for me. Thanks for the heads up!

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